The Ayr X77 coach graphic is something of a gem

I’d been travelling on the Ayr X77 coach for some time before I came to realise there was more than simple decoration to the graphic across the top of the windscreen than I had at first thought. Probably too busy looking out the side window.

Often, when the coach arrives in Ayr, gulls appear and sit on the roof, and that was something I only noticed when I saw tourists grabbing their smartphones to take a pic.

Of course, the day I was early, sitting around bored, was also the day there wasn’t a gull to be seen. On a positive note, at least I didn’t have to be anti-social, and push the tourists out of the way to get this pic.

When I looked closer and identified all the subjects, I was surprised to find that although most of them are possibly iconic, and easy to recognise (for locals at least), some of them are not so obvious, as the simplified silhouettes could be mistaken for other features – so have to be viewed in the context of their location.

So far, I have no idea what the simple building with the pitched roof and windows represents, but it looks as it has a small cross at one end, and the position of the window must be significant. BUT, every church building I can come up with which has a small cross, also has a small bell tower or other feature at the opposite end of the roof.

It’s something I just don’t seem to have come across, either on foot, or in photographic collections (or have forgotten, if I have).

If you’re reading this, I haven’t identified it, so I am looking for help from someone who knows better.

Places featured in the graphic

Ayr Sheriff Court

St John’s Tower

Ayr Town Hall

Wallace Tower

Unknown building!

Glasgow Prestwick Airport (with jet above)

Whitelee Wind Farm

Clyde Auditorium or Armadillo

Glasgow Tower

Clyde Arc or Squinty Bridge


That mystery building

Apart from my own sighting made while tramping around the town, and surrounding area, I’ve gone through two collections of historic/notable images dating back more than 100 years, and can’t pick out anything that really matches the graphic on the coach.

It’s not that there are no candidates, just that none of them match the structure depicted in the simplified graphic.

While I can find a few that have the plain cross at one end, it seems the other end always features some sort of small addition representing a bell tower or similar.

Others feature wings extending from the main structure, usually with a pitched roof meeting the main roof, so giving them a very different profile/silhouette. The single window high on the gable is also not to be seen, most building seem to have three windows, and the roof corner detail is also missing on most.

I’m struggling with this one, and have added a closer view (straightened out) below, in the hope that it sticks in my head, or might be recognised by someone who sees it.

Note that I’m interpreting the light area to the right of the two windows on the right, to be a porched entrance to the building.

It’s not Cathcart Church, Fort Street AKA Dansarena

Given the subjects are well-known places, I briefly thought of Dansarena, now a long-established dance studio in Fort Street, based in the former Cathcart Church, which was also known as the New Church, when it was built as an extension to the Auld Kirk.

If nothing else, like nearly all the posibilities I’ve considered, the Dansarena building has THREE windows in it gable, not the single item seen in the graphic.

The Burrell’s gone all touchy-feely

I got somewhat distracted after finally getting to the revamped Burrell Collection earlier this year, and never got around to reviewing most of the pics I began to collect while I was there, although I did manage to post some of the more general shots I took around the building.

I had intended to start with a slightly fun post, and have the shot below as the first taken in/off the new collection, but I didn’t quite manage it before my attention was taken by something else.

It’s actually an example of a new feature to the collection, where casts have been made of some of the objects on show, and located next to them, so visitors can touch and feel the works, without any chance of damaging the original.

The original is a Chinese Ming Dynasty roof ridge tile, dated 16th to 17th century stoneware with enamel on biscuit.

There aren’t many, but if it’s something you like, they’re worth watching out for.

A puzzle for you – What wrong with these pics of Ayr’s Sandgate signs?

There’s a couple of illuminated signs waiting to greet visitors to Ayr as they arrive via the town’s New Bridge leading into Sandgate.

I almost missed them, thinking they were leftovers from Christmas, and not so visible in daylight either. But being there in the evening as darkness falls makes them more noticeable, and I did catch them in a couple of pics.

However, I did employ a little trick to get these pics, and it produced what might be called ‘Impossible views’.

