Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Two interesting articles on University Avenue

Since I occasionally visit The Hunterian, I have cycled on University Avenue.

Admittedly not often (I dive into the university grounds at the earliest opportunity), and usually not on the other side of the road (from The Hunterian). The road has also been liberally sprinkled with assorted roadworks on those occasions, so I didn’t realise it was a controversial place.

That said, having read about other changes nearby, I’m a little surprised to read the comments about ‘Paint only’ segregation, as opposed to more robust separation. Having been on Byres Road too, I’m pretty sure I’d have a won a bet with myself had I heard about the ‘Paint only’ proposal, and made a bet that somebody would make a fuss.

Not sure if reading the articles gives the true picture, or if this is more damned ‘cycling activists’ at work.

Having read the details of other routes being created around the city, it seems odd that the council would have approved this if the dangers are as claimed, and that the plan will result in a reduction to existing safety.

It’s sad, but I’m now so fed up listening to them ‘talk up’ dangers as they see them, that I largely switch off as soon as they start whining. I’m beginning to think they’ll do more harm than good, by alienating people who would otherwise be open to less exaggerated claims.

I’ll be interested to see if these stories are followed by news of changes, or clarification to what is actually being done.

And even more interested to hear that any ‘unsafe’ option have been rectified.

Glasgow residents form human bike lane in protest of ‘unsafe’ cycling at University Avenue

Work on new ‘super-crossings’ to begin at University Avenue

Perhaps the activists would like this pic of these little known benches, depicting autopsy benches near University Avenue, to help their campaigns? I feel sure they could make up some stories about them.

Glasgow University Autopsy Benches

Glasgow University Autopsy Benches

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

For Maplin, read Aldi?

Aldi, just like buses, when you really want one there are none, then they all arrive at once!

For years, I’ve had to go into Glasgow, Rutherglen, or Cambuslang to get to an Aldi (from Shettleston).

This year, we finally got an Aldi in Shettleston, so no more long trips for their offers.


Only a few months later, and it seems they’re trying to get permission to open another east end Aldi, this time in the Forge Retail Park.

If the pics with the story are anything to go by, it looks as if they’re looking to take over the former Maplin unit.

DISCOUNT food retailer Aldi is being lined up for a store at a retail park in Glasgow’s East End.

Under the plan, two units at Forge Retail Park, Gallowgate, would be converted into a supermarket, creating around 50 jobs.

Glasgow City planners are being asked to relax restrictions on the amount of food shop floorspace allowed at the site so the proposal can go ahead.

A statement from consultants Zander Planning, submitted to the city council on behalf of The Forge Retail Park Unit Trust, explains: “The retail park has been the subject of a number of vacancies and the key demand from occupiers is for food/convenience retailing. Little or no interest has been shown from non-food retailers.

“The proposal seeks to deliver additional convenience/food retail floorspace to allow the occupation of Units 2 and 3a by a discount food retailer, Aldi.”

EAST End Store Plan For Supermarket Chain Aldi

I hope that reference to “convenience/food retail floorspace” is not literal.

Shettleston’s Aldi has proven to be rather disappointing in its range of stock, trending heavily towards food and missing many of the non-food goodies I’m used to seeing in the other branches I mentioned.

The retail park is a lot closer than the others, so if a new store there did stock more of the non-food goodies, I wouldn’t mind the extra distance compared to the Shettleston branch which is almost literally on my doorstep.

Even though Maplin had started selling some right rubbish, and the place was almost deserted whenever I dropped in, I didn’t want to lose one of the originals, and with no other similar business to take up the slack, do miss the place.

Maplin Closing

Maplin might make way for Aldi

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting to see changes being proposed for Pollok Park

From my little cardboard box in the deep east end of Glasgow, Pollok Park is not an easy trip by public transport. I think I looked the journey up on a planner, and gave up reading by time I’d reached the third bus/train change along the route. I’m patient, but not that patient.

I tried cycling there a few times, only to find the signs I’d spotted for ‘Pollok Country Park’ while on the Clyde Walkway had been erected by some moron who didn’t know how to plan a route, and while I did actually get there, was more than a little upset by the vagueness of many of the signs. At times I was glad to be carrying my faithful GPS unit.

For the record, I plotted my own route using GPS and a map of cycle paths, which takes me there and, apart from a few back streets, takes me there and avoid travelling on any busy roads. Like quite a few routes I’ve discovered, it’s almost like a secret ‘They’ don’t want anyone to know about.

One of the problems I found with the early route I followed was that when it arrived at the park, nearly all the paths were marked ‘No Entry’, which appears to be a result of the ‘One Way’ system operating within the park, and I assume applied to cyclists (except the peloton I met the first time I made it there).

But, arriving via the cycle path actually delivers cyclists to a controlled crossing, making it easy to get across a busy road, and into the park.

However, with the Burrell Collection closed for refurb, I’m afraid I couldn’t find much of a reason to make the trip.

It’s not that nice cycling around Pollok Park, as it can get pretty busy, with a lot of cars on the narrowish roads, even if they are one way. No problem with drivers, just not an ideal route to relax on, which is what you should really be doing in a park.

