Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Charles Rennie Mackintosh mural

I wasn’t able to get along for a look at the Charles Rennie Mackintosh mural mentioned some time ago in this story of a little problem with it. The mob in the Briggait blotted their records with this one, and didn’r even ‘man up’ with a statement afterwards. Maybe they wanted the job for their… ‘charity’.

As the chap behind the mural said:

“I can’t believe an arts organisation is objecting to a tribute to one of the world’s greatest ever artists.”

Green light for giant Mackintosh mural after planning row

I don’t know why people can’t get along these days, and every little thing has to be a ‘court case’.

Forget the folk next door, and enjoy the mural, which turned out rather well.

Given other events, is that a tear in the corner of one eye?

Maybe some smoke got in it.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Mural

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Mural


July 21, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The lost lampposts of Muirhead Road

I’ve had some pics of the realignment of Muirhead Road (at the back of Baillieston) made to accommodate all the new houses being built there ever since the zoo was closed and things like were swept away to clear the land.

It used to be a nice walk along there. There was even what appeared to be a small area of managed forest planted there, and looked as if it was intended to restore or manage trees in the area.

Somehow, even that was razed, destroying all the relatively new trees that had been growing there, together with the much older originals which had surrounded the fenced off and managed area.

I wonder if that was even legal?

To access the new houses built on the stolen sorry ‘reclaimed’ land, new roads had to be laid, and the old Muirhead Road was realigned and given a roundabout to join up with them.

One of the odd things that happened was the remodelling of the area which the old road had been on, converting it from tarmac to grass.

While this was completed and hid the route of the old road under new ‘greenness’, nobody bothered to remove the old lampposts which lit that original road.

The still stand there to this day, but now look as if they were planted in a field since the road they lit is no more.

I wasn’t happy with the pics I took, it’s just not possible to get high enough to show them, but this pic is not so bad.

You can see the new road and lighting to the left and centre of the pic, but if you look to the right you’ll see one of the abandoned lampposts. No longer lit, so not likely to act like the “wrecker’s lights” of old, and lure drivers into the field. Wreckers would plant false lights on clifftops to confuse sailing ships, taking the place of signal lights in the area, and intended to make the ships founder on rocks, after which they could steal the cargo as it washed ashore.

I wonder if they’ll ever remover them?

I don’t go there very often. Once an interesting walk on a Sunday morning, the road is just another bland, uninteresting, and featureless housing estate now.

Apart from these lampposts of course.

Click on the pic for a bigger version.

Baillieston Muirhead Road Realignment Lost Lamppost

Baillieston Muirhead Road Realignment Lost Lamppost

July 20, 2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Polmadie Footbridge Update 5

Sad to say, this the first opportunity I’ve had to go for a look at work on this bridge since the last update.

As can be seen, the deck is done, and they’re dealing with details such as the guard rails, and dealing with the bridge approaches.

There still seems to be activity around the piers as well, but I’ve never actually seen any of the work being done down there, so can’t add anything.

Unfortunately, the period of absence let them do whatever it was they needed to do with the big triangulated supports I mentioned in an earlier update, and had me puzzled about where they fitted into the bigger picture.

They’re all gone now, and obviously weren’t part of the bridge, so I can only guess that they were for use as temporary supports, installed when needed, then removed when the relevant work was done.

Pity, I was really curious about them.

Although not obvious, the site is much tidier/clearer now.

Seen from each bank – there’s also a lot more plant life around now.

Polmadie Footbridge work

Polmadie Footbridge work


Polmadie Footbridge work

Polmadie Footbridge work

When I went back and crossed over to the south bank, when I arrived back at the bridge I found the fencing had been vandalised and torn down – this had not simply fallen, as the loosened clamps that hold the fence sections together were all lying discarded on the footpath.

Not being one to miss an opportunity, and had to negotiate the downed fence anyway, I climbed up the approach banking (normally behind the fence) and grabbed an extra pic. You can see the fence on the path below.

Polmadie Footbridge work

Polmadie Footbridge work

After passing this, I stopped a little further along to take one of the pics shown above.

