Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

South Rotunda saved

Not a place I see often these days (for many years to be honest), but I did reach the South Rotunda recently, and was aware that it has been saved recently, after being acquired by a company that carried out a complete refurbishment of the structure to convert it into their offices.

For those completely unfamiliar with it, suffice to say its original purpose was to house a pair of hydraulic elevators that took vehicles (that meant horse & cart as it opened in 1895) up and down to a tunnel under the river, with a separate tunnel accessed via stairs for pedestrians.

I’ve already made some notes about it elsewhere, so you can read more details here, in our Wiki:

South Rotunda

It’s really strange to see it like this, at a junction, and next to a bridge over the River Clyde.

I watched the roads being recreated here after the Glasgow Garden Festival, when the place was a near desert and there was hardly a car, or person, to be seen. Now it’s practically a main thoroughfare, and quite a shock to see all the traffic flowing here.

South Rotunda

South Rotunda

May 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Oh deer

I suppose I’ll have to stop grumbling about having to take the little compact out some days (as opposed to the dSLR and its gem of a sensor). Granted the pics are not pixel sharp, it’s slow, and doesn’t have a proper viewfinder (I absolutely HATE holding the thing at arm’s length to see that rear display) – but one cannot argue with the logic that says the best camera you have is the one you have with you to catch a pic.

In this case, a flashing white ‘deerbutt’ alerted me to the presence of this example of the world’s least ‘road aware’ species (much thicker than two short planks if near a road, they are so dumb they are truly scary and very very dangerous) as I passed the site of the Baggyminnow Pond swans – this pair disappeared in the past few days, so I guess their eggs hatched recently and the family marched along to the nearby River Clyde and have now swam away. Maybe I’ll see them there later.

I couldn’t see the deer in the long grass, but hit the button and made an appointment with the compact to take pictures in the near future, and after it woke up and sorted itself out after the usual buzzing and whirring, set the zoom to 10X and scanned around.

I got lucky as something made the deer look up just as I spotted its back, and for once, I actually got a proper pic, complete with head.

Baggyminnow Deer

Baggyminnow Deer

Baggyminnow Pond Deer Original

Baggyminnow Pond Deer Original

I was really surprised there was enough detail for a little post-processing, especially when I noted the speed was 400 ASA to help the anti-shake with the long zoom.  I usually think anything not caught at 100 ASA can’t be cropped, but this proves me wrong. It’s just a pity there is no RAW option, or even choice of compression, but then again, it will even slip into a trouser pocket, which is not a bad trick for 10X zoom. And having had ‘longer’ zoom similar compact and even bridge cameras, the size disadvantage of 12X or even 15X makes little difference at this level, but adds bulk and drops image quality at this level. (Click thumb for bigger).

May 26, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Missed me – again

It’s only a few days since I walked along this particular piece of road, and at first I didn’t realise something fairly major had happened.

First clue was pieces of car headlight reflector, some silvered plastic caught my eye first, then I saw pieces of the unit, and these led to some more pieces of grille. But for the silvered parts, what little there was could have been missed as it was spread over a distance of about 15 metres, and was only what was left after the rest was swept up, and not noticeable unless all seen together. No bits big enough to ID the car.

I checked the road and kerb, (and the trees which grow from the grassy part of the kerb here) and found some rubble knocked loose from the kerb about another 15 metres from the line of remains. But there were no skid marks, so whatever happened had not seen any heavy braking take place.

For once, the pic I took shows little (and there was not point in taking a pic of the bits of plastic), and I concluded the car/vehicle had left the road and gone through the metal fence pictured.

I base this on the Police blue/white tape which is all on the other side of the fence (I’ve had to inset a slight enlargement to identify it) as are the larger parts of plastic panelling from the car (they’re mostly black and just don’t show up against the ground in the pic).

The pic doesn’t really show much as it’s clear the recovery and clean up time got their fast, did their job, and even got the damaged fence repaired quickly – it was only after seeing the whole scene and standing back a little which showed the finish of these fence sections was different to that of the older sections to either side, giving away their newness. Apart from that, all those bits are behind the fence – and that didn’t happen unless the fence was knocked down.

