Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

17-storey building on Clyde Street nears completion

I recently expressed personal concern regarding an application for permission to build an 18-storey building near the Clyde.

The development of 324 flats would sit at the corner of Kingston Street and Commerce Street, in the south east corner of the Tradeston site.

Documents submitted by architects Stallan-Brand state the building, with two 18-floor towers, “will play a key role in Glasgow’s skyline, in particular when entering the city from the south”.

AIMING High With Major Build-To-Rent Towers At Buchanan Wharf

It might just be me, but I’m not impressed by arrival of such tall structures, especially along the river, where they give a few lucky people a nice view – but cut off the view for everyone else.

Worse still if they also result in access to the river being denied if the owner decides to fence ‘their’ section off and prevent public access.

You can actually find one such spot on the south bank of the River Clyde in the section between the Tradeston footbridge and the Kingston Bridge.

Walking, or cycling, along the footpath find the way barred by a fence placed across the path at the flats there.

In fact, once you return to the path and make your way along the riverbank past the Springfield Quay shopping centre, when you arrive at the Pacific Quay apartments, your way is barred again, and you have to head onto the streets once again, in order to continue.

I haven’t checked, and I haven’t noticed any challenges, but a little voice at the back of my head is suggesting that this closure of public access to the few metres of land constituting the riverbank is not legal, and right of way along that band of land cannot be denied. I’m almost sure I read of homeowners somewhere towards Hamilton and Motherwell who had fenced of the riverbank at the bottom of their gardens, and denying walkers access to walk along the riverbank, were challenged in court. I think they get told to remover the fences, but just put them back after a while, and the whole stupid thing repeats.


Irritating as that is, that’s not really my concern here.

I’m just disappointed if the city fathers’ original concept of tenement size buildings no more than 4 or 5-storeys high is to be forgotten, and once 17 and 18-storey building are permitted, it’s not hard to see that no developer is going to resist the option of increasing their profits by increasing the number of storeys, and this number is slowly pushed higher and higher.

I don’t have any problems with developments, but worry that they may not be appropriate, or jammed into the wrong place.

Note how this one started as one type of development, and was then changed to something different:

AN operator has been confirmed for a new 290-room multi-storey hotel beside the Clyde in Glasgow.

The 17-storey structure on Clyde Street, which is substantially complete, is to become the first Tribe hotel in Europe.

Tribe is a new brand launched by Accor Hotel Group. The Glasgow location is to be a “vibrant lifestyle hotel with a bar, restaurant and co-working space.”

The hotel, which will also include part of neighbouring premises at Riverside House, 260 Clyde Street, is due to open in the autumn.

A gym, cafe and meeting rooms for the hotel will be provided at ground floor and mezzanine level in Riverside House with internal openings being created between the two buildings.

The new building was originally intended to be student accommodation but planning permission for use as a hotel was sought instead in response to a change in the market.

SEVENTEEN-Storey Glasgow Riverfront Hotel Will Be First In Europe For New Brand

18-storey Clyde riverbank hotel

18-storey Clyde riverbank hotel

I almost caught this place recently. Refurb underway adjacent, and structure being assembled on right.

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural

Clyde Walkway Second Tiger Mural

Incidentally, have you noticed how many building in Glasgow have become hotels, or were new buildings?

I just happened to start looking at the signs on building as I passed them, and was gobsmacked at the number which turned out to be hotels when I looked closer at the signs.

I wonder if anyone has counted them all, and compared the number to past years?

Or if there is perhaps a summary of the number of hotel rooms Glasgow has to offer?

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Not all Glasgow media tales are negative (but the moronic comments probably are)

I admit to being generally irritated by the glee with which the media tend to rush out articles which feature any negative aspects of Glasgow, and am fed up reading articles featuring poverty, poor health, sickness, mortality, crime, violence etc as if these were the only newsworthy subjects.

I’m also reasonably sure that Glasgow suffers as a result, as readers equate the frequency of such stories with the volume of such things in Glasgow.

It’s rather like the tale of “thousands” of birds being killed in strikes with wind turbine, used by loony campaigners to seek the end of wind turbines, when the reality is that it’s just the same one or two videos being played thousands of times on YouTube.

But, why let an inconvenient fact or two waste a good fantasy?

I spotted a couple of articles referring to:

Glasgow drives huge fall in serious violent crime across Scotland

Glasgow drives huge drop in violent crime across Scotland

While the basis for the finding is grounded in the number of crimes recorded, it was notable that the moron comment section open after one of those articles featured rather a lot of negative responses to the findings.

It’s unfortunate that the media (and probably social media, which I don’t pay any attention to) can distort public opinion by publishing numerous articles featuring one aspect, while neglecting others.

I can’t really fault them, I did it myself for a short period just to emphasise the effect (see my short run of posts on ‘violent crime’ which ran just a few months ago, prompted by the way the media was featuring such items at the top of its daily reports). I almost wish I hadn’t now. Taken out of context, or at apparent face value, it could be used to reinforce the biased view, which was not the intent

However, I can fault those who take the simplistic view that the number of such stories reflects the number of such events.

