Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

More vandalism, this time at a rarely seen reservoir site

Sad, but just after I mentioned vandalism of significant sites of interest, there was almost immediately yet another news report of a similar attack, on a rarely seen site.

Graffiti has been scratched on buildings and stones pulled from walls at a rarely seen abandoned village.

“Unprecedented” numbers of visitors have flocked to Ladybower Reservoir in Derbyshire since low water levels revealed the ruins of Derwent.

But park rangers say they have had to stop people trying to remove material from the site.

The Peak District National Park authority said it was shocked by the damage to the “iconic” structures.

Derwent was flooded in the 1940s to make way for Ladybower Reservoir, which was built between 1935 and 1943.

But this year’s long dry spring and summer has reduced the water levels so low that remains of the village have been exposed, which had drawn crowds of people in recent weeks.

Ladybower Reservoir’s flooded village vandalised

Possibly the worst thing about this story is the fact that it’s not even usual vandals that are damaging the site.

It’s common or garden every moronic members of the public, doing so in plain sight of everyone.

One visitor, Clare Whittaker from Sheffield, was left “upset and mad” when she saw both children and parents taking “beautiful” stones from the walls and throwing them into the mud.

I wonder if those people have the slightest clue?

If they were allowed to visit a transport museum, would they steal hubcaps and wipers from the older cars on display, and not see anything wrong, as all they were doing was “Taking home a little souvenir, to remind them of their visit to the museum”.

What chance is there of combatting this sort of vandalism and theft if so-called ‘ordinary people’ are just as bad/ignorant as the vandals?

Does everywhere have to be fenced off to safeguard it, and have armed security on patrol, to shoot anyone there without a pass?

Pervasive Security

Pervasive Security

Reminded me of an advert for something being sold as a ‘Trump Shovel’ for some reason.



25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S28

Well there you go.

The CCA (Centre for Contemporary Arts) swings from ‘bust’ to ‘boom’.

Last time out, it was crying in its beer and warning everyone it might go under as it wasn’t able to open its doors, thanks to the quarantine thrown up after Mackintosh Building fire.

Now, it can afford to throw a free party for one and all to celebrate the lifting of the quarantine, and return to normal service.

I think somebody should subject the CCA Board to the same sort of scrutiny and negativity which has recently been aimed at the Glasgow School of Art Board – or have it add the words ‘tact and diplomacy‘ to its agenda.

(Oh well, there goes MY free invite.)

Now that I’ve burnt that bridge, I’ll add that this looks like a promotion for the first exhibition after the re-opening, and other events, so the party is really riding on the back of that, rather than being ‘stand alone’.

Fingers crossed they get everyone back, on the other hand, do they really need friends who deserted them in the time of need?

A massive party is set to take place next month to celebrate the reopening of Sauchiehall Street businesses following the devastating art school fire in June.

And next month, they will join forces to “support the revival” of the area at a huge extravaganza – with all Garnethill residents, members of the local community, long-standing CCA supporters and regular visitors invited to attend!

Francis Mckee, CCA Director, said: “This is a party for everyone. We want to celebrate the reopening of our building and bring together all the people who supported us during the summer months and all those who want to support the revival of Sauchiehall Street and the Garnethill area. It’s time to look forward and definitely time for a party.”
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CCA and Saramago Café Bar will be open right through to 3am with sets from Cucina Povera, Poisonous Relationship, Kübler-Ross and Sarra Wild.

The evening begins with the opening of CCA’s new exhibition, A Weakness for Raisins: Films and Archive of Ester Krumbachová, and the Scottish Queer International Film Festival will also have events on throughout.

The party is free entry all night and takes place on Friday, December 7.

CCA hosts huge community party to celebrate Sauchiehall Street reopening after art school fire

We’re Having a Party!

A little fun pic I haven’t had a chance to pull out of the files so far.

Just three contractors hanging around 🙂

Click for a little bigger.

Hanging Around The Mackintosh Building

Hanging Around The Mackintosh Building

Happy at their work.

Just Hanging Around At The Mackintosh Building

Just Hanging Around

25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oh look – a statue!

I’m not a great fan of buses (I think I spent too much time depending on them as a kid), and I really did just avoid them completely when the days of “Exact fare only – NO CHANGE GIVEN!” signs appeared.

Don’t get me wrong on this, I fully appreciate the driver’s daily risk, and the timetable aspect, but not getting change when I had over my money anywhere, for anything, is just a step too far. I’ll take my business elsewhere, so you’re only likely to find me on a train.

But, I did have to visit Buchanan Bus Station. Not only that, circumstances dictated using the Cowcaddens Road entrance, rather than the usual path via the main entrance in Killermont Street. The Buchanan Street connection is long gone, thanks to the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall being planted on that part of Buchanan Street.

This route provided a nice surprise, a statue I’d never been far enough into the bus station to see, even though it seems it’s been there since 1994.

Seems it also marks the station’s ‘Meeting Point’.

Buchanan Bus Station Statue

Buchanan Bus Station Statue

“Wincher’s Stance” was one of John Clinch’s last works before his passing in 2001.

The title isn’t his, apparently coming from a  Susan Ritchie.

This was just a chance shot I grabbed as I noticed the work.

I should have a close-up of the girl’s face, modelled with closed eyes and a single tear on her cheek.

It’s a life-size work, and quite realistic, but I think I see a couple of anomalies.

This wider view with (shock, horror) people in it gives an idea of the life-size of the work.

Buchanan Bus Station People

Buchanan Bus Station People

The guy’s thumb. Has he had a finger transplanted there?