As I did this, I heard an alarm, followed by a verbal warning about tampering with the plant & machinery being announced – clearly the machinery (out of sight from where I was) had been fitted with detectors and annunciators (and communications to base) to alert security services or police if anyone tampered with the machines.

That was enough for me, and I was off, not really wanting to meet anyone whose idea of evening fun and games was vandalising a construction site and its equipment.

Just as well I decided to move – I heard someone shouting after me as made my way along the path, and didn’t look back.

Not sure if locals wanting me to join in the fun, or perhaps the arrival of the security that the annunciator had warned it was calling automatically. Either way, I wasn’t interested in stopping. I had nothing to do with any damage that may have been caused, and I wasn’t there when it was, so had no desire to be ‘detained’ by police or security to ‘assist’, or explain why I was there.

July 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Greening Glasgow Green

It’s been the best part of almost two months since I was able to get to Glasgow Green, and a couple of news items contained references that caused me some concern.

Not that events were held on the Green, that’s fine, and what the place is for, and why the people of Glasgow have the enduring right of access to the area and, as noted previously, used their influence to ensure the council did not grant permission for a coal mine to be opened there after deposits were found below. And that coal is STILL down there.

My problem is this:

The park was reopened to the public on Sunday afternoon after weeks of being fenced off, and council staff are laying new turf on affected areas to make it look green again.

Glasgow Green off colour after summer of sun and music

And repeated here:

The park has reopened to the public after being fenced off while the festival was on.

Glasgow Green has lost its ‘green’ due to sunshine and festivals

I’ve no issue with the festivals, but like the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games, object to be denied access I apparently have a right to – during the stupid games, I found that one event led to the People’s Palace being fenced off, and had I visited on the day after that which I was there, I would have found it closed and fenced off while privileged competitors ran around it.

I say that’s just plain WRONG.

But, on a positive note, when I did return there last night, I found that although the temporary fencing had been dismantled in places, and that the reality may be that the grassed part of the Green was restricted access, and one could still access the Green, and the route along the side of the River Clyde, which would naughty, but perhaps acceptable.

What of the grass, referred to in the two news items referred to above?

While the aerial shots accompanying the stories look alarming (and may have been edited to make them look even worse – the media has been known to do such things), the view from the ground is much less dramatic, although it is still a matter of concern that vast areas have had to be returfed.

Who Pays?

What’s MISSING from those stories is identification of WHO PAYS for the turf and labour.

The people of Glasgow through their Council Tax?

Or is the cost of this work covered by the event organisers?

I’d like to know. How about you?

It’s a good job we aren’t enjoying a hosepipe ban like our cousins down south, as the new turf was getting a little drink to help it settle in last night.

Glasgow Green Returf

Glasgow Green Returf


July 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Embarrassing signs are gone

HH Tyres

HH Tyres

It’s a while since I wandered down to Dalmarnock, but this time was able to confirm the removal of some really embarrassingly shoddy signs, as noted in…

Who’s to blame? The signwriter or the customer?

They really are all gone.

H&H Tyres Signs Gone

HH Tyres Signs Gone

That said, there’s a horrible giant sign on a nearby street, didn’t bother looking at it though.

They also plaster the area with disgusting stick-on signs, mostly on lampposts, making the area look really tatty, as does most illegal fly-posting.

But Glasgow District Council doesn’t seem to think it’s worth chasing and fining such defacers.

Perhaps the fines should be raised to match motoring related fines, so that it would be worth hauling those who place this rubbish on our city, and bring down its appearance with their tat.

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

Lost and Found – Glasgow’s mortuary

Hidden behind a sign for the Police ‘Lost & Found Property’ office in Glasgow’s Saltmarket is the building that once served as Glasgow’s mortuary, and the original carved ‘MORTUARY’ sign as well.

I noticed the white sign while passing some time ago, and realised I’d lost my chance of getting a pic with the ‘MORTUARY’ sign over the door visible.

I did some digging, and it seems I was just a little too late to manage this.

I note that one of our fine, upstanding, and highly reputable rags managed to jump up and down a few years ago, and criticise the police for spending £350,000 to convert the former mortuary into a lost property store.

The place has a grim history.

In its day, post mortems of victims of notorious serial killers Bible John and Peter Manuel would have been carried out there.

