Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Not on Glasgow’s Mural Trail – Alexandra Park

While you’ll find tourists being guided around the Glasgow city centre and a mural trail, they’ll miss some nice work in the surrounding area.

In this case, within Alexandra Park, and one of its buildings.

One end of the building is devoted to the park’s Bike Club, and has been decorated with an appropriate mural, in two parts set on either side of its main door.

Alexandra Park Mural 1

Alexandra Park Mural 1

The remainder lies to the right (of the door), plus another above.

Alexandra Park Mural 2

Alexandra Park Mural 2

The rest of the building serves as the club house for the Park’s golf course, with the local vermin (invasive grey squirrel as opposed to native red) depicted as a mischievous character – guess the artist just used the local view, since there’s a lot of these bushy-tailed ‘rats’ running around the park.

There’s even one on the roof!

Alexandra Park Mural 3

Alexandra Park Mural 3


August 18, 2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow 2018 bribe?

So, was this ‘free and unticketed’ event really just a bribe by the organisers to divert the people’s attention and make them think they were getting ‘something for nothing’?

They (or I should say ‘we’) lost free access to many parts of Glasgow (and still have in some places, as it has yet to be restored) to give priority to races on our roads, and even this ‘free’ event led to a large part of Glasgow Green being closed off by a perimeter fence manned by security personnel at all times, and only accessible via controlled access points even though ‘free and unticketed’.

I have no idea how well attended this was as I only ventured onto the Green in the evening, arriving around 7 pm or later, to ensure I could get through it without having to alter my usual route too much. Although even then, a number of access points were still denied by closed fencing, and those ever-present security staff, who at least had seats and didn’t have to stand all the time.

Glasgow 2018 Bribe

Glasgow 2018 Bribe

Just make it all go away now – please!

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Another ‘secret’ box spills its story for us

Not that long since we last saw inside one, this ‘secret’ box on the side of the road in Rutherglen decided to give us a look at that which is not normally seen.

Better than most, it came complete with labelled breakers and isolators, and even a complete circuit diagram.

What more could we ask for?

This one’s clearly had a bit of a refurb in its life, with a nice enclosure fitted to carry the stuff that we’ve seen just mounted directly inside the larger outside box in other examples – although they didn’t manage to get the fuses in the new area.

Still, it’s a lot better looking than any we’ve come across so far.

Rutherglen Road Secret Box

Rutherglen Road Secret Box

Interesting items on the breakers.

I’d be intrigued to see the actual difference between the ’24 HR’ circuit, and what the ‘BY-PASS’ option actually by-passes, although it’s probably obvious.

I wonder if there’s a thermostat on the ‘HTR’ (heater) circuit, or if it’s just a big power resistor or real heater element that just cooks the interior all the time.

‘PEC’ will be a photoelectric control circuit that should ensure the street lighting only activates during hours of darkness, unlike the old street lighting circuits, which had timers to switch them on during ‘Lighting Up’ hours.

The two switches above this are an ‘OVERRIDE’ on the left, and a ‘MAIN SWITCH’ on the right.



Nice (partial) diagram.

At least this one is photogenic – the first and last one I came across a while ago had actually faded thanks to the weather, so  couldn’t be pictured.

Interesting to see the test values recorded, also both the poles with lamps, and those with no lamps (‘REST POLES’ used to support the overhead cables on their routing) are identified individually.

Rutherglen Road Lighting Box Diagram

Rutherglen Road Lighting Box Diagram

August 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Yes, that whining noise you hear DOES mean Scottish ferries are back in the news

Off we go again.

I love the way ferry users complain when they don’t get what they want, and still complain when they do.

For years, it was complaints about the high price of ferry tickets in Scotland, the lack of RET (road equivalent tariff – I’m not explaining it any more, go search), and stifling of tourist trade and visits to the islands.

Guess what?

Now that we have RET and ticket prices are falling…

Yup, you guessed it – STILL complaining!

Rising visitor numbers are creating pressures for places on ferries to and from Scotland’s islands.

Locals and businesses are feeling the pinch while the Scottish government say they are working to improve services.

Should locals get priority on ferries?

And it doesn’t end there.

It may come as a surprise to some, but you can’t just go to ‘The Ferry Shop’ and buy a new one off the shelf.

They last something like 20-30 years, and have to be commissioned when new ones are needed and built. They always cost a lot more, and not just because of inflation, but because legislation changes, get stricter, and these days have environmental/energy requirements to meet.

This means that each generation of ferry is effectively not only a new-build, but also new-tech.

If there’s something similar being produced in the yards, chances are you’ll get an on-time delivery.

But if you order something special, reality check says you should plan on it being late.

Or you can stick your head in the sand, and look shocked and surprised when it’s late.

Writing on my favourite subject is making me late, so I’m just going to stop there.

