Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Dippy dinosaur breaks visitor record at Glasgow’s Kelvingrove

Had I known at the time that this pic would have been about Dippy’s record 275,000 visitors to Kelvingrove, I’d have taken a pic showing the star’s head.

As it was, I really took the pic to show how busy the place was during Sunday’s organ recital, and that the usual, stunning, purple illumination had been switched to a peculiar green (seriously, nobody uses GREEN lighting unless they want to show people are ill), but it barely shows in the pic.

I had wait for that gap in the ‘thronging crowd’ to even see the organ. Again, had I known about the visitor record, I’d have taken a different pic. But, the pic you actually have is always the best pic!

Scottish crowds have flocked to see Dippy the dinosaur during his UK tour, attracting more than 257,000 visitors to its current home in Glasgow.

It boasts a record for the three-year tour so far with nine weeks still remaining in the sculpture’s stint at the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.

Glasgow marks the fourth stop in the UK tour and the previous record for the model saw 255,548 visitors between May and September in Birmingham, with the tour starting at Dorset and also visiting Belfast.

Scotland’s largest city is the most northerly stop for the dinosaur skeleton which has been hailed as the “most successful temporary exhibition at Kelvingrove” since 2006.

“Dippy on Tour is the most successful temporary exhibition at Kelvingrove Museum since it reopened after refurbishment 13 years ago.

“We’ve welcomed treble the number of visitors during this six-week period compared to last year, with the opening weekend being our busiest in more than a decade.

Dippy the dinosaur has attracted a record 250k visitors to Glasgow’s Kelvingrove

Kelvingrove Dippy Organ

Kelvingrove Dippy Organ

As I’m usually there two or three times during the week, I can corroborate the numbers, and that I’m not surprised.

As noted in my first post, I actually went on the second Sunday of the exhibition (yes, I really had forgotten about it) to catch the organ recital, and only realised Dippy was there when confronted by the crowds of people (inside and out), the overflowing car park (and traffic queue around the museum), and the biggest surprise that even the bike parking area was blocked, with at least two bikes on every stand!

While it may not be the same as the opening, Kelvingrove is STILL much busier at the weekend (with families and noisy kids – this week, there was one with a stick who banged it on the floor through most of the recital, not a word from the parents). Even weekdays are noticeably busy. During the week there are few families, but usually primary school parties visit.

Dippy’s exhibition is only about halfway done, and remains in Glasgow until May 6, then moves to Newcastle, Cardiff, Rochdale, and Norwich.

Quick close-up of the star, since I missed the head above!

Dippy Head Right

Dippy Head Right

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Are hawks the deer of the sky?

Not a problem I have to worry about, but after seeing this video taken during the  Avalon Airshow, Avalon, Australia, of a USAF Boeing C-17 Globemaster III experiencing a birdstrike, I wonder if hawks are as smart as deer as regards traffic.

The airlifter was on its take off roll for its aerial display when a big bird was ingested by the engine, and almost instantaneous subsequent fireball and bang.

It didn’t take the fried meal long to go through that oven!

The C-17 aborted its take off and came to a stop on the runway before being taxied to a hangar for inspection. Since it didn’t fly on the following day, the damage may have been significant, or required more detailed inspection.

Closest I’ve been to an incident was the halting of the Prestwick airshow, to allow a passenger jet which had declared an emergency to land during the show.

I think someone had reported smoke in the cabin.

05/03/2019 Posted by | Aviation, military, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Dead mouse?

Clearing away the undergrowth around the house seems to have dissuaded my little unwanted visitors. There are no handy covered or hidden runs for them to creep along that run anywhere near my outside doors, and none have been caught in my traps sitting just inside the doors (since the last one I posted ages ago).

But that doesn’t stop me looking for interesting way of dealing with them, and trance fans should recognise this one.

Party hard little pest!




Oh, maybe not repeat 🙂

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

After noting one incident reported earlier today, I’ve just spotted another on, for somewhere I hadn’t visited for years, but was at the same place on Sunday – fortunately some hours after the event.

I toured the whole length of Dumbarton Road on Sunday afternoon, just to see if any of the old buildings I remembered were still there – of course, the ones I had in mind are long gone, so I ended up just looking for interesting shops – unaware of what had happened a few hours earlier.

At least I’m never likely to be there around midnight.

A 37-year-old man who was seriously assaulted outside a Partick chip shop was left with serious injuries to his face, requiring surgery.

The incident occurred between 12.05 am and 12.35 am on Sunday, March 3 outside the Blue Lagoon Chip shop in Dumbarton Road.

The man was attempting to diffuse (sic) an argument between two people. He was then assaulted by a group of other people which left him with serious injuries.

Emergency services rushed to scene and the injured man was taken to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital by ambulance where he was released after initial treatment. However, he will return at a laster (sic) date for surgery.

The culprits had made off prior to police arriving at the scene.

Man, 37, needing facial surgery after serious assault outside Partick chip shop

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

05/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Ghost Signs of Glasgow project launches on March 14

Sadly, too late to catch much of the material it could have, it will hopefully record what is left…

Ghost Signs of Glasgow is a new project by Glasgow City Heritage Trust which will be unearthing the stories behind old signs and shopfronts of the city. Ghost signs, the fading remains of old painted signs on buildings, provide an invaluable insight into Glasgow’s architectural, social and cultural history. Many ghost signs hide in plain sight hidden by the urban landscape around them, leaving a tangible part of Glasgow’s heritage vulnerable to being lost forever.

