Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lost Child – No Reward – Seems Fair

Saw this recently.

Just seemed to be so right:

Lost Child No Reward

Lost Child No Reward

If only this had happened about 60 years ago.

July 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , | Leave a comment

And the pile of charred junk was…

It’s not that often I get something wrong (AND admit it) but I did get taken by surprise while out for a wander one night, and completely failed to realise what I was looking at – until I woke up from the semi-trance state I usually enjoy while walking. Why I don’t bump into things or people is a mystery, but I don’t.

As is becoming the custom, this was found after another change to my ‘regular’ route, and once again shows that the ‘interesting’ stuff never happens when I’m around. I only find it later.

In this case, after noticing my path was almost blocked by some burnt and charred rubbish, I was puzzled about how it came to be there, and who would have dumped.

I was so puzzled I failed to notice the obvious clues at first (well, to be fair, it WAS dark AND the remains were blackened, these pics only appear ‘light’ as they have been processed to recover the image – note the lit door in the background of one of them), maybe I should have noticed things such as the jockey wheel, and bits of chassis.

But then again, a caravan without its body is a pretty rare sight – especially when not only the body, but the interior has been burnt to a crisp, and all that remains are things like a gas bottle, and odd pieces of nondescript metalwork. The rest is lightweight and inflammable, so doesn’t last long once the fire catches hold. I guess steel survives, but lightweight aluminium probably doesn’t have a chance.

This pic shows how it looked the first time I found it, although I had to go back for this view later, but I wanted to see how it looked when found it the first time, and didn’t quite realise what it was (in the dark). I thought there was more junk on the footpath, but then again, I tend to follow the kerb in my usual trance, like a ‘white line follower’.

Ex Caravan Dusk

Ex Caravan Dusk

First time around, I grabbed this shot in the dark, and it was actually the remaining piece of body still standing on the right that made me twig as to what I was looking at.

Ex Caravan Dark

Ex Caravan Dark

While not wanting to promote vandalism, arson, or fire-raising, this find does make me wonder about some stories I’ve seen in the media over the years.

According to the reporters, concerned, a caravan left on the road cannot be given a parking ticker, nor is there any legislation in place which allows either the police or council to move, or remove, it as an obstruction, unlike an abandoned car (or even a parked car!).

In fact, according to those stories, items such as caravans and trailers, if simply left in the road, cannot legally be touched or removed by either the police or the council, and must be left there – and the owner attracts NO PENALTY. (I’m not stating this as fact, merely recounting what has been written by hacks in the media).

These stories have dragged on for months, maybe even years, as the various authorities pleaded ‘Not our problem’, and upset residents whined.

Seems to me there’s an obvious solution to removing this particular problem – no need for it drag on for months or years.

July 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Quick, get out of Photobucket while you still can

It’s weird, but it seems every time I go offline, or can’t go online for a while, something significant happens and I don’t find out about until long after I should.

It’s only July 2, and after being out of touch with the web for most of June, I looked at my web site to find it filled with this blackmail message from Photobucket, instead of the thousands of image I have uploaded and had hosted there since 2005 or so, I can now only have them show if I pay these crooks $399 EVERY YEAR:

Photobucket blackmail

Photobucket blackmail

Now we know why Rupert Murdoch (Mr Paywall) bought into Photobucket.

But don’t take my word for it, read this from PCMag UK:

The key feature of a Photobucket account we’re talking about here is called “3rd Party Hosting.” It allows you to embed images from Photobucket in another location on the Internet, e.g. in a forum post or on a website.

As Norvic Philatelics discovered, Photobucket changed its terms and conditions and removed the 3rd Party Hosting feature from the lower subscription tiers. If you want to continue using that feature then a Photobucket Plus 500 subscription is required. It costs $39.99 per month or $399 per year.

Not only is that very expensive, it means existing Photobucket accounts on lower subscriptions tiers will have any embedded images they’ve created in the past cease to work. Considering Photobucket has been around since 2003 and hosts over 10 billion images, that’s potentially millions of embedded images across the Internet being broken thanks to a policy change. Here’s just one example of how this change impacts a forum thread.

The worst part of this debacle, according to, is the fact Photobucket users were apparently given no warning of the change. The subscription features simply changed, and images stopped loading without explanation.

There’s hope this is a mistake, or that Photobucket’s management will realize the scale of the problem they have created with this change. But if that doesn’t happen, expect to see that Photobucket broken link image above many times in the coming months.

Photobucket Breaks Image Links Across the Internet

No faith or trust – Photobucket is now dead

Like many others (take a read around for responses), I was taken aback by this step-change.

While Photobucket has been happy to keep filling my InBox with crap adverts for the cheap tat it wants to be to buy, there was not ONE WORD OF WARNING OR ANY ALERT regarding this fairly significant change to its Terms & Conditions, opportunity to plan/prepare in advance, or even offer feedback for them to ignore.