Sorry, but it’s much nicer cycling around my local parks in the east end, where there are no cars.

On the basis of my visits, I will be very interested to see what changes are eventually proposed for the park.

Pollok residents are being urged to take part in a project to convert an “underused” historic Glasgow park into a world-class civic destination.

Members of the Transforming Pollok Country Park want to renovate the space so that is enjoyed by locals and visitors to the city.

Plans will be discussed by members of the Pollokshields area partnership tomorrow morning.

It aims to improve the management and care of the park’s heritage assets, remove restrictive barriers, encourage the local community to use the facilities and improve the attractions within the park as well as transport links.

Pollok Country Park is the largest park in Glasgow and was voted the best Europe in 2008.

During that year controversial plans to turn it into a Go Ape centre were abandoned.

As well as its importance as a green space for leisure and nature conservation, it houses two of Scotland’s most important museums – the Burrell Collection and Pollok House – both which are A listed buildings.

The Burrell Collection is currently being renovated and will re-open at the end of 2020.

It is hoped once work is complete and the museum reopened, it will attract more visitors to the area.

Major transformation project for Pollok Country Park

I’d forgotten how nice it was to learn that the Go Ape lot had been thrown out of the public park.

Or that there’s another year to go before these works are finished.

Burrell Collection Building Works

Burrell Collection Building Works

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

The Saltire Fund was tiny when it was announced in 2008, now it’s lost nearly £3 million to inflation



Back in 2008, I was intrigued to see the Saltire prize being announced, and ventured to suggest that at £10 million was not really enough to be worth the effort of trying to win.

If you tried following its progress, you’ll already know what happened…

Nobody won it!

The cash just lay unclaimed, and I think there was a recent story which suggested part of the problem was down to the terms of the award, and that the chances of anyone meeting the criteria lay in the realms of ‘Slim to Nil’.

However, the cash was still there, even if nobody was likely to collect.

So, what to do?


A £10m prize for the development of technology to harness tidal power has been relaunched in Scotland.

The Scottish government said it was offering the Saltire Fund to help commercialise clean energy and lower operating costs.

It comes after the original competition, conceived in 2008, was ended in 2017 without anyone claiming the reward.

Industry bosses have welcomed the new fund.

The Saltire Prize faded from public focus after the deadline to produce award-winning renewable technology passed without a winner.

The original prize was offered for the development of wave and tidal energy. However, the two are now recognised as separate entities following the collapse of wave power firms such as Aquamarine Power and Pelamis.

Tidal energy has now progressed while wave technology has effectively gone back to the laboratory.

To reflect the change in the industry, the prize has now been relaunched as the Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund.

The Scottish government has also proposed to invest a further £10m in Wave Energy Scotland (WES) by 2020.

Scottish government launches £10m Saltire Fund

I’m sorry, but it doesn’t take a great deal of understanding to see that £10 million, while it would be nice in a person’s bank account, is a piddling amount when taken in the context of creating a new or innovative tidal energy device.

Even worse, small as it was in 2008, £10 million is no longer £10 million in 2019, thanks to a little fact of life known as ‘Inflation’.

Now, it’s value is closer to £7.5 million.

I guess that’s why another £10 million was thrown into the little pot.


11/02/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Interesting to see female genital mutilation (FGM) has stayed in the news

‘Outrage’ news items often have one featured story, then disappear.

Seems a recent item about FGM, the first prosecution and ‘Guilty’ verdict, has led to more interest, which can’t be bad.

This form of abuse has spent far too long NOT being talked about, ignored, tolerated, or just swept under the carpet because sadists and child abusers use tradition/religion as some sort of excuse of justification for their dirty little hobby.

They are just CRIMINALS, perverts who should be dealt with like any other child abuser.

My only real problem with these articles is their concentration on FEMALE genital mutilation.

MALE mutilation is practised by the same sick perverts, under cover of the same supposed reasons, and needs to be given the same attention.

Medics in Scotland’s biggest cities have treated victims of female genital mutilation (FGM) on more than 230 occasions over the last two years, according to newly-uncovered figures.

The statistics were revealed by Scottish Liberal Democrat MP Jo Swinson, who said the “barbaric” practice must be wiped out entirely.

Responses to a freedom of information request from the party show that NHS Greater Glasgow and Clyde (NHSGGC) recorded treating women identified with FGM on at least 138 occasions in 2017 and 2018.

In NHS Lothian, which covers Edinburgh, 93 occasions were noted over that two year period.

And at the start of February, the mother of a three-year-old girl became the first to be found guilty of FGM in the UK.

The Ugandan woman, 37, from east London, was found guilty of cutting her daughter after a trial at the Old Bailey.

East Dunbartonshire MP Ms Swinson, the deputy leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “These figures show that NHS professionals across Scotland are recording treating women who have experienced FGM.

“It is a barbaric and traumatic practice that must be completely eradicated. Nobody should be in any doubt that it is child abuse and it is against the law.

