Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Forgotten Baillieston ice-cream pic

Remember I mentioned the return of Soaves ice-cream to the busier part of Baillieston Main Street after moving to its own ice-cream parlour on the outskirts, after it closed?

While I did manage to get a shot of the shop one day, I forgot to catch the sign on the footpath.

Then I forgot I had caught it on a miserable, dark, wet night (wonder why I forgot that?)

Since I have the pic, I might as well use it.

Soaves Baillieston Return

Soaves Baillieston Return

Incidentally (and completely unrelated to this), it seems Glasgow may be set to outlaw this sort of temporary sign, and many other objects which are scattered on pavements and footpaths nowadays.

The number has become ridiculous in some places, with a number of traders also permanently abandoning (and even chaining/locking) their commercial waste wheeled bins to street lamp and sign posts. The accumulation is reducing the available space, and disabled people, wheelchair users, and even parents with prams can find their way barred. The council has indicated traders will be fined if they block  or obstruct the footpath, and there will restrictions on when their bins can be left out for collection, with penalties if these are not followed.

I recall something similar happened a few years back (might have been Largs, or similar coastal resort) when shops started to fill the footpath with signs, and things like trees and bushes to make ‘their’ premises look better than the competition. Complaints grew – and regulation followed.

I don’t know what happened – I had to give up watching news from the resorts… it all got too miserable, and loaded with crime and violence!


June 23, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Audi in Glasgow confirms online record problem

Another of my favourite plate styles (two letters/numbers) spotted in Glasgow – 99 AR.

A 2015 Audi RS 7 V8 Quattro Auto (petrol rather diesel, thank goodness) which should have a handy 560 BHP thanks to its turbo.

I referred to and ‘online record problem’ in the title, and while the DVLA does provide anonymised data, I found that 5 online services provided different data when fed this registration number – I only stopped at 5 because that was the number I had to check before the correct car details were returned by the query. That said, even the year wasn’t definite, but 2015 is at least possible.

I hope the data used by the police for ANPR (automatic number plate recognition) is better – after all, they can confiscate your car on the spot, with little chance of changing their mind if you can’t come up with positive proof that the records are in error, and can even have it crushed a few days later if the records are not updated.

I’ve found this disparity in an increasing number of enquiries I’ve made recently, and wonder why.

Audi RS7 V8 [99 AR]

Audi RS 7 V8 [99 AR]

June 23, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Polish shutter mural (gone)

Looking through some older wandering, I found this neglected shutter pic.

Obviously the shutter and shop sign have no connection – the sign came later, after the mural, which belonged to a Polish eatery on the Gallowgate.

Since then, I think at least two different eateries have occupied the shop, but I’m not sure of the current status as I don’t pass that way nowadays.

That said, I do know it was a bookie’s before all these better uses arrived.

I can’t recall seeing the sign without that ‘E’ missing – maybe it was never there (or was pinched/fell off very early in the sign’s life).

Gallowgate Polish Shutter Mural

Gallowgate Polish Shutter Mural

As an aside, it’s maybe interesting to note that Tesco has its own ‘Polish Bakery’ which provides quite a nice range of Polish recipe breads, under this brand label. I didn’t realise it was actually their own brand/bakery until recently.

Tesco Polish Bakery

Tesco Polish Bakery

June 22, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – W3 JOX

I almost walked past this little gem, but even just shifting one letter means it’s one of… the illegals.

It’s not just owners of expensive cars that like to wave at the police and invite a fine of up to £1,000 for their doctored plates.

This 2007 Clio offers the same AND I don’t even have to try guessing at the reason why.

2007 Renault Clio Dynamique [W3 JOX]

2007 Renault Clio Dynamique [W3 JOX]

According to the small print at the bottom of the plate, I’m supposed to think ‘W3 JO X’ reads WEE JOANNE.

June 21, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Ooooooooh… Shiny!

This was an interesting find – two things I like AND can moan about.

This 2015 Nissan GT-R has been given a gold wrap and been debadged, so despite some Nismo styling, I don’t think it is (I think it;’s the Recaro model).

For those not familiar, rather than have a car resprayed to change the colour, it’s now possible to have it wrapped in an adhesive plastic film instead (which can be later removed), offering the possibility of elaborate printed designs, or as in this case, a metallic finish which could not really be sprayed. I’m told it was once a lower cost option, but it seems growing demand has seen price creep raise the cost, with some installs rivalling the cost of a respray, and the film is still vulnerable to simple tear, and can fail.

I’d add another problem (on Scottish roads at least). While sunny California might see it stay clean and shiny, sadly, even my low-res blog pics probably show this wrap already look dull thanks to a coating of road film and dust.

Does this look like gold?

