Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace closure period dates announced

Provisional date have been announced for the closure period of the People’s Palace while work is carried out to alter the structure for its fire escape when access to the current exist is lost due to closure and loss of access to the Winter Gardens.

Now it has been announced that the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will close respectively on December 30 and December 31.

In a letter which has gone out from Glasgow Life, museums have been informed of the date, and that the intended reopening will take place at Easter.

The letter states: “The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will close on 30 Dec/31 December respectively due to the Winter Gardens building being categorised unsafe due to structure/glass issues.

“It is anticipated that the People’s Palace will reopen around Easter time (actual date cannot be confirmed until building work schedule approved) with the main changes being a new fire evacuation route within the palace as well as lift, public toilet access directly from palace.”

Here’s when the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens closes for repairs

The museum’s own web page notes…

The People’s Palace will then close at 5pm on 30 December 2018 and will remain closed for approximately 12 weeks to allow essential building works to be carried out as a result of the Winter Gardens closure. So don’t miss your opportunity to visit one of Glasgow’s favourite museums over the festive period ahead of this planned closure. We are due to re-open at Easter with some exciting refreshed displays for you to enjoy.

It’s just a pity the article had to refer to the misguided petition raised to “Save the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens for the City of Glasgow”.

James Watt silently oversees developments at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

James Watt overlooks People's Palace and Winter Gardens

James Watt overlooks People’s Palace and Winter Gardens


People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens


People's Palace Winter Gardens

People’s Palace Winter Gardens


People's Palace and Winter Gardens

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

While it was a miracle to have the Doulton Fountain rescued and restored – I watched it decay for years and thought it would eventually leave the Green in skips, it is a bit of distraction when trying to get the best view of the People’s Palace façade from the raised area in front.

I really will have to try to remember and try for the closer in, but wider, shot at some point.

People's Palace and Doulton Fountain

People’s Palace and Doulton Fountain

Inside the Winter Gardens.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior

Wider view of the problem – the glasshouse roof.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

I did try for some more detailed views, but the interior of the roof is fairly well obscured by the various nets installed in the past, to prevent any falling glass from attacking visitors.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

13/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheesecake cat is Scotland’s top slimmer

A cat that loves cheesecake – clearly both a good thing AND a bad thing.

A cat who once ate a whole cheesecake has been named Scotland’s top slimmer by a pet charity after losing almost a fifth of its body weight.

Chester, from East Lothian, was more than 50% above his ideal weight at 7.6kg (1st 3lb) before slimming to 6.3kg (1st) over six months.

The cat was so big his owners thought there was an underlying medical problem.

However, experts said too much food and a lack of exercise were the problem.

Chester was enrolled in the fit camp run by the PDSA animal charity.

Owner Lisa Gilmour said: “It’s made such a big difference to Chester – he’s a completely different cat.

“Before, he would sleep all the time and do his best to avoid us. But now he joins in and shows much more interest – he greets us at the door and comes to us for cuddles.

“He is much happier and no longer looks miserable. He runs rather than plods – it’s done him the world of good.”

Cheesecake eating cat named Scotland’s top pet slimmer

Then there was the runner-up in this deadly competition.

A heavyweight cat named Elvis has “returned to slender” after shedding more than one stone in weight.

The moggy, from Clydebank, managed to drop 14 per cent of his bodyweight in just six months after taking part in the UK’s largest pet slimming competition.

At the start of the contest, the Burmese cat weighed in at a whopping 8.68kg (1st 5lb) – 58 per cent over his ideal weight of 5.5kg (12lb).

When he was at his heaviest back in January he tipped the scales at 10kg (1st 8lb).
Read More

Cat who ate whole cheesecake signed up for slimming club

After PDSA vets warned that he was at serious risk of leaving the stage early, his owners began cutting back on the excess food.

He’s now lost a significant amount, wowing Pet Fit Club judges with his trimmer and healthier 7.5kg (1st 2lb) figure – although she still has a few inches to get rid of.

Clydebank cat named runner-up in national pet slimming competition

Probably the best ‘Catloaf‘ impression you’re likely to see.

Elvis Uncreditted Pic Via GlasgowLive Article

Elvis Uncreditted Pic Via GlasgowLive Article

Poor cat – I wonder if being given that name counts as animal cruelty?

13/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Locomotion captured

It’s ages since I’ve been in, or even near, Port Dundas Road.

Even though it sounds silly, although I can’t really think what it looked like in the past, I think the view there is becoming quite different as buildings change.

I remembered someone had mentioned a statue/sculpture there, in front of the former Railtrack building, now an office block which is currently being redeveloped and altered.

The work is called ‘Locomotion’, and I’d only ever seen it while passing, but is clearly inspired by the building’s purpose in the days when it was built.

I do recall the building too, and think it’s a pity that the trend for enclosing everything means the angle supports at the base of the structure, once open and in clear view, are now hidden behind glazing frames., and turned into (more) office space.