I have to confess to being impressed by these recovery services. I’ve seen a couple of incidents that disabled the car involved, so not drivable, and made a mess of the surrounding area, and while things like brick walls take time to arrange, the tidy up of the ground and removal of the car can be done in hour or two – as long as it take me to get to the shops and make the return trip.

London Road Cleaned Up Crash

London Road Cleaned Up Crash

That’s two fairly major misses in a matter of days (I posted one in Cambuslang a few days ago).

I wonder if I should be worried?

I tend to think, or imagine, this sort of thing comes in threes, so the next one might be too close for comfort.

May 25, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

A little bird on bird action

I really didn’t expect to catch this shot, with the waiting time for the compact camera to wake up and initialise, then the time for the power zoom to zip out to the 10X end, then more time for the autofocus to settle on the backlit image – the real bird on the sculpted bird should have spotted me, laughed, and flown away long before the camera decided it was ready to shoot.

But it didn’t, and even got the exposure right too (I had time for second shot and tweaked its exposure for the backlighting, but it was hopelessly overexposed – the auto setting really does work surprisingly well.

The sculptured heron is one commissioned by Sustrans in 1998, and is sited on the banks of the River Clyde at Carmyle , near the Clydeford bridge. It is intended to symbolise the environmental regeneration of the river, and stands over 8 metres high on the Clyde Walkway near Cambuslang, and Route 75 of the National Cycle Network.

Clyde Heron and Bird

Clyde Heron and Bird

May 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

2018 marks 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh

It was nice to see early news of a temporary exhibition taking place in Kelvingrove during 2018 to mark the 150th anniversary of Charles Rennie Mackintosh.

I always feel rather sorry for Mackintosh, in some ways

Largely ignored during his life, he only came to notice (along with others of his kind such as Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson) after his death, and then suffered the fate of many in Scotland, where his is mocked and devalued because he became famous and popular. (Note: Does not apply if you are that modern ‘waste of skin’ known as… a celebrity!)

Mackintosh and building

Mackintosh and building

It’s now well known that a number of their buildings have been lost, for various reasons, and that many that survive have advocates trying to save those that have become abandoned and derelict. Fortunately, many lesser known examples have survived in use, and are occupied by residents who know and love them, and actively preserve and restore them.

Glasgow Style

Glasgow Style designs and art works were created by teachers, students and graduates of The Glasgow School of Art in the period between about 1890 and 1920.

Said to be at the core of this movement were Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Margaret Macdonald, Frances Macdonald, and James Herbert McNair.

Exhibitions and Events

Glasgow Museums will commemorate the landmark of the Glasgow-born architect with a programme of events in 2018.

One of the highlights, according to curators, will be a temporary exhibition held at Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

It will showcase works by Rennie Mackintosh and his contemporaries.

Many of the works will be on display for the first time in a generation, while others will be given their first public appearance.

The exhibition includes works by The Four: Charles Rennie Mackintosh, his future wife Margaret Macdonald, her younger sister Frances Macdonald and her future husband James Herbert McNair.

Alison Brown, curator with Glasgow Museums, said: “Charles Rennie Mackintosh is rightly celebrated around the world as one of the most creative figures of the 20th Century.

“He is regarded as the father of Glasgow Style, arguably Britain’s most important contribution to the international Art Nouveau movement.

Via: Exhibition to mark Mackintosh anniversary

There don’t seem to be any details on offer at the moment, so I will be watching for more news to appear, and post more then.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | 2 Comments

The Fire Tiger is gone

I came across an old pic that had happened to catch the Fire Tiger mural at the side of the Clyde Walkway, near the South Portland Street Suspension Bridge. It ended up in a post about cat murals.

Big Fire Cat Clyde

Big Fire Cat Clyde

I’ve only got that one skewed pic, caught more by accident than design, so when I was near the same spot recently, thought it would be a good idea to update the ‘library’.

NOPE!

It’s gone now, replaced by (to my eye at least) a nicely finished, but much inferior offering. It’s just ‘ordinary’ now.

Tiger Mural

Tiger Mural

I’ve been staring at this for a while, trying to work out what is ‘wrong’ with it, and why it doesn’t ‘jump’.

I think I’ve spotted what it’s missing – EYES!

