Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

If you didn’t get a nice easy pic of Whitevale Baths…

You’re too late now!

Seems I’ve been taking pics of the façade of Whitevale Baths for years, in various formats since they razed the houses between the baths and the Bellgrove Hotel for some unknown reason years ago. I always wondered why, as I remember them being built, and then disappearing not all that long afterwards. I didn’t even notice it, as I stopped travelling into Glasgow along that road for some years, and it was a while before I realised the ‘new’ houses had gone.

I wonder if there was something wrong with them, and they had to be demolished as a result?

Now, they’re building modern flats on the land, and the space around the retained façade of the baths is being occupied by this new build.

It not only covers the open land cleared when the houses I referred to were razed, but they are also building on the land adjacent to the remains of the baths.

So, while you could stand as far away from the façade as you liked to, and take a ‘whole of front pic’ in past years, that option is now gone, as there are flats on that ground. Now, you can only stand across the street and take the pic.

You’ll need a pretty wide lens to manage it now, or some clever panorama/image stitching software to get the shot now.

There will be a side street you can stand in, but I don’t think it will be on the centre line of the baths.

This is what it looks like down there now.

Whitevale Baths Facade

Whitevale Baths Facade

Another ‘loss’

Some time ago, while I was down there I noticed a mural or image on the end wall of the remaining part of the baths’ building.

I never managed to find anything online that referred to those images, or described them, but they’re lost and gone now.

They were on the wall between the baths and the new build seen on the left.

I thought I’d posted the shots some time ago, but clearly never got around to it.

I dug up the images I played around with back then, and picked a few.

Nobody’s going to be taking this view for some time to come, as the ground they’d need to stand on is now full of flats!

Whitevale Baths Facade straight

Whitevale Baths Facade straight

This will be the norm for the next few years (decades), so the ability to take a single wide shots (then correcting), or using special lenses to avoid the distortion will be needed.

Whitevale Baths Facade stitched

Whitevale Baths Facade stitched

Note that both of the above were deliberately framed to avoid having things like lampposts appearing over the subject.

And the last shot goes to…

The Whitevale Baths end wall mural that will never be seen again, and is probably lost.

Whitevale Baths end wall mural

Whitevale Baths end wall mural

Be nice to know something about it, if anybody knows anything.

As noted above, I couldn’t find anything online when I had a look, neither any story or record behind it, or any other pics.


17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Looks like I’m doomed

I really don’t know why I ever even bother reading these ‘sleep’ articles.

According to the advice and guidance they all give, I should have dropped dead years ago.

Widely held myths about sleep are damaging our health and our mood, as well as shortening our lives, say researchers.

A team at New York University trawled the internet to find the most common claims about a good night’s kip.

Then, in a study published in the journal Sleep Health, they matched the claims to the best scientific evidence.

They hope that dispelling sleep myths will improve people’s physical and mental health and well-being.

So, how many are you guilty of?

Sleep myths ‘damaging your health’

I thought I’d try a quick tally…

Myth 1 – You can cope on less than five hours’ sleep

Sorry, but I usually can’t even manage five hours of sleep, let alone the recommended eight!

I do give it a try, but it’s kind of pointless unless I can drop off after waking up.

I can end up ‘worn out’ trying to go to sleep, with the result that I do fall asleep after a couple of hours!

Myth 2 – Alcohol before bed boosts your sleep

Sorry, but as was brought up ‘Continental style’ alcohol never held any magic or interest for me, I can take it or leave it, and since the cost is mostly tax, and we have dopey ‘Minimum Pricing’ in Scotland now, that means ‘leave it’.

Myth 3 – Watching TV in bed helps you relax

Sorry, but I’ve done this most of my life. That said, TV is so rubbish now compared to the past, I seldom do watch in bed. There’s just nothing there.


Myth 4 – If you’re struggling to sleep, stay in bed

Sorry, but that’s what I do and have always done, although I will read or do something as a diversion. The idea of getting up seems daft to me, simply because when I get up, that’s what I do, and I’d then be too alert to fall asleep.

Myth 5 – Hitting the snooze button

No idea. I don’t need an alarm now, but also couldn’t be bothered with the snooze when I did. Dare I say – who needs a snooze button if they’re not asleep anyway?

Myth 6 – Snoring is always harmless

No idea. I’m usually asleep when I’d be snoring!

So, that’s it.

If all these myths are bad for me, I’m dead already.


17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Objections save interesting building from developer’s demolition plan

During a bit of a wander around the back streets near the Botanic Garden on Great Western Road I chanced across one of my favourite things – a building from the Art Deco days, with a bit of Brutalist styling.

I know anything like this gets right up some people’s noses, but I really do the geometry of such things.

I’m probably a sucker for anything with a Deco period canopy and glass bricks (proper ones, from the early 1900s, that is).

127 Fergus Drive

127 Fergus Drive

I was intrigued to see a pic of the same place just turn up online, in one of my feeds.

The above was (in the eyes of the developer at least) to be replaced by a six-storey block containing 19 flats with 6  two-bedroom flats and 13 three-bedroom flats.

Seems that 127 Fergus Drive has been lying empty and unused (signs say it was ‘Curves’ but there’s no info online, and the web site given is dead).

Apart from a pile of objections from those living nearby…

Nearly 300 letters of objection were lodged over the plan plus a 272-signature petition, also opposed.

