Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The Lighthouse – Part One

Since we can’t expect overworked journalists to work over the weekend, there was no new news on the Mackintosh Building fire today (Saturday).

Since I never got around to pulling any pics from visits to The Lighthouse, I thought I’d fill the slot I been using for fire news with some of those pics.

I think I only have a couple of sets, and managed to dig up the first lot.

Most of the pics were actually taken from the outdoor viewing area at the top of a set of spiral stairs, but I’ll leave them out as not relevant.

The irony of Mackintosh’s fire precautions designed into his commission can’t go unnoticed:

Charles Rennie Mackintosh was a young draughtsman in the architectural practice of Honeyman and Keppie when he designed the Mitchell Street building, which now houses The Lighthouse. The Herald Building was Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s first public commission.

The building, designed in 1895, was a warehouse at the back of the printing office of the Glasgow Herald. Mackintosh designed the tower – a prominent feature of the building – to contain an 8,000-gallon water tank. It was to protect the building and all its contents from the risk of fire.

The former Glasgow Herald building was renovated and launched as The Lighthouse, Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, a project suggested by the 1999 UK City of Architecture and Design bid committee. It took its new role after 15 years of silence, having stood unused since the Herald moved to new offices in the early eighties.

I should add that much of the building is given over to the various functions of its job as Scotland’s Centre for Architecture, Design and the City, with one floor dedicated to Mackintosh and his work.

This year, the 150th anniversary of Mackintosh’s birth, The Lighthouse will be offering building tours each Saturday throughout 2018. These are on a first come first served basis, begin at 1pm, and last for about 40 minutes.

You can’t easily get a view of the entrance in Mitchell Lane (it really is a narrow lane), so I made do with a view of the lane having the entrance on the right – and still invisible since it is recessed.

To make up, I caught a Glasgow celebrity waiting outside.

Mitchell Lane Lighthouse Entrance

Mitchell Lane Lighthouse Entrance

Once inside, this spiral staircase leads the tower where the water tank mention above was located, and is now open for visitors to look at the views over Glasgow.

The Lighthouse Tower Spiral Stairs

The Lighthouse Tower Spiral Stairs

This show the building’s large chimney, and the new viewing gallery, which is part of a modern extension to the building.

The Lighthouse Chimney Gallery

The Lighthouse Chimney Gallery

I have to confess that the most amusing thing was the choice of toilet signs, used throughout the building.

Sample Lighthouse Toilet Signs

Sample Lighthouse Toilet Signs


23/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Forgotten Baillieston ice-cream pic

Remember I mentioned the return of Soaves ice-cream to the busier part of Baillieston Main Street after moving to its own ice-cream parlour on the outskirts, after it closed?

While I did manage to get a shot of the shop one day, I forgot to catch the sign on the footpath.

Then I forgot I had caught it on a miserable, dark, wet night (wonder why I forgot that?)

Since I have the pic, I might as well use it.

Soaves Baillieston Return

Soaves Baillieston Return

Incidentally (and completely unrelated to this), it seems Glasgow may be set to outlaw this sort of temporary sign, and many other objects which are scattered on pavements and footpaths nowadays.

The number has become ridiculous in some places, with a number of traders also permanently abandoning (and even chaining/locking) their commercial waste wheeled bins to street lamp and sign posts. The accumulation is reducing the available space, and disabled people, wheelchair users, and even parents with prams can find their way barred. The council has indicated traders will be fined if they block  or obstruct the footpath, and there will restrictions on when their bins can be left out for collection, with penalties if these are not followed.

I recall something similar happened a few years back (might have been Largs, or similar coastal resort) when shops started to fill the footpath with signs, and things like trees and bushes to make ‘their’ premises look better than the competition. Complaints grew – and regulation followed.

I don’t know what happened – I had to give up watching news from the resorts… it all got too miserable, and loaded with crime and violence!

23/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

People (still) really do the SatNav dumb thing

I still don’t get this.

I’ve used GPS (I refuse to be associated with SatNav) since at least 1998, and was covering anything up to 1,000 miles per week on the road (or just over a weekend sometimes), but I NEVER EVER even THOUGHT about following a navigation instruction that suggested driving off cliffs, into river, along non-existent roads, or along the wrong side of dual carriageway.

Stories like this, and their consequence, explain why I walk along the road more ready to knock someone senseless if they speak to me, rather than just say ‘Hello’. You just can’t tell how badly wired their heads are of they’re complete strangers.

This sort of thing also worries me when I think of some things I’ve encountered in the past, and what might have happened if a traffic cop with a sore head had happened to be nearby. For example, leaving Aberdeen on a horrible dark snowy night, I ended miles into some carriageway repairs on a closed section of road – I can only guess the cones closing the section had been lost for some reason. Fortunately I had a passenger who was as puzzled at this as me as there were no signs either, and even more fortunately we didn’t meet a large hole in the road.

An 85-year-old motorist blindly followed his Sat Nav up the wrong side of a dual carriageway.

Hamish Wedderspoon continued driving in the fast lane of the A9 for a mile as oncoming drivers were forced to swerve out his way to avoid a high-speed crash.

Wedderspoon was banned from driving for three years and fined £5000 at Perth Sheriff Court on Friday.

Pensioner blindly followed Sat Nav wrong way along A9

SatNav – pointing out idiots since 2009…

‘I was only following satnav orders’ is no defence: Driver who ended up teetering on cliff edge convicted of careless driving

No SatNav

No SatNav

23/06/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Audi in Glasgow confirms online record problem

Another of my favourite plate styles (two letters/numbers) spotted in Glasgow – 99 AR.

A 2015 Audi RS 7 V8 Quattro Auto (petrol rather diesel, thank goodness) which should have a handy 560 BHP thanks to its turbo.

I referred to an ‘online record problem’ in the title, and while the DVLA does provide anonymised data, I found that 5 online services provided different data when fed this registration number – I only stopped at 5 because that was the number I had to check before the correct car details were returned by the query. That said, even the year wasn’t definite, but 2015 is at least possible.

I hope the data used by the police for ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) is better – after all, they can confiscate your car on the spot, with little chance of changing their mind if you can’t come up with positive proof that the records are in error, and can even have it crushed a few days later if the records are not updated.

I’ve found this disparity in an increasing number of enquiries I’ve made recently, and wonder why.

Audi RS7 V8 [99 AR]

Audi RS 7 V8 [99 AR]

23/06/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment


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