That you can only gain an insight into by looking at ALL the figures.

Sadly, the comments in the moron comment section referred to show that few have the desire or ability to do that, and just rely on what they are spoon-fed by the media, be that traditional media, or social media.

Violent crimes

Violent crimes

Maybe I should just put it in my more cynical way…

Nobody likes good news.

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

There’s a surprise (said nobody) as The Buteman ceases publication

The Buteman, founded in 1854, will publish its final edition on 21 June 2019.

The opening para of the article probably says enough:

A weekly newspaper that has been serving an island community for 165 years is to close after a fall in readership.

The Buteman will publish its final edition later this month after its circulation dropped to below 550.

Owners JPI Media confirmed the closure of the paper but did not make any further comment.

It is understood the decision will be explained to readers in next week’s edition.

No jobs will be lost as a result of The Buteman’s closure.

Its sole reporter and its editor are both based in Edinburgh where they work for other titles in the group.

The weekly, which was first published in December 1854, had recently launched a plea for readers to help fill its pages with “local stories”.

The Buteman weekly newspaper to close after 165 years

I’m not sure when the paper was taken over, but the most notable point to me (as a mere visitor to Bute) was the closure of the local office, confirmed in the line “Its sole reporter and its editor are both based in Edinburgh where they work for other titles in the group.”

It was probably hard enough keeping the paper going when it was owned and run locally.

Taking it out of context and turning into a part-time job was probably the death stroke.

I have to confess to always being on the ferry home when I remembered I’d forgotten to buy a copy while I was on the island – except on one rare occasion. That copy will be a collector’s gem now, and is quite old, so will have just jumped up in value!

I used to read the online version.

Until it was taken over by JPI, after which it completely lost its identity.

Previously, I could find local stories and archived material on the original Buteman web site.

Once it had been taken over that site was purged and the information lost, and The Buteman just became a clone of all the other titles in the group.

It didn’t even retain a unique identity.

A few headline stories from Bute would head the list of articles, then they just ran on into stories from the rest of the UK with no apparent differentiation.

I just gave up and stopped even looking.

I was slightly amazed that it ultimately lasted as long as it did after the takeover.

If the new owners had dumped it after a few months, I would not have been even a little surprised.

Intriguing to see the BBC and STV don’t quite agree on how long The Buteman was published – 1854 to to 2019 is (I’ll let you do that one).

The Buteman newspaper to shut down after 164 years

Wonder if anyone got this job advertised back in 2017?

Buteman reporter wanted 2017

Buteman reporter wanted 2017

I wonder if it would still be going to be around had it not been part of the earlier takeovers?

Could it have been kept going if it had stayed small and local?

I always worry when little businesses become part of bigger businesses (as opposed to growing naturally, or accepting that their size is their size, and just getting on with what they have).

05/06/2019 Posted by | Lost | | 1 Comment

Is Glasgow being mugged by ANOTHER sporting event?

I’m currently not in the best of moods, having noted that ONCE AGAIN Glasgow’s (city centre) streets are to be closed for a sporting event.

I’m not supposed to complain though, as it’s for a ‘Good Cause’ – “The annual Men’s 10k will arrive on June 16 and thousands of athletes from across the country are expected to get set and go.”

Great – if it’s so good, why not hold it on quiet road just outside the city, through some of Glasgow really BIG parks?

Instead, those of us not interested now seem to be expected to put up with this regular road closure disruption, and not say a thing.


I was really wondering about this advance publicity I spotted recently:

EUFA EURO 2020 Alert

EUFA EURO 2020 Alert

I don’t know anything about this, am not interested in it so won’t be wasting any of my time researching it, but wonder if it follows a similar swindle to the other large sporting events which cities are supposedly ‘honoured’ by being granted the privilege of hosting.

The event organisers (such as those being the Commonwealth Games and the Olympics) don’t have to raise a penny for them – the cities that host them have to cough up the money to run them, provide thousands of unpaid volunteers, and fund the building of new event spaces and stadiums.


No wonder Glasgow’s attractions, such as Tollcross Park’s sad winter garden, and now the People’s Palace winter garden are lying in ruins – when the council has to drop over £300 million on the Commonwealth Games, and recently settled an equal pay dispute (created by its predecessor) for £500 million. That’s just two obvious drains, if I actually looked, I could probably raise that to a loss of £1 billion that could have been better spent.

I always liken this sort of thing to the coercion, or just straight blackmail, of those involved in sales, marketing, and advertising.

When you turn them (and their fees down), they look at you through the narrow slits of their beady little eyes and say something like “If you don’t do this, we’ll take our service to your competitors, and make them a better offer. Can you afford to let that happen?

I’d say host cities are given a similar ultimatum by those event organisers, and told they’ll lose the money that visitors to their event will (supposedly) spend.


There was an interesting article that could be viewed in a sort of ‘Compare & Contrast’ way, as Edinburgh resident (or at least some of the mouthy ones) see, to be rebelling against the very thing that is keeping that city solvent.

And they’re certainly (apparently) more hostile to their tourists and events than Glaswegians seem to be their similar benefactors.

