Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Getting to be glad I’m stuck indoors just now

Last week I was thinking it was just as well I wasn’t wandering around as usual, as I might have been in Baillieston.

Hairdressers threatened in salon Taser raid

This week, it was somewhere I might be found a lot more regularly, but again, was glad I’m still stuck indoors.rime

Tollcross Park cordoned off as man rushed to hospital following assault

Both were daytime too.

Lots of Buckfast to be found there.

Tollcross Park Buckfast

Tollcross Park Buckfast



Dec 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Archibald McLellan is in Kelvingrove

I noticed the post scheduled for this morning was another in the small run of occasional pics I’ve grabbed of the currently semi-derelict or abandoned McLellan Galleries in Sauchiehall Street.

It’s really sad seeing the place like this (even if there is usually an admission charge, which peasants notice), as I can recall making a trip there to see a James Bond Exhibition once, and also another which featured artistic robotics. There was one gem in that show, an exhibit reminiscent of something like The Terminator – it comprised a number of disconnected humanoid body parts, all animated, which just dragged themselves around the floor all the time.

I was wandering through the Glasgow section of Kelvingrove, which really is quite good and deserves a close look rather than a quick glance. It’s surprisingly detailed in places.

I spotted the McLellan name, and found it was attached to a large portrait of the man himself – one Archibald McLellan of McLellan Galleries fame.

Archibald McLellan

Archibald McLellan

And his plaque.

Archibald McLellan

Archibald McLellan

Dec 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

SNAW! – The weatherfolk were 100% right (again)

I have to admit to a loss of patience with the people who think it’s ‘kewl’ to mock a certain large and official institute in the UK that is responsible for weather recording and forecasting.

This dates back, I believe, to 1987 and a weather forecast which has been misrepresented ever since then by the media, as an excuse to get a cheap laugh by mocking the forecaster who presented that forecast.

NOT so widely shown by the media is an ACCURATE review of the WHOLE forecast given then, which debunks the fun, and shows that the forecaster was referring to a number of storms during that forecast, and that his words have been taken out of context to create the myth.

But, as I say…

Why let the TRUTH spoil a good media story?

This week it was interesting to see that the weekend not only carried warnings about possible snow falling in Glasgow, both Yellow and Amber warnings were issued.

(Snow tends to be referred to as ‘snaw’ in Glesga, or ‘Glasgow’ if you’re posh, so I have to cater for the locals as well as the rest of the world 🙂 )

Looking at the prevailing weather, this might have seemed a little silly, as we are living with temperatures up around 8°C, although the nights are sometimes frosty.

So will the folk who think it’s ‘kewl’ to laugh at the forecaster be laughing.

You decide.

This was a shot taken out my back door during the night.

I’m not sure how much had fallen, as the ground is still relatively warm.

Nothing was lying on roads or paths, but they were very wet, with puddles, while grass and soil had visible snowfall lying.

Remember, it only needs ONE snowflake to fall on a certain rooftop in London on 25 December for it to be officially declared a White Christmas!

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Sat 15 Dec 2018 Snow

Right about ‘Frozen Rain’ too!

The alert I read also mentioned something referred to as ‘frozen rain’, but didn’t go into any real detail.

I suppose the meaning is fairly obvious (to anybody but a weather forecast naysayer, that is).

I was standing in my hallway at lunchtime, and noticed a strange noise penetrating the house, and getting more noticeable.

For the technically aware, it was as if someone had started to turn up an amplifier just playing white noise.

It was coming through the open loft hatch, and also from the front of the house.

Sure enough, tiny little ice drops were hitting the front window, and presumably landing over the whole area of the roof.

This was quite unlike the usual hail we see here, which often batters down in clearly visible waves, and lies on the ground.

This fine stuff was almost invisible, and just falling like ordinary rain, and so light it couldn’t stay frozen on the window, or gather on the ground.

So, I guess it was indeed, ‘Frozen Rain’.

Unlike hail, which I think makes multiple journeys up and down in the freezing air at altitude, so grows slightly each time until the hailstones become too heavy to stay aloft, it looks as if frozen rain is literally just that, rain which has hit a layer of cold air, and just frozen on its way down, without ever being carried back up to get wet, and then freeze again as it falls.


Don’t think this has ever been mentioned before.

Dec 15, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 2 Comments

What do they play at in Sandyhills Golf Club?

I did walk past this without taking it in at first, and had to go back for a second look.

And a pic, of course.

