Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Please Miss, ah’m cauld – GET ON WITH YOUR WORK!

Not sure what almost had me on the floor with laughter first.

The idea that it is cold enough at the moment for this to be any sort of issue.

Or that anyone would DARE force children to do anything in school nowadays.

In my day, I don’t think anyone would have even noticed this, and just shoved on an extra jumper and jacket (if they could afford them).

Shivering schoolkids forced to work in freezing class

Just imagine if we still had the children’s TB hospitals or sanatoriums of old, where there was no heating, and the doors and windows of the wards were thrown open all day, year round. This image just happens to be lingering in my mind at the moment, after I came across some B&W archive footage of a typical patient’s stay in such a place about 50 years ago.

The delicate little darlings we breed today would probably die in their first week of treatment! Or have to be treated for their ‘allergies’.

Why, I remember school days back in the Old Country, where the kids positively revelled in the chance to get out in the fresh air.

School Bath Day

School Bath Day

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Stan Lee mural… and weather

I try to avoid weather posts, they could be a daily event in Scotland, but sometimes…

The media carried news of a new mural in Glasgow, dedicated to Stan Lee, who finally passed away at 95.

Most of them latched on to the story, as it’s an obvious source of good clickbait for them, and bound to attract lots of clicks for them, with little effort by their hacks.

Here’s the top three that beckoned me.

Stan Lee tribute mural created in Glasgow’s Gorbals

11ft mural for comics legend Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

(Interesting to note the usual ‘Scotsman’ morons didn’t manage to come up with a single comment after this article.)

Marvel-lous mural of Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

Then our local source even managed TWO articles!

Stunning Stan Lee tribute mural appears in the Gorbals

The story behind Glasgow’s Stan Lee mural

How do you connect this to the weather?

I’ve been stuck indoors for a few days.

I dared venture out last night (since we’ve had reasonably dry days, of chilly), and almost crippled myself when I found one of those stupid cast iron fence supports in the dark, as I was leaving our local park. Painted black, of course, it reinforces the edge of the gate. Today, I’m limping.

This kept me up/awake, so I know that there wasn’t a drop of rain all night, but it was gusting wind.

I thought I MIGHT be able to nip across to the Gorbals and grab a pic of the Stan Lee mural.

How silly of me.

I fell asleep around 7 am, when I woke a couple of hours later – it was, of course, raining.

As if by magic, my weather station shows the rain didn’t start until I woke up, just before 9 am.

And that means no 2 hour trip to the mural, since I can’t jump in a nice, warm, dry car.

The mural was painted by Glasgow artist EJEK, who is also known for his work at Strathclyde University and the Clutha Vaults. I’ve collected quite a few of his murals in this blog, some of which are HUGE!

For the moment, you’ll have to make do with the pic he released.

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

How to suggest self-regulation PROPERLY

I recently posted the sad and embarrassing tale of an elected Glasgow councillor and a self-important group of (apparently trendy club) business owners (GAG – Glasgow Action Group) who proposed that Glasgow City Council criminalise beggars and sweep them from the city centre.

The leader of Glasgow City Council responded by shaming the lot of them for seeking to criminalise beggars and homeless people, suggesting they contact the police if they find any actual criminal behaviour or activities, or social welfare departments to help people in difficulty.

Hot on the tail of that story is an example of how to tackle an issue involving street behaviour properly.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of Glasgow’s increasing creation of pedestrian precincts and pedestrian friendly areas is that it attracts a growing number of street artists, performers, and buskers.

Some are really quite good, others… ? Maybe they should go to Edinburgh 😉

In the past, the problem might just have been their numbers, and proximity. If good performances attract crowds on a nice day, and apparently wide pedestrian precinct suddenly becomes choked.

However, today there is a real problem as many of them are bringing very loud, portable, battery-powered amplifiers to their pitch, trying to be louder than the act ‘next door’ and some becoming louder and louder. Recent battery tech means a lot of power can generated without the need to lug heavy lead-acid car batteries around.

As usual, I have to be clear I’m NOT levelling this complaint against ALL those performers – just the usual few who feel the need to spoil things for EVERYBODY in pursuit of their own gain.