Like many, I am now in the process of downloading whatever material I had there (to host myself), and then closing/deleting my account.


Also, like many other responses I have read to this betrayal, I will not use Photobucket ever again, even they cancelled this change and restored this free aspect of their service.

While I’ve used some fairly questionable (free) hosting services in the past, and they HAVE disappeared, I at least was able to look at their offering and see this was likely.

Not so with Photobucket – at least not until the last sell-out/takeover, when it went rapidly downhill, lost quite a few functions, started selling aggressively, but did not make any changes that affected the free hosting, which carried on as before, so I left things alone.

I should have jumped ship then, when I noticed New International and creep Rupert Murdoch lurking.

A DECENT company does not remove your images THEN give you the option to pay to get them back.

Maybe they just thought it would be ‘kewl’ to change their business model to that of the current spate of Ransomware operations that have appeared recently.

July 2, 2017 Posted by | Lost, photography | | Leave a comment

Clara is missing in Sandyhills

Another set of posters in the area tells of another missing cat.

Having been sort of housebound for a few weeks, I kind of snapped and just went out for a mindless wander to cover a few miles, and was disappointed to find that another appeal to help find a lost cat.

I’m guessing this one has been missing for a week, but it’s never possible to be sure as the posters generally just refer to ‘last Sunday’ and omit any sort of date, so it could be a week, or it could be weeks. There’s no way to tell.

I’ve seen some of these posters up for months on some of my walks, and looking reasonably fresh if originally well made.

However, these are just plain paper, so have to be only from last weekend.

Clara Missing Cat

Clara Missing Cat

June 26, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

How do you lose…

So, ambling towards The Forge at Parkhead, and watching out for interesting finds lying in the street, I come across one…

But not a find I’ll be collecting or taking home – see the pic:

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

As always, I arrive just to late to catch the fun, or whatever.

On this occasion, I’m not even going to TRY and make up a narrative to go with this one.

I’m sure you can come up with own, and probably better than any I could come up with.

June 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Hope the cat is OK and got a new home

Spotted this sad and sorry sight on the way home recently.

I hope the resident wasn’t injured in the collapse of their home, but then again, it might have been their own fault, and the place just couldn’t stand the strain of all those ‘pussy pound’ bearing down on it, and just gave up one day.

Fat Cat Broken Home

Fat Cat Broken Home

This may be a build defect which the local planning authority has failed to catch during the inspection and approval process, as many similar cases of cats becoming homeless after such a disaster can be found online.

Perhaps it is not actually the cats that are the cause, but poorly designed and manufactured perches.

Perhaps we need the Americans to raise the first multi-million dollar class action against the manufacturers and suppliers of these potentially deadly high-rise structures, so that responsibility for failures can be properly established in court?

Online example of imminent and actual failure:

Fat Cat Broken Perch

Fat Cat Broken Perch

June 6, 2017 Posted by | Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Allie is missing in Shettleston

News of another missing cat, this time in Shettleston near Killin Street.

At least that’s where I picked up this pic.

Not much I can add, but Sunday was only a couple of days ago, so this is a new appeal.

Allie Missing Cat

Allie Missing Cat

May 31, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

Irony at the antique shop window

(Full disclosure: Sad to say, this is actually an old post that got lost in ‘Drafts’ years ago, but since I found it and it was almost complete, I’ve finished it since the content remains interesting. However, the shop mentioned is long gone these days, and has been upgraded and opened as something else.)

Irony: There are plenty of clever definitions of various flavours of irony to be found in dictionaries, so I’ll go with a plain language version that didn’t come from such a source, A simple way of putting it is that irony usually signals a difference between the appearance of things and reality.

It’s been some weeks since I visited Parkhead Cross, and even more since I walked along Westmuir Street to get there. Other needs generally see me going along Shettleston Road, or Tollcross Road, and missing this one. It’s kind of depressing, as quite a few of the shops have thrown up the shutters in recent times.

However, new ones do appear, and when I did get near the cross itself I noticed what appeared to be a ‘new’ antique shop. Some would just call it a junk, or second-hand, shop, but it doesn’t really fall into either of those categories either. The reason I say that is down to the eclectic selection of items that (visually at least) are genuine antiques and could be valuable to the right collector, and I could also see some items which would be classed as architectural salvage, and command a fairly hefty price tag.

Parkhead Shop

Parkhead Shop

(I’ve since been past again, but did not have time to stop and look closely, but spotted a pile of original B&W prints in card frames, which appeared to be 1950’s survey pics taken over Glasgow. By the time I get back there though, I expect they will be gone.)

One thing caught my eye, almost hidden in a wooden cabinet with glass doors – a ceramic Smudge.

