Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Nameserver nuisance

I’m now counting to 10 very sloooowly.

The main site style sheet isn’t being applied as it comes from a server that the new nameserver has yet to propagate from, and I don’t know if the change has failed to take, or is just taking its time to register, so daren’t change it in case I make things worse.

I’m leaving it alone until Saturday now, to give it time – if it hasn’t corrected itself, then I know I can jump in and change it.

One day, I’ll do one of these things and drop dead from shock when it all goes right first time.

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Oct 20, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Leave a comment

Server moved

At last, it’s gone through, so you should be back in now.

The only good news is that it seems it wasn’t really me. Although I did mis-read one of the setup hints and set the wrong DNS (which I spotted and fixed early on), the real problem was that because it was a move (rather than a fresh setup) there’s a bug in the controlling cPanel software, meaning that part of the setup was invisible to me, so I couldn’t see the actual problem. It only came to light when I passed the error messages to the host, who recognised the problem from past experiences with it, and was able to sort it for me from his end.

Enjoy.

Oct 20, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Leave a comment

Server move

There will be some downtime on the site, as the host is moving servers.

This may lead to its disappearance for anything up to 48 hours as the new addresses propagate the DNS servers (but is should be a lot less in reality).

Unfortunately, there will be a further short delay, as I have to re-configure the domain control and re-direction used to manage the site, so there’s an additional delay. While this is quite simple, I do it so seldom I’m always out of practice when it comes time to do it again, and it may be a day or so before I get round to it.

Oct 19, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Leave a comment

MoD transmitter, Toward Point

Thanks to a contribution, we have identified a transmitter building located near the Toward point lighthouse, south of Dunoon.

Probably associated with the former Holy Loch submarine base, the building would seem to have been built in the 1960s, and fitted with 2 antenna masts, reported to have been removed in the 1990s, although the 2 storey building and its substation remain in 2006.

On the To Do list, to gather at least a GPS fix, it’s an old haunt that merits a re-visit, and a reminder to remain alert, as I’ve been in that area a number of times, and neither noticed not recall the building, although the reason for being there would have diverted my attention (and I was too busy looking at the lighthouse buildings).

As always, any info that may be offered regarding the building or its use would be gratefully received.

Oct 16, 2006 Posted by | Cold War, Site News | 4 Comments

Inchindown fuel depot

Copyright Mike Ross / http://www.corestore.orgA 4 mile pipeline, complete with electrical heating along its length, hundreds of yards of underground tunnels, and 6 tanks with capacities of up to 5.6 million gallons – each!

The pipeline had to be heated, since the fuel oil it carried, known as ‘furnace fuel oil’, was only one step away from raw crude oil and more like tar than oil. In the cold of Scotland, it would just have sat in the pipes and never moved had it been allowed to get cold. Even at room temperature, it was in no hurry to go anywhere.

Part of a little known World War II anti-blockade plan, we now have a page on the Inchindown Fuel Depot, in the north east of Scotland.

The depot, and a number of related features, can still be found, and we have details of the these, and links to related sites, information and pics.

In 2014, it became the site of a World record echo heard in Inchindown fuel depot tank

Oct 14, 2006 Posted by | military, Naval, Site News, World War II | , , , | Leave a comment

Swiss Bunkers and Polar Inertia

I recommend you take a swing over to the site of the Polar Inertia Journal.

While the main reason for doing this may be to take a look at the stunning Swiss Bunkers built there during the Cold War, this site features a number of photo shoots that cover similar and related items around the world, and probably does justify the use of the term Visually Stunning in many cases.

Apart from the impressive Swiss Bunkers, with their unique and effective camouflage, there are items on air-raid sirens (that won’t feature here, since all ours were removed with some haste when Civil Defence became a dirty word (words?) when the system was dismantled along with our other Cold War resources in the 1990s), a Titan missile base, and a series of post communist industrial photographs, taken in eastern Europe and the former USSR, and provided with an interesting introductory commentary as a warning about trying to obtain similar images.

There’s lots more I’d like to list, but I’d end up listing most of the entries if I started, the imagery is just so rich in content (and those Swiss Bunkers put our attempts to shame).