Facing Glasgow’s Saltmarket and Glasgow Green, it was also once the scene of public hangings.

The new lost property office seems to date from around 2014, after the old mortuary has been mothballed and replaced by a new facility located at the Southern General Hospital.

I found an ‘Equality Impact Assessment’ document online, and this stated that mortuary services moved to the Southern in 2012, and noted that there was storage there for 300 bodies.

It also noted that three entrances are provided, one for paediatric cases, one for adult cases, and one for fiscal cases.

Glasgow Lost And Found Property Mortuary

Glasgow Lost And Found Property Mortuary

This is another catch that reminds me I probably have some earlier views of the same building locked away in my pre-digital film collection, and is yet another hint that I really must sit down and digitise it one day.

The Manuel Murders

Mentioned above, the victims of Peter Manuel.

Such mentions always give me a chill – my mother once walked along the road beside Manuel, fortunately just two people passing by chance, and not when he was out hunting.

If you visit the Glasgow Police Museum in Bell Street, or have a look at its web site, you will find they have an exhibit featuring Manuel’s death warrant, and the story.

The Glasgow Police Historical Exhibition contains artefacts and text boards which provide a historical insight into the people, events and other factors which contributed to the founding, development and progress of Britain’s first Police force, the City of Glasgow Police from 1779-1975.

The Glasgow Police Museum, First Floor, 30 Bell Street.

Click the pic below to make it a bot bigger.

The Manuel Murders

The Manuel Murders

July 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Welcome To Scotland Orange Moron

I found the person who prepared these placards being ‘Shouted Down’ by Trump shills trying to swamp the owners’ comment area with praise, propaganda (sorry, I should say ‘Alternative Facts’, shouldn’t I?), and hero worship for their paymaster.


In the interests of balance, I thought I’d just copy them here, and turn comments off.

And enjoy the feeling of satisfaction I can maybe share – with the image of those shills’ fuming with frustration at something they can do NOTHING about.

Trump Welcome Placards

Trump Welcome Placards

July 12, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, Lost | , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S10

Took a while, but the media has picked up on this again.

Hopefully a reflection of the care that will be taken, as well as an indication of the difficulty of the task in the restricted and awkwardly shaped site, eight weeks have been set aside for dismantling the unsafe sections of the fire damaged Mackintosh Building.

A brick-by-brick dismantling of unsafe sections of the Mackintosh building at the Glasgow School of Art will take at least eight weeks, engineers have said.

Dominic Echlin, who is leading the project, said the building was in a dangerous condition after the devastating fire last month.

Work has now begun to remove masonry at high levels to prevent collapse.

Mr Echlin said the aim was to make it was safe enough to reduce the exclusion zone around the building.

Mr Echlin, of David Narro Associates, said the aim of his work was to remove the unsafe main storey at high levels in the critical areas of the building.

He said: “That will allow us to get the streets open again and people back into their homes and businesses.

“That would also enable us to do the follow-on work within the body of the building.”

Work on the west side of the south facade and the west gable will be influenced by the stability of the ABC O2 music venue, which was also devastated in the fire.

The structural engineer said the masonry and brickwork would be dismantled in a controlled manner, “brick by brick, block by block”.

The heavier high-level stonework will be removed and transferred via hoists which will then be lowered down to street level for sorting and storage off site.

Where possible plainer areas of facades will be lowered into the site for later removal.

Glasgow School of Art dismantling to take eight weeks

Glasgow School of Art dismantling work begins

Not sure The Scotsman’s writer has read or understood his own presentation, or any of the announcements regarding the forthcoming work – it’s hard to reconcile his headline regarding work to ‘tear down‘ parts of the building with statements describing how a controlled dismantling of the unstable parts is to be undertaken.

Work to tear down unsafe parts of Art School begins

Pavilion remembered too

As a slight aside, Glasgow’s Pavilion theatre was more fortunate, and avoided the worst effects of a nearby a fire a few ago, but has not featured in the news since shortly afterwards.

A first look inside the historic theatre since it came under threat from a fire at the nearby Victoria’s Nightclub.

The manager of the theatre estimates it could cost more than £100,000 for repairs and might take up to six weeks to clear the damage.