While this first pic (apologies, I couldn’t wait any longer for the sky to get darker – enlarging, or zooming in helps with legibility of the script) really only reveals the trick if you know how the buildings behind the sign should look, things are a bit more obvious in the background of the second.

If you don’t know the area, or the trick doesn’t reveal itself, then I have a little clue – A mirror will restore reality.

Sukhoi T-4 video in English – compare and contrast the Soviet XB-70 Valkyrie

I’ve mentioned the XB-70 Valkyrie before, a Mach 3+ bomber from the days of aviation extremes and innovation. That’s not to imply these days are over, more that the results are not so visible today.

Before Putin turned Russia into a pariah, there were numerous tours of the country’s Central Air Force in Monino, one of the largest aviation museums in the world, and that country’s largest, with many photos. These include various prototypes and cancelled projects not seen elsewhere, and hard to find as most of the background is given in Russian – autotranslate may be good, but still lacks specialist, or technical language awareness. The latter is understandable, and is something I’ve come across at work. While working on equipment from Germany, the factory manager tried to ‘help’ by providing a staff member who spoke German, to assist with reading the relevant manuals. However, the apologised and said they couldn’t actually help, since ‘technical’ German is not used by non-technical speakers, and the manuals might as well have been written in Greek for all they could understand.

One of the Monino subjects that made a regular appearance in the past was a ‘droop snoot’ aircraft, but back then few details could be found, and there was no real point in trying to find out about its history, although bits and pieces were always appearing.

YouTube had various clips too, but these tended to comprise the same clips glued together in various ways, and often confused by being interspersed with clips of other aircraft. With no, or Russian, commentary, they didn’t help add any real detail.

Fast-forward a few years, after I’d all but given up, and this video popped up a few days ago.

Seems to be the best summary I’ve come across, and fills in a lot of holes.

Although there are hints that the T-4 was a Valkyrie copy, it seems unlikely (other than in appearance) as it only has four engines compared to the Valkyrie’s six. I think it would be fair to say that at the time Russian engines lagged behind US offerings, so with only four engines, the T-4 was never going to reach Mack 3+. In fact, figures given online don’t claim any more than Mach 1.3 for the single aircraft that flew before the project came to an end.

The old videos of the T-4 from around 2018/9 are still on YouTube, but other than providing various clips of the aircraft in production and in flight, this 2023 version with its English commentary would seem to be the one to watch. I should look for more but… time!

Sad tale of broken Poundland sunglasses – Take 2!

Looks like I had NOTHING to do with the first take on this story, as pictured below.

I had been beating myself up over this breakage, thinking I had done something careless while the sunglasses had been in my pocket, and broken them myself.

Not so.

I thought I had got lucky some time after this, and although I couldn’t go buy another pair of this apparent £1 bargain (judged solely on their performance as reflective sunglasses), I found I’d stashed another pair away, bought not long after the first in case I damaged them (hah).

I smugly donned that second pair for the first time as I headed 4 miles to the shops, cycling into the low evening sun – “Ideal”, I thought, “Glad I bought the spare set”.

I was less than amused when I was getting ready for the ride home, stuck my hand in my pocket, and brought out? You guessed right if you said a leg, a lens, and the rest of the frame.

This time I knew I’d done nothing to cause this – they were in a chest pocket that nothing got near while I was wandering around the shop. They broke all on their own after being used once.

In fact, when I got home and compared the new pieces and break to the first – the break/failure was such a close match to the original that I couldn’t tell the frame pieces apart. The position of the break was IDENTICAL!

Either the material is flawed, and the least amount of stress caused it to fail, or the design is flawed, and the frame is just too thin at that point, and the stress of normal use is too much for it.

Either way, I guess this is why they never reappeared in Poundland. They may only have cost £1, but since there can be little doubt many of them would have failed like this, then there would have been enough unhappy customers giving them grief.

I only hope the other I have bought since are a bit meatier, as they have interchangeable lenses, and fitting them seem to take a lot of force – more than I’m comfortable to exert on the plastic frame.

As of 10 minutes ago – the weather station is officially back online

And I mean that literally.

