Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Oh look – A Vauxhall T1 GRA

Much as I’d liked to have collected this one for myself, I’m limited to Glasgow, and this one was actually spotted some way away, and I’m grateful to the spotter for the contribution.

Not much I can add to this one by way of detail, but I do applaud the owner for resisting any suggestion to turn a nice plate into an illegal plate, and lose the space between the ‘1’ and the ‘G’.

I’m also not sure about the fate of this plate (this is not a new pic, and was captured some years ago) since I’m obviously not going to cough up the readies for a paid report, and none of the ‘free’ services or places I can enquire appear to recognise it.

Be nice if it was spotted again, and we got a hint.

Vauxhall Tigra [T1 GRA]

Vauxhall Tigra [T1 GRA]

Coincidence

While I was messing around and putting this post together, the procrastination actually turned out to be useful, as a very similar plate was featured online:

AstonMartin[TI GER]

Aston Martin [TI GER]

Would sit nicely on something like a Sunbeam Tiger, or a Hillman Avenger Tiger, but I doubt any Tiger owner would pay the possible asking price for this one.

August 14, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Dunlop’s Auto Shop Rutherglen oopsie

I’ve been a little ‘Out of circulation’ for a few weeks, so didn’t manage a quick return to Dunlop’s new Auto Shop in Rutherglen to see how it looked after (or even if) had opened.

It’s all nicely ‘tarted up’ with some eye-catching shutter murals and graphics – which I would miss if I landed here early enough to catch the shop open, so being late can have advantages as most of this is hidden when the shutters are rolled up during the day.

I see the opportunity for fun is still a feature – if you drive a Proton and are looking for parts I invite you to test their offering of “Any Part For Any Car“. While there’s no mention of any compensation for their failure to meet that promise, you will at least (provided you are not in a hurry) know that a day or two’s effort was wasted behind the counter. Then there’s always the option of a hint to Trading Standards.

But there’s actually a bigger sin apparent in this pic, now that the signwriting has been completed.

And it’s NOT that lack of apostrophe on Dunlop’s, (Dunlops’?).. or Dunlops as they put it, even though that is a pretty big sin.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

Did you spot it?

It’s only repeated three times.

This, below the windows:

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Tut-tut Dunlops, a car shop should know road law better than most.

You have no more rights to the public road in front of your shop than anyone else – the clue is in the word ‘public’.

This is a personal bugbear of mine whenever and wherever I see it, like the supposed ‘Red flag to a bull’ (seems they are colour blind), ever since I parked in front of Cross’s butcher shop (now gone, and the building even burnt down a few weeks ago) in Shettleston, on my way to hand a cheque into the nearby insurance agent.

Given the ranting and raving of the butcher who came running out of his shop to shout at me to “MOVE YOUR CAR! THAT SPACE IS RESERVED FOR MY CUSTOMERS! MOVE!” you could have been forgiven for thinking I had just knocked down his prize bull, instead of just having to listen to it.

Or that he did actually own that piece of road since it lay directly in from of his shop.

Public roads are just that – PUBLIC!

For the use of everyone who paid for them with their taxes.

You are entitled to the bit you are using, and nobody else has any more entitlement, be that the road in front of their shop, or even their house. Can’t get parked in front of your own house because someone has parked on that piece of road. Sorry, you’ll have to walk a few metres.

I’ll be watching this inventive piece of signwriting in the future.

Maybe someone local will take the hump (don’t look at me, I don’t live there, I’m just an observer), and have a word with the council, roads department, or even police.

Or maybe someone thinks that little end piece of road is no longer classed as ‘public road’ since it’s been blocked off, and this is OK.

August 12, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Missed me again – but that will buff out

After I decided to let the ‘Missed me again’ joke wind down a little, and not bother with ever mangled railing that was mown down while I was not following a particular route, it seems that this has just meant the Murphy (you know who I mean, the famous Murphy of Murphy’s Law) has upped his game, and is going to try harder.

I’m back on my old Shettleston loop, which I’ve missed for a while.

Not exactly related to my ‘Missed me’ them, I’ve noticed an interesting side street where a number of white Transits are parked.

Nothing interesting about that, until you look at their wheels – nearly all have flat tyres (but only the bottom part!), and this has been the case when I’ve looked for some nights now, after spotting the first one.

Anyway, back to the real subject, and it was nice of this van to put in the effort to mark my return to some waddling along the streets of Shettleston for a while.

As an aside, I have noted a number of people look at similar crash collision damage, sneer, and point to it as an example of how rubbish modern cars are compared to the ‘tanks’ of yesteryear.

That’s a gross error and demonstrates a fair degree of ignorance.

It forgets, or ignores, that the front end of a modern or current car is designed as a crumple zone, intended to deform progressively in a controlled manner and absorb the energy of a collision rather than allow it to be passed back to the passenger compartment, and ultimately to the occupants.

