Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

The illegals – DK51 MBA

This one was a bit odd.

I’d actually walked past it, and along the road for some distance before I decided to go back for a closer look.

At first, I thought it was a foreign registration plate, due to the (illegal) spacing and the (illegal) font (especially the ‘1’), and the unusual pressed metal plate, something not seen very often nowadays as most are perspex.

Maybe the owner of this 2016 Volkswagen Golf 2.0 TDI BlueMotion Tech R-Line (phew – these names are getting longer) is a secret, or part-time, lion tamer.

Volkswagen Golf TDI [DK51 MBA]

Volkswagen Golf TDI [DK51 MBA]


March 16, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Hulking great BMW tyres

One of those numbers I’ve passed for ages yet never ‘collected’.

If I’d been awake, I’d have this number on more cars as they’ve changed over the years.

I just noticed it has moved to this Dec 2017 BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive (no wonder they’ve stopped putting full model names on the rear), from another mini-monster-truck style BMW (but I forget the model already).

BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive [50 AS]

BMW X5 3.0 30d M Sport Steptronic xDrive [50 AS]

Just look at the tyres, which I read American owners regularly discuss  as regards finding alternative to the $500 per corner cost when replacing them.

And many seem to complain of lives as short as 5,000 miles on their “wife’s car which is only used for the school run”.

Make of that what you will. I did note some techie-types noted the thing has a lot of camber to aid road-holding, and that can wear out tyres under certain adverse conditions.

Looking at the quoted size options (not forgetting to look at the associated huge wheel sizes):

285/35R21 (front) 325/30R21 (rear)
285/40R20 (front) 325/35R20 (rear)

I had a quick look at table for the Lamborghini Countach, and found this from the start to end of its life:

1974 Lamborghini Countach Tyre Sizes
LP40(front) 205/70R14 (rear) 215/70R14

1978 brought a new LP400 S model, the engine was slightly downgraded from the LP400 model at 355 PS (350 hp; 261 kW), while the most radical changes were in the exterior, where the tyres were replaced by 345/35R15 Pirelli P7 tyres The widest tyres available on a production car at the time, and reportedly also the first to be manufactured for a particular car, rather than just standard production.

1989 Lamborghini Countach Tyre Sizes
25th Anniversario(front) 225/50R15 (rear) 345/35R15
5000 quattrovalvole(front) 225/50R15 (rear) 345/35R15

Just an observation.

Who wore it best?

Original wide Countach rubber 🙂

1989 Countach

1989 Countach

Whole car could probably sneak under an X5 (you know what I mean).

March 16, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Nameless fairy is still nameless

I’ve had TWO bites at this one already, and had to wander around near midnight to get a third to satisfy my curiosity.

First time around, I was distracted by the novel approach of a set of hybrid legal/illegal number plates on a Seat Ibiza – the front one is illegal, while the rear one is legal.

Then I was distracted by the illegal ‘flag’ I noticed on the left side of the front place, which turned out to be a little fairy. I was so busy catching that I didn’t notice there was footer on the plate, and was left wondering if that was the fairy’s name.

So, loaded with goodies from the nearby 24-hour Tesco, there I was dropping them all, so I could take yet another pic, and try not to look too suspicious since it was almost midnight.

Well, I don’t think this looks like a fairy’s name.

[C9 RYF] Plate

[C9 RYF] Plate

March 15, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Water Bus sign

Digging back into the archives for an unused ‘rainy day’ (freezing day?) pic, I found one I spent so much time fiddling with I forgot to use it.

I’d taken a few that day, and had suffered a bad attack of ‘Tilted Camera Syndrome’, and couldn’t settle on a final version or edit that looked any way half decent or square. Although I whittle the mess down to this one, I forget to finish the job.

While a quick look trawled up some reference to a Clyde Water Bus running for a few years up to 2012, I’m pretty sure the Water Bus refers to something that ran some years before this.

I can’t (quickly) find anything online referring to this, nor can I recall much more than a vague memory. It didn’t seem to cover any routes or destinations that made it of any use to me, so I never had the opportunity to play on it, and then it was gone.

If you know or remember more, a comment below would be nice.

But this quite nice entrance has survived. A bit faded perhaps, but otherwise substantially OK.

Water Bus Sign

Water Bus Sign

Find it on the Broomielaw, at the corner of King George V Bridge, and the junction with Oswald Street.

Wider view, for a bit of context. (Click for a little bigger).

Water Bus Sign Wider

Water Bus Sign Wider

March 15, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Daytime view of the mystery box

Oops, sorry.

Didn’t intend to make two similar posts on following days, but forgot we had suddenly reached that time of year when ‘tomorrow’ is probably not going to be stormy, snowy, windy, and wet, so I can pop out for another pic without waiting for a week or more.

So, the odd lockbox I noticed a couple of nights ago gets its own daylight pics for a closer look, and no delay.

As can be seen, no indication of purpose or owner, and no sticker or labels.

Only other observation might be that it is mounted just above head height, so you have to reach up to it.

