Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

When the wind blows – send your cats out to work

This one had a personal touch.

The weather recently delivered a few windy days here (windier than when a couple of recent big storm passed) and I do have one car hidden under cover. I didn’t realise the cover wasn’t fully UV stabilised, so its age, plus some fairly extreme wind speeding through the gap between houses here meant that half of that cover gave up, and recently began to disintegrate and fall apart.

The only good news was that only one end is exposed, so I can get another year two out of it before it dies completely, just by turning it round.

I just use some non-specified weights to hold it down. I tried tying it, but it’s so light it just tore where I added the ties (it’s job is really just to keep dust off, since it is under cover even though outdoors).

This pic shows our friend across the pond have trained cats to do the same job.

Good idea, as the hard/solid weights I use also damage the cover eventually – nice soft furry bodies would avoid this problem.

Working Cats Car Cover

Working Cats Car Cover

31/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

I found a surviving old factory building – The Sentinel Works

While the city centre may provide a refuge for classical architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries, with many continuing to live on into the 21st century and probably beyond (unlike a certain £400+ million skip built in Holyrood that will barely last decades before becoming an uneconomic wreck), the same is not true of much of the surrounding area’s industrial architecture.

I’ve written before about wasted weekends when I set out with the intent of grabbing pics of such structures some years ago, only to find it was largely a waste of time. Years of ‘tidying’ have seen many survivors being expunged, probably to provide some councillor or politician with proof that they are ‘Doing something’ for the community, and which was highly visible.

Now, such features are probably only going to be found by chance, unless extensive area research is carried out first.

I got lucky when I ended up in Polmadie, much of which has been razed, but has still managed to retain a few old remains which, although derelict, have the benefit of being listed.

Coming over a bridge, I saw the shell of one such building.

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Rear

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Rear

The most noticeable feature in this view must be the remaining cast iron supports which once led the way for a fire escape.

This is a concrete structure (probably why it has survived), based on the Hennebique method of reinforced concrete: Hennebique’s idea of strengthening concrete used steel reinforcing bars embedded within the bottom face of a concrete slab. This originated on a house project in Belgium in 1879 where Hennebique used concrete as a fireproof protection for wrought iron beams.

Concrete is strong in compression, but weak in tension. The bars reinforce the structural area in tension, so preventing early failure.

This factory was built in the period 1903 to 1904 for Alley and MacLellan, engineers, who built some built 500 ‘knock down’ ships – a type which was built, dismantled, and then reassembled on inland waters.

It has 4 storeys containing 12 x 3 bays, large metal-framed windows, and an off-centre entrance bay with wide door having 3 tall lights above, added in the 1930s.

The works are named after the Sentinel steam lorry, developed by Alley and MacLellan, and which was also produced at their branches at Shrewsbury and Worcester.

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Front

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Front

Records indicate that this was the first fully reinforced concrete building with a ferro-concrete frame and panels, and the third oldest  surviving in the UK.

The absence of arches is said to anticipate American-inspired daylight factories by Albert Kahn, using straight lintels.

To the rear lay a foundry, equipped with a light railway.

Owned from 1918 to 1937 by Beardmore, the building was taken over by the Weir Group in 1960.

Like may large buildings, there isn’t enough space to stand sufficiently far back to take a view of the façade, without expensive lenses.

But I can stitch multiple images (only radially though, not linearly), so can catch it all at once.

Sentinel Works Stitch

Sentinel Works Stitch

Just to be complete, I found a public domain Sentinel steam lorry pic – taken in Australia!

Sentinel Australia

Sentinel Australia

31/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment


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