Modified Vauxhall

Modified Vauxhall

Update

They’re not going away (unlike the Vauxhall, gone the next day when I passed)!

Those Transits I mentioned are coming and going (but who can tell one or more white Transits apart?), and still have flat bits on their tyres, and still only at the bottom:

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

For what it’s worth, the valve caps all seem to be on, and there’s no obvious damage.

We used to have something similar in our works vans, when we visited some customers who were less than careful with the dross the their manufacturing areas and let metal shaving get carried into their yard.

We’d find our tyres kept deflating overnight, and only twigged when we found small shards of metal in the tread.

Guess what – we didn’t park in their yard any more, despite the ‘favour’.

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

My second PHEV (that’s plug-in hybrid electric vehicle)

This is only the second vehicle I have caught in the act of being charged at a public street charger (yes, we really do have these in Scotland).

But it’s only the first I’ve posted a pic of – due to some system changes I’ve lost the first on in the filing system, and really will have to go find it and post it one day, even if just to be awkward.

It’s strange, and something I can’t quite understand, but the mere mention of electric vehicles (EVs) is enough to bring out the loonies, or the Naysayer Brigade, and have mindless scorn poured over anything you say about them, or be facing some sort of rabid anti-EV activist that you’ve just transformed an otherwise normal, sane, person into.

I think the saddest aspect is their similarity to Flat-Earthers – no matter what evidence you present to them, they refuse to accept it and parrot all the myths about EVs in much the same way as Flat-Earthers continue to claim that NASA lied about all the space missions, and how even passenger flights are all lies, somehow managed by ‘Them’ to hide the fact that the Earth is flat.

I thought these folk had gone away, but was recently sent a pic of a van in the US with a big sign offering “$1,000 to anyone who can prove the Earth is not flat” and plastered with various “NASA LIES” stickers and clips from stories that ‘prove’ the Earth is flat.

Much the same as arguing with that van owner would be pointless, I gave up trying reason with any anyone who laughed at ‘Stupid EVs’ and said ‘They’ll never work’.

I was surprised to read that the Outlander is the UK’s best-selling hybrid, I has no idea. I’m more used to seeing the few Nissan Leaf’s (full battery EVs – no engine) that flit around my area. I had to dig up some specs:

The Outlander has a 12 kWh 300 volt battery said to be good for 30 miles, and is  a true series/parallel hybrid which means the front and rear electric motors provide primary motivation and are the only source of propulsion away from a stop. When the battery is depleted, the engine generates electricity for the motors. At higher speeds, when the driver calls for full power or when climbing a steep grade, the engine can turn the wheels directly, contributing its power more efficiently.  UK-spec models have two 80 hp electric motors and a 119 hp 2 litre four-cylinder engine. A full charge take 3.5 hours using a 16 amp 240 volt supply, while a quick-charge (CHAdeMO DC) to 80% is quoted at 30 minutes.

Having mentioned anti-EV loonies, it’s only fair to say I can get pro-EV loonies worked up by mentioning cars like this PHEV in their presence, and they will berate me for “Promoting that pointless option” as they believe only FULL BEVs should be promoted.

Loonies, don’t you love ’em?

(Preferably roasted, over a slow fire.)

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

 

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

Outlander PHEV Charging In Glasgow

August 7, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

I spotted another Streetwise installation

It’s a while since I spotted my first Streetwise surveillance camera setup, but now I’ve spotted my second.

This time it was on the Gallowgate, monitoring the junction at Bain Street, between Barrowland and Morrison’s.

This junction can get quite busy at times, and has the added complication of being on the exit route of a nearby fire station – if you look carefully at the Barrowland pic you can see the additional warning lights on the junction in the background.

There may be plans to change the road layout here, or alter the traffic lights.

We’ll see.

There was also a recent announcement about a refurbishment of the whole Barras area, which may be connected to this survey.

In each case the camera is at the top of the temporary pole visible on the left, with a data storage box attached at the bottom.

Gallowgate Streetwise Camera Barrowland

Gallowgate Streetwise Camera Barrowland

 

Gallowgate Streetwise Camera Morrisons

Gallowgate Streetwise Camera Morrisons

August 6, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The Illegals – B19 OBY

Got to be fast, or they get away!

I didn’t realise I had actually been walking along the street next to Mr Blobby, or maybe Bobby, it’s hard to tell nowadays as sellers of cherished or personalised number are so slimy nowadays, they will distort the interpretation of numbers and letter into utterly fantastic ‘re-imaginings’ of names and words in order to make a sale, and a fast buck if they can bump the price up.

2010 Audi S3 Quattro [B19 OBY]

2010 Audi S3 Quattro [B19 OBY]

I almost lost this one, as the chap I’d been walking beside jumped into this 2010 Audi S3 Quattro and drove off instantly.

