Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

So, just WHY is this vent so robust?

I’ve passed this vent for years, and wondered about it for almost as long,

It’s one of those things seen, but not recognised at first… until you notice the detail.

As an exposed vent (and I’ll keep referring to it as a vent, just for convenience) in the back streets of Shettleston and Sandyhills, the owner would be a fall not to make it reasonably strong and secure.

But once you closer, you realise it’s SILLY STRONG, clearly made of solid, thick, and heavy steel, the coupling at the top has an insane number of bolts holding the vent topping in place, and those bolts are not simply a few little bolts, but are both substantial and numerous. I’ve never counted them, but it looks like at least 15, and they’re maybe 15 mm diameter (at a guess).

Tollcross burn is just out of sight, in the dip to the right, behind the metal fence.

This is also the site of an unmarked underground reservoir, with a large electrical panel sited nearby, inside a sizeable secure metal housing.

I’m guessing that vent may be some sort of safety device, possibly intended to safely divert a gas explosion should it occur in that underground reservoir.

A simple vent (the shiny bit on top) would have large holes.

This has small holes, normally used to prevent flame/fire from passing through such things. It could stop flames escaping from below, or conversely, stop flame from outside reaching gas below, and igniting it.

The heavy construction could mean the idea is to have fire/gas directed straight up, and not to have the thing disintegrate under the pressure, and shoot stuff around, possibly hitting people nearby, or being projected into the houses that surround this space.

I’ve no real idea, just throwing out thoughts.

Hoping somebody might say “Look what that idiot has aid about this – let’s set him straight”.

Unknown Vent

Unknown Vent?


Nov 8, 2018 - Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , ,


  1. It does seem some sort of low-level venting (non-powered) for a confined space , possibly a second one near to get some underground cross flow of fresh air. Obviously testing prior to human entry & ongoing. I know of a cast iron sewer stench pip but it must be 20ft high for obvious reasons.


    Comment by Tony | Nov 8, 2018

  2. No, sorry to say it is very much a ‘One of one’ on this site. There’s nothing to match it nearby, in fact, there simply isn’t another vent.

    The burn borders one side of this underground reservoir style installation, then a bowling club on the next side. The remaining two sides are private houses, and public road, so I can see all the immediate surroundings.

    From my nuclear bunker studies I’m used to the pairing of surface vents for (hopefully) some flow, and even some manual air pumps that were tried (they were so useless, they never bothered trying after the first few!). That was one of the reason I thought this single item through, and suggested the finely perforated opening suggested fire/explosion safeguarding, since any sort of mesh would be vandalised here.

    20 foot stench pipe? Oh well, now I know how high I’d need to build the extractor from my bog to keep the neighbour’s happy 🙂


    Comment by Apollo | Nov 8, 2018

  3. Further pontification , as you do. Red-oxide primer indicating site installation incomplete. The lime green paint – must be the house livery of the utility ?? This fencing can’t be galvanised – economy project , yet other fencing galvanised – intended to be there 50 years +


    Comment by Tony | Nov 9, 2018

  4. Sorry, but…

    That’s not red oxide primer, just weathered red gloss – this has been here for years, but I can’t say just how many.

    The ‘lime green paint’ is probably nothing to do with the water utility (which has to be Scottish Water, so no mystery about that), nor the fencing.

    As noted in the post, Tollcross Burn is behind it, and that fencing is the standard stuff that appears on stretches which emerge into public from its largely underground route through this area, to help prevent the locals falling in, or jumping in after the Buckfast bottles if they drop them.

    You can actually see a galvanised feature behind the fence, as there is barrier which closes this off on the fourth side, which the ‘cast iron’ fence does not close off as it just goes along the perimeter of the ground.

    If the weather holds up, I might wander along and grab an overall set of pics of everything that is there, to make it a bit clearer. There are electrical control gear boxes, and some more access points and gates into the burn. I might be able to get pics of some of the wall on that side of the burn, but maybe not, as it might not be visible – as I noted earlier, the opposite bank is actually the bottom of private back gardens of houses that surround this installation.

    So watch out for a new post.


    Comment by Apollo | Nov 9, 2018

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