Sandyhills Golf Club Cheeky Pig

Sandyhills Golf Club Cheeky Pig

No use asking me, or expecting an answer.

Golf is one of those strange cultish religions as far as I’m concerned – “A good walk wasted” as I think someone once said.

Dec 15, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Christmas timelapse treat

It’s amazing what just about anybody can do with digital cameras now.

Considering that is as good a reason for mentioning this short capture of Glasgow at Christmas.

Considering the amount of money I wasted back in the 1980s and 1990s, when video was supposedly becoming ‘great’, it almost hurts to look at what can be done with the latest camera-phones, let alone the latest real digital cameras, where video and still have all but merged to become one.

Timelapse footage shows how incredible Glasgow looks at Christmas

WordPress blogs don’t allow the video to be embedded, so you’ll have to use the link.

George Square Globe Wheel Tree

George Square Globe Wheel Tree 1

Dec 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Renfrew Street ‘Door’ follow-up surprise

I noticed an add-on door in Renfrew Street a while ago, and had assumed it was some sort of fairly robust barrier, especially given the fairly expensive mechanical digital lock attached to it.

(Sorry, I’m suffering some sort of memory failure, and search crash. I was sure I had this pictured, but can’t find in my archives or in the Blog. You’ll just have to imaging the digital lock, just below the edge of the wall.)

I think that thought might need to be revised a little.

Somebody might want to study their design.

There may be a hole or two in the Mark I version.

If it’s not obvious, the door is in line with the first truss seen in the centre of the pic.

Renfrew Street Not Robust Door

Renfrew Street Not Robust Door

Reminder of how it looks from the front/street.


Dec 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace closure period dates announced

Provisional date have been announced for the closure period of the People’s Palace while work is carried out to alter the structure for its fire escape when access to the current exist is lost due to closure and loss of access to the Winter Gardens.

Now it has been announced that the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will close respectively on December 30 and December 31.

In a letter which has gone out from Glasgow Life, museums have been informed of the date, and that the intended reopening will take place at Easter.

The letter states: “The People’s Palace and Winter Gardens will close on 30 Dec/31 December respectively due to the Winter Gardens building being categorised unsafe due to structure/glass issues.

“It is anticipated that the People’s Palace will reopen around Easter time (actual date cannot be confirmed until building work schedule approved) with the main changes being a new fire evacuation route within the palace as well as lift, public toilet access directly from palace.”

Here’s when the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens closes for repairs

It’s just a pity the article had to refer to the misguided petition raised to “Save the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens for the City of Glasgow”.

James Watt silently oversees developments at the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens.

James Watt overlooks People's Palace and Winter Gardens

James Watt overlooks People’s Palace and Winter Gardens


People's Palace And Winter Gardens

People’s Palace And Winter Gardens


People's Palace Winter Gardens

People’s Palace Winter Gardens


People's Palace and Winter Gardens

People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

While it was a miracle to have the Doulton Fountain rescued and restored – I watched it decay for years and thought it would eventually leave the Green in skips, it is a bit of distraction when trying to get the best view of the People’s Palace façade from the raised area in front.

I really will have to try to remember and try for the closer in, but wider, shot at some point.

People's Palace and Doulton Fountain

People’s Palace and Doulton Fountain

Inside the Winter Gardens.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior

Wider view of the problem – the glasshouse roof.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

I did try for some more detailed views, but the interior of the roof is fairly well obscured by the various nets installed in the past, to prevent any falling glass from attacking visitors.

People's Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

People’s Palace Winter Gardens Interior Roof

Dec 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Locomotion captured

It’s ages since I’ve been in, or even near, Port Dundas Road.

Even though it sounds silly, although I can’t really think what it looked like in the past, I think the view there is becoming quite different as buildings change.

I remembered someone had mentioned a statue/sculpture there, in front of the former Railtrack building, now an office block which is currently being redeveloped and altered.

The work is called ‘Locomotion’, and I’d only ever seen it while passing, but is clearly inspired by the building’s purpose in the days when it was built.

I do recall the building too, and think it’s a pity that the trend for enclosing everything means the angle supports at the base of the structure, once open and in clear view, are now hidden behind glazing frames., and turned into (more) office space.

They did the same with the secondary school I attended, which had a multi-story block, with a completely open space beneath, supported on concrete pillars. The only feature used to be a glazed area in the centre, which enclosed the staircase that ran up through the centre of the tower.

When I went back for a look some years later, it too had been glazed and enclosed, to become more classrooms.

