Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Two letters and two number again

That was quick – and lucky I shoved the compact in my pocket on a pouring wet day or I’d have missed it.

I’m really not sure about the so-called Mini, which BMW may have retained the rights to the name, if not the original spirit of Sir Alec Issigonis’ original creation.

While it seems to be a fine car with references to the original, that’s really as far as it goes, as from what I hear/read, is considered a step on BMW ownership ladder for those a little short of the readies to buy something with that actual badge attached.

However, the car is neither ‘mini’, not cheap, as in following the low-cost philosophy of the original.

I think the size is thing that spoil it for me.

If you see claims that the new Mini is the same size as the original Range Rover – I’m sad to say that this is neither a myth nor made-up story.

It’s TRUE!

Dig out the original dimensions of the fledging first Range Rover and compare them to the new Mini – while an exact comparison will reveal that the comparison is not wholly accurate, the difference is mere centimetres.

While you might speed an original Mini through a gap that the original Range Rover would have squeezed through, you will have to squeeze a new Mini through that same gap unless you don’t mind losing some paint.

Mini Cooper [79 SG]

2011 Mini Countryman Cooper [79 SG]

June 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XIII and XIV – Baillieston bonus

Being in Baillieston can (or could) be a gold mine for collecting pictures of bad, dreadful, or just plain lazy or selfish parking.

I’m sure if the police were ever short of their ticket quota, then they’d only have to go for walk from the local station and they’ve be able finish a book most days/evenings. And I generally don’t bother looking, or even deliberately leave the camera at home, or I’d have to start another blog dedicated to the abysmal parking often seen there.

But some are so bad, and unnecessary, that it’s worth the effort of recording them.

It’s worth noting the possible offences:

  1. no vehicle should stop on the crossing;
  2. no vehicle should overtake in the “controlled area” of the crossing (usually indicated by zig-zag lines); and
  3. no vehicle should park in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Offences can earn a fine up to £1,000, 3 penalty points, and discretionary disqualification from driving.

So, is getting a hot meal justification for this:

Baillieston Crossing Parking

Baillieston Crossing Parking

I make that TWO of the three possible offences:

  • STOPPED on the crossing;
  • PARKED in the “controlled area” of the crossing.

Worth noting that these are ‘offences’ and not just parking tickets or PCNs (Penalty Charge Notices).

One way ignorance

There are two notable one-way streets in Baillieston, and I’m not sure if the regular offenders in them are strangers who don’t notice the signs, or arrogant locals who just ignore them. See Dyke Street and Martin Crescent.

Two narrow side streets were made one-way years ago, both feeding INTO the main street. This means they LOOK like two-way side streets from the main street, and the high mounted ‘No Entry’ signs are not the most visible due to their location.

In the past, I have been forced to run out of the way of angry drivers mistakenly turning from the main street into these side streets while I have been crossing them, and in their opinion ‘NOT PAYING ATTENTION’ – yet they were the ones committing the offence by turning into a one-way street AGAINST the direction of travel, and either driving or parking in them facing the wrong way.

If you think I’m exaggerating or just making this up, here’s just one example from my collection – a car parked facing the wrong way in Dyke Street at Baillieston Library:

Baillieston One-way Parking

Baillieston One-way Parking

In some respects I don’t really even blame the driver – the sign is poorly placed due to the wide and angled nature of the street, even if there are other clues to alert drivers, it’s position and the direction it faces does not help. I’ve also been gestured at by angry drivers here, as they turn into the street and I am crossing and apparently ‘In their way’.

I could probably collect stuff like this every day/evening I walk along the main street.

If  only I got a cut of the fines issued – it could be a nice little earner.

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The illegals – AB11 LTN

I’m not really sure what this is supposed to be.

If this is supposed to be read as BILL, then as a ‘new’ style number I don’t think it’s worth whatever it cost, or worse, the chance of a pull by the police and the resulting fines etc for the illegal spacing of the letters and numbers.

I wish someone would come along with a ladder one day, and fix that PDSA sing on the lamppost. Sorry about the focus, but it was a grey and grimy day when I grabbed this one.

It’s been pointing the OPPOSITE way from the  actual PDSA centre for years – I think it’s loose, as it sometime points in different directions when its windy.

BMW M135I  Auto [AB11 LTN]

Grey BMW M135I Auto [AB11 LTN]

June 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Two numbers and two letters – nearly always nice

While I don’t think I will EVER come to terms with the horror that is the SUV (by whatever euphemism), or forgive BMW for working its magic on the X5 all those years ago and making it handle, I’ll also probably always like registrations with two numbers and two letters.

