Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Oh dear, looks like the UK remains 5 years behind the US regarding electric vehicles

Looks like a made a grave mistake recently, when I suggested the UK might be shortening its 5 year retarded view of EVs (electric vehicles) compared to the US.

While the US seems to be embracing the concept, with even the big car makers joining the party and showing EVs that will be on offer to compete with the few which are now in demand, stories from the UK continue to promote and dwell on the same various myths and fantasies that used to be spun in the US a few years ago.

It’s hard to see who’s behind this.

Not the car makers. They’re gearing up to comply with global legislation which will see the demise of fossil-fuelled vehicles in coming years. If they DON’T have EVs (or some non-fossil alternative), then they’ll be out of business).

Not the oil companies. Vehicles are not the only users of oil derived products, and increasing scarcity of oil, price problems, and environmental legislation regarding fuel use only serve to reduce the fossil-fuel market.

I’m tempted to say that leaves idiots and naysayers.

The reasons they give suggest I may, sadly, be right.

Before I reach the story that triggered this, I’d like to mention one I spotted recently, suggesting people did not want EVs because “Electric Charging Stations are Ugly”.

Seriously? There’s people out there trying to convince others that an electric charging station is ugly compared to a petrol station, and that’s a reason NOT to have an electric car!

Gas stations OK, electric-car chargers too ugly?

It really does seem as if there are people out there whose sole purpose in life is to say ‘NO’ to anything.

So, turning to the story that triggered this post, it’s amazing to read the same old arguments against EVs being trawled up here, as if they were something new, and not years old – and dispelled long ago.

Here we see arguments based on EVs being ‘Silent Killers’.

Yet it seems Rolls Royce can be silent, and its never been a problem.

Then there’s the old moan based on that great invention of the naysayers, ‘Range Anxiety’.

Yet we now have cars with anything up to 350 miles of range, and chargers coming on line that can dump 80% of an EVs range back into it in 10 minutes.

And I spotted a new one in this article – I’ve never heard of anyone not liking/wanting an EV because “They don’t know it’s on“!

Such imagination.

What will they come up with next?

However, the head of Scotland’s biggest car-sharing club has made the surprising admission that its members don’t like electric vehicles.

Diane Mulholland, Scotland general manager of Enterprise Holdings, said they were put off by the vehicles’ limited range, charging time – and even their silence.

But Mulholland told a transport forum last week: “Electric vehicles (EVs) are used least. People do not like it that they make no noise.”

She later told Scotland on Sunday: “They don’t know if the car is on or not.”

Mulholland said hybrid electric-petrol cars were more popular because drivers could hear the engine.

Mulholland said electric cars were also disliked because drivers were worried how far they could go before running out of power.

She said: “They have range anxiety. With hybrids you have that safety net. And also that you have to stop to charge. People just stress.”

Car-share club snubs electric vehicles over sound of silence

From the Moron Comment section after the article…

Anteaus • a day ago

I was walking through a car park the other day when an EV started out of a parking space just after I passed. It was bit scary because I realised the only thing which had saved my life was that the driver had seen me. (Which was good, but it does not mean that the next EV driver I encounter will do so) It was not easy to see that it was occupied, and there was no way to tell that it was about to move.

Seriously Anteaus: “the only thing which had saved my life was that the driver had seen me“.

Would you have made the same point if it had been a nice Roller that glided silently out of that same parking spot?

Sadly, this supposed objection is dead in the water too, since various protests over the years have led to legislation enforcing the use of electronic noise-makers in EVs, which must operate at low speed to warn people around them that the vehicle is moving, or may move.

Apparently I’m not allowed to criticise this, because of blind people, and PC.


Silent Killer Car

Silent Killer Car

04/12/2018 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

The GoMA Project

Just kidding 🙂

Although it is true to say that GoMA (Glasgow Gallery of Modern Art) IS actually well worth a visit at the moment, and there may be more posts showing it.