Then I went back for another look – and they’d demolished the lot and turned it into a car park for the adjacent train station!

The school?

It was moved and resited a few hundred metres away from the original site, so still exists, in name at least.

Locomotion Sculpture L

Locomotion Sculpture L


Locomotion Sculpture R

Locomotion Sculpture R

Dec 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Purrple Cat Cafe – might let you work there

One of my regular stops (unfortunately just outside, at the window, not inside) is looking for more staff.

Chances of getting lucky seem low though, as it seems there were more than 4,000 application first time around.

Read more here:

Glasgow’s cat cafe is hiring – here’s how you can apply

Purple Purrple Cat Cafe Evening

Purple Purrple Cat Cafe Evening

What’s that?

NEW hoomins on the way?

Purrple Residents

Purrple Residents

Dec 12, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Motorway LED surprise

I’ve mentioned the upgrading of street lighting in Glasgow to LEDs in recent years (which is now a widespread change taking place everywhere), but hadn’t noticed any specific references to places such as motorways, which have much greater demands than urban roads.

The most obvious difference is the greater height of motorway lighting supports, and consequent need to provide a higher light output from the luminaires mounted on them, to produce a similar level of illumination on the ground/road.

In my innocence, I thought they still used metal halide or other discharge lamps to get the required intensity, but I was wrong.

I’ve been studying various LEDs recently, all intended to increase output and efficiency using the latest advances in materials and manufacture, but even that hadn’t included any motorway references.

So, I got a bit of a surprise when I took a pic of high lighting towers over the motorway near Anderston – and if the anti-shake could cope with the long zoom setting in the dark (it often tries, but often can’t cope with hand held demands).

This was the compact, so I was really pleased with the eventual results after a few test shots and setting tweaks.

BUT, while I expected to see some sort of sizeable gas discharge light source in the fittings – I found LEDs!

This was a bit of a surprise, as these support columns are, I guess, about 20 metres tall, much more than twice the height of an urban street lighting pole, yet the light sources,

(Seems my 20 metre guess may not be as bad as I thought, as I was later told the statue at the centre of George Square is about 80 feet, or 24 metres, and that was what I had in my mind when I made that guess.)

This was the first decent shot that revealed their ‘secret’.

Motorway LEDs

Motorway LEDs

From past experience, I’d actually been expecting to see that each unit housed four gas discharge, or similar, lamps.

Instead, I found that each housed four high intensity LED arrays.

Getting a little closer into one of them.

Motorway LED Luminaire

Motorway LED Luminaire

Unfortunately, at this distance and zoom length (must be close on 700 mm (35 mm eq), there isn’t high detail to examine in the image.

There are clearly four identical LED arrays in the housing.

Each array has ten LEDs.

I know each of those LEDs is made up of multiples, but the brightness means there is no detail – it looks like each of them may be made of two LEDs mounted in parallel, but it’s impossible to be sure. There might even be three, or its just a reflection or distortion in the image, I just can’t be sure, so will go with two. It would be more likely to be two, to avoid overheating.

Also, each of those LEDs will probably comprise a number of individual LEDs mounted together to form what looks like one LED, but is not.

So, each of those four arrays in the circular housing could have at least 100 LEDs, meaning that there is at least 400 LEDs shining from it, and possibly more if the detail was visible.

I tried to find some details of these fittings online, but couldn’t quickly find anything to match what I saw above.

I did find some specific motorway lighting from Philips, but the units have square arrays.

It’s hard to interpret the specs, as there are so many options.

Suffice to say, that you can now get some very bright lighting using LEDs.

And they’re not simply being overdriven to get that light output, which would shorten their life.

The economics are a bit complicated too, but overall, it looks as if the energy saving, in other words ‘How much electricity the council has to buy’ is cut to about 40% of its former value using the older lighting systems, but that figure has to be understood better. It’s not as simple as just looking at the LEDs power consumption alone.

But never mind that.

I’m just impressed, very impressed, by the brightness of these LEDs, and I didn’t even know they were there.

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

Well THAT was surprise – a Mackintosh statue just appeared!

I’m not the sort of person who has ‘heroes’, but if I did, Mackintosh would be one of them.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue And Plinth

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue And Plinth

It may be my less than helpful memory, but when I saw these stories last night, about a statue to Charles Rennie Mackintosh being unveiled yesterday… I was taken completely unawares.

I had no idea, and have been near the spot fairly often, but the site is not in clear view from where I’ve been.