There are many articles related to lost or forgotten periods or items from the past, or that would just be too difficult or expensive to try and visit, and the Polar Inertia Journal provides an easy way to access them (although I do think Google/Microsoft might not be too happy about the unacknowledged aerial imagery of a number of bomb sites and testing ranges that appear there. It looks awfully much like shots I’ve trawled up on their mapping sites… shhhhh).

Oct 2, 2006 Posted by | Cold War, Site News | Leave a comment

We were a secret!

It seems that due to some oddities with (and I’m guessing here) whatever DNS servers our host and your ISP uses, we (and a number of other sites) have been vanishing from the internet over the past few days. Depending on how this propagated, some only saw it today, while others have been puzzled for nearly 2 days.

I was one of the ‘lucky’  ones, so wasn’t aware of this until recently, but it seems that the cause has been found and rectified at source, and we’re re-appearing, so thought it worth mentioning.

Probably also worth noting that this highlights the vulnerability of the internet to abuse by whoever holds the keys to a few servers that hold the DNS records – kill them, and you effectively end all civilian and commercial use of the internet. Possibly an over-simplification, but nevertheless a principle worthy of thought.

Check DNS in Wikipedia for some insight.

Sep 27, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Leave a comment

Anonymous secrets

Just a quick link to something that seemed appropriate.

Free, anonymous browsing can now be achieved with a modified version of the Firefox browser, just released.

Stored on a flash-memory stick, the Torpark browser is said to turn any PC into an anonymous terminal.

No installation is required as such, just two files generated from the downloaded application.

See the Torpark site for some limitation that also apply.

Sep 21, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Leave a comment

Devil’s Porridge

Described as “the largest factory in the world”

Built to address an almost disastrous shortage of shells on The Front in 1915, HM Factory, Gretna was a munitions factory dedicated to the production of Cordite, a smokeless, high explosive propellant used by the military. Employing up to 30,000 workers at one point during its construction, the factory manufactured over 800 tons of the material per week, and gave rise to the village of Eastriggs and township of Gretna within its bounds, created to house its employees. The factory covered an area 9 miles long by 2 miles wide, extending from Eastriggs in the west, across the Scottish/English border, and across to Longtown in the west.

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle visited the factory in 1918, and wrote an article including the phrase “The nitroglycerin on the one side and the gun-cotton on the other are kneaded into a sort of devil’s porridge, a description which came to be associated with the factory’s product.

The factory was dismantled (and largely forgotten) following the end of World War I, and little remains, but a local historian re-discovered much of the history, and there is now a local exhibition marking the former factory, and its product.

Sep 18, 2006 Posted by | Lost, World War I | Leave a comment

Mapping WWII UK airfields, AA and decoy sites

Having created one or two maps, and plotted a good few locations using Google’s map API, I can recommend this Google Earth link to provide a superb overview of World War II airfields, Heavy Anti-Aircraft gun sites and (bombing) Decoy sites. In addition, there are locations included for the early Sound Mirrors, and many RADAR stations.

Google Earth placemarks for WWII (and more) sites

Not only do the placemarks identify the locations, they also contain further data when opened, and provide an excellent starting point for researching a given site, or cross-referencing information or data you may already have.

Unlike applications using the map API, GE does not suffer from the dreadful slowing down effect incurred when more than a hundred or so points are displayed, and this application allows all the points to be shown in a reasonable time (PC spec permitting of course). To see how bad this effect can sometimes be, check the various map options displaying the locations of ROC posts in Scotland I wrote while playing around with the map API, and the methods used to try and overcome the delay.
Thanks to Matin Briscoe for this effort, a name I know well from my time hunting ROC posts and spending hours on Subterranea Britannica and the Research Study Group section that specialises in Cold War sites.

Sep 16, 2006 Posted by | Maps, World War II | 6 Comments

Beginnings

This site is part of a larger project, and is presently being evaluated to see how it can best fit into the overall structure of Secret Scotland.

It will probably be the place where anything new or interesting gets listed, as the main site requires a page be created for new items, and while some items may be particularly interesting or intriguing, they may still not be sufficiently tangible to justify the creation of a new page to note or record them.

Please visit the main site, better still add to it, join in the forum discussions (or just offer a comment).

Sep 9, 2006 Posted by | Site News | Comments Off on Beginnings

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