Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Correction/update to earlier Kelvingrove Park bin post, quieter Glasgow Green, and a barbecue

Having made a post about the ‘Big bins’ arriving in Kelvingrove Park this year than last year, and noted that there were no mobile CCTV camera units with them…

Of course, I had to be proved wrong!

When I went back a few hours later, not only had a mobile CCTV camera unit arrived – it had brought a friend to keep it company.

Click for bigger.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

A little closer.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

It’s sad to say that these are actually necessary, and not for the litter/rubbish, as was the case last year.

The police are already in the park enforcing Glasgow’s ban on alcohol consumption in a public place such as this (there are pics of them pouring away bottle taken from ‘teens’ – an option avoiding prosecution), but sad to say, this doesn’t prevent mindless violence which seems to have erupted with the sudden jump in temperature (I’m not going to start listing this stuff again, but there were TWO – actually more if I look just off roads I walk – violent crimes near me in the past day), as these new items relating to this park yesterday show…

Attempted murder probe launched after teenager chased through Glasgow park and attacked

Kelvingrove Park appeal: teenager scarred for life after fight

Boy ‘permanently scarred’ in Kelvingrove Park attack in Glasgow

There’s a big police presence around Glasgow

Although I didn’t note it, Glasgow Green (is it the East end’s equivalent of the West end’s Kelvingrove Park) is busy now, and I passed a number of motorcycle police stationed on the exits last week, partnered by SUVs inside the Green.

As far as I know, apart from the People’s Palace reopening, there wasn’t anything special happening. If there was, I didn’t see any evidence, but it was still off-putting to be wandering through so many police.

This weekend seems to see the return of outdoor events on Glasgow Green, and there were more foot patrols in evidence, plus cars, but no motorbikes.

I don’t know what this weekend’s event was, but I’ll class it as ‘Disgusting’.

I hate rap at the best of times, but whoever was ‘performing’ on the Green was below pathetic, and just shouting obscenities and swearing. At least that was all I heard when the noise he was making unfortunately drifted in my direction.

Maybe that’s why the Green was looking quiet, even thought there was something happening.

This was the middle of the afternoon – when I passed on my way home in the evening (around 19:30) the place was deserted.

Click for bigger.

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

It’s OK to have a barbecue in Glasgow

WHY you might want to is another matter.

Apart from the food usually being some sort of health hazard (I usually take one look at the near raw interior, under the burnt black exterior, and discreetly ‘lose’ it), I don’t see the fin in being blinded and having runny eyes for about half an hour as these thing smoulder away.

But, if you like being blinded and poisoned, it seems you’re free to indulge yourself in Glasgow’s parks.

Can you legally have a barbecue in one of Glasgow’s public parks?

No mention in there about the legality of dog meat.

Cat Dog Barbecue

Cat Dog Barbecue


21/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel DOES host weddings AND has more than one webcam

When I mentioned the webcam I came across after visiting Glasgow University Memorial Chapel, I didn’t go into detail.

However, after almost dropping in there this afternoon, a plan aborted as the weather was so nice, I later discovered I wouldn’t have been able to get in anyway.

The chapel does host weddings, provided the participating parting have some connection with the university, and there was one there this afternoon – actually coming to an end as I type this post and watch the proceedings.

Chapel webcam

What was interesting to note was the evidence of more than one webcam (which I’d already noted when I was there), and that there is one looking directly onto the altar and surrounding area, complete sound, AND under live control of an operator, who was clearly using it shoot a ‘Wedding Video’.

I’ve only seen one view online, so far, and wonder if they change the view around?

Glasgow University Memorial Chapel Interior

Memorial Chapel Interior


20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , | 2 Comments

Geez… I know people are stupid, but this is frightening

I still find it hard to believe that many people accept stuff posted online by other people as accurate, factual, and honest.

