Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

How powerful is a football club in Glasgow?

Quite a lot, as it can have a refused planning proposal overturned, in part at least.

I mentioned the disgusting revolving video screen Celtic wanted to install next to London Road, and how the application was rejected.

I also noted that there was a three-month window during which an appeal could be lodged.

They lodged an appeal.

They sort of won – in as much as they can have their giant revolving video screen, but with the good news that it’s not allowed to show video, just static adverts.

The club appealed against the verdict and the Scottish Government’s planning expert has reversed the council’s decision; the screen can now be installed on an eight-metre high pole on an area to the right of the Celtic Way approach to the Parkhead stadium, beside the VIP car park.

But Government planning reporter Chris Norman sided with the council over conditions that will be imposed on use of the screen including a ban on “moving images, animation, video or full motion images” in the interests of pedestrian and traffic safety and to safeguard the amenity of the surrounding area. Only static images can be shown and these cannot be changed more frequently than every 10 seconds.

CELTIC Win Battle To Put Up Massive TV Screen — But Can Only Show Static Images

That was as much as I expected – anyone who knows the area will know that a similar (but static) giant video screen was installed along the road a few years ago, showing a constant stream of static adverts.

On that basis, there wasn’t really any way to stop this screen, provided moving video was not part of the show.

What a pity the East City Way cycle route passes this, although there is some good news – it’s on the other side of the road from the route (which this pic was taken from).

Click for bigger.

London Road Horror

London Road Horror View

I think the club missed a trick here, and had it asked for permission to install their screen closer to the stadium wall, and NOT directed towards the road, but the approach used by fans heading to the stadium on foot, they just might have got their wish and been able to show those video streams to ‘The Faithful’ AND bombard them with moronic adverts too.

10/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Can the mighty god of football get a planning decision overturned?

I mentioned the disgusting giant TV screen Celtic Football Club was recently, and thankfully, refused permission to install at Parkhead.

As if we need MORE adverts burning into our eyeballs and brains on top of the assault we are subject to online, where advertisers seem to think they have right to force us to look at their tripe.

Thank goodness for adblockers that can be turned up to 11, and save us from their assault.

However, football clubs also think they are all powerful, and Celtic seems to think that a static video wall (installed some time ago, at ground level, and not rotating) is the same as theirs, which would be at the top of an eight-metre-high pole, rotating, AND show not only adverts, but live and recorded TV images.

City planners rejected the idea saying it would distract drivers on nearby London Road. They also said it would form a “dominant and incongruous feature, to the detriment of visual amenity”.

As part of the appeal process, Celtic has provided computer-generated images showing how the screen and its surroundings would appear.

A document submitted on Celtic’s behalf states: “[The sign] is neither an obtrusive nor dominant feature within the stadium precinct.”

It continues: “No evidence has been presented to justify the statement that the presence of the sign would cause distraction to drivers.

“An…LED advertising signboard with moving images already exists to the west of the stadium. That this sign has received planning permission and continues to operate is evidence that the presence of an LED sign displaying changing images has not caused a distraction to drivers.”

COUNTER-Attack By Celtic Over Council’s Rejection Of TV Screen

Delusion is a wonderful thing.

Maybe they’ve been sampling the Buckie in their own car park 😉

04/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Update on the PS Waverley’s plight

There’s a new and fairly extensive feature detailing the problems which beset the PS Waverley this year, and led to the cancellation of this season’s sailings.

There aren’t a lot of vessels needing the extent of work now revealed, and it’s always a bit of wake-up call when they reach the stage of having to cut the deck open and remove all the upper structures (including the funnels) to access the lower area. If you didn’t realise the problems were serious, this should put things into context.

The world’s last sea-going paddle steamer needs the equivalent of ‘open heart surgery’ to keep afloat as a £2 million fundraiser is launched to save her.

This year will be the second since 1812 that no paddle-steamer has sailed on the River Clyde , since the Waverley was pulled out of action for the summer following the discovery of faults with the boiler.

And it is only the second time in 72 years that the Waverley has missed a season.

Waverley Excursions, which operates the ship, said it was crucial the money was raised to return the ship to service next summer.

Would-be passengers will be asked to donate the price of a trip they would have taken, when the fundraiser is launched on Saturday.

General manager Paul Semple said: “We have to get Waverley back next year, but it will be a significant struggle.

” Waverley is only here because of the passengers who sail in her.

