Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace looks set to reopen as planned during Easter 2019

Having done a lot of jumping up and down when closure of the People’s Palace (temporary, while works were carried out to provide emergency exits), and Winter Garden (effectively permanent until something in the order of £7 million can be raised for restoration) was first announced, the media and those looking for some free publicity by making a lot of noise about the closure, but not actually doing anything to help other than make stupid, time-wasting claims/comments, seemed to dry up and disappear.

It has now been announced that the People’s Palace will reopen during the Easter holidays, with some £350,000 of work being carried out to make it safe, and replace facilities that were previously located in the Winter Garden.

Following a £350,000 programme of works, the city’s social history museum will open independently of the Winter Gardens during the school holidays.

The Winter Gardens requires window replacement costing up to £7m.

The People’s Palace has seen several alterations during the works, including the addition of a new cafe and shop on its ground floor, access to public toilets and a new fire escape, which was previously located within the Winter Gardens.

School groups will be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor of the museum, replacing the former space available within the glasshouse.

The museum reopens with a new photography exhibition, which captures daily life in the city in 1955.

Recent view of the Winter Gardens open while work was being carried out.

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The People’s Palace is just that; it’s the official residence of the stories, the images, and the memories of the people of our great city, entertaining and informing Glaswegians with displays of how we lived, worked and played in years gone by.

“There was an understandably strong reaction to the suggestions of the possible closure of the People’s Palace, a clear demonstrations of its affection amongst the Glasgow public. So I’m pleased that it is now scheduled to reopen and vindicates our pledge that we would undertake the work to allow it to remain open while a long term solution is found to the challenges of the Winter Gardens. The People’s Palace collection belongs to Glaswegians and we’re glad they will continue to enjoy access to it.”
‘End of its life cycle’

The Winter Gardens will remain closed indefinitely.

The structure is in need of repairs.

The sealant used to secure thousands of windows in the glasshouse has reached the end of its life cycle and requires wholesale replacement.

Glasgow’s People’s Palace prepares to reopen after works

Winter Gardens’ future unclear as People’s Palace reopens

People’s Palace set to reopen after £350k repair works

I took a run past at the weekend, and the place was tight shut, with no new notices attached.

But the Doulton Fountain, in front, was back on and in full flow.

People's Palace and Doulton Fountain

People’s Palace and Doulton Fountain

Obviously not a current pic, as the lights are on!


01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

I’m NOT imagining it – it really is getting colder again

For the past few days I’ve been intrigued to watch people wandering around half-naked, or at least in T-shirt and shorts, and short, short skirts.

I, on the other hand, have been regretting dropping just one layer after the warm day we had last week, as I’m freezing, and I’m getting more freezing by the day.

Probably the most amusing thing is seeing the folk in t-shirts and shorts mixing in the street with others wrapped up in scarfs, woolly hats, woolly gloves, and winter grade jackets – one of them has to be wrong, or mad!

My little weather station tells me the ones wearing t-shirts are the mad ones.

While it can be nice and warm if you’re lucky enough to find some sunshine (you might find something close to 13°C), if there’s none, or you’re in a shaded place, expect the temperature to be only around 9°C, and today, the high barely hit 9°C, and sat around 6°C for most of the day.

March 2019 End Temperature

March 2019 End Temperature

If you think that’s bad, look at the forecast we were given today.

An Arctic blast is to hit the UK – with the Strathclyde region facing wintry showers and cooler temperatures this week.

Yesterday marked the formal beginning of British Summer Time and the sun was splitting the skies in Glasgow: But unfortunately, it’s not set to last.

Cold winds from Iceland are set to bring ice, sleet and snow showers to the west of Scotland over the next few days– with the mercury to plummet to as low as -5C in the coldest areas of northern Scotland.

A spokeswoman from the Met Office tells Glasgow Live that while we’re expected to have temperatures of around 8-9C during the week – average for this time of year – we can expect treacherous conditions to develop overnight.

From later this evening, they said it’s set to be cloudy with further rain at times, getting heavier and wintry on higher ground – with a minimum temperature of 0 °C.

Tomorrow will be bright and sunny, but light winds and showers are still on the forecast – with hail snow expected on the hills and a risk of thunder and sleety spells on lower levels. The temperature will peak at around 7°C.

The weather is set to worsen on Wednesday – with “cloudy and cold” conditions forecast. It will be a frosty start that morning, with wind, showers and hill snow. It’s expected to dry up though, with some bright spells on the way come Friday.