Currently on show is a selection of documentation relating to the gallery’s planning prior to its opening in 1996. The Gallery of Modern Art is housed in a neoclassical building in Glasgow’s Royal Exchange Square, which was built in 1778 as the townhouse of William Cunninghame of Lainshaw, a wealthy Glasgow Tobacco Lord. There were quite a few wealthy people around back then. Had there not, then there probably wouldn’t be any Glasgow, at least not in the form it grew into.

The pic below shows one of the building’s past lives (on a large banner), featured in the exhibition, when it was Stirling’s Library.

This function has returned, with the basement exhibition space having been turned over to a small library at some time in the past.

I spotted one item which possibly goes unnoticed outside the gallery…

GoMA Step Engraving

GoMA Step Engraving

In the exhibition, there is a test piece showing part of this, created to show how it looked against the stone, and how the infill influenced its appearance.

It’s interesting to see tales of how controversial this gallery was considered to be, by some, back in 1996.

I find it so much MORE controversial in its content now, as compared to when it opened.

THEN, I found the material displayed to be much more interesting, AND use the space to greater effect.

NOW, I find the exhibitions sparse at best, with a few items displayed in almost empty galleries, and material that is often largely uninspiring.

For example, yesterday I looked at this exhibition…

Stalking The Image: Margaret Tait and Her Legacy

8 November 2018 – 5 May 2019

Orcadian artist, poet and filmmaker Margaret Tait is acknowledged as one of Scotland’s most innovative independent filmmakers. From the 1950s onwards, she made more than 30 experimental ‘film-poems’, which have been woefully overlooked. This exhibition provides an opportunity to honour Tait’s achievements in her centenary year alongside work by nine contemporary artists and filmmakers, many of whom have been inspired by Tait.

While there was a selection of related artefacts on show, which was fine, the film being shown about artist’s life was spoiled by having many parts shown at 90 degrees to the horizontal (on its side) so, for example, items being laid out on a table looked as if they were being stuck to a wall.

I’m not sure if this was down to the artist (which would be fine) or if it was some later producer just trying to be ‘clever’ (in which case, not fine).

This is also a sparse exhibition, three or four cases (like glass tables), and two large screens in the main gallery space, most of which is in darkness. The content of the cases was excellent, and my comment on sparseness relates to the use of gallery space, NOT the exhibition itself. This emptiness is not unusual.

Enough of that, or I will be accused of moaning, rather than just passing a current opinion.

As the last post I made about GoMA at night did moan about not being able to get the whole place (and its Christmas lights) in one shot, passing in daylight made me stop and try shooting some test shots in the easier scenario (where I could actually see everything at once), to see if there was a way to catch it all.

There is indeed a spot, which of course land right in the front door of an office building, which just allows the lot to be caught with the widest lens setting I can manage (on the compact, but not the dSLR – that would be TOO expensive).

‘X’ now marks the spot, in my head if not the ground, so I’ll have to make another trip to try this in the dark.

GoMA Perspective Test

GoMA Perspective Test

As usual, ignore the black bits, they’re just the result of corrections needed to compensate for having to tilt the camera so far back in order to get the top of the roof dome included. Looks like I still need to tip back a little more!

Bonus find

I don’t normally get to see the clocks on the side, and there was a surprise when I looked closer.

Can you see it?

This crop may help.

GoMA Clock Faces

GoMA Clock Faces

I have no recollection of anyone ever mentioning this difference when writing about this place.

04/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting to see poorly presented huge hotel plan thrown out

In keeping with my suggestion that people should perhaps STOP automatically kicking Glasgow City Council purely on the basis of it BEING Glasgow City Council, I note yet another large development has been rejected following a review of its planning application.

The moaners really should start engaging their brains before launching into their usual attacks, either of the council in general, or of some councillors in particular.

This isn’t to say the council is always perfect, or that councillors are angels, but the issues they are responsible for are not single issue decisions, or evidence of corruption. Few seem to credit the council when it does something correctly, or that many decisions are bound by law, or other constraints, and while they may appear odd or wrong, are legally correct. They have to be, or they can be overturned.

