Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Old Carmyle viaduct gets new LED floodlighting

Wandering past the old derelict Caledonian railway viaduct at Carmyle, it was hard not to miss the new floodlights which seem to have been installed recently, going by the freshness of the support poles and electrical control box nearby. Two similar lights have been installed across the river, on the Cambuslang side. The lights themselves are LED, also confirming that they are new.

Given the condition of the viaduct and warning signs plus barriers to anyone trying to access it, it really has decayed and the platform area is full of holes, I’m almost surprised to see the addition of these lights, as opposed to seeing the crossing being demolished.

It’s a shame they didn’t think it would have been a better idea to add a safe walkway over the old platform, and an access stairway at the Cambuslang end, which was demolished and comes to an end in mid-air. You’d have to climb up, or jump down, if you tried to access it.

It would be a very handy foot or bike crossing of the river, especially since the Fire centre was built a few years ago, and blocked much of the river access routes.

Although I’ve been nearby in the evening (dark enough at this time of year to have this lighting on), when the surrounding public/council lighting was switched on, none of the viaduct lighting was on.

Carmyle Viaduct Floodlighting

Carmyle Viaduct Floodlighting

If I don’t see it on soon, then this is somewhere I’m unlikely to be when it’s dark enough, and it will be autumn before I get the opportunity.

Over on the Cambuslang side.

Carmyle Viaduct Cambuslang Floodlights

Carmyle Viaduct Cambuslang Floodlights

I took a quick climb up onto the viaduct, or its approach at least.

Last time I was here, the local had sawn through the fence and bent the railing back to allow access, but it seems this has all been repaired, with the cuts welded shut, and additional heavier gauge steel bar welded in place horizontally.

That’s not barbed wire – that’s razor wire.

Carmyle Viaduct Barrier

Carmyle Viaduct Barrier

Poking the camera through the fence, the platform or deck can be seen.

Yup… MORE razor wire.

(I wonder who cuts the grass there?) 😉

It was once an interesting way to cross the river.

I really think they should install a pedestrian crossing over this.

A nice walkway could be dropped on the old deck, with some more floodlighting.

Carmyle Viaduct Deck

Carmyle Viaduct Deck


January 15, 2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Museums Store is nice, but…

This will probably be misunderstood, but here goes anyway.

It’s nice that Glasgow Museums all have shops that sell items related to their displays, and my comments are NOT intended to be applied across the board to all items on offer, BUT, it is a shame that all museum (and for that matter all Visitor Centre shops across the UK) are stocked up with overpriced tourist tat.

I don’t want to single any items out, but I’m sure if you visit a local museum and look at some of the offerings, and think for a moment, you’ll begin to see what I mean.

The Glasgow Museums Store that appeared in Glasgow’s St Enoch Centre some time ago is handy too, as it has a number of items unique to each of Glasgow’s museums, but now that I’m skint, all I do is ‘window-shop’ or just go in for a look.

Culture can expensive.

But it’s nice to drop in when there’s a sale on.

But as I said in opening, please don’t misunderstand a personal point, and never forget – Glasgow (and Scotland’s) national museums are free! So recouping some cash is fair.

When I used to visit similar museums down south, it was eye-watering to cough up the admission ticket price – and I was really sad for my English cousins.

I can fall into one of ‘our’ museums for free AND as often as I like.

Down there, you get one visit, and repeat visits will send you to the poor house, especially if you try visiting a lot of different places.

Glasgow Museums Store St Enoch

Glasgow Museums Store St Enoch

January 4, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

New view of Daldowie

Jan 1 has become something of a traditional visit to Daldowie (that’s Daldowie Crematorium for the non-local).

It can be a surprisingly interesting wander if time is taken to look at some of the memorials.

This year’s wander was a little different to usual, as I arrived a little earlier than usual (so it was still relatively light), and while past years have ranged from finding the place frozen stiff, buried in snow, or almost blown to ruins thanks to storms that have just passed, it was almost a little odd to be wandering there with only some light rain making a short appearance.

It’s hard to image the main building – get in close and you can only catch a little part of the long and low building with its chapels extending to each side from the central hub; step back to catch the whole structure only to find most of it is obscured by trees and bushes set on the lawn.

But, I’m getting better at making less distorted stitches, and stepped closer to take a series of images that avoided having any of the plantings obscure the building.

The biggest problem (which I don’t have a rapid fix for) was the sole employee’s car planted near the front door, as even today, the crematorium is open for enquiries. Unfortunately, it is also one of the world’s ugliest, so I had to deal with it quickly.