Glasgow weather: ‘Arctic blast’ as Met Office predict wintry showers, sleet and ice this week

If you don’t believe it…

Just look at the dip down to 1°C I recorded above, on the night between 31/03/19 and 01/04/19.

And there were STILL people wandering around in T-shirts and shorts!

I bet they were up early and got dressed based on the weather at 7 am this morning – seriously blue sky and sunshine then (I almost dug out the bike!).

After I turned over and woke up two hours later – no sun, no blue skies, just COLD and spitting rain (and the cover went back over the bike!).

I couldn’t get pics of any of them later, but I did find a couple of tourists having lunch at the Botanic Gardens last week, when it was actually feeling WARMER outside than it does today. (They were just accidental inclusions in a wider panorama, which is why they have no feet).

Botanic Garden Tourists

Botanic Garden Tourists

I found one, in the throng milling around Dippy yesterday.

She’s going to be cold when she steps outside Kelvingrove!

It's cold outside

It’s cold outside

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

Just a little reminder (for some) – new domestic abuse laws are now in force

It covers not just physical abuse, but psychological and emotional treatment and controlling behaviour, where abusers isolate their victim from their friends and relatives or control their finances.

New domestic abuse laws, labelled ‘groundbreaking’ for their unique focus on the experience of victims, have come into force in Scotland.

Law enforcement officials say the new legislation makes it clear that coercive and controlling behaviour is a crime.

It covers the full breadth of violent, threatening, intimidating and other controlling behaviour which can destroy a victim’s autonomy and further recognises the adverse impact domestic abuse can have on children.

The Act also requires courts to consider imposing a non-harassment order on an offender convicted of a domestic abuse offence to protect their victim from further abuse.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said: “The Domestic Abuse Act makes absolutely clear that coercive and controlling behaviour is domestic abuse and a crime”.

Assistant Chief Constable Gillian MacDonald, crime and protection lead for Police Scotland , said: “This new offence is groundbreaking. For the first time, it will allow us to investigate and report the full circumstances of an abusive relationship.

“In preparation for the change in law our officers and staff have received further training on the dynamics of power and control in abusive relationships to help recognise the signs, identify investigative opportunities and to tackle the myths and misconceptions of abuse that still exist.

“This new offence is a clear warning to abusers that all forms of domestic abuse are criminal and that perpetrators should expect to face the full consequences of their abusive behaviour.”

Controlling behaviour now a crime in Scotland as new domestic abuse laws come into force

Took a while to find a decent graphic – most of them only recognise violence against females, not all the other possibilities, and even this one refers mainly to violence rather than the more general option if abuse.

Domestic Violence

Domestic Violence

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Nice to see a judge not afraid to go for ‘Professional Beggars’ – does he know about ‘Begpackers’?

Professional beggars are nothing new – I found them in Glasgow before the millennium.

The shame is that anyone who tries to deal with them usually finds THEY are ones in trouble though, as the do-gooders play the ‘Shame Card’ on them instead of the thieves, and misrepresent their efforts to tackle the scammers as some sort of attack on the homeless!

They don’t seem to realise the scammers are (well) organised and are taking loads of money from genuine homeless who have turned to begging on the streets, be that way of getting money be right or wrong.

Nottingham tried a few years ago, and had the ASA turned on them by campaigning do-gooders…

‘WATCH YOUR CASH GO UP IN SMOKE’ Council’s posters urging people to stop giving money to beggars are banned – because they might offend

It seems a judge in Northern Ireland is not intimidated (yet?), and has announced a hard line against any professional beggars that appear in his court…

Derry judge vows to take ‘hard line’ against ‘gang of professional beggars’ as woman jailed

I’m spending a lot of time in Glasgow city centre at the moment, and it doesn’t take long to watch some of the supposedly ‘homeless’, and see that they are operating as are part of teams.

We haven’t managed any like this poor man with no legs… OH!

Look on the bright side, if he sits around for long enough with his legs tied up like that, he WILL end up damaging them, and have a genuine disability to go out begging with legitimately.

I saw a new gem this week…


People who are obviously not short of money…

But who sit around and hold their grubby little hands out and expect people to shower them with money to pay for the trips around the world!



That’s a sample of some pics at this link (which WordPress doesn’t allow to be embedded to show the gallery).

I’m not even going to comment.

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Better than my usual mousey visitors

While this butterfly was dead when I came across it at the bottom of a container in my loft, it was a nice change to find a visitor that had got in and was NOT a mouse, or completely unwelcome.