“Most of our income to keep the ship running is funded from passengers and fares.

“If everyone bought a ‘virtual ticket’, we would have the money needed. If we get the money, she will return to sail.

Offers of help have already come in, from crane firms to businesses in Dunoon, who benefit from daytrippers coming off the ship.

This year’s sailings were cancelled last month after an unexpected amount of damage was found to the boilers, which were last replaced in 2000 with an anticipated 25-year life span.

Mr Semple said: “We found structural defects to the boiler shell and furnace.

“We made initial repairs but then realised the extent of the damage.

“If we had continued, we would have lost half the season, and even then, there was no guarantee we would have got many more years out of the boilers.”

The work, which is expected to take around four months, will involve removing the funnels and slicing open a section of the deck to remove and replace the two boilers.

Waverley needs ‘open heart surgery’ to stay afloat

It’s interesting to note that the article goes on to note that Waverley appears to attract more passengers on its trips down south (remember, Waverley is the last sea-going paddle steamer in the world) than it does when sailing at home, in Scotland.

It puts this down to Scots taking the paddler for granted, and I think that’s fair comment.

It’s probably true everywhere though – those who have something generally tend to fully appreciate it.

However, Mr McGowan (PSPS vice-president) called for the ship to be better promoted to secure its future.

He said: “Its marketing needs to go up a gear, as passengers numbers have been on the decline, although not everywhere.

He’s probably right – with Waverley at sea much of the time (during the season) there’s not much evidence of the paddler’s existence, or sailings.

While I’m not a fan of overdone ‘Sales and Marketing’, some is still a good idea,

I think there might be a poster somewhere near Waverley’s berth at the Science Centre, on the OTHER side of the river (where the berth used to be a few years ago).

And I came across this poster in Ayr recently.

But few will ever see it, located on a steel fence at the back of the houses built on the land reclaimed from the old harbour area.

Yes, I KNOW it should have been a wider shot to show the context, but I didn’t know it would be used for this scenario, so the pic was taken to catch the detail f the original, not the location.

Paddle Steamer Waverley Ayr harbour poster

Paddle Steamer Waverley Ayr harbour poster (2019)

And there was more later:

£2m fundraising bid to save world’s last sea-going paddle steamer in Scotland

And a few days later, even the BBC noticed.

‘Save the Waverley’ paddle steamer appeal launched

I have to give their list of facts a mention…

The Waverley – facts and figures

  • Built by A. & J. Inglis of Glasgow and launched in October 1946.
  • Entered service with the London and North Eastern Railway in June 1947, working LNER’s Firth of Clyde steamer route from Craigendoran Pier, near Helensburgh, to Arrochar.
  • Powered by a three-crank diagonal triple-expansion marine steam engine built by Rankin & Blackmore in Greenock.
  • Now painted in original LNER 1947 livery of red, white and black funnels, traditional brown-grained (or “scumbled”) superstructure and black paddle-wheel boxes.
  • July 1977 – badly damaged when she struck rocks near Dunoon. The heavier than normal post-war construction which made provision for possible future military use as a minesweeper may have helped her stay together while she was refloated.
  • June 2009 – struck the breakwater at Dunoon with 700 passengers on board, 12 of whom suffered minor injuries.
  • Since being sold to the Paddle Steamer Preservation Society, she has carried more than five million passengers.

11/06/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, Maritime, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Good news as Celtic’s application for a giant rotating video screen is thrown out

I wonder if there will be an appeal (there’s a three-month window for such a thing), or if the club will show some respect for the area?

The application dates back to 2016.

CELTIC Football Club have been told they can’t put up a large rotating TV screen outside their ground.

Glasgow City Council has refused an application from the club for a 7.6-metre by 3.8-metre revolving LED display.

The screen, for showing adverts and live and recorded TV images, was to have been installed on an eight-metre high pole on an area to the right of the Celtic Way approach to the Parkhead stadium, beside the VIP car park.

COUNCIL Give ‘Red Card’ To Plan For Large Rotating Screen Outside Celtic Park

A Glasgow City Council spokesman said: “The proposal was refused because it was judged contrary to planning policy in relation to signs and advertising within the City Development Plan. That’s because it was considered to be detrimental to road safety in terms of its size and location.”

Celtic’s giant rotating screen ‘could distract drivers’

Imagine that giant horror spinning around in the middle of this view, which is already bad enough if you’re a local and not a fan.