There were two small trees, but I managed to place them out of the way, and was still able to include the waiting room found to the west and east of the main building.

This one’s wide, so you’ll have to click on the thumb for the whole view.

Daldowie Wide

Daldowie Wide

January 1, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | 6 Comments

People’s Palace air display

I couldn’t think of something appropriate for the first post of 2018, although I had planned a series of relevant pics, they needed some fettling and that wasn’t finished.

Scratching around material collected but yet to be used, I remembered forgetting about a chance find from the People’s Palace, which even labelled itself.

If you’re familiar with the layout, and recognise the spot, then you’ll also appreciate why it’s so dusty, and why those items have been left where they lie.

Peoples Palace Air Display

Peoples Palace Air Display

January 1, 2018 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, council, photography | | Leave a comment

The fair in the square

Clearing down some accumulated images, it seems I still have some material left. Fortunate, as it seems I was not the only one to decide the weather was not inviting. The Boxing Day sales apparently failed to entice shoppers out.

I found a few general shots grabbed of the fair in George Square, which included a few comparison tests between a hulking great dSLR, and handy compact (no, I’m not going to be specific, just suggest similar costs, as I have no intention of getting involved in brand loyalty and dogma).

The compact has the largest sensor fitted until recently, when 1-inch types became easier to find, but can also raise the cost to more than a dSLR (at the moment). The last pocket camera I found with pics that came close also came with a price tag of £1,250. The size may have been attractive, but I could match with a larger dSLR for only £400. Prices are falling though. (Not enough for me, yet).

The big wheel was the first subject.

Big Wheel Data

Big Wheel Data

First pic.

Big Wheel A

Big Wheel A

And a second.

Big Wheel B

Big Wheel B

I don’t have any control over the lighting on the wheel, but from the rest of the scene (and pics) the compact is tending towards over-exposure. This may be due the presence of more tricks inside the box to extract info from the smaller sensor, but it could probably stand to have anything up to 1 stop taken off, and get a little more post-processing.

Tried a couple of video clips, but they’re not really like-for-like either, as the colour pattern varied greatly between them. I couldn’t match the views quickly, as each camera altered the view and aspect ratio to suit themselves (and I lack familiarity with the relevant settings).

And the second for comparison.

Again, the compact is tending towards over-exposure. It looks to have more colour, but I suspect this is down to a change in the light display on the wheel.

This is an earlier pic, already seen in the blog.

Fairground Ride

Fairground Ride

I had a similar view captured with the compact.

Fairground Ride B

Fairground Ride B

Seen from the other side.

George Square Scene A

George Square Scene A

And from the compact.

George Square Scene B

George Square Scene B

This seems to confirm my thought about the compact tending towards slight over-exposure, as it has selected a slightly, but noticeably longer, shutter time.

Another ride (compact, processed).

Fairground Ride Horses B

Fairground Ride Horses B

Just a view of the fair (processed to tone down the over-exposed parts).

George Square Fair

George Square Fair

Out of curiosity, I took a clip of the chair ride running at full speed, to see how the motion was captured.

It’s remarkably good, at least to someone who ditched all their video gear back in the analogue days, as the image quality was just so poor, and even the smallest Video8 gear was huge. While it was small compared to VHS or even VHS-C, it gained that by splitting the recording hardware from that for playback. The camcorder could only record – and the video cassette had to be extracted (a slow motorised process) and inserted into a small VCR in order to review material.

I did try some digital video back then (recorded on tape though), it was a lot better, but by then I had other issues to deal with, so it was all shelved and forgotten.

Just a detail

While this comparison was not planned, and not made under fully like-for-like settings, it was still clipped from similar shots the cameras had been allowed to make their ‘best effort’.

It shows the biggest difference between the two cameras and their sensors, when pushed to their limits.

Pics may look similar overall, but with the dSLR I can clip out small sections of the original, and still have a better image than a compact.

From the dSLR (reduced to 640 wide).

dSLR Clip

dSLR Clip

Compact clip (actual size).

Compact Clip

Compact Clip

The compact can give decent results when there’s a lot of light around (in low-light terms as opposed to daylight), but falls far behind rapidly if the light is really low.

I’ll need to collect some examples that demonstrate this.


December 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

What every Glesga wean wants for Christmas – My First Fire

*(For the benefit of visitors: Glesga, or Glesca, weans – small children from Glasgow).