In this case, it seems an apparently poorly prepared planning application was presented in respect of a huge hotel development to slotted onto some ‘spare ground’ (currently a small car park, with some nice murals), near Candleriggs.

But the application doesn’t even seem to have included a proper illustration showing the size or impact of the new building.

Maybe not a careless mistake or omission, but a carefully crafted and deliberate ploy to hide the impact of the thing?


A PLAN for a massive hotel on a Merchant City gap site has been withdrawn. The proposal had attracted numerous objections from residents and a local MSP.

Merchant Hotel Glasgow Ltd had applied for an eight-floor 396-bed development on land bounded by Candleriggs, Ingram Street and Albion Street. It was to feature gathering spaces, bars/restaurants and co-working spaces.

In 2008, planning permission was given for a 200-bed, six and four-storey hotel at the site although it did not proceed. The land has been vacant for 50 years and is currently used as a car park.

No explanation for the applicant withdrawing the proposal is given in planning documents. It is not clear if a revised plan will be submitted.

Many residents from nearby flats had lodged objections raising concerns over the size of the buildings and loss of privacy, daylight and open space.

Merchant City and Trongate Community Council was also opposed, citing the “excessive size and height” of the building compared with neighbouring listed buildings.

An official objection from Sandra White MSP stated: “Considering the historical significance of Candleriggs and this part of Glasgow, I am surprised that a property development of this scale and ambition has failed to provide an artist impression of its inclusion in the local setting.”

She said this meant the wider public was unable to form a full view of the project and it left the impression the applicant was “trying to hide its impact.”

She feared the structure would dominate the skyline of Merchant City. The MSP added the site should instead be considered for a public square or green space.

HUGE Merchant City Hotel Plan Abandoned

Mushroom Mural

Mushroom Mural

04/12/2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Would you rather drown or be electrocuted?

I’ve passed this lifebelt quite a few times, and (as someone involved in electrical safety) can’t help having a little laugh.

I should probably say that this is NOT an official lifebelt post – they are marked by proper identifiers giving safety details, and proper identification of the location to help emergency services, if needed.

Someone has just hung the ring here – which, to be fair, is probably better than throwing it in the river, which some seem to think is fun.

But the real fun would be if there was a bit of (electrical) leakage around here, and the wet lifebelt and rope was thrown to aid some poor sod in the water.

132 kV (that’s 132,000 volts for the non-techs, a little more than the 240 volts found at home) is definitely going to make it along a wet rope and waken up anyone who grabs it.

There would be options – death by drowning, or death by electrocution.

I am kidding here, just because of the sign the ring is hanging from.

You’re not in any electrical danger from this.

The hydrogen dioxide in the river though… that can kill you.

It’s been said that everyone who has drunk the stuff has died, without exception (that’s a joke – look it up).

HV Lifebelt

HV Lifebelt

The local dross has been sticking stickers on the sign, so you can’t see it properly.

Here’s a nice clean one.

Clyde HV Sign

Clyde HV Sign

04/12/2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

There’s one born every minute – or how to spot a mug in Glasgow

I’m going to have to stop looking at stories about ‘Old vs New’ Irn Bru in the media.

Cracked ribs from laughing at idiots take too long to fix themselves.

This has to be one of the stupidest campaigns ever spread by social media – and that’s a hard title to be awarded.

People are stupid, and this nonsense spread by a few smart people – just looking for ‘likes’ or whatever – has to be one of the best.

It was funny, but is now getting a little serious, as people are ripped off by unscrupulous shop owners who saw a way to make a quick profit from ‘The Stupid’.

Yet nobody is demanding an inquiry into ‘profiteering’.


A Glasgow newsagent is looking to make a quick buck over the festive period – by punting two litre bottles of old recipe Irn Bru for more than six times the original value.

Toll Newsagents are advertising the £10-a-pop bottles in the window of their shop on Paisley Road West to encourage customers to part with their cash for a full (25.8 gram or 29%) sugar fix.

