Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Mackintosh Building S41

Other than the straight reporting occasionally seen in the media, this must be one of the few sensible articles I’ve seen arising from the fires in Glasgow.

There’s no point in dwelling on my point, as I consider the concept to be too well drilled into too many Scottish minds, but the near obsessive to find someone to BLAME before doing anything else is simply not helpful or productive – but I’m sure must bring a nice warm glow to the hearts of those who always want someone’s head to roll. Especially if they get one, or more.

Meanwhile, the grown-up try to do something useful.

Professor Guillermo Rein believes emergency services across the globe should be sending officials to Scotland to learn from the experience of the two Glasgow School of Art fires.

Fire crews who battled two major fires at Glasgow School of Art have the knowledge to prevent blazes such as the Notre-Dame disaster happening again, an expert has claimed.

Imperial College London Professor Guillermo Rein believes emergency services across the globe should be sending officials to Scotland to learn from the experience of the two Glasgow School of Art fires.

The fire science expert told the Sunday Mail blazes in heritage buildings are rare, occurring perhaps once or twice in a firefighter’s career.

But he insisted full “knowledge sharing” should take place when they do happen – and said the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) is a world leader in this area of expertise.

Rein said: “There’s a lot to be learned from the School of Art fires. I hold the Scottish firefighters in very high esteem.

“For any city in the world that has a cathedral or significant heritage building, I would be sending a delegation to Glasgow.

“What they saw and experienced is very valuable. We cannot afford to have many more of these types of fires.

“We know now that those involved in the work which was being carried out at Notre-Dame were surprised that the fire burned so fast.

“But they designed the fire protection in isolation from the rest of the world – they did the opposite of learning from others.

“It turns out their fire protection design was flawed. It shows why it is important to learn from experiences of others and to share knowledge.

“It highlights that the rest of the world needs to know and learn from what the Scottish fire services experienced.”

Rein said that it’s a “concern” how the Glasgow School of Art burned not once, but twice – though it was not the fire service that failed.

Rein added: “They did the best they could – but it means the rest of the world can now learn from them. They will have become world leaders in dealing with fires like this.

“If I was the mayor of Paris, I would be sending officials to Scotland to learn from what they experienced fighting the School of Art fires.”

Rein said firefighters “need to be aggressive with the fire but gentle with the building when fighting such fires”.

He added: “This is when I really admire the firefighters – they manage to protect
the structure while attacking the fire.”

Glasgow Art School firefighters ‘have knowledge to prevent future blazes’ after Notre Dame

Mackintosh Scott Street from Pitt Street

Mackintosh Scott Street from Pitt Street

12/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t see many £3,198 bikes in the east end

It took me a while to track down a bike I spotted in the west end yesterday, and longer to recover after I saw the price!

Probably the most surprising thing was the casual way the owner just left it standing free in Dumbarton Road, not secured to a bike stand, or anything.

Although there was a folding lock around the back wheel and frame, and this make of bike has built-in security, that’s not going to stop the average moronic bike thief from just lifting a free-standing bike left outside a shop, not secured any sort of fixed support.

They’ll steal it first, then bin/strip/scrap it if they can’t ride it, or break anything that locks it.


I grabbed a very quick pic due to the unusual appearance, then, while my back was turned, the owner came out of the shop and released it, and rode away before I could spot the name, or get a decent pic.

Fortunately, I was able to enhance the pic, and get enough of the letters of the name to track it down.

Would you believe VanMoof?

Click on the name to go to the English language version of the maker’s web site.

I’m not going to repeat all the claims and specs, you’ll find them there complete with prices.

I should add it’s an electric bike, not immediately obvious, but betrayed by the front hub (assuming I spotted the correct style).

Currently, £3,198 but with a limited time offer of £800 off for early birds, making it an absolute ‘bargain’ for a mere £2,398 🙂

There is a non-electric version, around a grand or so, depending on options.

No wonder the owner was shopping in a charity shop!

With max discount on my bike, I could have a fleet of TEN for that.

To put the VanMoof (and much more expensive pedal bikes into perspective) consider the price of a new motorbike, and what you’re getting for your money in each case.



Levity aside, interesting to see something different.




12/05/2019 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting proposal for food market at the Clyde tiger mural

Given how busy they were, I was always surprised when all the venues between the South Portland Street suspension bridge and Glasgow Bridge disappeared completely, leaving no trace of their existence, or being replaced with something else.

Not that I visited them, but I do recall them being busy, very busy, especially in good weather.

Now there are plans being submitted for approval…

The licensed market would have capacity for 500 people — 100 seated and 400 standing and would operate every Friday, Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 10pm over the summer. Accompanied children and young people would be permitted until 8pm.