2015 Nissan GT-R Front [17 NY]

2015 Nissan GT-R Front [17 NY]

I like the GT-R as well, but…

Like many, I feel the price has climbed above all reasonable increases since the original Nissan Skyline GTRs such as the R33 and its siblings.

While they set the standard and could be modified in the extreme, they avoided the silly numbers that reportedly come with the GT-R.

I think the last straw for me was seeing the cost of servicing one of the new cars, and the crazy bills for brakes and fluids, which have to be changed on schedule, or risk major failures (even more expensive). That was a year or two ago, so I can’t remember the exact numbers that made my eyes water. DIY (which I could do) makes things better, but can come at the cost of any warranties, which usually have dealer service stamps as part of their qualification.

It’s worth looking in some of the owner’s forums (or somewhere like Jalopnik)) to get an idea.

2015 Nissan GT-R Rear [17 NY]

2015 Nissan GT-R Rear [17 NY]

June 21, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Destined to be bent for life

Unless it’s maybe a popular feature or attraction, I tend not to repeat stuff, but this one has earned its repeat.

I just noticed it’s a year and a half since I noted How being careful bent a bike rack

Since then I’ve passed this corner, shall we say, more than once.

That particular bike rack not only never appears to be straight, it also always seem to be at a different angle.

I can only guess that it’s just the right distance from the corner to get clobbered regularly.

What’s surprises me is not the assorted bendings, but that it has failed due to metal fatigue, from being bent one way and then pulled (sort of) straight afterwards.

There’s a thought – maybe its REAL purpose in life is to protect the second one!

If you cycle and want to avoid it – it’s near the corner of George Street and Albion Street.

Bendy Bike Rack

Bendy Bike Rack


June 20, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Dark night, white car

Another example of my ‘sort of’ favourite personalised registration style, this 2+2 (2 numbers and 2 letters) spotted on an 2014 Audi Q5.

I wonder if it reveals a secret?

We already know that moronic DJs can somehow become millionaires for doing nothing more than ruining music with their endless prattle and drivel as they jabber mindlessly over music tracks.

Given I caught this one outside a huge bingo hall, does ’23 BC’ suggest that Bingo Callers make a fortune for simply calling out the numbers on their balls?

2014 Audi Q5 [28 BC]

2014 Audi Q5 [28 BC]

June 19, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

La Pasionaria on the Clyde Walkway

I think I missed this for years, so have finally taken a decent pic and collected some notes.

I was more than a little surprised the first time I came across a pic of this statue, and couldn’t recall ever seeing it. To be fair to myself, in the past I seldom walked on that side of Clyde Street, let alone next to the river on the Clyde Walkway.

The statue, La Pasionaria (The Passion Flower”), is a tribute by the city of Glasgow (and the Labour Movement) to the British Volunteers of the International Brigade who fought in the Spanish Civil War of 1936-9. Their fight against fascism is embodied in the statue of Dolores Ibárruri (1895-1989), a heroine of their cause and a leader in the Spanish Republican and Communist movements. The sculpture was commissioned by the International Brigade Association of Scotland in 1974, and produced by the Liverpool based sculptor, Arthur Dooley. His fee of £3,000 was funded following an appeal to Trades Unionists and members of the Labour Movement in Scotland.

It stands about 9 ft (3 m) high, is made of painted fibreglass, and mounted on a rectangular plinth on a steel pedestal made from a vertical steel girder.

Find it near the south west corner of Clyde Street, facing the River Clyde from the Clyde Walkway, where it was erected on 5 December 1979.

Sad to say, the dirty world of Politics threatened the existence of the memorial, and it seems that it attracted hostile opposition from Glasgow’s Conservative Councillors, who vowed to demolish it whenever they unseated the city’s Labour administration. Despite my low opinion of certain aspects of this world, I do think things are better now, and such a threat would not be risked today – if only because of the effect of so-called ‘social media’, and the potential backlash.

The memorial’s construction led to further problems, such as under-funding and its weight. The latter led to a shortening of its girder pedestal before it could be transported from Liverpool. While the sculptor had intended to form the statue in bronze, this was not possible due to the cost.

Dooley reportedly had six attempts to perfect his design for the ‘gaunt, outstretched figure’ of Ibárruri, apparently living in poverty in his Liverpool workshop and staying in a working men’s hostel when in Glasgow.

Thanks to the Political nonsense noted above, the statue was erected without any public ceremony, in case those opposed to it caused some sort of embarrassing incident.

The sad story continues since the subject, Ibárruri, could not be invited to a non-existent unveiling, and the sculptor never saw his finished work, seemingly penniless and unable to afford the fare to Glasgow.

