Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Free film and TV location guide dedicated to memory of John Logie Baird

VisitScotland has produced a free brochure/booklet describing many film and TV locations in Scotland.

The publication has been dedicated to the memory of inventor John Logie Baird

A new guide to TV programmes which have either been filmed in Scotland or have Scottish links has been dedicated to John Logie Baird.

The Helensburgh-born inventor became the first person to demonstrate a working television in 1926.

Tourism body VisitScotland has dedicated its free book, TV Set in Scotland, to Baird to help mark the 130th anniversary of his birth.

It contains details on more than 60 programmes.

Baird’s son, Prof Malcolm Baird, said he was delighted the guide was dedicated to his father.

He said: “Television will celebrate its 100th birthday in 2026 and I am currently in touch with an independent producer and an experienced screenwriter, both based in Scotland, about a possible film or TV series on the life of John Logie Baird.

“If the project goes ahead, there will be no shortage of Scottish locations.”

Prof Baird said these location could include Helensburgh, which he said had kept much of its character from the time his father lived there.

He added: “Between 1906 and 1914 he studied at Glasgow’s Royal Technical College, now the University of Strathclyde, where an historic plaque has been placed in the electrical engineering department.

“A few blocks away, another plaque recalls his long-distance transmission of television in May 1927, from London to a room in the Central Hotel, now the Grand Central Hotel.”

New TV guide dedicated to inventor John Logie Baird

Baird Wonder Wall Wider

Baird Wonder Wall at Strathclyde University

31/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maps, photography | , , | 1 Comment

First commercial rocket launch in Scotland

Almost mentioned so quietly by the media that I almost missed it, news of the first commercial rocket launch in Scotland, preparing the way for ‘our’ future spaceport’s arrival.

It’s interesting to see this being done in a sensible way too, starting small and working up to larger craft as experience is gained, rather than dumping some huge and complex rocket in an unprepared field, and being surprised when the whole lot goes ‘phut’ and fails to launch first time, or just blows up.

They’re doing better than the STV writer, who managed the comical conversion of Mach 1.45 to “more than 110mph” (and even that is wrong, as there should be a space between 110 and mph). It’s not as if getting units right is rocket science – or is it in this case?

Same mistake in their presentation of “2.5 metre (9ft)”, but worse, 2.5 m is actually only 8.2 feet when converted, a number that doesn’t even round up to 9ft (or even 9 ft). Even my spellchecker got the conversion right (and I didn’t even know it checked conversions until it picked this one up and threw it back at me!)

(Sorry, but I was a technical author, and this sort of sloppiness just bugs me as it is so unnecessary and easy to avoid.)

The first commercial rocket launch in Scotland has taken place as part of efforts to gain work at a planned spaceport in the Highlands.

Skyrora saw its 2.5 metre (9ft) projectile reach altitudes of almost four miles after taking off at the Kildermorie Estate in Ross-shire.

Known as Skylark Nano, it accelerated to Mach 1.45 – more than 110mph.

The Edinburgh-based rocket developer was trialling technology for use on full-scale vehicles, as it bids for a contract for the forthcoming facility.

Daniel Smith, director of business development, said: “This was a small but important step for us in our bid to become the go-to satellite launch provider at a future Scottish spaceport.

“Huge positives can be taken from this – from the success of our portable ground control systems, trajectory analysis and ability to capture the launch with on-board HD cameras.

“We will use the lessons learned in the next stage of our test launch programme, where we’ll be going to a far more significant altitude.

“For us it’s all about taking careful steps to de-risk and gain experience as we quickly evolve through sub-orbital tests towards our future orbital launch ambitions.”

The commercial element of the flight was done in partnership with social media site

Scotland’s first commercial rocket launch hailed a success

Rocket known as Skylark Nano. Pic: Skyrora

Rocket known as Skylark Nano. Pic: Skyrora

Later, but arguably better (and error free), story appeared.

‘First’ commercial rocket launched from Scotland

31/08/2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

Adelaide beats Glasgow in glasshouse restoration

Glasgow (and even Scotland) has a dismal record regarding the preservation and maintenance of the few historic glasshouses (or winter gardens) in its care.

Examples such as Springburn Winter Gardens have long lain in ruins, and although I can’t get there now, was sad to learn that the glasshouse in Ayr’s Bellisle Park had been closed in 2005, and I saw the sad sight of it boarded up, but thanks to local efforts had been restored and reopened in 2016.

Surely the worst case (since it was rescued but then dumped only a few years later) now has to be Tollcross Winter Gardens (not forgetting its once new Visitor Centre).

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

While Glasgow City Council squandered more than £300 million paying to host the farcical 2014 Commonwealth Games, and spent freely on ‘upgrades’ for the Commonwealth Pool in the sports centre only a few metres from the stricken glasshouse, not a penny could be found to restore what would have been a better tourist attraction – since it would always be there, unlike the ten days or so of sporting madness of the dopey games that were ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’.

Since the hull of the clipper ship ‘City of Adelaide’ (aka The Carrick) went there, I get automated news updates, which include articles relating to Adelaide.

This story about what would appear to be the only such glasshouse in the southern hemisphere was just highlighted, and puts Adelaide ahead of Glasgow in this particular race.

Being a sole survivor of war is a burden few ask for, but when you fall under the weather and weigh 22 tonnes, you can be sure to draw attention.

The Palm House in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens is undergoing its second restoration in about 25 years, with a team of painters and builders treating it for salt damp and rust incursion.

Plants have been moved out and cracked glass panes are being replaced, as workers utilise a huge freestanding scaffolding structure that took a week to build inside and around the 1877 structure.

Originally built in Bremen, Germany in 1875, the Palm House was shipped to Adelaide and reassembled, although the glass panes were all broken by the time it arrived.

Following the devastation of subsequent wars in Europe, it remains the only known German-built glasshouse from the era and is Australia’s second oldest.

Andrew Carrick from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium said there were similar examples of iron and glass botanical houses around the world, such as the Crystal Palace and the Kew Gardens palm house in London.

“They are the same style with the cast iron, and obviously at a much grander scale, but ours is probably the only one in the Southern Hemisphere,” he said.

It is also possibly the only surviving example of a prefabricated glasshouse, and was originally used for tropical plants until rust incursion in the early 1990s led the gardens to change its use to dry plants from the southern and western tips of Madagascar.

Palm House at Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens stands alone as example of German glasshouse design

Compare and contrast…

The Adelaide glasshouse scaffolding supporting… restoration.

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

The Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding supporting… what’s left.

Tollcross Winter Gardens ruined

Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding

31/08/2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Missed this Rutherglen event

I’ve had these pics for a while, but never seem to find the opportunity (or good reason) to post them, but the odd find should be included.

I’d been wandering in Rutherglen for a while, when the rain sent me heading for cover as it turned from just a bit of rain, into a steady downpour that just decided not to let up.

I headed into a derelict industrial unit near the road, and found some unexpected goodies left there. Sure, it had very little roof, but even some roof is better than no roof at all when it’s absolutely chucking it down.

I don’t get there very often, but I’ve never seen anyone else around here when I have been here (even in much better weather.

Hopefully the pics are readable – I haven’t spent any time fettling them, just resized and corrected automatically to make them suit the blog, then dumped the set in here.

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

31/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment


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