Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens S04

While there seems to be nothing more than a lot of irritating whining coming from the corner where the people who claim to care about the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens live, I note that one of Glasgow media sources has put together a short, and VERY interesting, summary of the site’s history, looking in particular into the uses to which the glasshouse has been put over the years.

It tells how the building came to be located on Glasgow Green, an area of land gifted to the people of Glasgow by the city’s bishop in 1450, and the only real public leisure space available in the east of the city. This was something previously on seen in the city’s more affluent west end, not its industrial east.

It’s well worth taking the time to read through, rather than just skim over.

While some campaigners are calling for the Winter Gardens to reopen as a botanic gardens again, some have pointed to the venue’s varied history as evidence that change could be an option too.

When it was originally constructed, the People Palace and Winter Gardens were a museum and meeting space for people in the east of Glasgow, with concerts performed as well as a library installed.

The idea of creating a museum for the people of Glasgow’s east end had first been floated in 1866, though official plans did not materialise until 1889. Glasgow’s City Engineer, Alexander Beith McDonald, designed the building in red sandstone, with a curved roof of steel and glass supported by iron columns for the Winter Gardens.

Work finally began on the £32,000 structure in 1894 and the building was opened in 1898 to host 770,807 visitors in its first year alone. It originally provided an exhibition area to display art, a natural history collection and displays on the city’s industry.

Interestingly as well, the Winter Gardens was the site of regular music performances, which filled the huge glass auditorium. One photo provided by Glasgow City Council shows a concert performance by the Orpheus Choir in 1910, with hundreds of people squeezed inside the venue.

At the opening of the Palace and Gardens in 1889, its commissioned (sic) Lord Rosebery spoke to a crowd of 3,500 people. He declared the venue open, saying it was “open to the people for ever and ever”, before calling the location a “palace of imagination”.

The purpose of the building was for the enrichment of the east end, offering libraries and other resources to allow education and development opportunities.

However, the vast glass structure of the Winter Gardens could not last forever without maintenance, meaning that the Gardens were closed for almost two years around 1998 to allow restoration work to take place. Renovations at the time took place particularly at the rear of the building around the Winter Gardens. The grand reopening of the structure was scheduled to take place in time for the 100th anniversary of its original construction.

My memory is bad enough at the best of times, and I didn’t even know about this closure and renovation until very recently. To use a common expression, my world fell apart around that time, and I lost touch with things such as the People’s Palace for some years following.

The reason I became aware of the renovations (there is no reference to the work anywhere in the building, although I have been told there is a plaque or marker somewhere inside the entrance, referring to the 1998 work, but I have yet to trip over it) was after noticing that the window which can be seen illuminated in the pic below (at the rear of the top storey of the sandstone building, where it meets the glasshouse roof) is absent from early photographs.

See this post for some clues: People’s Palace Viewing Gallery – Part 3… a question is raised

I haven’t made the trip referred to (to the paper archives), so have no more info. Maybe one day.

However, while the reference given is to renovations carried out in 1998, I have aerial pics dating from the year of the Glasgow Garden Festival, and these show work being carried out to the building, and that was some ten years earlier, in 1988, not 1998, and that window, and its partner, can be seen in those images, together with wooden shuttering on the glasshouse entrances.

The window provides a viewpoint over Glasgow Green, and matches a similar structure added to the other side of the roof, housing the running gear for the Palace’s lift, which is actually the reason for the additions – necessary to accommodate the lift shaft, and lift gear room over it. Unfortunately, while many lifts have date/info plaques installed to show when they were commissioned, the car in the People’s Palace has no such information displayed (I know, I looked).

Of course, no Glasgow building is complete without a fire lurking somewhere in its past, and the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens are no exception.

Of course, as previously noted, I have no knowledge of events at the time, regardless of how significant they were.

In January 1998, though, disaster struck the Winter Gardens, as 40 firefighters tackled a fire at the museum. Five separate fire engines were called to the Glasgow Green scene, with the fire at least 30 metres by 20 in the single-story glass conservatory.

The history of the Glasgow People’s Palace and Winter Gardens – from concerts to closures

See also this article from 2016 (from the same source):

Everything you need to know about the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens

21/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Clutha inquiry S06

Back in the news, this time with the thoughts of a psychologist, and mildly alarming too, in a way.