They did the same with the secondary school I attended, which had a multi-story block, with a completely open space beneath, supported on concrete pillars. The only feature used to be a glazed area in the centre, which enclosed the staircase that ran up through the centre of the tower.

When I went back for a look some years later, it too had been glazed and enclosed, to become more classrooms.

Then I went back for another look – and they’d demolished the lot and turned it into a car park for the adjacent train station!

The school?

It was moved and resited a few hundred metres away from the original site, so still exists, in name at least.

Locomotion Sculpture L

Locomotion Sculpture L


Locomotion Sculpture R

Locomotion Sculpture R

13/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Voyager 2 has left the room

Not only the room, it seems that it is official that Voyager 2 has left the Solar System.

The Voyager 2 probe, which left Earth in 1977, has become the second human-made object to leave our Solar System.

It was launched 16 days before its twin craft, Voyager 1, but that probe’s faster trajectory meant that it was in “the space between the stars” six years before Voyager 2.

The news was revealed at the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meeting in Washington.

And chief scientist on the mission, Prof Edward Stone, confirmed it.

Nasa’s Voyager 2 probe ‘leaves the Solar System’



Before I go on…

Am I the ONLY person who hates the BBC’s convention of capitalising only the FIRST letter of an abbreviation such as ‘Nasa’ when it appears in their articles, despite the fully capitalised ‘NASA’ clearly appearing on ANY NASA signs or documents?

Even my grammar checker is complaining!

Anyway, the news continues…

He said both probes had now “made it into interstellar space” and that Voyager 2’s date of departure from the Solar System was 5 November 2018.

On that date, the steady stream of particles emitted from the Sun that were being detected by the probe suddenly dipped. This indicated that it had crossed the “heliopause” – the term for the outer edge of the Sun’s protective bubble of particles and magnetic field.

And while its twin craft beat it to this boundary, the US space agency says that Voyager 2 has a working instrument aboard that will provide “first-of-its-kind observations of the nature of this gateway into interstellar space”.

The probe’s present location is some 18 billion km (11 billion miles) from Earth. It is moving at roughly 54,000km/h (34,000mph). Voyager 1 is further and faster still, at 22 billion km and 61,000km/h.

I could go on about how the BBC does not even use units in the way prescribed in the British Standard for such things – but I won’t.

I’m going to be more interested in watching for any fall out arising from this announcement.

Those who watch such things will recall the original announcement that Voyager 1 had left the Solar System were soon followed by a number of articles which debated this claim, and the criteria used for defining ‘Left the Solar System’, with debate about just where the edge of the Solar System was, and where interstellar space began.

You kind of really have to know that, otherwise it’s hard to say when something has passed it.

As I recall, there was some pretty intense debate, with some claiming earlier dates for the crossing, and other saying it was still to happen.

Unfortunately, I’m not watching the same sort of web sites that carried that info back in the days of Voyager 1’s border crossing, so I won’t really see if there is another fight – unless it happens, and the media notices.

As an electronic engineer, well aware of the junk that is being manufactured for the masses today (2018), I’m glad the Voyagers were built with old technology back in 1977.

I really have my doubts about their ability to keep working in space (which is tough for electronics) for 41+ years if they were built with the super complex components and construction we can produce our electronic devices with today.

13/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Article on ‘Saving the Highland Tiger’

WildcatSpotted this article explaining some of the issues around saving the Scottish wildcat, or Highland Tiger, from extinction.

Attempts to save wildcats raise complex and morally tricky questions, writes Jonny Hughes.

Of all Scotland’s wild mammals, the wildcat is perhaps the most elusive. I’ve only ever had a good sighting of one once – on the dunes at Coul Links in east Sutherland back in 1994. Though I didn’t know it at the time, the animal I saw was unlikely to have been a pure-bred wildcat, despite displaying all the physical characteristics of the species, including a wonderfully bushy tail. It’s highly likely it was a hybrid between a domestic cat and the ancestors of the European wildcats that colonised Britain 9,000 years ago by crossing the ice which then connected us to the continent.

Like many other species, wildcats have suffered a precipitous decline in numbers over several centuries due to a combination of habitat destruction and persecution. By the end of the 19th century, Victorian hunters had exterminated wildcats in England and Wales and only a few were hanging on in northern Scotland. In the 20th century, hunting reduced somewhat but by now the remaining wildcats had begun to breed with domestic cats creating a new race of hybrids.

Scottish wildcats: We must try to save ‘Highland tiger’ – Jonny Hughes

It’s encouraging to see that there seems to be a degree of cooperation developing between various groups which could influence the success of this project, but still worrying to read that those involved are far from confident in their chances of success, given how far the decline of the Scottish wildcat has progressed.

It’s also very sad to see that The Scotman’s comment section, at least when I looked not long after publication, had only provided an opportunity for morons to make their usual pointless and mindless contributions – which at least one brave contributor had thankfully dared to challenge.

13/12/2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , | Leave a comment


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