Its location is spoofed (as if I’m going to show where it is) to show on Sandyhills Golf Course, and all the available parameters can be shown by clicking on the icon – so long as it’s visible on the course. There can be long periods when it’s not connected, and these are random.

Sadly, the host is US based, and as is now well known…

I think you can still change some if display units without having to register, which helps.

All the crazy (erroneous) data points I intend to fix are fixed, leaving the rest to scroll off the graphs and into history.

There’s no point in going over all the graphs again, and it would take too much time – I didn’t realise there were ten of them in the daily summary.

That said, I thought it was worth grabbing the Rainfall Today chart, with the others from the summary page, as it shows how this one looks after the silly spurious results that were almost at 150 mm were removed.



Not sure where those two ‘crazies’ came from, they were almost reasonable, but I doubt even ‘sunny’ Scotland would see 150 mm of rain in just a few hours of a single day.

Usually the spurious values are so high the real values are so small they can’t even be seen on the graph.

But… the mounting pole

Per the first post in this saga, I did lose the once solid and secure pole mounting base I was lucky enough to have access to, recall it rusted through (sadly, it only lasted about 90 years) and dumped the sensor pack on the ground, breaking the wind sensors.

While I have solid bases, and a number of poles/masts, the only one that fits both the base AND the sensor pack only raises it about 2 metres above local ground level. That would be the minimum advised, and acceptable for temp/RH/pressure.

There’s a slight issue with the wind sensors though, as ground level at the back of the house is about 1 metre below the front, so things are not ideal, although everything apart from trees is only one storey tall. I should look at raising those sensors another 2 metres. Still not as high as they were before, but the new location is further from the trees, so this is probably a good thing.

Be nice if I could find a suitable piece of pole (free, of course, since I will be obliged to buy an RJ11 extension cable since those sensors will be further from the transmitter) BEFORE winter arrives, Even better if there is something suitable in my stash – I must go digging 🙂

Did the V7s have a baby?

A BIG baby!

Some say it’s nice to have a growing family, and it looks as my neighbours agree.

It’s a while since I passed them, and it seems there was a ‘happy event’ at some point, and a BIG new arrival.

Previously, there was just the happy couple.

Now there’s been a happy addition.

2013 Ford Transit.

Although I see quite a few commercial vehicles with interesting registrations, especially fleet vehicles where the owner has bought a matching series, I seldom get the chance to collect them – they’re usually moving and gone before I can even get my hands on a camera.

Proof that ‘Caravan Corner’ really IS a corner

After posting the pic of the remains of the corner that managed to get on intimate terms with an errant caravan, even I began to doubt my assertion that it really was a corner. The more I looked at the pic, the more it looked like a straight wall – and I HAD seen the original!

I came to the conclusion that the only way I could prove I wasn’t lying, or hallucinating, was to repeat the shot, but this time standing a little further to the right, looking along the road that forms the vertical stroke of the ‘T’.

Unfortunately, it seems that before I could get back there, an ‘Internet Expert’ contacted the wall’s owner, and told them they had to fence off the damaged section lest a loose lump of sandstone jump off and land on the head of some poor unfortunate passing pedestrian, injuring or even killing them, resulting in a claim that could run into the millions – which the insurance company would entertain if no safety measure had been put in place.

The manhole cover in the footpath provides a handy reference to locate the pic and shooting direction, and it should be easier to see how the main road runs from left to right, while the side street approaches and meets at the junction on the left.

It should now be obvious that the corner of the wall is not a simple 90° right angle, but has a section that runs at 45° between the two.

I didn’t realise how long this was, and the fact that I took the first pic looking straight at explains why the wall looks straight in that first pic.

Well, at least I learned something, and know such things are worth watching for as they, as was the case here, cause noticeable anomalies in a flat, 2-dimensional pic, where are no/few real depth clues.

It’s a – cinema, bingo hall, bar, restaurant, club, tea room, derelict…

While I would hardly claim to have an exhaustive collection, my library covers a fair number of Glasgow’s interesting buildings over the years, especially types like cinemas, so I was particularly surprised to find an intriguing building I came across in the backstreets of Shawlands began life as an example of the type.