I think it’s nothing more than their neatness (obviously shorter than normal), and symmetry (compared to one number and two or three letters) that makes them notable for me. I could list some more ‘features’ but that’s not my intent. But might add I like the cur-down short number plates too.

In this case, lumbered by a fairly huge, black, 2014 Audi Q7 S Line + TDI Quattro A.

It may have been nice and shiny, but this 7-seater mobile cave was taking up the road to carry a tiny kid almost lost n, and able to run around the passenger footwell and get lost. Do people REALLY need a small private bus to themselves?

Audi Q7 78 EC

Audi Q7

June 17, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XII – Dan Dan the parking man

It’s been a while since I saw a decent “If it’s stopped, it’s parked”, and the recent explosion of instant Internet fame, or media reuse as ‘clickbait’ fof a pic or video of a car tyre that has strayed as much as a millimetre outside of a marked bay in a deserted car park (where it matter not one jot), has put me off it.

But then the gems appear, and can re-awaken some interest.

Sure, it’s a quiet side street, but it’s neither abandoned nor derelict, and in use by the folk who live along it.

Could easily have parked against either kerb, and not just blocked it.

I wish I’d had the time to loiter nearby, and maybe got a pic of a car trying to use the junction, but had to move on.

Walking, rather than driving a Privileged Peugeot, means you don’t have time to waste.

Privileged Peugeot Parking

Privileged Peugeot Parking

It is empty and abandoned – I can’t run fast enough to stand in front of such driver and calmly take his pic!

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Humane Society Lifeboat car – nice one

Nice surprise while wandering around Glasgow Green recently, the Glasgow Humane Society lifeboat car.

Reasonably sure I haven’t come across this before, but with my memory, who knows?

That thought’s added to by the registration number A2 OAR being attached to it, as I’m also sure I haven’t spotted that sitting around either.

Lifeboat Car [A2OAR]

Lifeboat Car [A2OAR]

Interesting – I thought it had suffered a flat tyre, meaning a grotty steel spare replaced the smart alloy as seen on the front, but… BOTH rears are steel.

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

An illegal getting pulled? Surely not?

I didn’t notice it in this random pic I collected one day, but it looks as if I might be proved wrong (on one occasion at least) and our Scottish Police DO pay attention and give illegal registration plates a pull (just not perhaps as enthusiastically as their cousins down south, as seen on Police Interceptors etc) – assuming this driver was not doing something else.

Since this was just a ‘snap’ it missed the full registration number, so all we know is that it was ‘4 NNX’ – but illegally spaced to read ‘ 4NN X#.

Naughty naughty Ann.

Cough up and buy a legit personalised registration like the rest of us – and don’t cheat by buying a cheap one and fiddling with it like that (and making life harder for us).

Police BMW Stop - Illegal Plate

Police BMW Stop – Illegal Plate

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

Thanks for the bikes – but you can keep the tattoos

I’m afraid I’ll never converted into being someone who even likes tattoos a little, and sees them as ‘Badges of Office’ declaring the intent of the person beneath them, be that ‘tramp stamps’ on females, and gang affiliation on males. The rest probably have some sort of mental condition. Fine for them if the ink helps, but the number of tattoo removal services (often the same tattooist these days) and sad stories of regret (oddly, often spelt as ‘ragrat’ when tattooed on some poor dupe, and don’t start me on tattooists lack of grammar and punctuation education) in the media suggests that like cosmetic plastic surgery, this option may ‘cover up’ a condition, but does not cure it.


While many of their victims may live in their own secret and private hell, it seems that tattooists enjoy a ‘Nice Little Earner’ from their trade.

Expensive toys can often be seen decorating their needle-filled and blood cover torture chambers, usually hidden from view, but on this occasion I spotted some I could catch.

They certainly look like more fun than having someone spend hours jabbing needles into you.

The Honda on the left is at least 20 years old, and looks much better than cars of the same age!

Tattoo Bikes

Tattoo Bikes

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

That’s clean – 1993 BMW convertible

While it doesn’t fall into my usual “Neeb’s Wheel” category, I don’t think I can leave this rather nicely looked after blue BMW 318i Lux A convertible I spotted during a wander around the local streets.

BMW 318i Convertible 1993

BMW 318i Convertible 1993

This really caught my eye because it is almost identical to the one my then boss at the time bought for his wife (just to give her a company car and a wage to justify the hour or two she spent in the office).  Notably, hers was tricked up with ‘M’ badges and matching trim, but I think this one looks better with those Alpina wheels and wide rubber filling the arches.