It was too late to do anything, so I had to wait, and hope the decent weather lasted.

Mackintosh statue unveiled on 90th anniversary of death

Charles Rennie Mackintosh statue unveiled in Glasgow today – here’s where to find it

‘Ensuring Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s memory lives on’ – take a look at Glasgow’s new statue

Mackintosh statue unveiled on anniversary of his death

The only sour note of the day came from the usual source – the ‘Moron area’ after The Scotsman’s poor article.

The article failed as it tried to make some daft references to the fire in the Mackintosh Building, and the morons did their usual party piece, using it as an excuse to twist the unveiling to insult others, and make their now standard political points (which nobody but them is interested in).

Statue of Charles Rennie Mackintosh can help Glasgow ‘move on’ from art school fire

The completed statue weighs three tons, is 2.8 m (9 ft) tall and sits on a 2.2 m (6.5 ft) plinth.

It features Mackintosh sitting on one of the famous high-backed seats he designed for Glasgow’s Argyle Street Tea Rooms.

The monument’s creator, Andy Scott, said: “Most of my memories as a Glasgow School of Art student have Mr Mackintosh’s beautiful building as a backdrop. His distinctive architectural styling and the sculpted detailing of that building undoubtedly influenced my career path.

“I am immensely proud to have created this distinctive bronze statue of him, especially here in his home city. There can’t be many Scots who deserve recognition more than Charles Rennie Mackintosh.”

The sculpture was originally intended to be the ‘icing on the cake’ of a year of events planned to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the birth of the architect, who was a pioneering influence in Europe’s art nouveau movement.

The unveiling took place on the 90th anniversary of his death.

Mr Scott, whose other public works include The Kelpies, was commissioned to create the statue more than three years ago, and it is believed to be first ever public sculpture of Mackintosh.

It can be found at the junction of St Vincent Street, Elliot Street, and Argyle Street.

I’m more used to seeing St Vincent Street and Argyle Street as they appear in the city centre, and it’s very odd to stand in them in the form they now have in Anderston.

I don’t care what anyone else refers to this as, but since Mackintosh is sitting squarely in the middle of present day Argyle Street, even if it is now a pedestrian avenue, for me, this is now the Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

It’s a seriously good piece of sculpture, full of rich detail (often missing from stone, but captured in bronze).

I already have a favourite part – his boots!

The lacing detail is gorgeous.

It really is high, and he has a commanding view of the area.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Rear

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Rear

What the unveiling stories from the media failed to report was – the small fact that the plinth’s cladding was incomplete.

When I arrived, it was lunchtime, so the team was packed into their van, and I could take almost clear pics.

You can see the top layer of cladding is only present at the front of the plinth.

It seems ReGlasgow’s photographer was there after me, and took pics AFTER the top cladding was completed.

The pics are a bit odd though, with weird colouring on the statue – I suspect there may be up-lighting built into the plinth, not visible when I was there earlier in the day. Guess I” have to go back later in the day for another look.

IN Pictures — Glasgow’s New Charles Rennie Mackintosh Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Left

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Left

Oh, one small detail from the right edge of the above pic, just in case anyone didn’t believe me about this being Argyle Street.

Argyle Street Sign

Argyle Street Sign

From the other side.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Right

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plinth Right

You noticed the plaque, and wonder what’s inscribed.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plaque

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Plaque

Then, lunch was over, and it was ‘Back to Work’.

The workman gives an idea of the scale of this sculpture – it is ‘larger than life’.

Click for bigger.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Works

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Works

While there were no crowds, there was a steady stream of people arriving to take pics. As one left, another would arrive.

Note the tripod on the right, attached to a video camera. You saw it in the second pic above, along with an interviewer.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Visitors

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue Visitors

I missed my chance for fame!

I could have been the first person interviewed for a programme about the statue on “That’s TV”, which took over Freeview channel 8 after the ultimate disaster of the local television channels that appeared there a while ago, did some sort of deal supposedly to make their service ‘better’, and promptly collapsed. I can’t even remember their name since I stopped watching the useless ‘improved’ version.

Ten years ago I might have, but I’m just not that social now, or even looking for somewhere to push this web site.

But, as you can see, she did eventually manage to interest some of the folk who were turning up.

I began to wish I’d stayed closer, as some of the conversations became quite animated, with the interviewees pointing at lots of places, and doing lots of talking.

I thought I’d return the favour, and hit the video button on my camera but, as the joke goes “I have no idea what I’m doing” as I never use it.

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

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