The project will be revealing, researching and documenting ghost signs in Glasgow in order to create an online archive and to expand our collective knowledge about these remnants of Glasgow’s past. We will be organising guided walks, talks and workshops, and making a map of these signs and shopfronts across the city.

Ghost Signs of Glasgow Launch

It’s also a bit sad to see it won’t have its own web site, but will rely on (ugh) ‘Social Media’ for its existence…

With the help of volunteers, the project hopes to use social media to engage people with Glasgow’s historic environment and encourage communities to share their memories of the city.

Follow @Ghostsignsgla on Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for updates

I don’t know if the numbers are significant, but there are those of us who won’t support the likes of Facecrook with our efforts.

You can read a more detailed account of the project in this article…

Historic ‘ghost signs’ shed light on Glasgow’s past

And, you can find a long article about these signs on a real web site accessible to all without supporting some creepy social media operator.

This dates from 2014, and is a stunning summary of what was available to be found back then.

I haven’t looked in detail, but I do wonder how many of the featured signs have been lost to demolition in the course of the following years.

Ghost Signs of Glasgow, The Fading Works of the Signwriter

I have to admit to failing miserably when I decided to try this same thing some years ago.

This would have been around 1990 (yes, really that long ago), and started in the streets running from the Broomielaw, working my way back into the city centre. I’d go in on Sunday morning (it was still quiet on a Sunday back then, unlike today, where Sunday is little different from a weekday, with all the shops open), but the picking were poor, and I gave up after a few weeks.

Sadly, I probably picked the wrong starting point (chosen for the old warehouses that still survived there) as much was already being razed there, and apart from becoming deflated by the poor pickings, also got tied up with some business ventures that took most of my time. Today, I’d head off into surviving areas of shops, and take a closer look in ‘hidden’ corners, nooks and crannies, and places which had just been abandoned and left derelict, and are yet to be razed.

I just pick up such signs by chance now, hopefully keeping my eyes open and being alert enough to spot them.

Coincidentally, I did spot one over the weekend, when I decided to have a wander outside Kelvingrove Park, and looked along one street and spotted this in the distance, along Otago Street.

Otago Street Red Haig

Otago Street Red Haig

I couldn’t work this one out at the time, and was only saved when I saw it on the 2014 article, and then realised what the ‘Red’ referred to.

Nice project, but that creepy social media dependence?

Can’t leave out the Woolworth’s sign that EVERYBODY finds – I don’t even need to say where it is 🙂

Old Woolworth sign

Old Woolworth sign

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | | Leave a comment

Off we go again – yet more ‘local’ violence

And again…

As usual, few quiet days, then the madness is back, and in the middle of the day when there would be plenty of people around.

Glad I only use this station a few times a year, and not at all recently.

A 14-year-old girl was repeatedly hit in the face by a man and then thrown into a wall at a Glasgow train station.

British Transport Police are investigating the assault on Platform 8 of Queen Street Station on Saturday 16 February.

The teenager was with three other young people when the attack happened at about 13:00.

Teenage girl hit in the face by man at Glasgow train station

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

05/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

The Monteith survived

A very quick pic of The Monteith, as it recently came out from behind covers and showed that it had not been demolished as I had feared, but has been retained and redeveloped.

I haven’t been here very often (in daylight) since the People’s Palace is currently closed for works, so couldn’t get a decent pic that showed how it looked, but had to stop and grab a view of its current condition.

The Monteith Redeveloped

The Monteith Redeveloped

Don’t remember that tree getting in the way before, but couldn’t stop to play.

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day

05 March is Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day.

It’s a bit of a mouthful, and not entirely sure if I’m justified in its inclusion (but I will, because I do notice something at least similar, but not to the extent of seeking advice – maybe I’m lucky I’m both independent and something of a ‘control freak’).

Want to see just how complex this has become over the years?

Try reading this

Dissociative Identity Disorder Awareness Day was created to highlight its namesake disorder, and raise awareness of its affect on the day-to-day life of those who suffer from it. This goes deeper that just being a bit moody now and again, and being your normal self later – it’s about having totally different, clearly apparent, personalities which have their own identities and own ways of interacting with their environment.

To be diagnosed with dissociate identity disorder (and this not a definitive, medical description), you need to be displaying at least two different personalities, any of which can ‘take control’ at any given time. It is not uncommon for, when one personality takes over, for another to entirely forget what the sufferer was doing when the first was active.

If you are thinking of just two personalities, think again. Some sufferers have two or three personalities, others can have ten, twenty, or thirty personalities, but some have been reported with upwards of ninety, with one often being dominant while the others may switch over at least a few times a day.

I tried picking one of the ‘usual’ pics associated with tales of this condition but, frankly, they were mostly too grim or too scary – and very negative.

This seems wrong, so I’ve gone with a pic of the Floating Heads installation which can be found in Kelvingrove.

Interestingly, although this is said to contain some 95 heads (I haven’t counted), it is also said to contain only FOUR different expression on the faces.

Kelvingrove Heads

Kelvingrove Heads

A wider look – can you count all 95?

Kelvingrove Heads Wide

Kelvingrove Heads Wide


I knew there was something ‘darker’ that came into my mind when thinking about this.

Closer to the reality of someone who may be suffering adverse effects, rather than the friendly faces of Kelvingrove’s installation, this Doom (now there’s a place I lived in for far too long) wallpaper makes a lovely background for computer screens.

Doom Wallpaper

Doom Wallpaper

05/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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