I was surprised the camera powered up fast enough to grab the shot (I have to go back to carrying a dSLR and not a compact).

As it was, although it got the pic (and ANY pic is better than NO pic), it was also one of the first I’d taken since this particular camera had enjoyed being thrown across a room, bounce of a metal cabinet, and coming to a rapid stop when it finally landed on a solid stone floor.

(Short story, it got caught on something else, and launched).

The above is clipped from a larger image as it fires up in wide-angle, and there was time to hit the zoom button.

Focus is poor now, after the flight, and compact cameras have poor resolution anyway as the recorded images are highly compressed (and this cannot be adjusted) which does not help. Not visible here is a further problem noted, as the focus is no longer linear across the image.

If you think this version looks bad – this is the result AFTER processing through various sharpening filters and other corrections.

Guess I will have to wear out another pair of shoes tramping around Glasgow trying to find a replacement.

I think I bought five or more (and returned them all) before I decided this was the best of the bunch for a half-decent tiny compact.

I’d love a tiny mirrorless – but they are even more expensive than dSLRs (for the ones I’ve tried and liked at least). The last one I touched almost landed me in A&E with shock… it was THREE times the price of my dSLR (actually almost FOUR)!

August 5, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Just too late, always just too late

I never seem to quite pre-empt anything interesting, and failed (or should that be succeeded) again today.

Walking along the road beside Budhill Park, an odd noise made me turn round and look into the park.

I’m not sure what the noise was, but there was a white car on the park’s running track, with two males exiting and heading for a guy with a dog.

I was way too far away to hear anything, and the dog-walker wasn’t running away or arguing, but the guys from the car pulled some sort of photo-id (those irritating cards some seem to have permanently hanging around their necks) out and presented it to him.

Nothing happened, as could have been the case if there had been a confrontation or similar.

So, I’m none the wiser, the dog-walker walked on, and the two guys got back in the car and left.

From the distance, the id presented looked all white, so I don’t think they were police (last id I saw was coloured, not plain), but that doesn’t man they weren’t.

Maybe it was the ‘Poop Patrol’, after dog and owner had been ‘naughty’.

Oh well, maybe next time I’ll be closer – and not just get left with… curiosity.

Budhill Park Car

Budhill Park Car

August 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | | Leave a comment

Cambuslang’s cute bike racks revisited

I’ve mentioned the cute car-themed bike racks of Cambuslang before.

I really like them, not only for their appearance, but also because their use of cars as a motif is a nice change from the sort of rabid anti-car hate spouted when SOME cycle fans get a chance. That sort of reaction helps no-one, and merely provokes a similar reaction.

I’ve noticed a number of decorative items seem to be disappearing from Cambuslang. There was a sculpture of some sort modelled on a drum kit (I think) which used to be in the main street, but I don’t think I can see nowadays. I don’t think I noted it in here, but might have a pic buried away somewhere, so might try hunting it down.

However, the bike racks remain, although I’ve yet to see a bike chained to any of them – or anywhere in Cambuslang for that matter (apart from Morrison’s).

I thought I’d reveal the BACK of these racks, as the decorative detail is cast (I’m assuming they are casting) in sections, only on one side, that facing the shops. The other side is plain.

Also caught in this pic is one of the bench seats which feature in the main street.

They seem to be pretty tough/robust, and unlike more conventional wood or lightweight street furniture seem to largely vandal proof. They’re solidly fixed, have no fine details to bend or break, and their smooth finish is easy to keep clean and hard to deface. So far, I haven’t noticed a damaged one – I imagine any piece of scum that tried kicking or breaking is likely to come off worst.

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

Cambuslang Bike Rack And Seat

July 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Van-Lee Transport gates (noticed at last)

I find myself frequently complaining about the lack of ‘old goodies’ surviving around Glasgow nowadays.

It’s not a new complaint, and it’s one I can actually date to starting to make before 2000.

Back in the days of Ye Olde Film Camera I had the bright idea of driving into Glasgow on Sundays (that far back, Sunday was still relatively quiet as the ending of restricted Sunday trading was still to become the norm), but it proved to be less successful than I had expected.

It was probably triggered by the elimination of most of the surviving artefact from the 1988 Glasgow Garden Festival, which I had been collecting the odd pic of as they were gradually lost. When they had gone, I started looking elsewhere for interesting remains.

But it was really too late, and after only four Sunday trips, I really couldn’t find anything sizeable or notable around the city centre, or its less well-known corners, to photograph.

That’s not to say there nothing, just that what remained was generally well-known and relatively easy to find in existing collections or records.

Since then, it’s gradually become harder and harder to find something unusual, especially after nonsense such as the 2014 Commonwealth Shames saw the council and other interested parties razing any sort of remains or featured that were considered ‘untidy’.