Things like online reviews, recommendations, and advice may be of some value if they are subject to audit and review, but most of it is not (as far as I can see), and the ‘Recommendations’ that are given when using thing like Amazon or Twitter are laughable at best.

I happened to be looking for electronic service aids on Amazon the other day, and their dopey algorithms started offering me women’s clothes!

I normally have this blocked, but I let the farcical Twitter ‘Glasgow Trends’ panel appear, and all I can say is that whoever wrote the code took money under false pretences if they were paid for their efforts. Just look at this nonsense (and I’d say this is a GOOD result compared to what I usually see if this panel appears for some reason)…

Twitter Gasgow Trends

Twitter Glasgow Trends

Why do I mention this?

Mainly because I was shocked to see a couple of articles which suggest that ‘authorities’ are using the same algorithms to make decisions which affect people’s lives, and those people may be vulnerable.

They deserve the attention of a qualified person to make potentially life-changing decision about them.

Not some useless algorithm that thinks I would want to by a woman’s dress on the basis that it spotted me looking for electrical contact cleaner spray!

Have a look here to see how bad this is…

From self-harm to terrorism, online recommendations cast a deadly shadow

Stop making free with our sensitive personal data

It’s hard to believe…

It’s the software that Amazon uses to tell you to buy a book you know you’ll never read. And Twitter to persuade you to follow some douchebag. And your local council to tell social workers how to act.

A report by Sky News’s Rowland Manthorpe, based on research by Cardiff University’s Data Justice Lab, revealed that at least 53 local authorities and almost a third of UK police forces are using “predictive algorithms” to determine how to intervene in everything from traffic management to benefits sanctions.

Personally, if I ran anything where I found someone doing this for such important work, their feet wouldn’t touch the ground as they left the building!

And as their boss, I’d be held responsible, which would be a really good reason for ditching them.

You're Fired

04/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Surveillance | | 1 Comment

That feeling, of being watched

Another of those days, walking along when THAT feeling hits.

Took a while, but the feeling of being watched as I walked around Glasgow Green turned out to be right.

Almost didn’t spot the reason.

Don’t worry, it’s not summer, and it is Scotland after all, so chances of this being a doggie in danger of overheating – slim to nil!

Dog in car

Dog in car

21/02/2019 Posted by | photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Scottish pilot’s secret Spitfire found in peat bog

A remarkable story regarding one of the ‘Pink Spitfires’ of the PRU (Photographic Reconnaissance Unit), and its Scottish pilot, appeared in the news.

The remains of a Spitfire shot down while on a mission to photograph the WW2 German battleship Tirpitz have been recovered from a Norwegian peat bog.

Auchterarder-born pilot, Flt Lt Alastair “Sandy” Gunn, had flown the aircraft out of RAF Wick in Caithness on 5 March 1942.

Gunn was captured, interrogated, imprisoned and later executed after the Stalag Luft III “Great Escape”.

His plane, Spitfire AA810, is to be restored and flown again.

Finding the aircraft, which crashed on a mountainside near the village of Surnadal, south west of Trondheim, has involved months of research and days of painstaking recovery work.

Mr Hoskins paid tribute to Flt Lt Gunn, who was 22 and had flown 32 operational missions when was shot down.

He said the Scot, along with other pilots of the Photographic Reconnaissance Unit, faced huge odds on their missions from Scotland to Norway to find and photograph the Tirpitz.

The pilots chances of survival were extremely low, flying in aircraft stripped of guns and armour to make them lighter and also to carry additional fuel.

Mr Hoskins said: “The pilots’ only defence was evade and escape using the speed and agility of the aircraft.

Scot’s secret mission Spitfire found in Norwegian peat bog

I learned of the PRU many years ago, when looking for old aerial images at the National Museum of Scotland (before Google Earth!).

Quite a unit, as noted the aircraft were unarmed and lightened, and pics they came back with from sorties sometimes show them being chased by enemy aircraft, with following weapons fire splashing into the sea behind them.