Click for bigger.

London Road Horror

London Road Horror

And it might distract some from their Buckfast too!

No comments

I usually just disable comments and say nothing, but…

While I’d have been happy to let some advertising guru argue that I was wrong to be so happy that this monstrosity was refused, and how I was celebrating nice advertising people losing their jobs, I’m NOT so forgiving when football bigots try to use my space to throw personal insults at me, presumably for not supporting their place of worship, and a big revolving, glowing, idol they could have knelt in front of and paid homage to, so comments are gone for this post.


Coincidentally, the following article appeared a few hours later.

Football told to root out ‘vile cancer’ of sectarianism

Football clubs have been warned that the Scottish government will act if they do not root out sectarianism in the sport.

Justice Secretary Humza Yousaf said the “vile cancer” was a societal problem, and was not just connected to football.

But he said there were far too many incidents of sectarianism around football grounds.

He said clubs must say how they will tackle the problem – and if not, “all options” remain on the table.

It comes after a recent Scottish Police Authority board meeting heard how offensive behaviour at Scottish football matches had increased in the last year.

Officers have been attacked and spat on and a police horse also required treatment after it was hit with a flare, the board heard.

Mr Yousaf also announced an additional £530,000 for anti-sectarian organisations, bringing the total allocated to £14m since 2012.

The government’s controversial Offensive Behaviour at Football Act, introduced in 2012, was repealed in 2018.

Sectarianism, once dubbed “Scotland’s shame”, recently returned to the headlines after Kilmarnock manager Steve Clarke highlighted the verbal abuse he received from Rangers fans.

Kilmarnock and ex-Rangers striker Kris Boyd also spoke out about chants he was subjected to by Celtic supporters.

Others to have shared their negative experiences of life in the Old Firm spotlight include Chris Sutton and Neil McCann.

Speaking to BBC Scotland, Mr Yousaf said he would be prepared to legislate again.

Sad to say, like the commenter I dumped, I doubt most of those bigots even realise they are doing something wrong.

Update 2

I didn’t know about this before I went out, fortunately on a bus that missed Parkhead, but I did end up walking through quite a few boozy fans, and one even pulled out a bottle of Buckfast on the bus, and offered those nearest him a drink – strangely, no takers. Wonder why not?

Oh – and there was this…

Police Scotland make six arrests at Old Firm match

Six arrests made during Old Firm clash at Celtic Park

Update 3

A few hours later, there was more…

Police rush to ongoing incident in city centre amid reports of a ‘mass brawl’

Three injured and in hospital in city centre ‘stabbing’ as police handle mass disturbance

I was there around that time, fortunately passing Albion Street on a bus!


Man fights for life after stabbing following Old Firm game

Man ‘critical’ after mass street brawl in Glasgow

Merchant City brawl: one man critical and two seriously injured in large-scale disturbance

Compare and contrast

They can’t both be right, so one must wrong, or delusional, or… something.

Police chief: Scottish football ‘in crisis’ – and repeal of Offensive Behaviour Act is to blame

Celtic FC announce first ever fan festival weekend in Glasgow

And more

Mass brawl outside Toby Jug bar in Glasgow city centre probed

‘Positive line of enquiry’ over stabbing after Old Firm

19/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Chilled Moscow State Circus

Given the weather, this isn’t actually about it, and is just a bit of word play.

Some of the dafties that run around sticking up various bills and adverts in the street really have dubious IQs.

If they weren’t adverts I’d probably collect more of them, but I’m not giving ‘free goes’ so that’s not likely to happen.

However, they do sometimes appear in places where the chance of them doing any good is remote, or they stick up so many next to each other that it just get ridiculous, and irritating to see them all.

We even have one local headcase who spends his time sticking the same ads in the same places time after time.

I’ve seen anything up to a dozen of them, all exactly the same, just stuck one on top of the other. Why?

Does his brain just run on automatic? I wonder if he just hands them to kids, and tells them to go stick them up?

I’d love to make a mocking post – but it’s a local ‘business’ (or cowboy) so I can’t really identify or show it, unfortunately.

But the one below can be shown, and I thought was a good example of how these bill posters will stick their posters on anything.

I wouldn’t mind seeing the Moscow State Circus, I think it’s one show that wasn’t visiting when I was going to such shows, but their pitch is not on any of my routes.

