June 21 2017

‘Buddies Winner’ Lee McCrimmon with Paisley 2021 Rep Kathryn Murray and Karla Berry from the Ruby Trust.

The efforts of pupils from two Paisley schools to capture what it means to be a ‘Buddie’ on camera has been recognised by a national charity at an event at St Mirren FC.

The ‘Buddies’ programme, organised by equalities charity Nil by Mouth, brings together pupils from West and St Mary’s primary schools to work on a range of activities exploring the history of the town and its different cultural traditions. The project has also seen pupils hitting the streets for a special photography competition seeking to capture images of what being a ‘Buddie’ means to them in support of the ‘Paisley 2021’ UK City of Culture bid. The winning entry, by West PS pupil Lee McCrimmon was unveiled at an event at the 2021 Stadium which also saw and given a tour of the ground by St Mirren CEO Tony Fitzpatrick to find out more about the town’s rich sporting heritage.

‘Buddies’ began in April thanks to funding support from Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund and has allowed pupils to learn about different religions and cultures in conjunction with the charity. They also had the chance to explore the history of Paisley and the achievements of its people with staff from Renfrewshire Leisure. In May, celebrated photographer Alan McCredie visited the schools to deliver special photographic workshops giving pupils a few ‘tricks of the trade’ and setting them the challenge of capturing an image celebrating the town and its people. Last week Alan judged more than 40 entries with Lee’s ‘Paisley at Night’ shot emerging as a worthy winner, scooping the West pupil a state of the art digital camera as a prize donated by the Paisley based Ruby Trust

Renfrewshire’s CHE Fund runs alongside Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021, part of a wider push to use the town’s unique cultural and heritage story to transform its future. Winning the title will have significant economic benefits for the town creating thousands of jobs and would provide an unforgettable year for local people, especially those in our communities who are vulnerable and less heard.

Renfrewshire Council Leader Iain Nicolson said:
“We are delighted to have funded this project through Renfrewshire’s Culture, Heritage and Events Fund, which was designed to widen the number of people involved in cultural activity in the period surrounding the Paisley 2021 bid. One of the key aims of the fund is to widen opportunities for the local community to enjoy the benefits of culture and to see how that fits into their everyday lives. This was a great project which encouraged young people to seek out what makes their immediate surroundings special – and a look at the winning entries shows we have some real photography talent in our schools.”

Nil by Mouth Campaign Director Dave Scott said:
‘This project has been a joy from start to finish and it’s been amazing watching the pupils forge new friendships and celebrate all that they have in common. Our work at Nil by Mouth is all about bringing people together and through ‘Buddies’ we have seen them explore the town, spaces and experiences that they share. It’s also clear they have a great deal of pride in their town and the enthusiasm they have for the 2021 bid is infectious. They want to let the world know that Paisley is a special place and many of their photography really captures the essence and spirit of the place. Everyone involved with our charity is 100% behind the bid, because we know that Paisley’s got talent!’

Competition Judge Alan McCredie said:
‘It was very hard to choose a winner and I took my time and really thought about it. There were so many good entries and fascinating insights into Paisley and what living there meant to the pupils. The one that I kept coming back to time and again was the night shot over Paisley by Lee McCrimmon.  It’s a really nice shot, and a tricky one to pull off due to the lack of light so well done to Lee.

‘Paisley At Night' by West Primary School Pupil Lee McCrimmon
The winning entry; ‘Paisley At Night’ by West Primary School Pupil Lee McCrimmon