Those empty black spaces where a pair of attention-grabbing eye could have appeared just kill any impact this image could have.

It might be intentional, which is fine, but a pair of bright yellow and threatening eyes would really draw the viewer into this image.

May 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Clyde rower

Not sure how I actually managed to catch this, as I was carrying the compact in my pocket.

Compact – find… find ‘ON# button… wait for Bzzz, whir, click, click, bzzz of start-up routine and self-test EVERY DAMN TIME!

Then try and frame shot with power zoom back and forth.

Not to mention having to use LCD on camera back as there is no real viewfinder.

Then wait while camera has ‘tea & biscuits’ as it sets things up in response to your plea for it to ‘TAKE THE DAMNED PICTURE’ after you press the shutter button.

Ok, in reality it does not take THAT long (except for low-light or night shots), but compared to the instant response of a dSLR, and the fact that it is ‘Always On’, the compact FEELS like it takes an eternity as it does its stuff at every power-up.

Clyde Rower Dalmarnock Rutherglen

Clyde Rower Dalmarnock Rutherglen

I believe this boatyard, across the River Clyde from the Dalmarmock Sewage Work, next the Dalmarnock railway bridge, and below Dalmarnock Road – is referred to everywhere online as the Rutherglen Boatyard, and is all that remains of the old yard founded by TB Seath.

Oddly, even historic record for the area show this Rutherglen boatyard on the spot, yet make no mention of Seath.

Seath built many boats, sailed down the Clyde and over the tidal weir to reach the sea, including the Cluthas which provided ferry services on the river.

Benmore, a 200 ft paddle steamer, was famously grounded on the weir on its deliver sailing, but was finally rocked off and set free!

It seems there is no sea access these days, closed off by various changes to the river, and a lack of dredging to maintain an adequate channel along the whole length.

May 23, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

St Peter’s Seminary future finally seems secure

I’ve watched the various highs and lows of the efforts to save the remains of St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross with an assortment of emotions ranging from hopelessness (expecting the next story to be one of an announcement of site clearance) to thoughts of ‘Too little, too late’ as impractical suggestions were reported.

After all the years of abandonment, dereliction, and decay, the only positive note could be that the concrete structure, if not the facility, would remain. And that was probably key to the only practical solution – preserving the site as a modern ruin by clearing the site and stabilising the remains, and restoring the land around it. Anything else would be a bonus – and that would seem to be the creation of an arts venue.

This opening summary from Helensburgh Heritage probably tells the main story:

ITH major funding now in place, construction works will begin at St Peter’s at Cardross later this year.

Instead of attempting to turn back time and restore the building to its former glory, the NVA approach will accept the loss and ruination that has happened over the last 30 years as an important part of its story.

They will consolidate much of the building in its current state to create an intentional modernist ruin. The former chapel will be partially restored as a multi-functional events space, and the original ziggurat roof light which stood above the altar will be reinstated.

Path networks will be re-established in the woodland and we will begin to grow native and exotic plant species to gradually bring the landscape back to life.

They will soon be looking for volunteers to help them to restore the beautiful woodland surrounding St Peter’s. Anyone interested in getting involved, please sign up for a volunteering account at volunteer.nva.org.uk.

Read the full article here: St Peter’s funding now in place

I’m always slightly irritated by my own past, having passed the area on an almost weekly basis for years, but unaware of the place, and that it would have been a nice exploration and place to collect some pics of it the years before it became such a well-known cause.

Specter of St Peter's

Specter of St Peter’s (NOT a misspelling by us!)

A couple of years old now, but this is still worth a look if you have not heard of the place before:

St Peter’s Seminary as seen by ‘Sometimes Interesting’

May 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | 1 Comment

Military Museum Scotland has arrived

It’s almost exactly a year since I first heard of Military Museum Scotland, a project hoping to deliver a permanent museum to all aspect of Scottish military history.

The project came from Mobile Military Museum, which visited schools and events with its displays, but saw the need for a more permanent facility.

That has now arrived, and been in existence for some 11 weeks now, and reported to be progressing well.

It is a hands on museum where visitors get to handle most of the artefacts (they are not locked away in glass cases) and has both indoor and outdoor displays, a café, gift shop, and wheelchair access.