This was their ‘Winter Spectacular’, which visited Braehead, and I just thought was funny to see all those posters stick on a chiller (so, I’m easily amused).

I can get to the opposite side of the river easily enough, but there’s no bridge there 😦

Chilly Moscow State Circus Posters

Chilly Moscow State Circus Posters

08/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The honey trap is working well – now we caught a leering money moron

No explanation needed, see Dirty Dog Shampoo original if you missed it.

Just look at the dumb face on this moron posing in someone else’s Ferrari!

Would YOU take money advice from an idiot like this?

Money Moron

Money Moron

06/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Honey trap catches moronic cana16 ‘blog’

Have I invented/discovered a new kind of ‘Honey Trap’ to attract scummy spammers?

No sooner did I call out the ‘Beauty Secrets’ blog for suggesting ‘Dirty Dog Shampoo’ would be good for the king of sad people who follow such things.

It wasn’t long before another moronic spamming ‘beauty blog’ pulled the same trick…

Moronic Cana16

Moronic Cana16

You have to wonder just how far below ‘Bottom Feeder’ these people lie on the intelligence scale.


See a post mocking and deriding BOTH your type of blog, AND its scummy attempt to circumvent adblocking…

And it STILL issues both a ‘Like’ and the apparently standard pair of attempts to register as a ‘Follower’.


Dirt like YOU will NEVER be allowed to stay as a Follower on any blog I watch.

06/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Latest fashion find – Beauty Secrets blog finds Dirty Dog Shampoo

I never know whether to be irritated or amused by the desperate morons trying to find ways to promote their blogs, place unwanted advertising, and make money from other morons.

A really nice example of how stupid they are popped up this morning, so I’m going to share, and hopefully (but I know they don’t care) shame  whoever’s behind ‘Beauty Secret’ blog.

I’m guessing they have a bot or similar searching for any mentions of beauty products, such as, oh let’s pick ‘shampoo’ as a possible search word.

Whenever it finds such a word, it might look for a ‘Like’ button the page (but could be a ‘Follow’ or even ‘Register’ button), and use some code to programmatically ‘press’ it.

This sort of scummy behaviour means that the blog they pounced on will have the owner see their unwanted ad (since their content and hints at ‘Posts you might like to see from Beauty Secrets’ are just promos or ads, and if anyone looks at who has registered a ‘Like’ on your blog, you’ve given them a free link their blogs, loaded with the aforementioned promos and ads.

It’s really just spam, and deserves to be treated in the same way.

It also has the advantage of circumventing any sort of adbocking, and Akismet on WordPress.

Saddest fact of the day is that WordPress does not, and apparently will not, offer an option to block sites making ‘Likes’ we don’t like.

I always delete these a few minutes after they appear, since not one of them has ever offered me a cut of their profits for carrying their promos and ads.

And who’d going to listen to a blogger that’s thick as a brick, and promotes ‘Dirty Dog Shampoo’ on their blog about Beauty Secrets?

Let’s just laugh at…

Beauty Secret Dirty Dog Shampoo

Beauty Secret Dirty Dog Shampoo

I might do this more often, if funny ones show up.

06/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

I completely hate web ads – and this disgusting thing is maybe even worse

Having been around since the very start of the web, I was subject to the very worst abuses of sellers/advertising from day one.

The worst offenders today are still pretty bad of course, but nothing like the ‘bad old day’ when we had pages filled with animated gifs and marquee text marching across the screen (marquee is a tag then makes text scroll horizontally – deprecated, but still works as far as I know). Then it got even worse when they learned how to optimise video, and were able to embed that into pages as well.

I called ‘ENOUGH’ when pages had animate banners top AND bottom, gifs dancing around in all the content, and sometimes had the SAME video embedded five to seven times on the page, often in identical groups if the code behind their selection and placement was utter crap.

I haven’t seen an online ad for yeas now, and it’s LOVELY 🙂

I have one very good adblocking module which I have screwed up to ’11’, and since I use Firefox, that also helps things along with its settings, especially in the most recent variants (the Nightly version has become very stable recently, and I use it all the time). I did have more than one blocker, but recently tried removing them, and found one of them was doing a great job all on its own, so I was able to ‘clean house’, and minimise the amount of overhead I was dragging along.

I don’t visit any web sites that demand I disable my adblocking – simple as that, they’re history.