Unlike the almost ‘brownshirt’ response by the ‘kewl’ business owners to beggars, Glasgow City Council has published a ‘Code of Good Practice’ for buskers.

It’s just a few reasonable (obvious?) guidelines to help avoid conflict.

There’s no BIG STICK attached to them… yet.

Whether they are observed, or not, is another matter, and we’ll have to wait to see if this offer of self-regulation is taken up, or if the same few selfish types just ignore it, and we see some sort of regulation having to be introduced in a few years.

Buskers Code Of Good Practice

Code Of Good Practice

Glasgow City Council has introduced a Code of Good Practice for the city’s busking community following complaints from businesses and residents.

Glasgow is home to a number of well-known and talented buskers adding a vibrant and fun atmosphere anytime you walk down Buchanan Street.

The city council is aiming not to detract from the time-honoured art form but for buskers to consider the impact on other users of the city centre.

According to the council it receives a number of complaints regarding negative relationships with buskers and adjacent city centre businesses, with the main concern being amplified equipment.

The code outlines ‘good practice’ which includes; giving pitches a break after a reasonable time, keeping volume at t a reasonable level, having a varied and good-quality repertoire, keep any crowds under control, and respect your neighbours around you.

Council issues rules for Glasgow buskers following ‘number of complaints’

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

McDonald’s – I’m loving it

As appetising as their ‘food’.

McDonalds Straws

McDonald’s Straws

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Helenvale Sports Complex finally set to disappear

I’m surprised the area fronted by the sign declaring ‘Helenvale Sports Complex’ has not been used for something else already.

It’s a spot I pass regularly, and has always been very run down and derelict, the only pics I ever took are probably locked away on film. I was sure I had some digital ones taken more recently, but I think they have never been indexed, so I can’t find them quickly (but I did).

It’s finally set to be put to use.

PARKHEAD Housing Association has been given permission to demolish a former sports pavilion in the East End of Glasgow and build 24 flats.

Glasgow City Council planning officials have approved the development in Helenvale Street, next to historic Parkhead Library, whicj also includes an area of neighbouring vacant land.

The one and two-bedroom properties in two four-storey blocks would be for social rent.

FLATS Approved For Old East End Sports Pavilion Site

I had thought about wandering in through the burst fence to take better pics of the ground, but around the same time (this was a few years ago) it looked as if something was going to happen with the site, and there was a load of plant and machinery there, plus materials. The fence was made secure, and all the gates were secured too.

But, nothing seemed to happen for weeks, and everything eventually disappeared, but the perimeter was left secure, so I gave up the idea of ‘wandering’ in.

I noted it was once referred to as Glasgow Tramways Recreation Ground.

The sports ground consisted of an oval pitch/ track for football and athletic events alongside bowling greens and a tennis court. Only the bowling greens remain.

See Pavilion, Helenvale Street, Parkhead

There isn’t much online about the place now. I recall reading something about a fire there, but can’t find it now.

Helenvale Sports Complex Gate Stitch

Helenvale Sports Complex Gate Stitch

From the street, it wasn’t possible to picture any real detail.

This was the ground to the right of gate seen above.

Helenvale Sports Complex Ground

Helenvale Sports Complex Ground

No further detail could be captured as it was all at ground level, and obscured by the fencing.

By eye, it was possible to see there was rudimentary terracing for visitors to watch sports being played on the ground, rising toward the rear of the area, so those behind could see over the heads of those in front.

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

Bloodhound lives to run another day

I wasn’t really worried, well, not much.

A 1,000mph race car project has been saved after an entrepreneur stepped in to buy the business.

The Bloodhound supersonic vehicle – built with a jet engine bolted to a rocket – is all but finished.

Its future was in jeopardy amid a failure to secure investment which forced the firm financing it into administration.

But Yorkshire-based entrepreneur Ian Warhurst has bought the project for an “undisclosed amount”.

Mr Warhurst, the managing director of Barnsley engineering firm Melett, said it would have been “criminal” not to continue with the record attempt.

