Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Last chance for St Peter’s

After yet another plan evaporated, it seems St Peter’s Seminary (or, to be more accurate, its remains) has one last lifeline before it is razed to the ground and lost forever.

It’s still REALLY REALLY irritating to know I was passing (close to) this place on an almost weekly basis without realising the ruins were still there after it had closed, then lost the opportunity for easy visits only after I learned it still existed and could be visited.

It’s a constant reminder that I probably made a mistake many years ago, having originally been destined to do ‘something’ architecture related, I changed to ‘something’ electronics related.

Back then, I probably wouldn’t have believed a warning that electronics would become a dead option during my lifetime.

But there can be few who would deny that the once booming electronics industry looks jut about as derelict as St Peter’s nowadays.

Every time St Peter’s comes up…

I Should Have Been An Architect


St Peter’s Seminary: Turning a 1960s ruin into art

Although the title of the following article is based on the church’s problem of what to do with the abandoned seminary, it actually provides a reasonable summary of the site’s more recent history, and how plans made over the past few years have ultimately amounted to nothing, although they have permitted at least a partial clear up and recovery of the remains, although they are still decaying as the place remains abandoned and derelict.

An A-listed modernist building has been described as an “albatross around our neck” by the Roman Catholic Church, who said they could not even give it away.

St Peter’s Seminary in Cardross, near Dumbarton, was built in 1966 as a training college for priests.

It was once described as a “modernist masterpiece” but closed in the 1970s and lay empty until a plan emerged to turn it into a cultural centre.

However, that plan was shelved and the building is now set to remain a ruin.

The structure came to be considered a modernist masterpiece but its working lifetime was short and when the number of trainee priests fell, the seminary was deconsecrated in 1980.

Since then, the building has became degraded by fire, rain and vandalism, but it still regularly attracts visits from architecture students and aficionados from around the world.

Its importance was recognised in 1992 when the seminary was Category A listed by Historic Scotland.

The Archdiocese of Glasgow has been trying to find someone to take the building on for decades but now fears it will have to remain a ruin.

Its director of communications Ronnie Convery told BBC Scotland that after 40 years they were “back to scratch”.

He said: “We would literally give it away for nothing but we can’t find anyone to take it off our hands.”

Until June last year there was hope for the building, with arts organisation NVA working on turning it into an arts venue and cultural centre.

It spent about £3m trying to make the building safe and removing hazardous materials such as asbestos.

In 2016 it staged Hinterland, a sound and light display using the ruin as a spectacular backdrop.

However, NVA closed down last year, saying the challenges facing the company were “compounded” when a core funding bid to Creative Scotland was unsuccessful.

Modernist ruin is an ‘albatross around our neck’ says church

Looks like Scotland’s new CSO (Compulsory Sales Order) is needed here. It’s supposed to fix the problem of derelicts 😉

More seriously, this is an asset (in architectural and modern historical terms) that simply has a ‘cost of ownership’ tag that is just too high to allow it to be capitalised on.

It might have taken years, or decades, but I can’t help but think that had something (and at this stage I’m not suggesting I know what) small been started on the site, just to keep it alive and have people there (rather than vandals, boozers, and smackheads), rather than try to raise countess millions in order to work on the WHOLE site, then it might have been much better off today.

I’m thinking, perhaps, of somewhere like New Lanark, which was near derelict the first time I ever saw it, with abandoned and empty factory buildings, housing which was not fit to be lived in, and parts that were little more than ruins.

That has been worked on for decades, and is now a busy tourist attraction, with even a luxury hotel.

I’m still a little confused after reading the two articles referred to above.

The summary notes that the church has described the place as an ‘albatross around our neck’ which it is unable to give away.

Yet the text accompanying the video (which also appears at the head of the summary article) states “The Catholic Church have now given the seminary to artist Angus Farquhar”, but is dated 16 Jan 2015.

I’m confused.

But, I can’t hep but think that our cousins on the Continent would have had this sorted years ago, and the seminar would have become an architectural attraction, or some other sort of venue long, long ago.

I’m not just spouting that for the sake of it. I still have a few architectural books and magazines from Germany from the 1960s, and it’s clear that we were following their lead, albeit often on a smaller scale. It’s amazing to look at their churches and see elements that were held up as ‘new’ and ‘modern’ here, only to look at the dates and see they predate our offerings.

I really do wish I could wind the clock back, and start over.


Purrmanently Sad


12/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Arrest converted to charge in ‘pick-up’ video story

I did suggest waiting to see if the arrest was converted, or the man was released, and the result was… charge!

He is expected to appear at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Monday.

Unfortunately, we have not been given any specific details.

Still, at least he seems to be in the cells for now.

A man has been charged in connection with a viral video that encouraged men to target woman for sex in Glasgow.

The 37-year-old was held after police launched an investigation into a YouTube clip widely shared on social media.

It followed a BBC report highlighting the tactics being used to “pick up” women by some men.

Man charged over ‘pick up artist’ videos shared online

Man charged over online ‘pick up’ videos


12/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Off we go again! I really have to stay in

I’ve already mentioned in a recent that I, and so far only ONE media source has noted the shocking increase in local violence and attacks in recent weeks.

This is not just a couple of random punches being thrown, but has all the signs of extremely violent and targeted (even if the reports do not suggest this) attacks by groups of two or three against a lone individual, sometimes in the street, sometimes by breaking into their homes, and often with a stolen car that is torched nearby after they transfer to another vehicle and escape.

This brings back memories of Glasgow’s “Ice-cream Wars” of years ago, when something quite unrelated was at the core. And that led to murders.