Via City of Sculpture: La Pasionara

BBC Archive article inspired the series ‘Coast’ La Pasionaria Memorial

Having been threatened with being torn down in demolition, it is now A Category B Listed Building in Glasgow, Glasgow Clyde Street, Statue of Dolores Ibarruri, La Pasionaria

See also 2009 restoration appeal article La Pasionaria: the fading icon

There are numerous articles online now, covering the sculpture’s history.

Not bad, given the threat to its existence and lack of ceremony.

Glasgow Clyde Walkway La Pasionaria

Glasgow Clyde Walkway La Pasionaria

June 18, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green’s Penny Farthing Bike Rack (mystery?)

A while ago, I got one of those anonymous ‘hints’ (aka an email with no details) telling of a ‘Penny Farthing themed bike rack’ somewhere on Glasgow Green. I’m not sure if this was offered in light of my interest in Glasgow, or in things related to The Prisoner.

Over the years I’ve probably crawled over most of the Green, yet this came as a complete surprise – so I had to investigate.

After going online, I eventually came up with the following photographic confirmation, captured by the very helpful Thomas Nugent back in 2008 – all of 10 years ago!

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green
Penny farthing shaped racks in Glasgow Green, near the adventure playground.

This at least explained why I hadn’t this rack over the years – I’m a little past the ‘adventure playground’ stage.

But I do know the place, so off I went for a look, TWO looks in fact – BOTH failed, although they were both late evening detours (kind of dark), and covered all the area around the playground.

What’s not clear from the above is that the playground lies adjacent to a Cycle Training Centre

I’d taken a few pics back in 2017, and when I examined them I got a surprise – I already had a pic of the penny farthing rack!

Penny Farthing Bike Racks

Penny Farthing Bike Racks 2017

So, they were still there, but I still couldn’t explain why I hadn’t seen them a few day earlier, hence the hint of (mystery?) in the title – I really did look at the cycle training area, this being the obvious place to look. Maybe it was just too dark, and they couldn’t be seen from the perimeter fence (the place was locked by the time I got there).

I checked the centre’s own pics, and found this view, bear in mind their pics are probably ‘old’ as it opened in 2011.

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Note that the two ‘old’ 2010/2011 pics show the racks sunk into the block paving.

Fast forward to 2018, and my third visit – this time directly to the area in front of the Portakabins in the cycle training area.

There was no problem finding the racks this time (or even seeing them from the perimeter fence, which I checked before heading for them).

If not immediately obvious, it’s worth noting that the racks no longer lie in their original location – sunk into an area of block paving.

They’ve been lifted so their base is no longer buried, and now just lie freely on the ground.

That could mean they’re fair game for scum metal thieves.

It also means they may not have actually have been out on show when I was there earlier, and had been stowed in the training area’s containers for safety during the dark evenings.

Let the pics begin…

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5

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

View from Rottenrow

Something nice for those suffering from the bad news about the Glasgow School of Art.

I’m guessing I’m not the only local wondering just who the Mackintosh Building offended.

Anyway, This is just a nice view taken one evening, looking from Rottenrow over Rottenrow Gardens, built on the site of Glasgow’s former maternity hospital, and quite unintentionally ending up with ‘The Big Safety’ planted dead centre of the image.

For those not familiar, I should probably add that this is a sculpture in memory of that hospital, and remembers all the nappies than must have been used there over the years.

The Royal College (now the University of Strathclyde of course) lies to the right, while the building behind the big pin is the McCance Building, the library in ‘my’ day (this has been resited in a new, purpose-built building nearby), it now seems to be a massive Admin Centre for the university.

Rottenrow Evening View

Rottenrow Evening View

June 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The illegals – R10 XYL

I’ve spotted this one only rarely (despite it ‘living’ not that far away) and missed catching a pic for ages, so finally made the effort to go catch it.

With naughty spacing in BOTH the numbers and the letters, ‘R10XY L’ seems to be immune to attention or the potential £1,000 fine it could attract.

I’m not sure, but I think this Mercedes C180 just might have been ordered with the ‘Badge Delete’ option ticked.

2003 Mercedes C180 Komp Classic SE [R10 XYL]

2003 Mercedes C180 Komp Classic SE [R10 XYL]

Funny thing about this one is that every time I see it I think of it as a BMW first!

It’s not that I mistake the shape (although the de-badged rear could be mistaken with a quick glance), but I think is down to spending some years inside a BMW that had a dealer badge stuck on the inside of one of the windows, and that dealer’s name was… ROXY (I think they disappeared years and years ago, but I still have that badge).

Same at the front – that grille looks REALLY small.

2003 Mercedes C180 [R10 XYL]

2003 Mercedes C180 [R10 XYL]

June 17, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

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