Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Changing times – underground cycle garage

I’m trying to ignore the loonies (extremists and activists) these days, and pay more attention to those who actually want to get things done and achieve things in a quiet and reasonable manner.

One thing I pay more attention to than I used to is cycling, and changes that support it.

In this case I was walking along George Street and then into Duke Street one night, looking at one of my old favourite buildings (or to be more accurate, the remaining façade) of the former Great Eastern Hotel (which was really a men’s hostel). The area beneath now serves as an underground car park for the flats built behind the original façade, but due to the direction I was walking, I noticed that there was more than just cars secured down there, and that the residents had been provided with proper racking for the bikes.

Seriously, we need more ‘quiet revolution’ where facilities such as this are provided without fuss or drama, as it would get  more people to consider taking up cycling than all the bolshie, loud-mouthed, arrogant activists demanding this, that, and the other, and actively provoking drivers on the road. Lots of ordinary folk (of which I count myself) are kept away from getting on a bike more often (or maybe even at all) as we don’t want to be associated with, or possible even mistaken for, one of those nut-jobs.

Cycle car park

Cycle car park

I don’t know how a cameraphone would cope with this sort of shot (probably with a minute aperture and bags of image processing), but it was a pig.

I had to take control of exposure and focus – the focus wanted to prefer the nearest object, while the exposure wanted to follow that, meaning that all I got at first was a nice sharp window grill, and burnt out interior.

Followed by thoughts of a pro-dSLR maybe being worth £5,000 after all, since all the adjustments are located on their own knobs and buttons, rather than buried in menus!


January 20, 2017 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | ,


  1. I know the area well, just opposite the flats on the site of the old Duke St. prison, and that’s my point. It’s not on George Street., but Duke St., which, if my memory serves me correctly is/was the longest street in UK. (Maybe that’s just urban legend).


    Comment by Ian McConnell | January 20, 2017

  2. Oops, silly me – you are, of course, quite right, and thanks for the kick.

    I guess I have at least a touch of dyslexia as I am forever finding things that ended up different from my intent when I look back at what I have written a few weeks later.

    There are a few web sites dedicated to giving the history of Glasgow’s streets, and they do give details of facts such as the longest streets – I also have some recent, but not new, books which go into the same detail, in descriptions below the pics they contain.

    The problem with such facts, which are not in dispute as such, is that one has to become a store of facts that vary over time (and my poor memory is not up to this), since the many changes that continue to take place in and around Glasgow means that streets which were once long and continuous have ceased to exist in their original form, hence claims to titles such as ‘Longest’ have faded into the past.

    Even looking at online maps becomes confusing now that their detail is easy to see, as many streets suddenly disappear, and re-appear some distance away, as modern developments have landed on top of them.


    Comment by Apollo | January 20, 2017

  3. I agree. One other example of a once major city “artery” is/was Parliamentary Rd. I used to catch a bus from school there, and it ran from Sauchiehall St. to Castle St., where a particularly tight turn threatened a canopy from a cinema or the like with imminent destruction from the bus upper deck.

    Try finding any remnant now of what was a main thoroughfare.


    Comment by ianmcconnell | January 20, 2017

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