Sadly, after being shot down and captured:

The pilot, who refused to give details of his missions, was later moved to Stalag Luft III in Poland and was a key figure in the prisoner of wars’ escape tunnel digging.

Flt Lt Gunn was among those to escape the camp, but he was captured after two days on the run and shot. He was 24.

The recovery of the aircraft will also feature in BBC Four’s Digging for Britain.

This image of a PRU aircraft shows the light colour (intended to aid concealment against the sky) and lack of weapons.

PRU Spitfire

PRU Spitfire

24/11/2018 Posted by | military, photography, Surveillance, Transport, World War II | , , | 1 Comment

Christmassy fun

A couple of oddities/observations as I wandered around last night.

First was in the St Enoch Christmas Market, where there seemed to be an odd, selective, power failure.

I thought one stall was just setting up as it was in darkness, but then noticed a lot of them were dark, with the stallholder just standing around. Not good for food stalls.

I’m guessing that the power distribution was allocated randomly, or perhaps just as stalls were completed as the market was being set up.

It all looked a little odd, as the stalls were dark, but the attached decorations were lit, as seen below.

It’s also a little odd seeing it all so quiet – but closer to Christmas, if it’s like last year, this scene will make a sardine tin look half empty as the punter pack into the space.

St Enoch Market Power Fail

St Enoch Market Power Fail

Then there was Hanover Street, which was closed at the George Square end while the square was being set up for the lights and fair.

This was the shot I wanted.

Hanover Street Closed

Hanover Street Closed

Could I get it, quickly and easily?


Despite signs and cones at the other end of the street informing drivers that it was closed at George Square, a steady stream of morons kept arriving at this barrier (which at least demonstrated their skill at performing 3-point turns – probably because they get plenty of practice!).

Serious thought – instead of picking on the elderly, people with glasses, or other easily identified and targeted groups to ban from driving for no good reason, why not use the CCTV cameras and ANPRS to identify ACTUAL PROVEN motoring morons such as the one seen below, and serve them automatic bans, or retests, before they are allowed back on the road?

Drivers like this, wandering around without a clue about what is going on around them, not paying attention, are a greater danger than any group which is simply picked out because of some visible feature. I seem to recall that method was used to fill… concentration camps!

Hanover Street Moron

Hanover Street Moron

20/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Looks like my Rutherglen camera test find was for average speed cameras

I chanced across a sign for some sort of camera test as I crossed a busy Rutherglen road recently, but although there were signs highlighting the presence of a test, there didn’t seem to be any immediate reveal of what the test was for.

Rutherglen Test Camera

Rutherglen Test Camera

I wondered if the poles, or the symbol mounted at the top might have given a clue.

It might be that they do.

See this story which just appeared regarding the success of an average speed camera installation

Officials monitoring the camera system on Old Dalkeith Road in Edinburgh said there was now an average of two offences recorded per day.

Before the cameras were installed three in every five vehicles were speeding.

Between 2013-15 there were six crashes where someone was injured on that stretch of road, including three resulting in serious injury or death.

During the last year there have been no crashes resulting in injury reported on Old Dalkeith Road in the area covered by the average speed camera system.

Offences drop on Scotland’s first urban road with average speed cameras

Compare the mount and the

Old Dalkieth Road Safety Camera Scotland Pic

Old Dalkeith Road Safety Camera Scotland Pic

Here’s the corner detail, as it’s not clear in the full image.

Camera Pole Corner Detail

Camera Pole Corner Detail

05/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Russian mystery satellite? What mystery, it’s obvious

I couldn’t help but smile when I saw the following story, and the portrayal of the Russian satellite’s behaviour as ‘mysterious’.

A mysterious Russian satellite displaying “very abnormal behaviour” has raised alarm in the US, according to a State Department official.

“We don’t know for certain what it is and there is no way to verify it,” said assistant secretary Yleem Poblete at a conference in Switzerland on 14 August.