As well as mobile street food trucks, food and drink would be served from two 20-foot, side-opening shipping containers located in the Tiger Mural area of the site. Pine decking would also be installed in the mural area. The containers would be in place from May to September.

The riverfront path would remain open — crowd barriers would be in place around the market.

PLAN For Weekend Street Food Market On Central Glasgow Riverfront

There’s a bit more detail in this article:

Two 20-foot, side-opening shipping containers would be erected there from May – September, alongside dozens of street food trucks.

The market would be licensed and would be positioned in the area which features the tiger mural.

New weekend street food market planned for Glasgow’s riverside

It would be nice to see something bring people back to this general area.

At the moment, it does attract people during the day, but there’s a lot of (young) drinkers there, and they like to smash their empties on the path.

So much so, I often avoid cycling along that part as I don’t like spending my days fixing punctures.

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural


Clyde Walkway Tiger Bay

Clyde Walkway Tiger Bay

Looking at the space available, and the proposal described, I’m wondering if this can work, given the mention of containers, food trucks, and 500 people, PLUS space being left to have the Clyde Walkway left open and unobstructed.

It will be interesting to see if the planners like it, demand changes, or just say no.

One to watch, as the space is there, if it’s used with care.

12/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

First of many murders confirms warm weather has truly arrived

Well, THAT didn’t take long once the Sun REALLY came out.

Walked into the toilet and this dirty beast was taunting me from the window ledge.

Freshly killed fly

Freshly killed fly

Bad idea, as I’ve perfected the art of rapid extermination, and have many tools at my disposal these days, but still just like to batter them to death with a good WHACK!

What really irritates me about this early find is that nearly every door and window has screens, and this one got in so soon.

12/05/2019 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Weatherfolk predict weather change – looks good too

I’ve refrained from commenting on the chilly weather that came back (and stuck) after the little heatwave enjoyed a few weeks ago.

As can be seen from the graph below, it would have been pointless as the temp has stayed about the same since it fell, until yesterday.

Worth noting that even the graph doesn’t convey the whole picture – despite the slight kick up in the recorded temperature, it’s STILL chilly as air is cold, so wind chill hits when the wind blows, even if it’s just a slight breeze.

Also, clouds are thinning, and you can see the nights are NOT warm, yet.

May temperature change

May temperature change

This plot shows the past four days in more detail, with some more data.

May temperature to date

May temperature to date

And the min/max/averages.

Average temperatures to date

Average temperatures to date

It’s still kind of funny as there’s still the brave souls who THINK it’s nice and warm and throw their clothes off (I’ve never seen so many arms that look like plucked chickens wandering around), while folk who have stuck with their colder weather gear are still saying, “Cauld innit?“when they meet in the street 🙂

I really did try to get pics with half-naked folk next to folk in winter woollies in the street, but they never seem to appear together, so no luck.

Probably no chance now, as the warmer weather is likely to stick when it arrives this time.

It’s been a chilly week in Glasgow, with many of us wondering why May got off to a freezing cold start – but that looks set to change very soon, according to the Met Office.

The weather forecast for next week shows temperatures on the rise, hitting highs of 20 degrees by midweek

It’s going to be a sunny but not so warm weekend by the looks of things, with highs of 14C on Sunday. But by Monday, that creeps up to 17C – and by Wednesday we’re looking at clear skies, lots of sunshine and highs of 20C. We’ll take that.

The Met Office prediction for Sunday onwards reads: “A change to warmer and drier conditions for the following few days, plenty of sunshine and mostly dry.”

Weather forecast looks good for Glasgow next week with temperatures set to rise to 20 degrees

All I can add is that it’s been blue skies and sunshine since around 5/6 am this morning.

12/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Carnegie Community Gallery cleared of Dippy story too

Sadly, as noted in a previous post, Kelvingrove’s ‘Community Gallery’ space had the back story to Andrew Carnegie’s reason for creating the Dippy dinosaur skeleton casts – as a means of making contact with world leaders of the day, as part of a world peace initiative.

I (somehow) remembered to go take a look at this space.

Not too surprising – it had been cleared of most of the display, and was being prepared for reorganization.

A bit of a pity in some ways, as much of the material consisted of print, pics, and video. That could have been copied/retained.

The objects on display were relevant, but not really essential for telling the story of Carnegie’s peace initiative, and the part played by the dinosaur skeleton casts.

I think it was also a shame that this informative display was so remote from the skeleton cast, rather than being located adjacent, where the connection/reason could have been more immediately apparent.

I’m pretty sure most visitors will have missed it.

And, given the size of this display space, I doubt if many, or any, of the school parties that made the trip to see Dippy saw it.

But they did usually swarm beneath the skeleton for the all essential group pic of their day out.

Carnegie Dippy Community Gallery

Carnegie Dippy Community Gallery


12/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, military, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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