Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

What happened to things I’ve REALLY forgotten?

Recently (by which I mean a period of some months), I had to quite a lot of tidying up.

Although I’ve managed to avoid becoming a hoarder (those TV programmes are scary), I’m still a dedicated collector, and seldom dispose of anything that ‘tidy’ or ‘NO CLUTTER!’ would toss out the door on the basis of not having used (or maybe even just touched) for three months or more – even if it was perfect and functioning as if it was brand new.

They even to that to stuff they might have bought and never used, still fresh its box – if not used… OUT! And its next stop is the bin or a skip.

Although I may not hoard, I do tend to hang on to stuff other folk class as ‘rubbish, on the basis I might need it to make or fix something, or for spare parts. It may not be hoarding, but it can build up if not kept in check, and last year triggered a ‘Tidy’ point – better known as “DAMN! I can’t find a spot on my loft floor to stand on!”

I fixed that last year – and the floor is now clear – clearer than it was ten years ago. Even I’m impressed.

But it came with some surprised and disappointments.

This was probably the last place I’ve tidied properly in decades, and means I have nothing that counts as hidden or lost, and that’s not good.

I thought I would have found some ancient electronic goodies that I had squirrelled away years ago, and forgotten where.

But now it seems they are gone, and I don’t remember dumping some of them – which is just about as bad as the ones I know I lost for various reasons.

This includes two vintage reel to reel tape recorders.

The first was owned by my grandparents, and must have been a 1950s device. I’ve no idea of the name/make (was too small) but recall it was covered in a deep red Rexine fabric, and used 5 or 7-inch reels (I still have some reels that were used with it). I thought I had been given it (as a kid interested in electronics), but now know for sure it is not hidden away somewhere in my house. I’ve no idea what happened to it, or how I came to have the tapes, but not the machine.

Although I’ve stared at a lot of vintage machines online, none look anything like the image I have in my head.

The second was ‘mine’ when I was tiny, and while I recall it, using it, and being fascinated by the ‘magic eye’ indicator used for setting the recording level, I have no idea what happened to it. I really had been expecting to come across it one day, at the back of a cupboard, or pile of goodies in the loft. Again, I have tapes it was used with, and they are one reason I discovered it had vanished. This recorder, from the 1960s, did not have a capstan or constant tape drive speed, but simply ran the tape from one reel to the other. This means the speed varied as the diameter of the tape on the take-up reel varied, since the reel was rotating at a constant speed. Years ago, I wanted to play one of the tapes – and found the recorder was nowhere to be found.

I managed to dig up one solitary image of a similar machine online…

Vintage tape recorder

Vintage tape recorder

Finding this image was useless for any sort of info, as it was on (pointless) Pinterest. But I might be able to do some more hunting, based on what can be seen. I have NO idea what name was on mine – ‘Belle’  does not ring any bells (sorry, unavoidable pun).

The (green) ‘magic eye’ level indicator, a valve, is on the left, while the control on the right is On/Off and volume.

There’s no capstan governing the tape speed – tape is taken up by the reel on the right, which rotates at a constant speed, so the tape starts of slow when the spool is empty, and gradually gets faster as the reel fills.

I only learned about this when I got a Grundig recorder and tried playing one of this machine’s tapes on it – not possible as the 1970s Grundig DID have constant tape speed.

Mine had a stick microphone.

The Grundig I DO still have, and used for many years.

Unfortunately, last time I dug it out to listen to a tape (and curious to hear how it might deal with those old tapes I mentioned above), the bad news was that while it still operated, there was no audio, not even some hiss. So, that suggests some fault-finding and repair effort before that idea might work, so shelved for another day. Irritatingly, all looked good to start with, since it has valve based electronics, and I did watch to see if they lit up, and they did, so I had expected it all to be OK since the mechanism was running.

Grundig TK140 deluxe

Grundig TK140 deluxe

This pic looks a lot better than mine!

The finish is not very durable, and mine got a fair amount of use, so anywhere on the panel that was subject to being rubbed in operation had the surface worn off it, down to the bare aluminium. But the mechanical bits never missed a beat, despite all being controlled by that single rotary selector on the right.

It was a 4-track mono machine, not stereo.

And, another ‘magic eye’ for setting level – this time the centre rectangle below the logo.

I have a few other recorders, one is an interesting miniature portable reel to reel from the 1960s.

And a few odd cassette players – since these were used for storing and loading programs on early computers.

There’s also a collection of varied micro-cassette recorders, from a little spying project I had to carry out once. That turned out to be intriguing as it needed sound/voice activation, and time/date stamping using ANALOGUE techniques years before we had digital recorders,

But, the tidy sadly confirmed that a lot (nearly all?) of the electronic ‘junk’ I used to have, and thought had been thrown in boxes and stuffed up into the loft… was all gone.