I don’t think I could easily lay hands on any published material where any  Glasgwegians (other than me of course) have made any negative comments about the disruption events cause.

Oh, that’s no longer true!

I just spotted this about Zippo’s Circus in Victoria Park:

They will put on two performances a day for the six day period.

Representations were received by Whiteinch Community Council and Jordanhill Community Council, with issues included the use of generators on the site.

“We welcome the coming of the circus, we just want to ask for conditions to mitigate the negative impact on surrounding houses,” a representative from Whiteinch Community Council said.

She requested noise was kept to an adequate level, parking restrictions were put in place and the use of generators and diesel vehicles were kept to a minimum.

Glasgow council grants circus licence despite worries over ‘intolerable’ noise

I don’t know how loud Zippo’s was, but I doubt it reached the levels of ‘Big Top’ shows taking place during the Fringe.

However, this reaction may be telegraphing Glasgow’s future reaction to tourists and events, IF it can stomach copying Edinburgh!

Edinburgh is at risk of being seen as ‘anti-tourist’ in the wake of campaigners raising concerns about the impact of festivals and events on the city, the chief executive of the Fringe Society has warned.

Shona McCarthy hit back at critics of what is claimed to be a growing “festivalisation” and “exploitation” of the city centre for major events, describing some of the criticisms that had been raised as “a bit weird”.

She insisted the Fringe should not be held responsible for the management of tourism numbers in the city centre, but warned the city’s welcoming reputation was “seriously in danger” due to an ongoing debate about the impact of the industry.

Edinburgh is in danger of becoming an ‘anti-tourist’ city, Fringe chief warns


Noisy performer

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Today is Running Day

05 June is Running Day, actually seems to be Global Running Day, just to make it a bit bigger.

Apparently there is a ‘Running Month’ as well (seems to have been May, so probably too late to start now).

But the month is probably a good idea, since just running for ONE day isn’t likely to do anyone any good.

Jogging and sprinting are both considered forms of running, but are distinctly different from a standard ‘run’.

(Good luck finding a workable, agreed, distinction between them though).

Seems humans couldn’t always run. Along long time ago, when Australopithecus (our first upright ancestor) was evolving, we gained the ability to have a long striding run. That was around 4.5 million years ago. It was vital to our existence as a species as we had to engage in what is known as ‘persistence hunting’, where catching our prey often involved days of hunting to track and wear it down to the point where it could no longer flee, and collapsed from pure exhaustion.

I gave up running years ago – we took on new premises for our work, vastly larger than we needed, and mostly empty, so (for some inexplicable reason) I decided to have a go running around it one evening.

Supposedly ‘young, fit, healthy’ me was just about crippled for most of the following week! I could barely walk the next day.

Seriously, how far (and how fast for that matter) can you run round a factory unit – that really put me off the idea.

I walk (a lot) now (I don’t notice 15-20 miles in a day), but decided this was too relaxed, and decided to start running  couple of years ago.

Supposedly ‘old, decrepit, sedentary’ me started small, but found that running (it must be running since I pace at 6 mph and I spotted a note about 6 kph or less being jogging) 3 miles or about 5 km isn’t even noticeable, or even hurt the first time I went out and tried it. I could go further, but by then, always get bored – my local streets are kind of… uninteresting. And my local parks too small – running round them is only 800 m or so.

(I should maybe add that there’s probably at least 1,500 miles of cycling in there too.)

Weird, after that first indoor stint almost had me take the day of work thanks to the after effects.

There can be only ONE image to use on this day.

Running Sonic

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment

Today is Sausage Roll Day

05 June is Sausage Roll Day.

And, I don’t mean ‘Pigs in Blankets’ or any other recent innovation or re-invention of the original, and that includes any claims that America invented this savoury treat some time back around 2015.

We’ve had them in Scotland since the dawn of time.

Sausage rolls are much as the name suggests, a spiced mixture of sausage, preferably home-made, wrapped in an all-butter puff pastry and baked until delicious.

I’m told this can be enjoyed hot or cold.

If you are some sort of masochist who enjoys chewing on a mouthful of cold grease/fat, then by all means have yours cold.

I never understood the attraction of a cold sausage roll (or pie) from the first one I was handed and kid, and still don’t.

I’ll stay with HOT, preferably with some variant of brown sauce added.

I wasn’t sure of the best pic to use for a sausage roll. Some look horrible, with pastry that appears to made by someone who had no idea what they were doing, other have burst open while baking, and then there are the ‘arty’ ones, where some clown in a photo studio has added so many ‘enhancement’ to make the thing look enticing, it actually looks disgusting. But all (apart from the photo-shoot abortions) are usually delicious. After all, it’s not what they look like that matters.

So, this one is typical of my local supermarket’s in-store bakery, which actually makes delicious sausage rolls and pies (seriously, I had given up eating any sort of pie until I tried theirs, as it seemed the local shops had simply taken to sweeping up everything that fell on the floor, throwing some pastry around it, baking it, and selling it).

Sausage Roll

Sausage Roll

05/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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