You could have made yourself a fortune a few years ago, had you been the importer/distributor for:

My First Fire

My First Fire

Not that it was really needed, as there were so many derelict building lying abandoned around the city, fires were a regular event.

And they didn’t have to be derelict – with many nudges and winks regarding insurance when occupied buildings burnt down ‘mysteriously’.

Others were reputed to be blocking sites ripe for development, but were listed building, so could not be modified, altered, or developed, even if decaying, neglected, and ruinous.

A little fire, a quick inspection, a declaration of danger to the public – and demolition followed swiftly, almost as swiftly as the new build on the cleared ground… some said.

December 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost | , , | Leave a comment

When sodium is bad

Unintentionally, as in not have preplanned the observations, I’ve made (and probably will now continue to make) posts that praise the rapid and wide adoption of LED street lighting as a matter of local policy by most councils, on main roads at least.

Probably more of an economic decision than anything else on their part, since such lighting (depending on how it is deployed) should at least half their electricity bill – it should do considerably better, but there are unknown factors, and the changeover is far from complete, so they are still paying to run the older types with their higher power consumption.

There is also the initial cost of the installation of the new lighting, but that is at least partially offset by the age of many old fittings, which would have to be replaced anyway.

And those old fittings are far from being anywhere near as reliable or long-lived as solid-state LED devices, which should not need the same level of ongoing maintenance and replacement to keep them in service.

This all came to mind as I snapped what I THOUGHT would be a cute Christmas pic.

But I had forgotten I was standing in a street lit by sodium lighting when I had that thought.

The actual thought had been that a little Santa figure standing in a window looked more like ‘Santa in Hell’ than the usual jolly character, as the string of lights around him were quite a vivid shade of red.

But – this was what the camera (as opposed to my ordinary, yet still fairly clever, human eye had perceived) saw:

Santa In Sodium Hell

Santa In Sodium Hell

It’s a pretty vivid reminder that once ALL night photography was much like this (no wonder nobody really bothered, or had to become a dedicated expert). And expensive, since you had to buy film, the pay for D&P (developing and processing), or set up a darkroom. Either way, most shots often ended up in the bin. You could not make instant corrections as done with digital today, and even a quick D&P session could eat at least an hour.

I haven’t done anything to this image other than try to recover some sharpness (yes, sodium lighting messes with focus too), but this also took more than 1 second to capture).

Actually, I couldn’t do anything even if I wanted to, other than maybe change into a B&W view.

Analysis of the colour content shows that most of the pixels are RED (presumably a result of the red lights in the window).

Half of the remainder are GREEN.

And the BLUE count is so near zero it might as well be forgotten.

And since we all know mixing blue light and green light gives yellow (surprise), with no blue content, there’s no manipulation option, or any way (other than by creating mixing layers, and nobody’s got time for that) to produce white by altering levels/mix.

Oh well… back to the main streets!

As a footnote, would it come as any surprise to learn that there are some residents in the US campaigning to have ‘unnatural’ LED lighting removed from their neighbourhoods, and have their sodium lights reinstated?

December 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow council elves steal trees

I mentioned Glasgow council’s secretive gardening elves recently, never seen, but always busy during winter.

I’m sure they only come out at night, when we’re all in bed so they can work in secret.

They’ve been busy since I last looked, and have now stolen a load of trees from one of our parks.

I had thought this was random, but after standing back and looking at the bigger picture, it looks as if the have been thinning out a lot of the trees and undergrowth that obscure most of the paths, and hides much of them from public view, especially from the adjacent houses.

Sad to say, this is probably no bad thing, having seen the sort of rubbish that hides out of sight with its bottles of Buckfast, vodka, and other strange smelling ‘substances’. On a good day, they’re nice enough to dump the empties in the bins, but on a REALLY good day they just get left scattered on the ground.

I’m still left wondering when the elves turn up for work, and manage to cut down trees (and chip much of the lighter material) without ever being seen, but I always seem to spot the boozers, and have to divert around the park to avoid them – one lot of “What are you looking at?” from a gang of youths high on Buckie is quite enough, thank you,  (especially when you’re not ‘looking’ and trying to slide past without being noticed).

Sandyhills Park Clearance

Sandyhills Park Clearance

The above trees, plus a solid mass of undergrowth, was blocking all view of a path on the left, leading to a bus stop.

December 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | | Leave a comment

Reflections on George Square’s Nativity

And I really do mean reflections.

Since I didn’t want to simply take a close-up shot of the Nativity scene within the display case, it seems there are two choices, neither are ideal.

There the option of adult backs and squabbling kids – all of whom wandered off.

