Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Apparently little known sculpture on Dumbarton Road

I can usually find reference to sculptures online once I know where they are, but this one has me beat so far.

I’d seen it from a distance, but manage to take a quick pic as I passed it yesterday.

I didn’t have time to go for a closer look, so don’t know if there’s a plaque nearby – pity I didn’t.

Although I now know it’s on the corner of Dumbarton Road and Bulldale Street, that hasn’t helped me track down its story.

It’s not even a very good pic, so I really should have stopped and taken the time to cross the road.

Dumbarton Road Bulldale Street Sculpture

Dumbarton Road Bulldale Street Sculpture

So, a bit of mystery for me, until I get back there again on foot and can wander about to see if there’s any info nearby.

Unless, you know better.

The detail shows some little stylised ships, so it relates to the river, just behind the houses.

Unfortunately, the angle of the pic was wrong to show the creatures inside the loop – I’m guessing maybe hedgehogs (so, I’m biased by Sonic, better than rats off the ships!), but that is just a guess, with no logic or reason.

Dumbarton Road Bulldale Street sculpture detail

Dumbarton Road Bulldale Street sculpture detail

29/04/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Heatwave memories

I’m always intrigued at the way the weather can make step changes between conditions, as opposed to just changing slowly over time.

The four day heatwave we enjoyed over the Easter weekend just appeared, and disappeared, as temperatures jumped from 14/16°C to 23/24°C then went right back down to the lower values again – and has stayed there.

Yesterday was a bit odd for me as I found I couldn’t tell if it was warmer or colder – I seemed to be running a slight temperature due to an infection that turned a bit nasty, and was ‘hot’ regardless of the surroundings.

But I noted nobody was wandering around what I’ve come to refer to as ‘T-shirt and shorts’, the woolly hats, gloves and winter jacket had reappeared, except in this case, as somebody walked into my shot as I took pics from the bottom of Byres Road. It’s due to be modified (if complainers stop complaining) to make it friendlier for pedestrians and cyclists, but all the media takes a pic at the top end, not the bottom.

That didn’t go too well, and will need a revisit on another Sunday.

You can see the back end of a white van in that pic – and there seemed to be glut of white vans with extended high roofs parked in Byres Road. They’re really tall, and it doesn’t take many of them to block most of the view along a road.

I couldn’t really feel the temperature, but even at that, I could feel it was at sleeveless level.

Byres Road was not that warm

Byres Road was not that warm

When I got home, I thought I’d take a look at the actual numbers since I’d been unable to tell what sort of a day it had been.

First, I had a look at the actual temperature, from just before the heatwave, up to the current day, which showed things hadn’t really changed and were still at the lower figure.

Easter heatwave

Easter heatwave

Next, the daily averages. This almost shows a rise, but in reality that’s as much due to slightly increased night temperatures as much as it is to any daytime increase, and things aren’t really changing much at the moment. But, it is noticeably better than before Easter.

Averages to date

Averages to date

Not worth a graph, the more sluggish internal temperature is almost flat now, between 13-14°C.


29/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

Finally, Fossil Grove’s official opening times make an appearance

As noted earlier, I had been dropping in on Fossil Grove in Victoria Park in hope of finding out when it would be opening in 2019.

However, even when the painters and joiners were in getting the place ready – there was still no notification of the opening dates.

I gave up after having an early ‘unofficial’ visit.

Since I needed a bit of a walk, when I came out of the Kelvin Hall today, I decided to have a wander along Dumbarton Road and see how far I got before I got fed up and headed for home – that happened around the Yoker ferry.

On the way, I diverted onto Victoria Park Drive, and that meant ending up at Fossil Grove even though I knew it would be closed as evening had arrived.

However, it did mean getting to see the noticeboard, and finding that the opening times had FINALLY been posted.

As usual, just a few hours at weekends:

20 April – 20 October 2019


12 – 4 PM

Victoria Park Fossil Grove opening times 2019

Victoria Park Fossil Grove opening times 2019

Fossil Grove’s own web site still doesn’t have opening times, but does have some events listed:

Opening during Easter holidays – check back here for details

Saturday 11th May 2019. 12-4. Geoweek event. Guided tours of the Fossil Grove and quarry by experienced local geologist. No booking required. FREE.

Saturday 1st June 2019. Fern planting in the Quarry with the British Pteridological Society

Doors Open Festival – Sat 14th September 2019. 12-4 FREE

Humidity and Temperature Monitoring

For those with an interest in the environmental conditions inside the Fossil Grove building, I see the web site has gained a page giving the readings (via graphs) of temperature and humidity since the start of December 2018.