She voiced fears that it was impossible to say if the object may be a weapon.

Russia has dismissed the comments as “unfounded, slanderous accusations based on suspicions”.

The satellite in question was launched in October last year.

“[The satellite’s] behaviour on-orbit was inconsistent with anything seen before from on-orbit inspection or space situational awareness capabilities, including other Russian inspection satellite activities,” Ms Poblete told the conference on disarmament in Switzerland.

Mystery Russian satellite’s behaviour raises alarm in US

Surely the solution to this supposed ‘mystery’ is obvious, and our American friend need only look to the north of Scotland to learn why the Russian satellite is moving to an odd position.

It’s angling to keep an eye on the upcoming…

Scottish spaceport

The fantasy view (as a vertical launch facility for microsatellites, it won’t look anything remotely like this fanciful artist’s impression).

Think more along the lines of a portacabin and a lump of concrete.

UK Space Agency Spaceport

UK Space Agency Spaceport

17/08/2018 Posted by | Cold War, military, Surveillance, Transport | , , | 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

16/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | | Leave a comment

Everyone knows what ‘cadastral’ means, don’t they?

It’s taken me long enough to get comfortable with ‘sasine’, after becoming interested in house sales, and discovering nice people would send be regular updated from the Sasine Register, complete with addresses of house sales, and their value.

Now I have to get used to ‘cadastral’ as well.

For the record:

sasine:  In Scots law, either the act of giving legal possession of feudal property (in which case it is synonymous with infeftment), or the instrument by which the fact is proved. There is a general office for the registering of sasines in Edinburgh.

cadastral: from ‘cadastre’: An official statement of the quantity and value of real estate for the purpose of apportioning the taxes payable on such property; a public register showing the details of ownership and value of land.

(Please DON’T bother telling me I’m wrong, or any of the above is wrong – just use a different dictionary, and give me peace.)

So, why would anyone be wondering what some new/obscure words mean?


Land registration remains a hot topic, and time ticks away as we approach the deadline for 100 per cent of Scotland’s land mass to be registered on the ‘cadastral map’.

Latest figures from Registers of Scotland, who maintain the land register, indicate 66 per cent of all potential property titles are registered, leaving around 800,000 titles still to enter the new register before it is complete. Scottish Ministers have set a target of 2024; an irrefutable substantial task ahead for all.

The cadastral map itself is relatively new; launched as part of the changes to land registration enacted in 2012. Designed to provide clarity on who owns Scotland, it will (when complete) be possible to stick a pin into any part of it and see who owns the land and the actual extent of their ownership.

Cadastral map will, in time, show who owns Scotland

Anyone who has queried land ownership in Scotland in a remotely serious way will know that there are already projects claiming to be logging this data (and looking for subscriptions to support them), but I’ve never liked them as they seemed to have hidden agendas and political motives behind them, and some even had legal battles with various authorities. A pity, since data is neutral, and useful, but not if dripped out to interested parties by a biased owner.

The existing sasines, and presumably this cadastral creation should be free of such problems since they are official registers – but I suspect that very ‘officialness’ means someone will accuse them of being part of some ‘Land Owner Conspiracy’. Such claims seemingly being mandatory these days.

Map Of The Kingdom Of Scotland

Map Of The Kingdom Of Scotland

07/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Maps, Surveillance | , | Leave a comment

Curiosity Rover sings Happy Birthday – all alone on Mars

Just time to squeeze this little extra ‘chance’ discovery I made today.

The Curiosity Rover on Mars was programmed to play ‘Happy Birthday’ to itself on 05 August, the day it landed on Mars.

I’m not sure if it still carries out this little ceremony these days, having seen conflicting reports about its continuation, and not able to find a definitive or verifiable one to confirm this.

Aww… Somebody DOES care

Spotted to late for inclusion on the day, but still nice.


05/08/2018 Posted by | Surveillance, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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