Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Any Scottish fans of ‘The Prisoner’ left?

I used to be a regular visitor to Portmeirion (no longer a secret that this was where ‘The Prisoner’ was filmed prior to broadcast in 1967), able to drive down during annual convention weekends. I was also a happy member of Six of One, The Prisoner Appreciation Society, until both came to an end for me some time after 1998.

Six of One imploded (as seen from my distant perspective as a subscriber), the conventions came to an end, the society appeared to lose favour with Portmeirion, and even the little Prisoner shop in the village closed. I hadn’t been able to make it there again (having to abort the next drive down as work meant I started the trip too late in the day), and later read that some attendees’ behaviour had led to apologies being issued to Portmeirion. Details never really emerged, but the invitation for Prisoner events seemed to evaporate for some years (as did my ability to get back there). As that was my last opportunity to make the trip, I ended up being glad I had aborted the trip, and wasn’t part of whatever happened that weekend.

I bumped into the former committee when the WorldCon came to Glasgow a few later, but they weren’t particularly approachable when I tried to say ‘Hello’, so that was that.

But, fast-forward a few years and The Unmutual Website (TUW) appeared.

Unusually, and unlike the acrimonious f0rmer society, there is no membership for TUW – just visit the web site and participate as you like.

I’ve done so for some years now, and the (very) nice man who runs it seems happy to hear from anybody.

Even me, with odd bits of trivia, such as this penny-farthing duo I found nearby one day.

Penny Farthing Twins

Penny Farthing Twins

I’ve followed the site for years now, and it has grown from a small start into a vast resource of wide and varied Prisoner related information.

For someone who was once there every year, it has assorted galleries of changes that have taken place in Portmeirion over the years, which helps make up for the loss of visits (and the 300 miles drive, ending with the remarkably Scottish looking final section through North Wales).

50th Anniversary

As noted above, 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of The Prisoner’s first broadcast, so this was a special year, as noted by TUW’s opening para on its report page:

‘The Prisoner’ 50th anniversary- an in-depth photo report on the event

September 29th 2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the first UK screening of ‘Arrival’ (at 7.30pm on ATV Midlands on 29/9/1967).

NETWORK were the hosts and organisers of the official 50th anniversary event at Portmeirion, fifty years on, on 29th September 2017.

With The Unmutual Website advertising the event well in advance, most of the invited guests had been well publicised, as had the various screenings, so nothing less than a feast was promised. What was to follow exceeded even that, and proved to be an unforgettable smorgasbord of Prisoner delicacies!

The report continues with a lengthy and detailed description of the event, and coverage of the many members of the original cast able to attend, it was a unique picture opportunity too.

Fenella Fielding provided the Village Voice in the original series, so who better to announce each of the days events over a PA/speaker system which covered the whole of Portmeirion, caught on video – and looking amazing for 90!

A notable ‘first”reported from the event was the live performance of a Big Finish episode inside The Green Dome.

As a central location, Number 2’s residence, it was a little disappointing that this particular building was never accessible during any of the previous conventions or my visits, even it was a fantasy location that existed only as a set, and not actually under the dome. I did look closely during those early visits, and access was probably not really practical as the place was then in something of a state internally, and clearly in need of restoration, which it now seems to have had in good measure.

While you can go look up more related videos on YouTube, there’s one more I’d like to include here, and that’s the dedication by daughter Catherine McGoohan as she unveils a bust of Patrick McGoohan which will now mark his presence in the village.


17/10/2017 Posted by | Surveillance, Uncategorized | , , , | 2 Comments

Briggait views

Looking at some past pics I’d collected of the Briggait – Glasgow’s former fish market – I noticed it was another building that could be hard to get a clear or undistorted view of.

Starting at the rear, it’s hard to get the whole thing in, or (without fancy lenses) avoid some aspect of distortion.

Briggait Rear

Briggait Rear

While I was guilty of holding the camera carelessly, I could edit that out, but this was still just about as much as I could capture since I wanted to be sure of including the detail at the top of the roof, and fill the frame with this part of the building.

I tried catching it from the other side, which meant stitching some multiple shots, and while it came out better than expected (you’re lucky not to be seeing the original horror), there are some weird angles in the end result, once you look closer.

Briggait Rear Stitch

Briggait Rear Stitch

Wandering round to the front… just brings a different problem.

Briggait Front

Briggait Front

Two fairly obvious issues – or one pair of scrawny trees sitting in just the wrong place (for my poor lens anyway).

Moving in closer to remover them from view just meant I had to stitch multiple shots again, this time producing a massive bulge.

Partly my fault as I had to stand in the wrong place, and while I was able to edit some of it out, it was so pronounced I had to limit the correction, and a closer look at the edges of the final effort shows these were being distorted and bent.

Briggait Front Stitch

Briggait Front Stitch

I KNOW I should just shut up, stop moaning, and be grateful I have an image at all…

But sometimes my OCD/perfectionist gene just kicks in, and won’t shut up.

17/10/2017 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment


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