Should I note it seems pretty close to my house since I stopped ‘burning’ my hard-earned?

Humidity and Temperature Monitoring

There are quite a few new pages, including time-lapse video cameras (but there seems to be no video when clicked, yet?).

The stills on the page show the pooling I caught in the pics I took the week before it closed for winter.

Time Lapse Cameras

Even more new pages

In fact, Fossil Grove’s web site has a number of new pages and features in 2019, more than I can list, so you really should visit (both the web site and the Grove).

Although I gave up on geocaching long ago (when it became far too popular), Fossil Grove now has TWO recent earthcaches.

Two earthcaches have been set in the Fossil Grove – one in the quarry area (accessible at all times) and one in the building (accessible when open).

Quarry earthcache

Fossil grove earthcache (inside building)

It’s great to see activity there, which will perhaps see improved prospects for…

The Future of the Fossil Grove

Fossil Grove 2019 preparation

Fossil Grove 2019 preparation

29/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

There’s still a Yoker/Renfrew ferry

I keep thinking the ferry between Yoker and Renfrew came to an end years ago, but it does actually still run today.

It’s usually referred to as the Renfrew Ferry, but since I was at the Yoker terminal, it seems only fair to mention it.

I think I saw some news stories about the ending of the subsidy on the loss-making route back in 2010 and, since I’m nowhere near it, didn’t catch the follow-up story until much later, when it was taken over by a private company, and had been operating that way ever since.

Maybe now that I have actually SEEN the ferry in operation, I will not forget it’s still there and it’s still running.

I came across it while wandering along Dumbarton Road, and spotted a side street with the name ‘Yoker Ferry Road’, which meant I had to go down it.

Sure enough, there was a tiny wee ferry out in the middle of the River Clyde.

Click for bigger.

Yoker Renfrew Ferry

Yoker Renfrew Ferry on the River Clyde

Damned mobile phones, even in the middle of the river!

It’s a wonder the zombies didn’t fall overboard.

Renfrew Ferry phone zombies

Renfrew Ferry phone zombies

There are two ferry vessels, and this closer look at the arrival of the one seen above gives a chance to see the other out of the water.

They look like aluminium craft, and they are, so must be pretty light and easy to lift. The shape also means they’re easy to land.

Conventional hulls usually need to be slung (and then propped on land), and I’ve seen that procedure doesn’t always go well, if the vessel is not perfectly balanced, and begins to rotate along its length – there’s no stopping it once it starts.

Renfrew ferries

Renfrew ferries


The Renfrew Ferry has a Twitter account, keeping travellers up to date with disruptions – and some interesting pics too 🙂

Renfrew Ferry Twitter account

There is a normal web site, with timetable details.

BUT… under ‘Fares & Prices’ (I was curious) there’s – nothing! Well, just a note that Zone Cards are accepted.

Travel Information Renfrew – Yoker

29/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Another ‘bus stop’ collision

Looks like another incident just at my bus stop, this time a Vauxhall with crinkly corners.

I thought it might just have been somebody that was driving the car like this at first, but when I had a quick, closer look, could see that there were bits of it lying on the ground.

This was the last one

This one has similar damage, front and rear offside corners.

Is this a pattern of some new game being played at this junction?

I can’t see an immediate reason, not have I seen any near misses here that match these offside corner impacts.

Also funny that there’s only been one car left, not two, or even more (if it had been the meat between one in front, and one behind).

There are two T-junctions here, with an island that makes a wide road into single lanes each way, a change made years ago to make them safer as cars would cut past on the inside.

With no passing space, I’d expect to see cars emerging from the side roads being T-boned by cars on the main road.

Alternatively, cars shunted front and rear as they are in single file – they simply don’t sit on the road here with just their corners as the only parts that would be involved in a collision.

So far, I haven’t seen any incidents (while waiting for the bus) that look as if they would produce this pattern of damage.

Quite different when I met a moron here, and they just piled into the back of me (too busy looking at their passenger, instead of through the windscreen at the road ahead – I know, I saw them in the rear view mirror).

2011 Vauxhal Corsa [SH11 GVR]

2011 Vauxhal Corsa [SH11 GVR]

I’m really going to have to spend more time watching what goes on here, and try to spot the corner crushing scenario.

29/04/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment


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