Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The Monteith

Possibly another one of those things that can be passed many times without being seen.

This is a building called The Monteith.

While referred to as a hotel in records, it was really a men’s hostel. Reports of its performance can be found online at the moment, and unlike some such hostels which are still operating in Glasgow, appears to have had a reasonable reputation.

It can, for the time being at least, be found at the corner of Monteith Row and Monteith Place, near The Barras. But, given it is the last single standing building in an area that has been cleared of all similar structures, and has been closed and sealed at some time in the past few weeks, I think its days must be numbered. It has a minimal entry in Canmore, and is not mentioned in the Buildings at Risk register.

At a guess, it will disappear quietly and without much fuss, and there may even be plans in hand, since I saw some small diggers working on the surrounding ground not too long ago. It may have been unrelated work, but then again, it was happening just before the place was closed and sealed.

It’s probably been hashed around inside, and would be nightmare to re-use, given how changing building regulations can force radical restructuring to maintain compliance, things just become uneconomic unless grants are flowing freely. Simplest option is to give up and close.

The Monteith

The Monteith

This was actually another exercise in perspective and distortion, as I couldn’t find a position to get properly inline with the centreline of the building.

In this case, while the software would automatically convert the skewed view into a near perfect rectangle, this often results in a view which just looks ‘wrong’.

They eye is used to seeing a perspective view, and having perfectly vertical sides on a building is impossible, unless looking at plans.

So, in this case I took over and introduced a deliberate convergence into the view, to recreate the inward slope of the sides which is seen when looking towards the top of the building. It really does make the pic look a lot better, and more natural.

01/02/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Time for a few changes

Big SeSco S

January has been interesting, as I deliberately avoided getting drawn into anything that developed in the Forum, and the temptation of adding to any existing subjects as I came across anything relevant.


While the idea is  not to abandon this, I need to divert my time and use it better – I’d also hoped my lack of continued input might stimulate one or two others into activity, rather than just have most input raised by me

One of the sad things seen in the logs is that while many members keep visiting and reading Forum material, they seem unwilling  to either contribute to the content, or start any new discussions or threads. Why?

Some years have passed since the writer of the Forum code gave up and abandoned the project. While I should have replaced it long ago it works, and I liked the apparent immunity it had to being hacked. Unfortunately, the same could not be said about its resistance to spam bot registrations. Things got so bad (over 1,000 bot registrations every week) registration had to be closed and made available only by email request.

Not a good idea, and the few who took up the option never become active.


A new Forum package has been trialled, and would have been installed earlier but for the lack of a reliable import routine for the old Forum. After wasting time looking into this option, it’s simply not an option, so now it’s just a case of actually installing and setting it up, then waiting to see if any interest is shown. Bearing in mind that while people will be able to register with little fuss… it will be empty!


Unfortunately, messing  around with the old Forum has diverted time from the Wiki, leading to much material being accumulated but not incorporated, so the plan is to start adding new material whenever possible. This has already started, as noted recently when the content finally managed to pass the 1,000 page milestone.

It may be me, or the way search engines are tuned these days, but the pool of interesting (‘secret’?) material seems to be diminishing.  One sad sign of this is the number of links given as references in many of our Wiki pages – revisiting these returns a depressing number of ‘Dead Links’ when they are clicked, showing that the source is gone, or has moved.

On the other hand, the media has become so desperate to attract ‘clicks’, many sources now seem to have employed staff to provide articles of lesser known local historic interest (with absolutely nothing at all to do with ‘news’), which has become a handy source of material.

One demotivating aspect has been the loss of a number of ‘official’ links, by which I mean National/Government/Council online resources that provide historic records and data. While these were expected to remain reliable, many have changed url formats and ‘permalinks’, rendering such links useless, and defeating coding written into the wiki that was able to form these links automatically.

While this is not actually unexpected or uncommon, one would expect reference sites to be more considerate.

Like many others, I find this sort of rework irritating, and the motivation is low, as there is no guarantee that having revised the code, the source will not change again, and trash it.


Not a lot to say about this, other than offer thanks to those who take the time to share some of their pics with SeSco.

The range of material is intriguing, and continues to inspire.


Twitter is the only aspect of so-called ‘social media’ we touch (don’t expect any of the other creepy options to appear), largely because we joined up when it was new and unheard of, and because the posts are largely automated.

That will just carry on as before since it takes minimal effort.

This Blog

Seeing a lot of irrelevant material online made me worry about this Blog, intended to allow non-core material to be raised, and I worried about similar mindless ‘belly-rumbling’ drivel appearing here, and stopped blogging.

I’d also begun to produce so-called ‘Long Reads’, which simply take too long to produce, especially as I like to (at least try) to do decent research and be accurate. Another reason I stopped, to try to win back some time for better things.

I tried to run under PaD (Post a Day) rules a few years back, and enjoyed it until circumstances forced me to abandon the attempt. The benefit of this is the discipline it takes, forcing the writer into shorter and more concise posts, and manage time better.

I hope to get back to this.

I also hope/intend to take more pics and use them for posts. I’ve spent some time working on low light photography now that a decent dSLR can allow this to be carried out handheld, minus the need for a tripod (or flash). Even with a slow zoom lens I can now get pics that would simply have been impossible in the days of film, and thanks to large sensor tech have no noise (worth speaking of) in all but the most extreme (darkest) situations, unlike the grain that plagued such pics with film, not to mention the colour failure of that medium too. And, unlike film (with days of processing), I get to do all my own, minutes after the pic is taken.

My one regret is knowing I will never be able to afford genuinely ‘fast’ glass – I made the mistake of looking, and found it would cost at least FOUR times the cost of my dSLR body alone.


Anything reasonable to suggest for adding to or changing SeSco?

There is a ‘Comment area’ waiting below…

01/02/2017 Posted by | Site News | , , , , , , | 1 Comment


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