Today’s list (all places I could easily be found on a daily basis, though probably not at the times mentioned)…

(These are not all separate incidents, just each of the reports as I received them over time).

Man left injured after attack outside pub in Glasgow

Man seriously assaulted near pub in Glasgow’s east end

Man injured in ‘targeted’ Glasgow Central station attack

Man suffers facial injury after targeted morning assault in Glasgow city centre

City centre street taped off after police incident

Man rushed to hospital after being seriously assaulted outside east end pub

12/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Tree lined avenue surprise

By sheer chance, I made a VERY surprising discovery while wandering around a few days ago.

Some nearby land is being proposed for development (houses), and there has been some upset about this as the land has some very old trees on it. I don’t know how this is progressing. After some initial publicity about objections, there’s been silence.

The land was fenced off, having once been used for animals, but this seems long forgotten. Although I did actually find some related buildings and other evidence was still there, were a house used to stand, and the land had been used for a riding school.

While wandering along some recently made paths alongside this piece of land, I noticed the fence was completely gone at a number of spots, and decided that if the local kids could go there and have little bonfires and drinking parties, I could go for a walk there – during daylight of course, when the little angels are not to be seen.

I know the land belonged to a ‘Big House’, but that was lost some time in the 1930s (leaving only a lodge on the land), and the land was then cut through by a new road some time around 1960.

I hadn’t expected to find anything of interest, but as I wandered through the trees I DID!

The tree-lined avenue that would have led from the entrance to the grounds of the Big House to its forecourt was STILL in evidence, and the avenue suddenly became apparent as I crossed its path and the trees on either side suddenly lined up.

This was a complete surprise.

I really should go back and take some more pics, in case that development gets planning permission.

I only grabbed one view, so I could dig out Victorian era maps of the estate, and see if the avenue and its trees were shown as I believed I had found them.

They were.

Big House Tree Lined Avenue

Big House Tree Lined Avenue

I think this is only the third such example I have ever come across when on the land of one of Glasgow’s many ‘Lost’ Big Houses.

12/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, Maps, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Looks like Edinburghers don’t share Glaswegians sense of humour (just kidding)

I don’t know if this article is serious or not, I really just can’t gauge the tone.

However, I am sure I’m sad that the recent two-part Billy Connolly documentary was used to fuel it…

Then, my mate brought up the Connolly documentary, more specifically the bit in part one where Sharleen Spiteri takes a random pop at Edinburgh, even attempting a posh accent and my mood started to resemble Tony Montana’s in the final scene of Scarface.

The Texas singer said and I quote – “Glasgow was the arse end of Scotland because Edinburgh always got (attempts Miss Jean Brodie accent) ‘oh it’s lovely in Edinburgh – we’ve got a castle and it’s all fabulous’.” Really Sharleen?

The gist of what she was saying plays on the tired old notion of Edinburgh punters being “stuck up” and Glaswegians being a friendlier bunch.

I’ve listened to that type of inverted snobbery my whole life and feel it’s time to consign this dreary inter-city rivalry to the dustbin of history where it belongs.

It’s bordering on sectarianism and works both ways with Edinburgh people giving it “Weegie this and Weegie that” – there’s no way the Capital gets off the hook here.

Kevan Christie: Red Clydesiders would despair over Edinburgh-Glasgow rivalry

While there are a sad few who will always be genuine bigots and/or xenophobes, and will never change, most of us are normal, have a sense of humour, and a cheeky wink or twinkle in our eye as we say some terrible things.

The real problem is probably the ‘PC Brigade’ who won’t even allow this sort of comment to pass as innocent, and believe anyone who makes such comments deserves to be censured, and treated as if they were racist bigots.

It’s another example of what I see as people NOT actually being allowed to think freely, instead, being TOLD what to think by a noisy few who have some sort of agenda they want to further.

Maybe the writer should try this book…

I guess I’ll be criticised for this chose, since I’m a Weegie, and Weegies appear FIRST in the title, so it MUST be biased!


Weegies vs Edinbuggers

Weegies vs Edinbuggers


There’s a slogan that Glaswegians use when talking about Edinburgh’s world-famous joie de vivre: ‘Edinburgh! A castle, a smile and a song…One out of three isn’t bad.’ Edinburghers retaliate by talking of why all the Wise Men come from the East and all the cowboys from the West. So we have the Far East, the Wild West and an apparently unbridgeable gulf in between, usually called Falkirk. These are the jokes, the songs and the stories of why citizens of these two great cities would rather take Osama bin Laden home for tea than a Weegie or an Edinbugger, citizens of no mean cities though they be. Except, of course, traditionally, there is no request to tea in Edinburgh, more of a statement delivered without a question mark, as in ‘You’ll have had your tea.’ And ‘pal’ is the unfriendliest word there is in Glasgow. When a Glaswegian asks, ‘Ur you lookin’ at me, pal?’, you would be very naive indeed to think of it as a question or that the deliverer is intent on making friends. It is, in fact, a statement meaning something like, ‘Unless you come up with a smart reply sharpish, I’m going to attempt to remove your head from your shoulders with any weapon that comes to hand. Or my teeth.’ There’s nothing rational about it. Weegies know that all Edinburghers are just poncing about all day pretending to be flowers and waiting for dark to get up Calton Hill because, without exception, they like their vice versa. And Edinbuggers know that, in Weegie families, father, mother and sister often don’t add up to three, but that they do keep their chibs sharp, whatever a chib might be. There are hard hits from both sides, sharp jibes and bludgeoning diatribes, but it’s just friendly rivalry really. To use the double positive negative, a figure of speech unique to Scotland, ‘Aye, right.’

12/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: