Hooray for... Busby!

The bright lights of Busby?
The bright lights of Busby?

COMMUTERS travelling through East Renfrewshire could be forgiven for thinking they’ve caught the wrong train – straight to tinsel town.

Those rolling through Busby station this week may have noticed the village’s own Hollywood-style sign standing proudly in a nearby field.

The playful homage is by young artist Lewis Watson, originally from Busby and now living in East Kilbride.

Lewis (22) still travels through the village on his way to Tramway, where he’s preparing a portfolio to apply for art school, and regularly visits his family’s house near Busby train station.

Noticing campaign posters by the group Clarkston BID (Business Improvement District) – reading I Love Clarkston – he felt the need to respond on behalf of the village.

Lewis told The Extra: “I feel Busby, as Clarkston’s smaller and less affluent neighbour, often goes unnoticed and unloved.

“I thought – why not inject a bit of glitz and glamour into Busby and show some love to a village that’s meant so much to me. I wanted something completely out of place – and what could be better than a Hollywood sign?”.

The result is Busby in large letters – in that instantly recognisable font – installed in the field by his father’s house on Sunday.

Lewis continued: “Busby Main Street is barely there any more – there’s so much derelict space. That really interests me, negative space and the detrimental effect it has on a place.

“I still consider Busby my home, and the whole point was to prove that you can put something positive back into the community”.

The Extra recently received a letter from an anonymous resident, who voiced concerns over the decline of shops in the village – proving that Lewis isn’t the only one with a desire to put Busby on the map.

And for now, his sign seems to be garnering positive responses, with onlookers from the train station complimenting the work – and more than a few pictures of it ending up on Facebook.

But far from a serious protest, the artist maintains that “first and foremost, it’s just a bit of fun”.

He continued: “I hope if nothing else, people have a chuckle on their way past – I’m perfectly aware that it could go walkabout any time soon, but for the moment it’s still there”.

Has the Busby sign brightened up your day? Let us know on Facebook (Glasgow South and Eastwood Extra) or Twitter (@ExtraSouthside).