Smudge, for non-Glaswegians, was the famous Glasgow cat that resided in the People’s Palace, and was immortalised by a short run of ceramic copies of her likeness, and once sold in the museum’s shop, later came to be known as ‘replicats’ by some. Sadly, I have no idea what they cost, which varied as they were produced in different sizes. I believe 50 were planned originally, but the number was increased to 500 due to their popularity.

Smudge Ceramic

Smudge Ceramic

(This image actually came from Pinterest, which I have no idea how to work. I don’t have details of the source, and Pinterest blocks access if you click on an image, unless you respond to their blackmail and register an account to gain further access – and I will NEVER register with such a site.)

All the Smudges were hand-finished, and I think the one I have looks better than the one above.


Where did the irony come from?

While I was standing at the window of this shop, trying to spy enough detail to work out if I was looking at collectibles or modern copies (not worth anything), I was repeatedly approached by a local elderly ‘character’, trying to ‘tap’ me for 2 p. While this made a nice change from the usual kids or neds that generally accost me here, and want me to go into the shop and buy alcohol or cigarettes for them, I still wasn’t contributing.

If I need 2 p, I can generally find such a coin in the street, and almost suggested he try the same – and that’s where the irony came in.

When I turned around from the window and walked away… the first thing I saw lying on the pavement was a tiny 5 p coin, just waiting to be rescued. So, if he’d taken my advice (which I’m sure he wouldn’t), he’d have been 3 p up on the deal he wanted. As it was, I got the whole 5 p!

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Just a gate – all that’s left of Loancroft

It was pure chance that I learned these gates were the only remains of a big house (mansion or villa) in Baillieston.

These pillars and some wrought iron fencing are all that remains of Loancroft House, which is now the site of the present Loancroft Care Home.

Loancroft Gates

Loancroft Gates

I can’t remember where I found this note about Loancroft, and searching online is futile since all the property and estate agents have their useless house sales web sites forced to the top any searches for a house, so ruin the usefulness of search tools.

That’s not helped by Loancroft House not being mentioned in the most common historic online references, since it’s long gone, nor does it appear in an old book which lists many of those that are gone, but has pictures and prints of many.

So, other than the name, and the gates, there’s not much I can add regarding the history of the old house.

If you anything, you could do worse than share it in the Comments below.

May 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

The Big Safety-Pin at Rottenrow

I suspect I have a better pic of this giant safety-pin, but if I keep on trying to find it then I’ll never include one, good or bad. It’s not that bad, I just find it irritating that I didn’t notice some leaves overlapping, and forgot to include the plaque detail below.

Although its official title is “Mhtothta” (the Greek word for maternity), this 7 metre tall giant safety-pin sculpture is known locally as the “Monument to Maternity”, and depicts a nappy pin in memory of the Glasgow Maternity Hospital that stood on this site.

Made from stainless steel by Glasgow artist George Wyllie in 1996 and originally entitled “Just in Case”, it was originally created for the city’s local Mayfest festival. Wylie then took it to Portsmouth, suggesting it could be used to symbolise attachment to the European Community. It then went to Edinburgh when leaders of the Commonwealth were visiting, implying attachment to that body as well.

But it was as the nappy pin, with a small bird perched at the very top, that it was finally and permanently installed in Rottenrow Gardens, opened in 2004


The Giant Nappy Pin

May 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The remains of Rottenrow Royal Maternity Hospital

As a bit of a follow-on from yesterday’s catch up with the Big Nappy-Pin at Rottenrow Gardens (apologies, that post has been delayed, but will be along shortly), I thought I should throw in a few pics of the remains left behind after the old hospital was demolished.

The hospital was famous in its day, as a place where worried fathers could be found in the street, banished there in the days when a birth was last place a man was expected to be found – there’s probably many early B&W pics to be found of the entrance below, where they can be seen loitering.

Today it is one of the entrances to Rottenrow Gardens.

Rottenrow Maternity Entrance

Rottenrow Maternity Entrance

An arch above a doorway in the adjacent North Portland Street carries dates relating to the founding of the hospital, and provides another entrance to the gardens:

Rottenrow Maternity Arch

Rottenrow Maternity Arch

Please note the date on the left is 1835 – I mistook this for 1885 at first glance, which caused some confusion.

A closer look allows some of the decaying inscription and Glasgow’s coat of arms to be seen, but I can’t quite make out the word preceding the 1880 date:

Rottenrow Maternity Arch Detail

Rottenrow Maternity Arch Detail

I’ve tried digging up earlier (but still recent) pics of this carving, but they all show similar erosion and loss of distinction of the letters, already confused as a result of their highly stylised form.

Any really old B&W pics I can access are just too small to show any useful detail.

May 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | 4 Comments

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