Dr Duncan McCormick, consultant in public health medicine at NHS Lothian, said: “We are very clear in our commitment to and responsibility for identifying and treating children and women at high risk of FGM in Lothian.

“It is a form of abuse and gender based violence that has serious short and long term physical and psychological consequences, and if any health professional has concerns they have a responsibility to share that information to safeguard the wellbeing of women and children.

Minister for Older People and Equalities Christina McElvie MSP said: “FGM is an abhorrent practice, a form of abuse and a violation of the human rights of women and girls.

“Scotland already has robust laws in place to tackle this illegal practice and we are taking action to prevent and eradicate FGM and ensure that public and third sector services stand ready to support those at risk.

Scale of female genital mutilation treatment in Glasgow revealed

FGM victims treated in Scottish city hospitals



11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

Just looked at yesterday’s news, and another ‘casino’ incident, just after a previous one.

Again, the only ‘good’ this is that while I may haunt that spot, I’ never be that at that time.

Police are appealing for information after a man was stabbed in a frenzied street attack in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The 37-year-old was knifed multiple times after he was set upon by two men outside the Grosvenor Casino in Glassford Street at around 5:45am.

He appears to have been in the company of the men within the casino prior to the incident taking place. The two suspects made off from the scene, heading south towards the Trongate area and turning left.

The victim made his way home and called an ambulance. He was taken to the Glasgow Royal Infirmary for treatment to several stab wounds to his torso and back. Medical staff describe his condition as stable.

Police hunt two men after man stabbed in frenzied attack outside casino

Man stabbed outside Glasgow Grosvenor Casino

Man repeatedly stabbed in ‘violent attack’ outside casino

Violent crimes

Violent crimes


The cordon wasn’t a ‘Violent Incident’ as such, and was later reported to be…

Police seize £1.4million of cannabis from Glasgow city centre building

As I’ve hinted often, you NEVER know what you might be passing by regularly, and until the turn of the year, I was at that spot two or three times a week.

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Doulton Fountain lights (and more)

One of the things that never ceases to irritate me is the installation of high-maintenance

ing on new attractions, and in new buildings.

In most cases this looks great – the day it was installed!

But, unless it’s been fitted to something owned by a company worth billions, the chances are it will never be maintained, and slowly fail over the years without proper care and maintenance.

As examples of this ‘great idea’ failing, have a look at the internal stairs in GoMA (Glasgow’s Gallery of Modern Art, connecting the upper floors, and to be found in the north west corner. You’ll find some circles of wood stuck into the risers – where these stairs used to have light shining onto the steps.

Next example can be seen behind the Doulton Fountain on Glasgow Green, where you can see a stairway in the pic below (just to the right of the centre and a descending jet of water).

Look closely and you will see only two lights remain lit on those steps, the rest are dead.

Click for bigger.

Doulton Fountain Lights

Doulton Fountain Lights

I came across this pic taken of the steps two or the years ago, when they were already down to only a few.

Although many appear to be lit, in fact, most are reflecting the sky in this evening shot, and you have to look carefully to spot the ones that are actually lit.

Doulton Fountain Step Lights

Doulton Fountain Step Lights

And this was a year earlier still.

Glasgow Green Doulton stair lights

Glasgow Green Doulton stair lights

As of a check in 2018, I found NONE of the stair lights remained lit, and there are three across each riser.

I’ve no idea how many lights have failed on the fountain now, but I’m pretty sure if I looked, the view would be different from that seen above.

While larger floods, spots, and washes seem to fare reasonably well, things like lights installed into the ground, or into stairs just seem to be a waste of time and money, as they are seldom maintained.

I had a pic of those GoMA stairs I mentioned earlier. Those used to be halogen fitting, as the original installation predated LEDs.

GOMA stairs

GoMA stairs

I’m willing to accept it is not the council’s fault or cutbacks,

More likely oversold by the lighting vendor, with claims of low maintenance with modern fittings, meaning that was never any ‘Care & Maintenance’ budget put in place. Some of the sales ‘pitches’ I’ve seen for LEDs border on ‘magic’ rather than even possible reality. Now being made WORSE as installers overdrive them to make them ever brighter – which kills their life expectancy, now sometimes LESS than the incandescents they often replace.

But, it the LEDs that get the blame, NOT the shoddy installers and vendors.

I found a test video I shot of the fountain, so converted and uploaded too.

Nice water sounds!

11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Clean Out Your Computer Day

11 February 2019 is Clean Out Your Computer Day.

It’s a while since we’ve had a ‘wandering’ day, but this is one of them, landing on a different day each year, as it is defined as falling on the second Monday of February (who makes these things up?),

Surprisingly not one I’ve mentioned before, having ‘enjoyed’ life as a network admin (and various other names), and had to deal with both the disgusting physical aspect of this day (potatoes could be planted and grown in the muck some people collected inside their computer cases), and the data overload, as lazy users just kept dumping crap onto their hard drives (or my network drives), but never bothered deleting anything they no longer needed, or were never going to use again.

It really was amazing to see some that were still working.

Dirty Computer

Dirty Computer


11/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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