Attributed to Watson, Salmond and Gray, the Waverley Cinema is described as their only example of the type built in 1922, their usual fare being commercial buildings and hospitals. It can be found in Moss-side Road, Frankfort Street, and Bertram Street.

Records indicate the Waverley Cinema opened it doors in December 1922, and was renamed the ABC in 1964, which lasted until 1973, when it joined the many other closures of that decade. Like many others, it became a bingo hall, then survived as a snooker club from 1982, but was finally abandoned by 2002.

It seems I arrived at just the right time to get a decent pic of the Moss-side Road elevation – all the other pics I’ve found so far were taken in summer, when the bare trees seen in my pic were in full leaf, and obscure any view of the building.

Technically described as a large red ashlar corner block, in diluted 17th-century classical style, with a lead-covered dome above the south-east corner entrance, flanked by giant Egyptian columns, and having sculptured roundels over inner windows to Frankfort Street.

The Moss-side road view shows The Waverley Tea Room.

Even the modern additions attached to the original building have now largely decayed, and been lost or vandalised.

The corner to Frankfort Street shows TUSK, a former bar and club.

The board/sign over the entrance is actually for The Waverley Tea Room, advertising its menu, and pointing patrons to the entrance, further to the left.

It’s interesting to note the way the architects took account of the view seen by the original cinema’s patrons as they arrived and approached from the main street in Shawlands, Pollockshaws Road..

While they would be greeted by the two elevations I have pictured above, like many other cinemas of the time, the unseen walls behind the attractive facade were little more than plain stone facing, brick, or plain rendering.

Queen’s Park building revealed to show flowery murals with insects

Funny how many impromptu visits//wanders yield interesting results.

Having been in Shawlands for something else, I decided to walk along to Queen’s Park as it wasn’t too far away, although I wasn’t planning to go in.

Adjacent to Camphill Bowling Club, the murals have been on this Langside Avenue building (not the clubhouse, which is further behind, alongside the green), since around 2021, but have been largely hidden by bushes.

The bushes have been cut down to give a clear view, something done recently given the freshly cut appearance of the remaining stumps.

After caravan met corner – and corner met caravan

After this afternoon’s little ‘Meet and Greet session, Caravan, meet corner – corner, meet caravan – things were tidied up, and those that could went on their way.

It was some time before I could have another look, and I was glad I hadn’t speculated, as I’d probably have been wrong. My first look at this scene was of the piece of hedge on the right. Unfortunately, the angles fail to convey the fact that this is a corner, part of a T-junction.

The road on the left forms the vertical stroke of the ‘T’, while the main road, the horizontal stroke, runs from left to right. I know it LOOKS just like a straight piece of was, but it’s not. This really is a proper right angle corner, but that perspective is completely lost in the flat pic.

The pic in the previous post was taken from the right, and some distance away.

Referring to that pic, this pic was effectively taken looking along the length of the caravan, from the back to the front, and the hitch would probably have hit the wall above the manhole cover, and as obvious from the first pic, gone straight through, as the front of the van was seen to be hard against the wall.

Since the wall stopped the van, I’m guessing the downed section of hedge was pushed over by the sandstone blocks when were pushed over by the van.

Given the van wouldn’t be more than about 3 metres wide, and we know (from the first pic) the corner was against the end of the hedge on the right, I wonder what I missed by not taking a walk while the pieces were still in place, as the damage extend almost as far again to the left.

I wonder if there was another vehicle about to emerge from the junction, and it was pushed into the wall by the van?

I had assumed (oh dear, ANOTHER assumption 😦 ) the van had parted from its tow vehicle, and arrived alone, based on the sound of the impact I heard, which only sound like a plastic/fibreglass shell colliding with the wall. There definitely wasn’t the usual sound heard when a car crashes. Recall also that i did hear a car horn sound, but that didn’t happen until a few seconds after I head the impact.

DAMN! I wish I’d gone for a walk now.