And, it IS locked.

Daytime Lock Box

Daytime Lock Box

There’s a reflective survey target on the pole, but this is unlikely to be related.

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , , | 6 Comments

Signs of the spring cycle appear

Caught this in the city centre a while ago, but thought it was more appropriate to keep for an early spring pic.

That’s all.

Spring Bicycle

Spring Bicycle

March 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Recognise this lock box bolted to a lamppost?

Time for a mystery post.

Spotted last night, on a lamppost I have been passing for years, but never looked at.

It’s just too far away to be noticed as the footpath here is widened by a couple of metres of grass, separating the walking part from the road, and the lampposts installed next to the gutter.

I only spotted the box shown below when it was caught in the headlights of an approaching vehicle, otherwise I’d still never have noticed it.

I’ve looked at some old pics of the road, and these show there was nothing attached to the lamppost back in 2015, so it’s been added fairly recently. And a little more substantially mounted than by a couple of cable-ties, it’s not going to fall off any time soon.

No markings apparent, not in the dark of night at least, so this one needs a daylight visit to check for any details or clues.

Lock Box

Lock Box

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Baillieston’s old Airdrie Savings Bank conversion underway

An unplanned jaunt through Baillieston provided a number of updates.

Biggest surprise was a big banner on its Lidl, warning everyone it closes in a few days, for a MONTH! Apparently it’s getting a major makeover to make, yes, you guessed it… BETTER!

Next was Chamber’s old shop, where I last noted the demise of the little side building that used to be home to a little barber’s shop. A concrete base has been laid on, so they’re going to be using the space released by this little bit of demolition,

But the most interesting development was at the old Airdrie Savings Bank building, where work was underway even though it was well past normal stopping time (I hope UNITE or the RMT is not involved, or the nation could be on strike soon).

Although the windows are still too high to see in over, you can see in past the edges of some very badly fitting plywood panels jammed in place of the original opaque glazing at the bottom of the main window, but there’s nothing to see.

I did notice the hole where the cash machine once lived had been worked on, but there was just some wooden shuttering over it, to close the hole.

I’ll look again next time I pass.

Airdrie Savings Bank Works

Airdrie Savings Bank Works

March 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Bennie Railplane display – Kelvingrove

Digging into the ‘cold weather archive’ again, I came across the display for Bennie’s Railplane which can be found in Kelvingrove.

The panel (click for bigger) gives enough details for anyone who is unfamiliar, but that’s not what I have in mind.

Bennie Railplane Description Kelvingrove

Bennie Railplane Description Kelvingrove

The idea was good enough in itself, and if we look overseas then a number of monorails can be found which have succeeded.

But the missing aspect was proper consideration of the engineering and costs – had Bennie been in business with someone who had reeled him in, and ensured the system had been approached in a way that addressed its flaws, then the outcome could have been different.

Using a propeller to drive a land craft was not a good idea, but would have seemed like a good idea by following speedy aviation and streamlining ideas which were popular concepts, and innovation would attract funding. In reality, the losses of a propeller driven carriage, and resultant high fuel consumption would have ruined the operating economics, and demanded a change to some sort of mechanical drive (like other systems of the day).

Then there was the hugely impractical suspended track, intended to be built over existing railways.

However, an honest look at its complexity, and the amount of material consumed compared to the rail tracks which would lie below should soon reveal the dubious wisdom of that part of the system too. There probably wasn’t much that could have been done then to reduce that, barring a complete redesign of the structure, and with the steel and construction methods of the day, there would have been problems.

There’s another aspect – that test track only has one line. Two would really have been needed to provide a realistic service in both directions. Or there would have to have been some way of shuffling railplanes back and forth, and around one another on a single track. Given how often single track trains crashed in those days due to signalling errors, can you imagine how long it would have been until the first truly high-speed collision occurred if that had been tried?

I guess the lack of any subsequent projects along the same lines (unless we count the Hyperloop, which is yet to become a reality anywhere) is as good an indication as any that Bennie may have had an idea, but that while it looked good, it couldn’t deliver.

March 12, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Stone faces in Baillieston Road

Don’t really know why I’ve never pointed a camera at these three characters before, I’ve both seen and passed them often enough.

Collecting something else, I decided today was their day, and grabbed a couple of shots as I walked past.



I’d never even really looked at them, but they obviously all of different faces, each quite different, and if modelled on actual faces, probably would also be recognisable.

There’s no lettering, and I’m guessing there’s a fourth face hidden away on the side that can’t be seen.

That ‘flaw’ alone is enough to make it clear the carving is not an original part of the house where it lies now.

I wonder what its story is, and where was originally located?

March 11, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Cats can can-can

Not mine, unfortunately, and as far as I can see, is a photograph of a photograph, but once seen, could not be ignored and forgotten.

It was probably featured in one of those glossy coffee table books.

I would quite like to have this taking up space on one of my tables.

That’s the lamp, not the book.

Cat Can-Can Lamp

Cat Can-Can Lamp

March 10, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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