The RRP on the two litre bottles is £1.59 or 2 for £2, but with the scarcity of the old stuff meaning that bottles or cans of the stuff are like gold dust, the shop owners have set a price they no doubt know folk will be willing to pay.

And the fact is, whether people crave it to ease off the hangover after a night on the town or just miss the old taste, when a shop advertises that they have old recipe Irn Bru in it normally flies right off the shelves.

This Glasgow shop is selling 2 litre bottles of original Irn Bru … but it will cost you

To me, this would be a signal to SHAME such a shop, and its owner as a crook, and boycott it of course.

The foolishness and self-delusion continued, as the latest Irn Bru Christmas ad appeared, sequel to the original ‘Snowman’ of some 12 years ago…

With Barr’s having changed the recipe this year, reducing the sugar content in everyone’s favourite soft drink, there was an obvious reaction from fans still in uproar.

Indra Joyce commented: “Poor copy of the brilliant original. Much like the new Bru itself is a poor copy of the brilliant original.”

Carol Graham added: “Like the ad, just a pity Santa didn’t bing the old recipe stuff back.”

Fortunately, there are still a few sane people not willing to be led like sheep…

Others shared a gif of the snowman being handed his can of Bru, along with the words: “Nae bother pal, it’s rank noo.”

Still, others liked it – Ann-marie Colvan said: “So many haters just because Irn Bru changed their recipe. I think it’s brilliant!”

Fiona MacFarlane added: “Loved it! Great to see our newest feats of engineering featured!”

‘Pity Santa didn’t bring the old recipe back’ – Glasgow reacts to the return of the Irn Bru snowman

Frozen Irn Bru

Frozen Irn Bru

Aw – nobody asked you!

Grumpy Pee


As with all these types of purely opinion-based hate stories with no logic behind them, there’s a couple of things I’d like to see, even though I know I never will, and the haters would, of course, never accept the results.

Switch the ‘old’ and ‘new’ recipes around, so people unfamiliar with them could be introduced to the ‘new’ on FIRST, get used to it for a few months, and THEN be asked what they thought of the other one, ie the supposedly ‘superior’ high sugar original.

And the more obvious ‘Blind Taste Test’, where ordinary people (not the fanatic or delusional) were simply given samples of each in a blind taste test, and asked to express a preference, or which tasted better.

The stuff is transported around the land as syrup, and a bottle contains maybe 10% syrup and 90% local water from wherever the bottling plant is located. The water probably has more effect on individual taste than the fiddling done with the sugar level.

04/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Mitchell Street mural – follow-up to strange find there

When I caught the Mitchell Street mural recently, I drew attention to a chance find in the corner of the pic.

I haven’t been able to get back for another look in decent light or weather, but did get lucky one night with a long zoom shot in the dark, so I’m just going with it otherwise there will NEVER be a follow-up.

Happily, I wasn’t imagining things and there WAS a dog on that window-ledge.

Better still (and this is NOT a real dog, just in case anybody doesn’t notice), in keeping with a long-standing Glasgow tradition…

It has a traffic cone on its head!

Oh, and a nice collar.

Window-ledge Dog And Cone

Window-ledge Dog And Cone

Somebody out there has to know the story behind this.

So, do tell.

04/12/2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Many surprises from the Glasgow Eye Infirmary

A few years ago I decided to try to find the site of the original Glasgow Eye Infirmary.

As a tiny, I’d spent more time in there than I would have wanted to, and all to no avail.

I was small enough then to be more worried about having my eye popped out and left dangling down the front of my face than anything that might actually have happened to me. As it was, the worst was just having drops to dilate my pupils.

It was a slightly strange and surreal place to visit, with most kept in semi-darkness, to make sure those dilated pupils stayed dilated as you moved between consulting rooms, which were usually even darker.

After repeated tests, sessions of “Read this”, look at that, and people staring in my eye (only one was an issue) the end result, after months/years, was… nothing. Well, nothing apart from being sent for glasses (and they never did pop my eye out).