“There’s a bit more sorting of the car to do, but nothing major, to get to that first step of testing it at high speed,” he said.

“That’s what made it such a shame, because they had got as far as they had. It just had to carry on.”

Bloodhound supersonic car project saved

Thank goodness there was someone willing to step in and keep the project alive.

It will be interesting to see if he can take it forward on his own, or begins with fund-raising to see the project financed/sponsored to its final record attempt.

One thing I learned due to the nature of the business I was involved in was that there can be a vast difference between ‘Cost of Purchase’ and ‘Cost of Ownership’.

The latter can be much higher if there are significant running and maintenance costs involved, sometime dwarfing the initial cost, which can be trivial compared to owning and running some ventures.

Now I can start worrying again – about the aerodynamics and shock wave interactions with the ground at the target speed, and whether or not the car will stay stable.

The history of supersonic flight was lined with unexpected disasters and strange effects that led to many losses as the speed was increased.

I hope there is enough information from that era (plus the much further advanced and developed computer modelling we have today) to make this effort work first time.



18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The Sutherland wildcat flag didn’t make it

Well, no great surprise, and I did say I didn’t expect it to win.

A flag has been chosen to represent the county of Sutherland following a public vote.

The winning design, which features a Saltire and a Nordic cross, received 921 votes.

Three other flags were in contention, including one originally selected by a judging panel and drew public criticism for its eagle and stars design.

A ceremony was held at Highland Council’s offices in Golspie to unveil the winning flag.

Sutherland’s winning flag unfurled

Example on bottom right was the eventual winner.

Flags In Vote Credit Flag Institute

Flags In Vote Credit Flag Institute

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Yet more local cycling news

I’m going to have to be careful, or I’ll start to look like a cycling activist, and have to kill myself!

But, our local media seems to be enjoying writing about cycling at the moment and, since it lets me rub actual cycling activists’ noses in stuff they whine about NOT happening, I’m not going to ignore it 🙂

They’ve been monitoring and counting the number of cyclists (and pedestrians) at a number of locations, and have now published a short summary showing the most popular routes.

According to the most recent data released by Glasgow City Council (you know, the council the activist don’t think does anything for them), cycle journeys to and from Glasgow city centre have more than doubled in less than ten years.

New data collected by the council shows the annual count of people cycling past 35 locations has gone up by 111 per cent between 2009 and 2018.

According to the count, which took place over two days in September, there were 5,712 journeys by bike into the city centre on average each day.

That’s a total number of 11,000 journeys on a daily basis.

The 2018 count also indicated that almost 53,000 people walk into the city centre on average each day, with a total number of 102,972 journeys on a daily basis – an almost a 19 per cent increase on 2009.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the figures provided concrete evidence that cycling is growing in popularity in Glasgow.

With new cycling infrastructure such as the £6.5m South City Way due to be completed in the near future as part of the ambitious, overall City Way initiative, Councillor Richardson believes there is huge potential for the figures to grow even further.

The most popular locations for people travelling on bike to and from the city centre are:

1. Broomielaw (at Washington Street) – 2,065 daily journeys on average.

2. Saltmarket at Clyde Street – 1,231 journeys.

3. Tradeston Bridge – 1,088 journey.

4. Victoria Bridge – 929 journeys.

5. Friarton Place East at Garscube Road – 539 journeys.

The most popular locations for people travelling on foot to and from the city centre are:-

1. Trongate at Albion St – 10,335 daily journeys on average

2. Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross – 9,070 daily journeys on average

3. High Street at George St – 7,227 journeys

These are the most popular cycle routes in Glasgow city centre

I pass first four bike locations at least twice per trip – the fifth is simply not on my route or an area I visit.

I usually pass the three foot locations each time, and walk there too. I used to walk to them from home, but that’s over two hours, just one way (and takes longer as I always get diverted).

I’ll have to ‘borrow’ this pic to illustrate the result, and hope I don’t get my fingers rapped.

I just don’t have something similar to hand (I’m always ‘travelling’ when I’m at these places), but I’ll make the effort and grab some of my own as soon as time/weather permits.

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

18/12/2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment


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