One reason is their insulting approach, as they often give advice on how to disable, or even remove my adblocker – which is just going too far, treating me as, or implying I am, some sort of idiot that doesn’t know how they set up their own browser, or how to adjust they adblocker they chose to install.

Doesn’t affect me as companies that are so desperate to push their adverts are never those I am even interested in anyway. Even if they were, I’d find an alternative.

Worse than web ads?

So, what could I come across that could maybe be worse (as a concept at least) than web ads.

Sadly, a SCOTTISH ‘invention’.

Actually, this is so disgusting, I hesitate to use either the word ‘Scottish’ or ‘invention’ to dignify it, but there isn’t really any alternative I can use for those.

The disgusting iWalker was developed by a Glasgow-based company (Nomadix Media Systems), product design consultancy i4 and, I’m embarrassed to say, the University of Strathclyde (seriously, WHAT were you thinking?).

It’s a wearable screen which streams advertising and social media messaging.

But wait, there MORE!

This creepy tech is equipped with cameras and uses facial recognition technology to spy on all passers-by to capture data on who has viewed the content, including their age, gender, and emotional response. All without asking!

At least when you are online, they are obliged to get your permission – and you can use your adblocker and anti-tracking software.

But out on the street they can creep on you as they please, and you won’t even know you’ve been grabbed.

Still, I did have a look in the Help File for my adblocker, and it does have a suggestion for dealing with this thing…

Live Adblocker For Non Internet Ads

Live Adblocker For Non Internet Ads

Come on ICO (Information Commissioner’s Office) – wake up to this sort of abuse, and do something about it.

How about some of you out there, write in or email complaints about this invasive use of tech.

One little moan from me isn’t going to get noticed.

This thing is also pretty degrading for those coerced into walking around wearing it.

After all, wasn’t it the poor, tramps, alcoholics etc that wandered around the streets wearing sandwich boards in the day of black & white film?

After all, wasn’t it the poor, tramps, alcoholics etc that wandered around the streets wearing sandwich boards in the day of black & white film?

From the 1920s (there’s no apostrophe when this date is written correctly).

26/10/2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Marketing gimmick

A touch of imagination from the sales and marketing department, and a matching number plate.

As noted in yesterday’s ‘Porsche post’, it looks as if the compact will just about start up fast enough to catch the odd chance grab shot before the ‘victim’ can make their escape – the traffic lights almost managed to change fast enough to let this one get away, but not quite.

Marketing Gimmick

Marketing Gimmick

19/08/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The day the ASA really lost it!

I rather like the ASA (Advertising Standards Authority), despite some truly screwball rulings when irritating, noisy, and uptight minority groups misuse its services.

Thanks to having the benefit of a year’s worth of legal education, I understand enough ‘legal interpretation’ to understands why some of its more obscure and apparently unreasonable rulings are made.

And there’s no disputing that bad as it is, the advertising we are bombarded with in the UK is still head and shoulders above the disgusting, intrusive, manipulative, and downright tacky and crude drivel seen around the rest of the world.

But sometimes, there little more to be said for some of its ramblings than that suggest someone there has either ‘Lost it’, or is simply abusing their position and influencing decisions to suit their own agenda.

Something along those lines must apply to the decision to rule against Tunnock’s tennis themed billboard ad, featuring a Tunnock’s tea cake and a female tennis player, displayed opposite a major tennis event, which was, amongst things, ruled:

While we acknowledged the ad was placed opposite an arena hosting a tennis match, we considered it nevertheless bore no relevance to the advertised product.

From: ASA Ruling on Thomas Tunnock Ltd

Tunnocks Banned Billboard

Tunnocks Banned Billboard

I call that clever word play, to suit the writer (or their employer) – and something I’m quite familiar (and once proficient at, from my days as a quality systems auditor – and trained to hand out NCNs or non-compliance notes).

STV reported it: Tunnock’s tennis advert ‘offensive and irresponsible’

And the BBC: ‘Offensive’ Tunnock’s Tea Cake ad banned by regulator

Yet another advert, which frankly was ‘iffy’ (and although degrading a male in this case, was probably little different to many cosmetic ads that are degrading to females, yet they get passed).

See: ASA Ruling on Puig (UK) Ltd t/a Paco Rabanne

Much as I hate to do it, this quote from the… Daily Mail probably hits the mark (and saves me from getting tied up in knots with my own ramblings).

DM Tunnocks Ad Article

DM Tunnocks Ad Article

Oh, NOW…

I See

I See

13/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

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