And, as with those tape recorders, I really have no memory of that stuff being disposed of.

More later, I think, as this has quickly grown rather longer than I intended.


29/01/2019 Posted by | Lost | | Leave a comment

Off we go again! I really have to stay in

Maybe not the sort of incident I’ve been listing recently, as there is a definite increase in violent crime, but mugging schoolchildren in broad daylight in the afternoon is definitely worth including.

Especially after I just posted this about the same spot.

I used to be here quite often, but not these days, and it could be around the same time this mugging took place, so that’s another reason for including it.

A Glasgow secondary has issued a safety warning after two of its pupils were mugged while walking home from school.

Staff at St Mungo’s Academy in Gallowgate are to discuss security measures with parents after the youths were attacked and robbed after class on January 16.

They had been making their way home when they were targeted sometime before 4.40pm in Slatefield Road. Police are currently investigating the incident.

Glasgow secondary issue safety warning after two pupils mugged while walking home from school

It’s depressing to see this increase continue.

Violent crimes

29/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Sometimes I’m glad I’ve been priced off the road

I was taught to drive a long time ago, even starting before I was 17.

And I mean ‘taught to drive’, NOT what I see today, as people actually just seem to be taught how to pass the various parts of the driving test.

I still just keep my mouth shut, rather than offer driving advice or opinion, since the response is usually hostile, and insulting, that I might dare to suggest other are less than perfect, and that I appear to be arrogantly telling them I am (more than perfect).

However, as long as pics like this continue to turn up, while I might not dare to offer advice, even with all my faults, I think I’d rather be driven by me, than many others I see on the road today.

Snow peephole driver stopped by police on A9

You would think simple ‘self-preservation’ would stop anyone with a brain cell that had not died of loneliness would not try driving like this.

Peephole driver Image from Police Scotland

Peephole driver Image from Police Scotland


Still more dumb!



Motorist issued with £40 fine for driving without defrosting car windows

29/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Supporters may have to move City of Adelaide clipper

Sad to say I can’t give full details of this most recent story, since the media source locks it all behind a paywall.

Which is interesting, since my adblocker has to be throttle back TWICE before it lets me see the source.

I thought the idea of extorting money via paywalls was to let visitors be ‘Ad Free’?

The old ship seems to be stuck between the traditional ‘Rock and a Hard Place’ as both developers and the Australian government see it’s presence as a problem or nuisance.

This is all I can get…

Stalemate: Historic ship and the $200m housing project

It’s Port Adelaide’s $200m, 750-home waterfront housing development. There’s just one problem — the historic clipper ship, the last of its kind, right in the middle of it. No one can agree on where it’s going to go. Now it could end up interstate.

Oh well.

Just have to wait for the next little crumb to see if anything happens.

All of a sudden, the old berth in Glasgow is beginning to look better, even if did sink there every so often.

Carrick berth

Carrick berth and former car parking area

29/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, Transport | , | 2 Comments

Another reason to end deer

Anyone who has been looking in here for a while will know my unsympathetic opinion of deer.

The dumbest animal on the road which doesn’t even have enough sense to run AWAY from a moving object, but usually runs towards AND into it, determined to behave like an interceptor.

The military tried using pigeons to guide bombs onto targets during World War II, and housed them behind windows with paddles to peck at which controlled the bomb’s direction.

They dropped the idea, but they really missed a trick, and should have used deer – with pics of cyclists or cars to run towards, and used that to direct the bombs.

Would have been a 100% success!

Here’s another one that should prove the point, yet again.

Pity it wasn’t on a race track, and meeting a car travelling at around 150 mph, rather than assaulting some unfortunate cyclist.

29/01/2019 Posted by | Transport | | Leave a comment

I finally have a reason to take a stance on Brexit

While my view on Brexit had formerly been to collect the wasters of BOTH sides and bulldoze them through a hellmouth while laughing insanely, I think I just found a reason to join the ‘NO’ side…

Eat your cat

And the cat said…

29/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

How about a Welly Dug instead of a Wally Dug?

While the Wally Dug (or dog) is probably pretty well-known – it’s a pottery dog that used to be popular as a home decoration, often in pairs placed on a mantelpiece – how many have come across the Welly Dug?

I’ve passed this one quite a few times, but never stopped to catch a pic, so now I’ve corrected that omission, and added it to my collection of Kelvingrove goodies.

I’m not sure of the correct spelling of ‘Wellie’ or ‘Welly’, but obviously it has to be ‘Welly’ for this post.

Very clever.

Kelvingrove Welly Dug

Kelvingrove Welly Dug

29/01/2019 Posted by | council, photography | , , | Leave a comment


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