Getting back into Glasgow’s Pavilion after fire threat

July 10, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , | Leave a comment

Sad council lighting distribution box

I noticed this box a while ago.

Originally it wasn’t all that notable, but since first seeing it, it has not only started to break up and fall apart (no doubt helped with a good few kicks from some of the locals), but even the footpath and kerb seems to be joining it – I suspect that may be with the help of some very bad parking.

Google’s Street View has been watching over it since 2008, and if you take a look at the archived images you’ll see that not only did the box appear to be in half-decent condition for its age, there was even a lamppost standing beside it back then.

It’s now being held together courtesy of that most wonderful of inventions – the cable or zip tie.

I’m almost surprised to see it still standing there whenever I pass down Bridgeton’s James Street.

Old Glasgow Council Lighting Box

Old Glasgow Council Lighting Box

July 10, 2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Burrell Collection paintings to be shared with Japan

More than 70 masterpieces from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection will go on display in Japan later this year, part of a campaign to raise the international profile of the museum while the building undergoes a major refurbishment.

The touring exhibition will visit five Japanese cities between October 2018 and January 2019.

James Robinson, director of Burrell Renaissance, which is overseeing the museum’s refurbishment, said: “It is truly exciting that works by Boudin, Degas and Manet will be seen by audiences in Japan for the first time. This is made possible by a recent revision in the Burrell Collection’s lending code which empowers it to participate in exhibitions overseas.

“The tour of Japan is the most extensive programme that we have developed with foreign partners. It will be accompanied by a Japanese language catalogue to ensure that the quality and comprehensiveness of the Burrell’s collection of French paintings is enjoyed by as wide an audience as possible”.

Paintings from Glasgow’s Burrell Collection to go on tour in Japan

Thinking back to the fuss that was made (by a noisy few – it really must be true that ‘Empty vessels make most noise’), this would be a good time to reflect on how many exhibitions and displays have been possible when other countries/galleries shared part of their collections in such tours, allowing US to see items we would not otherwise have been able to enjoy.

The favour works BOTH ways.

Burrell building

Burrell Collection, Pollok Park, Glasgow © Iain Thompson via Geograph

July 4, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh Building S09

Robust security barriers have been put in place to seal off the area around the Mackintosh Building before dismantling work begins, and the south facade is demolished (before it falls down, as Glasgow City Council had issued a danger warning regarding sudden collapse of some parts.

A pair of distinctive wrought-iron finial roof decorations will be recovered during this work, to preserve them for the future. The floral orbs, crowned with a bird, were mounted one over the central roof of the main entrance , and the other over the east gable.

Last-minute discussions were held yesterday at a building control meeting between officials from Glasgow City Council and contractor Reigart, to finalise the methodology for the work.

A spokeswoman for the art school said: “The Glasgow School of Art’s expert structural engineers, David Narro Associates, and contractor, Reigart, have prepared the methodology for the work which needs to be undertaken on the Mackintosh Building.

“This has been shared with Glasgow City Council building control and Historic Environment Scotland.

“Over the weekend work to assess the condition of the Mackintosh Building continued with further drone footage collected. Meanwhile, preparation work for the managed dismantling of the elements of the building that have been deemed dangerous got under way, on schedule, today.

The spokeswoman added: “The main crane has been relocated to the corner of Sauchiehall Street and Dalhousie Street, and a second crane is expected to join it tomorrow.

“The work to begin dismantling the south façade will start as soon as possible following approval of the methodology by Glasgow City Council building control.

“The cordon for the whole site, which includes the O2 ABC and Jumpin’ Jaks, remains under the control of Glasgow City Council.”

Ms Aitken also said that requests for photo opportunities inside the charred building received from David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, and an MP, had been turned down.

Cranes move in to dismantle fire ravaged Glasgow School of Art

Looks like I wouldn’t get pics even if I could make it in.

On the other hand, I wouldn’t be trying for that kind of pic – I’m more of a long-distance long lens type, and would be wandering around looking for chance glimpses from a distance.

Maybe later, maybe.

I just hate doing these posts without any pics at all, having used up all I had from the past.

July 3, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , | Leave a comment

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