The proposal for the site seemed to tick all the boxes for guaranteeing rejection…

Planners gave numerous reasons for refusal including that,because of its “footprint, height, scale, massing and density”, the building would be “overdevelopment” of the site and so would “not respect its historic context but would detract from the special character of the Glasgow West Conservation Area”.

They said it had not been demonstrated that the building is “incapable of viable repair and reuse”.

There would be loss of broadleaf trees which “contribute positively to the landscape character and visual amenity of the Conservation Area”.

Other reasons included lack of amenity space for residents; loss of privacy for a neighbouring house; and cycle storage not being well-designed.

I think I could have prepared a better application with my limited knowledge of what is, and is not, acceptable nowadays.

WEST End Flats Plan Opposed By Hundreds Is Rejected

I certainly couldn’t afford it (or the cost of conversion), but it looks like it would make a nice modern home if converted in a similar way to many small churches. And that would keep the trees and garden in place too, with little exterior alteration.

It doesn’t show any obvious signs of problems from the outside. The only real downside I can see here is, unfortunately, that flat roof.

They really don’t seem to do well in our lovely Scottish climate, and are often the first thing to go when such a building is ‘saved’.

17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Banana Day

17 April 2019 is Banana Day.

But be careful, this is another ‘day’ that wanders around from year to year, as if is said to fall on the third Wednesday of April.

Banana Day is a bit weird, and it seems that every year students at many prestigious American universities use Banana Day as a way of celebrating this humble member of the lunch-box. The day is used as an excuse to eat and share weird and wonderful banana concoctions, dress as bananas, and generally go… bananas!

Banana Cat

Banana Cat

Potential extinction

While not in danger of outright extinction, the most common edible banana cultivar Cavendish (probably the most common and popular in Europe and the Americas) could become unviable for large-scale cultivation in the next 10–20 years. Its predecessor ‘Gros Michel’, discovered in the 1820s, suffered such a fate.

Like almost all bananas, Cavendish lacks genetic diversity, which makes it vulnerable to diseases, threatening both commercial cultivation and small-scale subsistence farming. Some commentators have noted that those variants which could replace what much of the world considers a “typical banana” appear so different that most people would not consider them the same fruit, and blame the decline of the banana on monogenetic cultivation driven by short-term commercial motives.

But the real problem is dependence on a single type, a clone, which means if a disease does hit, it hits the whole crop.

They'll Never Notice

They’ll Never Notice


Received after I made this post, it seems you can have a BA11 ANA registration plate on your car, as this was dropped in my mail box, but with no info.



I tried to check the veracity of this online, but all the vehicle check sites failed to find it.

A year later, 2019, I still couldn’t list it, not even through DVLA online.

However, while checking (in 2018) I found that Registration Transfers had it for sale, and if you have around £10 k to spare, it could be yours.

A year later, 2019, Registration Transfers still had it listed for £9,995.

(The number, NOT the car!)

17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Today is Ford Mustang Day

17 April is Ford Mustang Day.

The Ford Mustang first appeared in April 1964. The World’s Fair was taking place, and the car was Ford’s offering as the car of the future. This introduction of the Mustang also was the introduction of the first Pony Car, referring to a line of small sporty cars with sleek lines and an affordable price-tag.

Mustang sales confirmed that the car was going to become an American favourite, with well over 400,000 sales in its first year of production, an unprecedented success.

The muscle car of the time was the Thunderbird, which every serious sports car fanatic wanted. The Mustang was introduced not with the idea of replacing it, but to put the type within reach of anyone. This seemed to succeed, with more than 500 clubs dedicated to the new car coming into existence within just 3 years of its release.

60 years later more than 9 million have been sold.

Possibly the only downside was that the originals were made for the long straight roads of the US, and the bendy bits were never fun, so British/European drivers were never fans of the handling, even if they did like the looks and engines.

But, that’s all changed in recent years, as the Mustang has been reborn with modern chassis and suspension design (as have all the muscle cars of the original era – but we won’t mention them here).

A few of the locals…

Mustang GT 2015

Mustang GT 2015


Supercharged Mustang GT

Supercharged Mustang GT


2017 Ford Mustang GT Auto [82181 PE]

2017 Ford Mustang GT Auto [82181 PE]

Mustang Ecoboost

Mustang Ecoboost

There’s a truly terrible film remake made in 2000 that stole the title ‘Gone in 60 Seconds’ from the original and best, which starred my personal favourite Mustang body style in the shape of ‘Eleanor’. The original comes from the days when the film, and not some waste-of-skin celebrity actor handed millions just to appear, was still the main focus.

I even saw the original in the cinema! (One of very few I ever went to see).

You can lock your car. But if he wants it…it’s GONE IN 60 SECONDS! Insurance investigator, Maindrian Pace & his team lead double-lives as unstoppable car thieves. When a South American drug lord pays Pace to steal 48 cars for him, all but one, a 1973 Ford Mustang, are in the bag. As Pace prepares to rip-off the fastback, codenamed “Eleanor”, in Long Beach, he is unaware that his boss has tipped off the police after a business dispute. Detectives are waiting and pursue Pace through five cities as he desperately tries to get away.

The Mach 1 remains my favourite style, although I haven’t seen one for real for years.

Someone near me used to have one years ago, and it really nicely tuned V8 rumbling away inside – not unsociably loud, but you always knew when it was coming along the street.

Mustang Mach 1

Mustang Mach 1


Too late for the day itself, but since some unknown fan decided to drop this in my inbox, it seemed a shame not to add it to the end.

Note that it IS actually a GB RHD creation!

Police Mustang

Police Mustang

17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment


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