Military Museum Scotland’s aims are primarily education, covering Scottish military history from World War I to the present day. 95% of the displays are open, so most artefacts can be handled.

Opening hours are Tuesday to Sunday from 10.00 – 16.00 (Mondays are reserved for booked school visits). The museum is also available for private evening bookings, and offers a drop in centre for military veterans.

More info at the following links:

Military Museum Scotland – VisitScotland

Mobile Military Museum – Twitter

Ex-soldier inspired by father’s wartime bravery launches Military Museum Scotland – Sunday Post

Military museum opened in West Lothian by son of war hero – Daily Record

They don’t have a web site, but are on Facebook – you’ll have to look for them there.

And here’s their pic of the sign at the door:

Military Museum Scotland Sign

Military Museum Scotland Sign

Details

Legion Hall, Louis Braille Avenue,
Linburn Centre,
Wilkieston,
West Lothian,
EH27 8EJ

Tel: 07799565243

email: milmussco@aol.co.uk

May 21, 2017 Posted by | military, World War I, World War II | , | Leave a comment

Glamour at St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge

I don’t usually do people or candid shots, and don’t move in the right circles to find glamour, but got lucky yesterday.

While I was wandering around Glasgow Green I was followed by a small photography team with a model, and it was inevitable that they’d eventually intrude into one my collections.

I hope they had permission, as I recall reading that Glasgow City Council requires this (currently £434 for a half day – less than 4 hours – or £881 for a full day) for commercial TV, filming, or photography.

Glasgow City council – Book of Charges (pdf)

I wouldn’t normally have even noticed this, but for some recent court cases I noted, and the issues they raised…

Photography can be risky in the UK – just having a camera might get you into trouble

In this case, they ‘intruded’ into pics I was taking of the St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge over the River Clyde, and its plaque in particular.

I live in fear now, having caught this view without planning it, of a presumably professional model, and DON’T have a signed release authorising my use of the image.

I await the knock at my door, the frog-march to court, fine, and possibly even jail-time for my heinous crime.

Or worse! Since I have taken a picture of a woman’s bare legs… and arms… without asking her permission.

Perhaps I should just go and hand myself in at the nearest police station, and save myself the days of worry.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge Model

St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge Model

May 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s Smaller Suspension Bridge

Not too long ago I caught a fairly clean view of Glasgow’s Bigger Suspension Bridge, and that post has the details too.

This reminded me I had never bothered to take any pics of its smaller partner to the east, the St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge, built 1853-5 by Neil Robson, engineer (£6348), and I promised to correct that sin of omission.

I happened to be nearby yesterday, and fortunately had the compact in my pocket, so the pics are not great, but at least complete the pair.

I thought I wasn’t going to get a decent side elevation, as a downside of the arrival of spring is the greenery that obscure many views that are an advantage of winter sparseness, but fortunately there is a viewing pier a little way downriver.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge View East

St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge View East

On the left is the lifeboat station of the Glasgow Humane Society, the service that usually attends to drag bodies out of the river. Look online for George Parsonage to find videos of their work.

Before I found the clear view from the pier I grabbed a couple of shots from the ends to show better detail.

The pylons consist of heavy entablatures supported by pairs of Corinthian columns almost 6 metres (20 ft) high , all of cast-iron. Flat link chains support a light lattice girder span. Described as an attractive and little known structure.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge View South

St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge View South

Spot the gorgeous cast iron lamp-standards standing beside, and almost visually hidden, by the columns. I was too busy to notice them at the time, or I would have taken closer detail.

During 2005, the bridge was given a fresh coat of paint, enhancing work carried out in 1997 when the parapets and timber decking were replaced, and the ornamental cast iron features of the Corinthian columns refurbished.

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge View North

St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge View North

Sorry about the National Cycle Network pole – it’s just too close the structure to stand behind and still get a decent shot.

At least I don’t have to go do some more research and a summary of the bridge’s history lies nearby:

St Andrew's Suspension Bridge Plaque

St Andrew’s Suspension Bridge Plaque

And, having two pics of the two bridges to compare – I can dispel the claim that one is a copy of the other.

Clearly, they may both be suspension bridges, but are quite different in design.

May 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: