Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Sauchiehall Street’s Savoy Centre Colab takeover

As promised, and surprisingly, I actually remembered to make the detour and fly past the revamped Savoy Centre with added Colab goodness.

And a pretty underwhelming experience it was too.

This was admittedly at the end of the day, and the place has just reopened, but it was still as deserted as I remember it from years ago, so to be fair, this is a current observation, and needs another revisit after allowing time for people to ‘find’ it again.

There’s not much to see inside. A lot of units are unoccupied, and the place is pretty sparse (again, just an observation of fact, not intended as criticism).

To be honest, apart from being a little more bare, and missing some of the stalls I remember from years ago, it’s much the same, and quite a few of the stallholders (that interested me – so I’m not referring to any of those in the rag trade) that were there then, well, they’re still in the same places today.

Were I the owner of a mobile phone I could probably have taken pics, but as I still use real cameras, I didn’t feel like pulling one of them out and wandering around taking pics, and looking very obvious.

It’s strange how shooting pics with a real camera can draw attention and queries, while spraying around with a mobile phone, shooting pics and video seems to be almost invisible.

There is one interior pic at the end though.

Instead, I concentrated on the exterior of the building, after noting that much of the original Savoy branding was still in place.

The entrance now has fairly obvious Colab signage added.

Savoy Centre Colab Entrance

Savoy Centre Colab Entrance

Pulling back a little, just to put the entrance in context with its immediate surroundings.

I was a little puzzled when I edited this pic later – as it contains a bike with the same relatively rare frame as mine.

But I didn’t cycle into Glasgow to take these pics!

Savoy Centre Entrance Context

Savoy Centre Entrance Context

Wandering around to Renfrew Street, there’s a back door, still showing the original Savoy Centre art over the doorway.

Savoy Centre Back Door

Savoy Centre Back Door


There’s an interesting detail in the above pic, given my opening comment about interior pics.

I only noticed this when editing the pics – observe the sign on the back door.

“No photographs or video recording” – but, as usual, they have CCTV watching you, and you can’t say “NO!’

Like all private land, the owner or their agent, DOES have the right to refuse to allow pics to be taken, and you are required to get their permission before doing so. There are consequences, and if you upset them they can involve the police and cause you a great deal of trouble. I know one photographer who fell foul of this merely by standing on a private road, instead of a public road, and pics were seen online by the owner. Long story, but all of his cameras AND computers were all seized.

They generally mean it too, as I was thrown out of Princes Square by ‘Security’ just after it opened, for taking pics – and I’ve never gone back since!

And never will. (It’s full of crap anyway).

Focus was set on the arch sign in the source pic, so this crop is not sharp.

Savoy Centre No Photographs Or Video

Savoy Centre No Photographs Or Video

Round into Hope Street we find another couple of features.

First, the side entrance, which has two doors, offering both steps and a ramp (sorry, I couldn’t lift the litter bin out of the way for a better view of that) for access.

Oh look!

The side doors have the same ‘No photographs or video recording’ sign(s) as the back door!

They’re serious about this.

Better check the front entrance in Saucheihall Street, it has no doors and might not have these signs (it does have a yellow CCTV warning sign), so I can plead ignorance if I say I only used that entrance ūüôā

Savoy Centre Side Door

Savoy Centre Side Door

And second, the original relief (presumably cast in concrete, but maybe just blow moulded plastic) with the centre’s name and art as seen on the back door.

Savoy Centre Relief

Savoy Centre Relief

And finally…

I had to work from memory, but I tried to frame the same scene as the day I took the original ‘Legless’ pic in the Savoy back in 2013.

Legless Scene 2013 in 2019

Legless Scene 2013 in 2019

Reminder of the original.

Legless Savoy

Legless Savoy

28/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

More classy material, this time in the revamped Colab Savoy Centre

After yesterday’s classy treat for Glaswegians (and poor Yorick), I thought I’d dig out one of the pics I collected when I made it into the revamped Savoy Centre, or Colab, in Sauchiehall Street, as promised earlier.

I just haven’t had a chance to go over the few pics I collected during that wander, but this one seemed appropriate to follow the Yorick gem with.

As part of the Colab ‘upgrade’ of the ground floor of the Savoy Centre is a shop selling some (and this is, of course, just MY opinion – yours may be different) some pretty dire framed prints. I wouldn’t even have some of them on my wall, given the subjects, which I consider to be stomach-turning – by which I mean they are based on waste-of-skin celebrities. How anybody can stand having those faces staring at them all the time is completely beyond me.

However, the one that caught my eye, and I thought deserved to be mentioned along with Yorick’s view was the very classy reflection of Glasgow, as seen below.

New Savoy Centre Colab Classy Art Store

New Savoy Centre Colab Classy Art Store

And, before anyone launches off into “Oh, another prude preaching etc”, that aspect has nothing to do with my disparaging remarks.

The print doesn’t offend me in the least.

What DOES offend me is the thought process of the person who made it – as I’m sure the idea was to get it noticed not for the quality of the work, but just by the creation of something that will make some people snigger and nudge, and indeed, maybe even shock some.

So, now you can also tell me “You missed the point”.

Actually, I don’t think so, I think I just got a different point than intended.

28/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Black Forest Cake Day

28 March is Black Forest Cake Day.

Rich layers of chocolate sponge cake held together with a whipped cream filling and an assortment of cherries, then coated and topped with more of the same.

Thank goodness we can refer to it as Black Forest Cake (or gateaux) rather than its formal name of Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte Рpeople would probably die, or suffer terrible injuries, if we had to wrap our tongues around that before getting to our treat.

It seems a true Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte is made using a rich liquor that comes from the region for which it’s named Schwarzwälder Kirsch(wasser). There a variety of tart cherries which gives the spirit its unique flavour is grown, and this, in turn, provides a notable and local flavour to the Black Forest Cherry-Torte.

This cake is said to have first appeared in Schwarzwälder (The Black Forest) in 1915 Рat least according to Josef Keller, who told this until his death in 1981. Accurate or not, it seems the cake was linked with Berlin by 1931, from where it spread throughout the world to become the famous and recognizable treat known today.

There is also a simpler Swedish variation, consisting  of layers of rich chocolate and whipped cream. This Schwarzwaldtårta is completed by being decorated with rich slivers or plates of chocolate and dusted with cocoa powder to make another delicious treat.

It may not have any relation to the cherry-torte, but who cares?

Those recipes were made to be enjoyed, not argued about.

Black Forest Treat

Black Forest Treat

For what it’s worth, as far as I’m concerned this cake should be soft, sloppy, and messy, to be at its best.

I’ve had this presented as very expensive slices of g√Ęteaux in posh restaurants, where the sponge was like cardboard, the cream was like wax, and the fruit was really fresh – so fresh it would have been nice if they had left it to ripen for a few more weeks!

28/03/2019 Posted by | Cold War | | 4 Comments


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