It was also nice to see something with a bit of colour for a change.

It’s been depressing to look at a number of recent pic collections online, where the pics were taken in places where the photographers were enjoying sunny days (or artificially pushing colour into their shots). I’m getting fed up wandering around under grey skies and rain, both of which (at this time of year) do little for colour.

A couple of days ago I was shooting some items on a background made of a blue carpet – but when I processed the results, the background came out GREY!

I wonder how long it was lying there – the colours aren’t as vivid as they might be if this had settled in the garden, alive.

Found Butterfly

Found Butterfly

01/04/2019 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Fossil Grove – reopening soon, I got a sneak preview

I’ve been trying to find out when Fossil Grove reopens for 2019 – without success.

The noticeboard in Victoria Park still has the 2018 dates and times showing, and Glasgow Council’s web site offering is even worse, as it’s not been updated since 2017.

Going on past performance, it should be open again around Easter, which is 19 April in 2019, so still a few weeks to go.

The Easter opening is confirmed on Fossil Grove’s own Events Page – which is being updated, so should be checked for up to date info.

That said, I have been exploring, and decided to detour through the park while headed somewhere else, just for a look at the noticeboard (still showing 2018).

Having been there last week (when the place was still sealed up), I almost didn’t bother, but was glad I did as I found it open this week, with random people wandering around outside, and painters inside.

Fossil Grove 2019 preparation

Fossil Grove 2019 preparation

When I spoke to them, they though it was set to open next weekend, but weren’t hopeful as the place is so cold and damp they were finding that their paint wasn’t drying! I don’t think it even has any heating, at least I can’t recall spotting any during previous visits. Not that stone fossils really need it, provided they are protected from the weather.

Also, joiners were supposed to be carrying out work inside, and they hadn’t even started.

(I’d say they need electricians though, as so many of the lights seem to have failed).

The good news was that I’d arrived at break time, so was able to wander inside (so long I promised not to touch the wet paint).

This is one pic nobody else will get of Fossil Grove – the toilet, and the viewing area with none of the displays installed, or the display cases lit.

Fossil Grove 2019 interior tidy

Fossil Grove 2019 interior tidy

Reminder of last year.

Fossil Grove Display Left

Fossil Grove Display Left

While I was there last week, I took some pics of the surroundings, which were interesting because in March, the plants are all gone (a planting event is due soon).

Victoria Park Fossil Grove Quarry Knowe Bare

Victoria Park Fossil Grove Quarry Knowe Bare

How it usually looks. A bit greener.


Victoria Park Fossil Grove Quarry Knowe Empty

Victoria Park Fossil Grove Quarry Knowe Empty

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Think of the senior cats

Since somebody thought enough of them to pull together this list dedicated to some senior cats, I though it only fair to give them a mention.

Sadly, WordPress doesn’t cater for embedding imgur galleries, so I have to have a sample, and just give you the link to see the rest.

Old But Pure Gold –

This one: 18 Year Old Cat Blind in One Eye Terrified in Shelter Until Woman Got Him Out… 

18 Year Old Cat

18 Year Old Cat

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Today is Sourdough Bread Day

01 April is Sourdough Bread Day.

An odd thing to mention, but I never touched the stuff until my local supermarket started selling its ‘expensive’ breads off at the end of the day.

It’s really rather nice (as is their Polish Bloomer, another rye based bread).

Sourdough bread has been around for a long time and is created from dough that has a mixture of the normal yeasts in symbiosis with a lactobacillus culture. The addition of this culture gives the bread a slightly sour tang, and helps increase it shelf-life.

Sourdough bread was one of the first (if not the first) forms of leavening (something that produces fermentation in dough or a liquid) in human history.

In some forms of bread, you have to use sourdough for it to work. Rye bread has a particularly low gluten count, making brewer’s yeast impractical for helping it rise, but sourdough works perfectly in this type of bread.

If it’s so good, how did sourdough fall from being the favourite leavening agent for all bread ? Basically, wheat-based breads don’t need the special properties of sourdough leavening, so it was gradually replaced by barm (from beer making), and then by purpose grown yeasts.

Sourdough Bread Day is a reminder of the origins of the most important staple of our diet, and to remember that it still makes (probably) the most delicious bread out there.

I was put off by the word ‘sour’ in the name – believe me, it’s not.

Sourdough Bread With Grain

Sourdough Bread With Grain


01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment


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