Hers also had a second ‘keyhole’ below the normal one under the door handle – while the car may not have been a real ‘M’ it was still fitted with most of the top of the range options, and cost a packet at the time, as BMW extras were never cheap.

That keyhole was a factory alarm/immobiliser which required and electronic key to be inserted and removed before the car was unlocked – I wouldn’t say it was unreliable, but it was overly keen, and I found myself having to fiddle with, and kill it on more than one occasion.

The other surprise, given the cost of the car, was the poor quality of that soft-top. It had no lining, so sitting in the car with it up felt more like sitting in a giant pram, with all the spokes etc exposed. Nor did it offer any insulation, and the car was as noisy with it up as with it down. But it was seldom down, and was a clunky manual thing.

By way of stunning contrast, I had a Saab 9-3 convertible a few years later – what a gem it was in comparison.

First, it was a completely automatic hydraulically operated roof, other than the manual front lock, it went up and down in a few seconds at the push (or pull) of a button.

And secondly, the quality was superb. From the inside, with the roof up, it looked just a normal hardtop, as there was a clever lining that pulled into place and hid all the works. In addition, it was also loaded with soundproofing, and this made it as quiet as a hardtop – and that Saab was an eerily quiet car too.

On the other hand, I recall meeting a 318is on the road in North Wales, and that extra little ‘s’ made a real difference, and I watched it squirt past me in short order, then disappear along the road.

I stand to be corrected, but from my own experience I think the engine BMW was using in x18 models of that era was a surprisingly potent lump. I had to use a colleague’s 518se for some cross-country jaunts along A and B roads, and soon became surprised by that large (and loaded) car’s acceleration. I had expected it to be a big lumbering snail – but it wasn’t.

June 2, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Cunningar Loop footbridge

I really began t think the new bridge being built at Cunningar Loop was never going to be finished.

It seemed to have stalled for so long that when my route through the area changed, I didn’t bother making a detour to have a look, and last pics I took about a year ago apparently looked little different from earlier ones:

Cunningar Bridge Works West

Cunningar Bridge Works West


Cunningar Bridge Works East

Cunningar Bridge Works East

Having to change my route again a few weeks ago, I was surprised to see that the bridge was finished!

Not only that, the landscaping was finished too, and all the plant and machinery had been cleared.

Although I’d have thought it would have been still better to have it closer to London Road rather than Springfield Road to make access to the Cunningar Loop Woodland Park easier for folks to the north of the river, it’s still a vast improvement over our previous route that meant having head for Dalmarnock, and almost be in Rutherglen before getting into the park.

From the river, trees make it hard to get a decent clear pic of the thing, and you need clever software or an expensive lens.

I tried taking a pic from the park too, but the colour of the bridge and its background seems to make that awkward too, as they all mush together as they were all similar at the time.

Cunningar Bridge Park

Cunningar Bridge  from Park

Cunningar Bridge River

Cunningar Bridge from River

Incidentally, the ‘mad’ fencing on the left is being dismantled at long last.

It was insane – and meant having to decide to walk along the Clyde OR through the houses to the left.

In spite of paths laid to lead from the housed to the river bank, the whole length of the boundary was closed off by the is tall metal fence, isolating the two. Anyone living there could only LOOK at the river through it – if they actually wanted to walk there, they would have to walk to either end, which meant Dalmarnock for one, or London Road for the other.

It was almost like a little SCROTUS Mexican Wall prototype, only in Glasgow!

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

South Rotunda saved

Not a place I see often these days (for many years to be honest), but I did reach the South Rotunda recently, and was aware that it has been saved recently, after being acquired by a company that carried out a complete refurbishment of the structure to convert it into their offices.

For those completely unfamiliar with it, suffice to say its original purpose was to house a pair of hydraulic elevators that took vehicles (that meant horse & cart as it opened in 1895) up and down to a tunnel under the river, with a separate tunnel accessed via stairs for pedestrians.

I’ve already made some notes about it elsewhere, so you can read more details here, in our Wiki:

South Rotunda

It’s really strange to see it like this, at a junction, and next to a bridge over the River Clyde.

I watched the roads being recreated here after the Glasgow Garden Festival, when the place was a near desert and there was hardly a car, or person, to be seen. Now it’s practically a main thoroughfare, and quite a shock to see all the traffic flowing here.

South Rotunda

South Rotunda

May 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

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