And the one I ended up with, reflections of the Christmas lights in the square, unavoidably shining off the glazing around the scene, which now protects the contents since some nice person decided to steal the main character from the display a few years back.

At least it’s lit now, as it was even harder to see the first time I spotted it, and the case lighting was still to be switched on.

Glasgow Nativity

Glasgow Nativity

December 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Citizens Theatre wins £4.8 million redevelopment award

I’m not a theatre-goer, although I have visited one or two and enjoyed the shows seen as a result.

However, despite passing the Citizens Theatre ‘more than once’, I’ve never ventured inside. But, it will at least last long enough for me to maybe get the chance one day.

The Citizens Theatre Company has been awarded £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its “transformational redevelopment” project, which will see the conservation, repair and expansion of one of Scotland’s oldest and much-loved working theatres, and be used to “protect the physical asset for future generations” while preserving and revealing the most significant parts of its heritage.

The redevelopment, by architectural practice Bennetts Associates, will provide new learning spaces, rehearsal rooms and a 152 seat studio theatre.

The company has been entertaining audiences for some 139 years.

In June 2018, the Citizens Theatre Company will move out of the Category B listed building (leases from Glasgow City Council) for more than two years, but will continue its work at Tramway and provide its Citizens Learning activities at Scotland Street School Museum.

The plan should see the company move back into its Gorbals home in autumn 2020.

Via Citizens Theatre awarded £4.8m grant for redevelopment

Plus Citizens Theatre’s future secured with £4.8m grant

Funny building – although I’ve passed it many times, and taken pics of surrounding structures, it never caught my eye, so we need a shared view from geograph (from a great contributor). My apologies, but I always think I’m walking past some new flats, or an office building, rather than a theatre.


Some of the new exterior looks as if it will be a little more inspiring in future.

Citizens Theatre via geograph

Citizens Theatre via geograph

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Even worse than ‘activists’ are ‘political activists’ (or when is flyposting NOT flyposting?)

While I don’t have much time for politicians, my cup runs to empty as soon as anyone gets outed as a ‘lobbyist’, ‘activist’, or ‘political activist’.

I wouldn’t necessary like them any better if they had an attack of honesty, and just owned up to being little more than thugs, since they’re really just out to get their way by forcing their dogma on us, rather than by abiding by the democratic process.

This lot recently ‘improved’ the east end of Glasgow by plastering (fly-posting) it with signs like the one below, and pasting their message all over walls and street furniture.

Now I see they are happy to break into other people’s property, disrupt the city centre, and waste my money (taxes) and the time of police and others.

Here’s a thought for your political activist dogma…

Instead of criticising building owners who are losing money with empty property – how about YOU guys dig into your own pockets and BUY the properties that upset you so much?

After all, your logic appears to run along some fantasy that the current owners are raking in some sort of fortune from the empty properties, so why don’t you guys put up your own money and buy them, then YOU can have all those pots of cash to reinvest in more.


Of course not!

Activists occupy Glasgow city centre building in protest

I spotted these gems plastered on derelict and ruined buildings in the east end – I doubt they even have owners, or they died, or were declared bankrupt and ruined. The last few I watched ended up with council noticed warning that they would be made safe, and the bills passed on to the owners WHEN THEY WERE FOUND!

Never happened, and the next notice posted was compulsory demolition of the derelicts on safety grounds.

I’d love to have a REAL lawyer’s analysis of this, I only did a year of law, and I reckon it’s mostly, if not all, nonsense, and of dubious legality in its threats and even more so in the reality of its claims.

Check the last line for the best laugh.

(As an aside, NONE of my spellcheckers accept ‘flyposting’ as valid spelling of either fly-posting or fly posting).

If their message is so valuable, I wonder why that line was felt to be necessary?

On second thought, what does ‘NOT FOR FLYPOSTING’ even mean?

And who is it directed at? (The only people likely to be pasting these illegal fly posters up are those who printed them – unless they get stolen and the thieves paste them up).

I only managed to get this pic with a day to spare – it was ripped off the wall the next time I passed.

RISE Flyposting

RISE Flyposting


If they can’t get their way, then they’ll eventually try to force it,  and if that doesn’t work, then the threats will be along soon. You only have to have a scan of the news.

This time, just two girls in the same pic and…

Miss Iraq forced to flee country over Instagram photo alongside Miss Israel

Well, on the bright side – ALL the ‘Misses’ had to flee the UK once the feminazis turned on them.

December 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | | Leave a comment

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