But it also shows why I often suggest not making assumptions on court cases based only on snippets the media choose to report – ALL the material considered needs to be known before a conclusion, or even a valid opinion can be formed, not just a few tasty highlights extracted to attract readers.

The pilot of the helicopter which crashed into the Clutha bar probably “violated procedures”, an expert has told an inquiry.

Prof Polly Dalton, a psychologist at Royal Holloway University of London, was commissioned to compile a report for the Fatal Accident Inquiry.

She discussed a number of options to explain pilot David Traill’s behaviour.

The FAI was previously told the captain didn’t follow the standard emergency procedures that night.

Giving evidence as the final witness to the Clutha Fatal Accident Inquiry, Prof Dalton said “the pilots failure to land the aircraft within the 10 minute time limit would appear to constitute a deliberate violation of safe practice”.

She also said it could have been a deliberate sabotage.

But she ruled those out and concluded that it was “most likely the pilot violated the standard operating procedures because he mistakenly believed that they were not appropriate to that particular situation”.

Clutha Inquiry: ‘Mistaken’ pilot ‘violated procedures’


The Clutha Bar 2019

The Clutha Bar 2019

21/07/2019 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, Transport | , | Leave a comment

So… Now we know the REAL reason nobody will admit the truth about Roswell


Would YOU admit to being the person responsible for a successful alien invasion and takeover of the Earth?

Roswell Reality

Roswell Reality

21/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

I hope these ‘Pop-up Electric Charge’ people realise Dundee is in SCOTLAND!

I saw this a few days ago, but couldn’t get it out of my head without a mention.

Dundee is to be one of two places in the UK to trial “pop-up” electric car chargers.

The chargers, designed to help drivers without access to off-street parking, will be built into the pavement.

Each hub will have three to six chargers and can be pushed back into the pavement when not in use.

The new technology is part of a £3m UK government-funded scheme and they could be installed in Dundee and Plymouth within a year.

Dundee to trial pop-up electric car chargers

I’ve never thought to stop and take pics, but can say that I’ve lost count of the number of my neighbours, and nearby developers of flats, who have installed powered gates and doors over the years, and have had them fail once they have been installed for a while, are not maintained regularly, and hit their first Scottish winter, be that a wet one, or a freezing one.

I’ve also seen such installation fail due to be installed on a busy road, where the road dirt and mud is constantly being splashed up and spread on those toys.

I won’t even bother suggesting that any installed in a seaside or shore location area (like Dundee perhaps) will have a corrosive salt atmosphere to contend with as well.

If these electrical chargers are going to descend into the pavement, then they’re going to HAVE to provided with reliable drainage.

The will have at least 240 V mains on them, and a decent fast-charger should be 3-phase, so that means around 400 V.

They’ll presumably need heating as will, since we have been known to have ground frost, ice, and snow lying on our pavements too – not to mention any rain freezing down  there too, during cold and frosty nights.


They will have thought of all that when designing their pop-up chargers.

Won’t they?

This may be extreme, but if you’ve ever had your doors frozen shut by frost after rain, you’ll appreciate how little it takes to freeze hardware solid.

Frozen cars and ice

Frozen cars and ice

21/07/2019 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove apparently now has NO power issues

It doesn’t seem to matter if it’s weather, or pics.

As soon as I decide to do something – everything changes.

Weatherwise, after it was dry all day yesterday, I almost jumped on the bike to go to Kelvingrove today, but fortunately had stuff to pick up later, in Glasgow. Of course it was dry until 1:30 pm, and eventually poured when I would have been on the road.

And there was the case of the vandalised Blockade Runners’Memorial, cleaned up and restored just before I could get there.


Having got around to posting about the whispering giant generator plugged into Kelvingrove…

Of course, it HAD to be gone the next day!

Go on – play spot the difference with my pics.

Today (just before the rain arrived):

Kelvingrove - No extras

Kelvingrove – No extras

And, just for fun, the pic from yesterday’s post:

Kelvingrove with extras

Kelvingrove with extras

21/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | | Leave a comment

Today is Ice Cream Day

21 July is Ice Cream Day.

Be careful, it’s yet anothering of those wandering days, set not on an actual day, but following a rule, which is ‘Third Sunday in July’.

Have some ice cream today.

I like simple.

Ice cream (vanilla), dish, spoon.


Really, nothing else is needed.

Simple Ice Cream

Simple Ice Cream

21/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | | Leave a comment


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