I’ve become so disillusioned by this sanitizing and purification of the view to make Glasgow appear to be modern, clean, and tidy, that I miss many items of interest simply because I’ve reached the stage of no longer expecting to find any.

Case in point – the gates seen in the pic below.

Van-Lee Transport Gates

Van-Lee Transport Gates

I’ve probably walked past these particular gates hundreds of times now, yet failed to ‘see’ them.

They’re not particularly noteworthy or even noticeable, and might not even be that old, in historic terms, and it’s a shame about the vandalism, and the permanently present wheelie-bins in front of them.

Their style is not modern, so they could be decades old, but…

I think Van-Lee Transport is still alive, and have been able to find pics of their lorries taken a few years ago (although none are recent), but while I can usually research companies and find records, couldn’t do the same to confirm this one.

However, pics of their lorries carry the same livery as the gates, so it looks as if they have never caught the disease that afflicts many, and ‘modernised’ just because some adviser has told them to.

So…

Now I wonder how many ‘interesting’ features I might just be walking past these days, and missing simply because I am so used to seeing them they have effectively become invisible.

July 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Baillieston mystery pole identified

It’s some time since we posted a pic of the oddly placed pole seen at the left side of the pic below, then it was part of a discussion in the forum, and as far as can remember was not posted here, in the Blog.

It’s fairly well hidden at this time of year thanks to the undergrowth behind the fence, but come the cold weather it becomes much more obvious once the surrounding leaves have gone.

That original query and discussion proved fruitless, and apart from a few suggestions that didn’t really provide plausible reasons for its presence, nothing was concluded. It was noted that this was a tram terminus, and out of sight, behind the pole and trees, there lies a small electrical substation which used to provide power for the trams.

Baillieston Mystery Pole

Baillieston Mystery Pole

But now we know.

Purely by chance, while visiting one of Glasgow’s museums, I had a seat and noticed it had a small library where visitors could browse through courtesy copies of the books for sale in its shop.

Quite a few were old photo collections that covered the east end (and I already have my own copies), but there were a few I had not seen before, so I had a look through them.

As luck would have it, one of them covered Baillieston, and as I flicked through the pages I noticed it included some early 20th century pics of Baillieston Cross and its traffic.

Better still, it showed a view taken from the area out of sight to the right of the above pic. Not sure where from exactly, as it was from a high viewpoint. It may have been commissioned as I don’t think there were ever any tall buildings there.

Back to the pole…

It is one of a pair, and the one which was located a few feet to the right of the remaining example was removed when the footpath and road were revised and/or updated. Today, the footpath is a different width from that seen in the earlier pic.

The two poles held a large road sign – which was clearly declared redundant when the changes were made, and removed along with the outer pole near the road which would then just have been an obstruction.

Since the inner pole was behind the fence, and may have become redundant, it was not in anybody’s way, so was just left where it was, and forgotten.

Probably nobody even notices it nowadays.

They’re probably too busy… avoiding the remains of a modern version of the same thing, also now redundant, BUT still with BOTH poles extant – the inner pole lies on the access track to the small substation mentioned above (so no undergrowth to ever hide it), while the outer pole lies on the footpath, near the kerb, and lies at a noticeable angle from the vertical, indicating that it has been ‘kissed’ at least once by careless driver parking next to it.

Later Baillieston Sign Poles

Later Baillieston Sign Poles

It pays to look twice!

I almost missed these completely simply because I seldom walk on this side of the road (all the shops are on the other side),

 

July 26, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

1VAN is rather nice… but still one of ‘The Illegals’

This was a lucky catch, after seeing this one speed past me on the road, and just managing to spot the imaginative use of illegal number and letter spacing on the plate, I later found the same car in the car park of the local supermarket.

If this was an American blog, I’d now be having a hysterical breakdown of some sort as the car is not only parked on the lines of the slot, in the ‘Parent and Child Zone’, but also not even in the car area of the slot, but on the marked area intended to be left clear for doors to open freely to allow parent to access child seats and carriers.

Americans are getting seriously scary about the hysteria they can raise on ‘social media’ sites with such a pic, and I think it is only a matter of time before someone is injured, or even shot. And this same madness is becoming evident here now (note I deliberately avoided this aspect, and could have taken a pic showing this clearly – but my observation/comment/point is on the US).

This one’s interesting for me for various reasons.

I really am behind on Mercedes models, and noting this as a 2011 Mercedes-Benz Cls350 CDI was a bit of a surprise, I really didn’t think the car/model was that old.

And, while I’m still not a great fan of the current UK registration number scheme, I rather like the way this one looks.

Mercedes CLS350 [CS51 VAN]

Mercedes CLS350

July 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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