Or add one more little observation – it’s a contract to build a new ferry type.

So how come the comment moron section is full of demented political rambling?

Latest CalMac ferry now delayed by a year

I’m REALLY beginning to favour only the BBC’s generally ‘moron section’ free articles nowadays.

(And beginning to understand why a few hundred morons went to protest at the BBC’s HQ recently, if they can’t get posting their stuff there as much as after other media sources.)

Further delays to delivery of new CalMac ferries

Not even going to waste a nice ferry pic on this one.

Have some free advice instead.

Whining Solution


August 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Cute EV charging lead reminder

I’m pleased to see that (despite the naysayers) electric vehicle charging is both being provided and used in Glasgow.

It seems some people CAN think for themselves.

The only downside being that if it’s no longer a novelty, I can’t use it as an excuse for a pic.

However, we do have a car-sharing scheme in Glasgow, and one of the options is electric cars.

I’ve never bothered to look too closely, but a label hanging from the charging lead stuck into one of them said “Come closer… Look at me… READ ME!” as I shuffled past.

Interesting Car Charging West Campbell Street

Interesting Car Charging West Campbell Street


I wonder how many they’ve lost?

Cute Label

Cute Label


Given that the information available online could see you receive a visit from the boys with ‘Chequered Bunnets’, and maybe even have your car seized and destroyed if you cannot prove your case with 14 days, I’m a little concerned to note that this is clearly an electric Renault (I didn’t look at the details), and is WHITE.

According to ALL the (free – including DVLA’s own checker) online vehicle databases I can access this is…

Model Clio Dynamique Medianav
Fuel Petrol
Colour Grey
Year 2015

Emissions 127 g/km
Tax Band D
Registered 30 April 2015
Engine 1149 cc
Power 75 bhp

Somebody somewhere has made a – GASP – mistake!!!


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

They really are refurbing the Burrell building

While it’s handy to have the media reports on things that fall within one’s sphere of interests, it’s also slightly worrying that one must depend on the competence of the reporter or writer concerned.

While most are reputable, it’s always possible for an innocent mistake to be made in a report, or some detail to misinterpreted – both are thankfully rare, and nearly always corrected. But, while some are properly corrected (with an alert or acknowledgement of some sort), some media sources still just edit the original quietly, leaving the only clue to be a change to the publication, triggered by the edit.

Then there’s the more insidious ‘Sponsored Article’ which may really be an ‘Opinion Piece’ for some activists or agenda group masquerading as a legitimate article, or simply a blatant advert sneaking behind a similar masquerade. Thankfully, even if they have sold out by currying such drivel, most reputable media sources also flag such content (usually to be found at the foot of the article, together with the source or author’s name), but not until the end – so always check the end of suspicious content before reading, so you can choose to skip it.

It was a whimsical remark about trusting media tales that made me think about the above, after taking the opportunity to take a spin past the Burrell Collection, or rather its building, in Pollok Country Park recently. It’s no secret that the collection is currently closed while the building is upgraded, and the closure for the £66 million revamp is set to last for four years, from 2016 to 2020.

I didn’t manage to work out an easy way to get there (since being priced off the road), and didn’t manage a revisit before it closed, but found an acceptable solution recently, and took the chance to test it out, albeit on a really grotty evening.

So, I can say I’ve not only read about the Burrell’s refurb and upgrade, I’ve actually seen that it’s real!

Wish I’d thought of this long ago – it really is years (many) since I last saw the collection, now have another two years to wait, and may not last that long!

The building is ringed by a perimeter security fence.

Burrell Collection Building Works

Burrell Collection Building Works

And there’s no way you’re going to sneak in the front door either.

Burrell Collection Building SealedII

Burrell Collection Building Sealed

August 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Today is Surveillance Day

16 August is Surveillance Day.

We know who you are.

We know where you are.

We know what you’re doing.

It seems the first surveillance cameras were created by a German engineer, Walter Bruch, and installed by Siemens AG in Germany in 1942, to observe the launch of V-2 rockets. In the US, the first commercial closed-circuit television system, Vericon, became available in 1949. The earliest video surveillance systems had to be monitored constantly by humans, as there was then no way to record and store information. VCR technology became available in the 1970s, making it became possible to record images as well as sound, and the use of video surveillance became much more practical and consequently much more common. By 1998, some 3,000 CCTV systems were in use in New York City.

In 2010, there were more than 10,000 CCTV systems in Chicago. Greater London was estimated to have around 500,000, with the UK total then estimated to be around 4.2 million.

The quandary is that with so many cameras, and with so many people possibly abusing them, it’s harder than it should be to justify them on the basis of the good they can do.

This day was originally called Wave At The Surveillance Cameras Day, but the founder of this day changed it to the shorter Surveillance Day on 02 July 2018.

Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance Cameras


Surveillance Cameras

Surveillance Cameras

August 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | | Leave a comment

The illegals – J11 GYH

After yesterday’s interesting Civic Type-R, my memory was jogged, and I remembered another one in a similar mould.

Not a Type-R though, just a Type S, which has a 100 BHP 1.4 litre VTEC engine.

That’s still not bad at all (actually quite good), as I have a Classic car with a 1.5 litre engine producing 75 BHP which was probably one of the hottest on the road in its day (made in Germany, and said to be able cruise the Autobahn at 70 mph all day.) Then I once had a hatchback (which impressed me at least, in its day) with a new OHC 1.3 litre engine which also produced 75 BHP.

But they’re all far behind some of the more exotic and advanced naturally (ie not turbo or supercharged) engines now being fitted, which can hit 100+ BHP per litre.

I hope the novelty of spacing that registration number illegally is worth it, if a traffic cop in a bad mood decides not to see the funny side, and the owner has to cough up anything up to £1,000 for the offence.

2010 Honda Civic [J11 GYH]

2010 Honda Civic [J11 GYH]

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

This is the BBC

This is the BBC, but not the one most of you know.

This is the Belvidere Bowling Club, somewhere between Parkhead and Dalmarnock.

The area is technically neither, since it was, or I should say still is Belvidere, but it’s a name rarely used nowadays, since Belvidere Hospital was closed and trashed to make way for some new houses in advance of the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games staged in Glasgow.

Those houses were never finished – I was watching them being built.

Once about half the site had been developed, work seemed to stall.

After a while it looked as if it was about to restart, but it was just a final effort to landscape the ground that had been cleared, and partly prepared for foundations. The contractor probably had to restore, or get slapped with penalties for abandoning it.

Well, that’s my guess anyway.

The plots are still bare today, and can be seen from London Road, or via Google Earth.

I always think it’s kind of funny that it has ‘BBC’ in its wrought-iron gate.

Belvidere Bowling Club

Belvidere Bowling Club

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

Lost cat is mute in Pollokshields

Another in the unfortunately undated ‘Lost Cat’ poster series, seen last night, but no idea how long it has been up.

Guess from its (the poster’s) condition.

No name for the cat either (he’s mute, not deaf).

The folk that used to live at the bottom of the garden a few years ago seemed to be able to attract cats, and always had one or two. Lucky they’re not there any more – the way the cats around here mostly won’t let anyone near them means they’d probably have been out of luck.

But we did get a call from once, asking if we’d unlock our garage and leave the door open a bit…

Seems they’d lost their current cat over the weekend, and had eventually tracked her down by following meowing coming from our garage.

We opened the door and had a look, but nothing seen – but the neebs seemed happy enough when we saw them later.

Lost Cat Poster Pollockshields Shawlands

Lost Cat Poster Pollokshields Shawlands

August 13, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

My favourite pics of Glasgow 2018

These are the best pics I’ve taken or seen of Glasgow 2018.

(I’d quite liked to have had some pics of the last day, as it was cold and wet, raining frequently if not heavily – but still just the right traditional Scottish ending to this nuisance. However, I’m not daft enough to go out on a day like that!)

(I got my wish 🙂 – see this collection of pics shared on the BBC’s Your pictures of Scotland: 10 – 17 August page. There’s a lovely pic of the thoroughly soaked and sodden road cyclists splashing through Glasgow.)

The CLEARING AWAY of this week plus of madness and disruption to the lives of the good and patient people of Glasgow, and the return of their city to them!

Note the corner of the kerb, cut away and replaced by a tarmac ramp so a few cyclists (no, sorry, my apologies to real cyclists) privileged racers could have a smooth run, and not have to stop or slow down to negotiate the kerb like the rest of us.

I wonder if this will be left, or the kerb will be reinstated?

I’ll watch, and update if this is changed.

It should also be noted that while the rest of the country moans about growing numbers of unrepaired potholes on their roads, there was a full team of road maintenance workmen, plus road surface scrapers, road laying machines, and road rollers repairing this (and other road surfaces around the city).  Again, NOT for the citizens, but this group of privileged cycle racers who were being worshipped throughout Glasgow 2018, with many roads closed so they could have clear passage.

The rest of just have to fight our way through the daily traffic.

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Lovely view.

I could have sat and watched this for hours, I found workers working into the night in a number of places, clearing all the barriers and obstruction away, but it was getting dark and I had to go home.

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018

Good Riddance Glasgow 2018


DON’t hurry back.

Aww… Rubbish – He’s just making this stuff up!

Nope. Sorry, but it’s all true.

I took these pics for myself, during the week before this nonsense started and it became too much hassle to get near Glasgow Green or the People’s Palace.

These are the very road works, plant, and machinery I referred to.

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep


Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep


Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

Glasgow Green 2018 Prep

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

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