And the girl’s face with its closed eyes – it’s kind of creepy and unnatural with the bulging slits the artist has modelled for them.

Now that I know, I’ll have to get that close-up, so long as I can remember when I go back.

25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Bothwell Castle fail day

Some of you may have got lucky recently, and spotted Historic Scotland’s ticket giveaway earlier this month.

I thought I’d cracked this one, and got my tickets for Bothwell Castle, and free entry to the site this weekend.


Yesterday (Saturday) was wet all day (not even a flash of Sun at any point), and since I have to get there ‘manually’ (ie not in a comfy car) now, adding what looked like the coldest day seen here so far, meant I spent the day being disappointed. It’d just too far to ‘make the effort’ and get there wet through and frozen.

Today started better, the weather was dry, if cool, even with sunny periods.

Of course, I should have known better, and before I got the chance to get ready and go, a problem arose and my day was done. (I love my luck, NOT!). I had kind of expected this, which was why I was ticked off at Saturday’s cold and wet offering.

(I could have gone later in the day, but of course, such attractions close at 15:30, so allowing an hour to get there, plus needing an hour to wander around… I had no chance.)


I mentioned a medical exhibition at the Hunterian Museum (William Hunter and the Anatomy of the Modern Museum) recently, and that’s as close as it seems I’ll get, as there was a painting of Bothwell Castle included there.

Bothwell Castle Charles Cordiner 1787

Bothwell Castle Charles Cordiner 1787

I’m surprised this pic even came out.

It was fairly distorted as I had to be close – there was no ambient light to speak of, and the spots they used for illumination were shining off the surface, but I think I managed to make it reasonably ‘straight’.

Exhibit 181

Oil on canvas.

While a student, Cordiner had taken classes at the Foulis Academy, which operated at the University of Glasgow from 1753. Hunter was a long-term friend of the Foulis brothers, but it is not known how he came to acquired Cordiner’s painting of this subject. It does however represent a rare reflection, in Hunter’s collection, of his origins: Bothwell is close to Hunter’s birthplace at Long Calderwood in Lanarkshire.

Oh well, better than nothing.

Good job I picked up one of the guide books, since all the descriptions were in that, rather on individual descriptive plaques adjacent to the exhibits.

25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Useful fun at Poundland

Just out of curiosity… Anybody missing Poundworld?

I’m not.

The thought came to mind as I was wandering through the BIG Poundland in Argyle Street, and looking critically at a lot of the stuff. This place even has a clothes department, but I have to admit I’ve not even looked at that side of the shop. I was looking at the tech stuff.

I had already noted that it’s a good idea to memorise food prices before assuming Poundland’s offerings are good value. It’s easy to pick stuff up without thinking, get caught up the £1 brainstorm, and get caught out. But knowing the prices of your favourites means you CAN spot the best buys.

Incidentally, I recently spotted some odd brand names (as stocked by Poundland) starting to appear in our local supermarkets. Are they trying to counter the ‘Pound Shops’ by having some of their products on their shelves? Might be playing ‘mind games’, but there is a little problem  –  the supermarkets are selling that stuff for more than £1!

Now that Poundworld has been gone for a while (and I seem to recall there was something in the media about the business being ‘suspect’, but can’t remember seeing any follow-up articles), I think it’s safe to say stuff in their tools and tech sections was junk, or just utter rubbish.

A couple of specifics included their LED torches, which were cheap knock-offs of Poundland items, visually similar, they had only three LEDs while the original may have had between three and six times that many over the same area. I also picked up a ratchet tie-down for an emergency – it was made of such thin metal, it was so thin as to cause the ratchet to fail to even operate. Instead of the ratchet teeth catching and rotating the webbing take-up spool, they just slipped past the pawl that should have caught and moved them. The whole this was so thin, it wasn’t even possible to guide the pawl/teeth together, they were just too thin to engage, and slipped off immediately, even if engaged by hand. First time you moved it, they just drifted apart. Most of their tool-type items were of similar quality, and I don’t think I ever bought anything else from that section.

Sorry – don’t know where that waffling came from, this was just supposed to be a one-liner funny!

After the crack backscratcher, I spotted another piece of fun next to, this time something MUCH more useful, and which would be good for use in work some days – you know the sort of day I mean, the one where the doors and windows have to be opened, and even evacuation may be under consideration to save people.

Yes, some days it would be really handy to have a few of these to line up across a corridor, or in front of a door.

Poundland Stink Bomb Sign

Poundland Stink Bomb Sign

25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Under Bute Hall

There’s a Gothic arched area below Glasgow University’s Bute Hall.

I’m not sure of the correct name, or if it simply has more than one, but I have seen it also referred to as cloisters, and the undercroft.

I haven’t been there for years, although I have made one or two trips to the adjacent Hunterian Museum, this is so awkward for me to get to, I generally don’t have time to go sightseeing, or play.

I didn’t even realise I’d forgotten all about the Hunterian Art Gallery too, and it’s just across the road!

I was at the museum recently, and had time to spare, so had a quick wander, and made it to the arches.

Funny thing, I immediately recalled seeing pics of the lights wrapped around the columns some time ago, and thinking “Well, I won’t be seeing those firsthand”.

Sometimes it’s nice to be wrong.

I’ve not only seen them, I got my own pic too.

I hope the pic looks reasonably natural – for reasons best known to itself, the camera insisted on shooting this as if the illumination was cold white, although it was clearly warm white to the eye.

I had to manually edit the colour balance to restore the colour of the lights, and the sandstone, which looked more like the soot stained tenements of Victorian Glasgow in the original shot.

Cloisters Under Bute Hall

Cloisters Under Bute Hall


25/11/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment


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