When I had a quick look online for its address (some years ago), I was informed that it had closed. There was also some confusion – the address attended was Berkley Street (which runs behind the building) and not Sandyford Place, where the main/front entrance lies. Assuming I was right about that, I’m guessing this was an outpatient entrance, intended to avoid the main entrance. (See more info below, about a fire in 1971, found later).

The buildings began as a domestic terrace (built 1842-1856), and the infirmary began buying the houses there in 1928, establishing an outpatients department and nurses’ home.

This information comes from a number of sources:

The infirmary was founded in 1824. In 1874 it moved into purpose built accommodation in the West End of Glasgow at Berkeley St which, by the late 1880s, had over 100 beds. The infirmary continued to run an outpatients department in the East End. In 1945 the Spencer Research Committee was formed with capital of over £12,000, to oversee research within the infirmary. In 1971 the entire in-patient accommodation at Berkeley St was destroyed by fire, Notably, an outpatients department continued there. From 1948 to 1974 the Glasgow Eye Infirmary fell under the Board of Management for Glasgow Western (later Western and Gartnavel) hospitals. In 1974 it was placed in the Western District of the Greater Glasgow Health Board, and in 1993 it became the responsibility of the West Glasgow University NHS Trust. In 1998 the functions of the Glasgow Eye Infirmary were re-located to Gartnavel General Hospital.

Looks like I eventually found the reason for the apparent address confusion, and why it only exists at Sandyford Place now.

The info I was given a some years ago turned out to be poor, and suggestions that it was closed and demolished were even further out.


I discovered the place a few days ago, completely by accident, while waiting for the lights to change at the junction of North Claremont Street and Sauchiehall Street. Glancing over to my left (where Sandyford Place begins and runs parallel to Sauchiehall Street) I saw what looked like (and of course was) the porch over the entrance to the infirmary.

Not only that, when I made my way over for a closer look there was no mistake. The building I had been given to understand was gone was not only still standing, but still had its name picked out in a huge mosaic panel mounted at the top of its facade.

Click for bigger.

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Mosaic

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Mosaic

While this was evening (getting dark), and the camera I had was not intended for detail, you can still see this closer view shows it is a mosaic, and is also, unfortunately, decaying.

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Mosaic Detail

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Mosaic Detail

The building facade.

Click for bigger.

Sandyford Place Glasgow Eye Infirmary Building Facade

Sandyford Place Glasgow Eye Infirmary Building Facade

I’m reasonably sure that the entrance porch originally had ‘GLASGOW EYE INFIRMARY’ along its edge, but can’t verify that.

I thought it still had this lettering, but when I got closer was disappointed to see that this was nothing more the edge of the porch covering, which had been folded over to finish it off.

One side view, spoilt by a car I couldn’t wait until it left.

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Left

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Left

Better luck on the other, blotted out by a car and van when I arrived, both left at the same time, leaving the view clear.

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Right

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Right

I can’t be sure, but on the other hand, doubt if anyone is making a light fitting like this today, but the single light on the underside of the porch looks very much as if it has survived since it was installed when the porch was installed.

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Light

Glasgow Eye Infirmary Porch Light

Fun fact

One amusing discovery I made while looking for historic detail on this building past was that the online directories which have no human intervention or checking still list this address as ‘Glasgow Eye Infirmary’ and give its opening hours.

Good luck to anyone who trusts these useless directories, which I generally see as little more than scams to collect money for equally useless click-based or similar revenue harvesters

This is now what was referred to as a VD Clinic, an STD Clinic, but now goes under the heading of a Sexual Health Centre.


So, I had to be a tad careful when taking pics of the entrance, as people were coming and going, and I didn’t relish the idea of being thought to be photographing someone who didn’t want to be seen pictured in the doorway of such a place.

As it was, the most amusing thing was the traffic consisted mainly of people who looked just like the sort you’d expect to be seen at such a place, and not the plain, ordinary, boring people.

04/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | 3 Comments

Today is Cookie Day

04 December is Cookie Day.

Can’t let it pass without mention, even if waffled about before.

And I really like the pic I use for it.

Cookie and Monster

Cookie and Monster

04/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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