Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Baillieston’s old Airdrie Savings Bank conversion underway

An unplanned jaunt through Baillieston provided a number of updates.

Biggest surprise was a big banner on its Lidl, warning everyone it closes in a few days, for a MONTH! Apparently it’s getting a major makeover to make, yes, you guessed it… BETTER!

Next was Chamber’s old shop, where I last noted the demise of the little side building that used to be home to a little barber’s shop. A concrete base has been laid on, so they’re going to be using the space released by this little bit of demolition,

But the most interesting development was at the old Airdrie Savings Bank building, where work was underway even though it was well past normal stopping time (I hope UNITE or the RMT is not involved, or the nation could be on strike soon).

Although the windows are still too high to see in over, you can see in past the edges of some very badly fitting plywood panels jammed in place of the original opaque glazing at the bottom of the main window, but there’s nothing to see.

I did notice the hole where the cash machine once lived had been worked on, but there was just some wooden shuttering over it, to close the hole.

I’ll look again next time I pass.

Airdrie Savings Bank Works

Airdrie Savings Bank Works


March 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Old Airdrie Savings Bank redevelopment sneaks into Baillieston

While I’ve been busy looking at things like the redevelopment of the old Chamber’s clothes shop, it looks as if someone has taken advantage of my attention being diverted to start work on the old Airdrie Savings Bank (ASB) building, which was put up for offer a few years back, after the bank closed.

I was always amused by this one, as I knew the manager of another ASB in a nearby town, and he lived in one of the streets behind this one.

I never asked (no, I don’t know why, I just never got around to it) why he lived a few yards from a branch of the ASB, which he could have fallen out of bed and into his work in a few minutes, yet had to travel miles daily, to the branch he managed.

I don’t know if it was a choice, or if there might have been a security issue, and it was bank policy for the manager to reside some distance from the branch he managed. I guess it could make it easy for unscrupulous types to attack the manager or his family if they were close to the bank if they decided to target it. Having the physical barrier of distance adds time, and makes it harder to apply pressure. I think an episode of The Sweeney used such such as scenario as the background to a bank job.

Back in Baillieston, I’d stopped watching the old empty bank building as various notices that said things might be happening over the past few years failed to materialise any changes. It closed back in 2015 as ASB ceased to exist as well.

But as I passed recently, and glanced over, I saw that some items had been cleared away, the sign offering the premises had gone, and there was a mobile scaffolding platform visible inside, behind the main window.

Guess I’ll have to remember to keep an eye on this one as well as Chamber’s.

The lit window is unrelated, and belongs to the telephone exchange behind.

The notices I saw previously related to application to turn the place into a restaurant, and it seems this application has now been approved.

Planning – Planning Application Documents:

16/01475/DC | Use of vacant bank (Class 2) as restaurant (Class 3) and installation of external flue. | 2 Glasgow Road Baillieston Glasgow G69 6JX

There’s more than 50 seats inside, with external seating showing more than 20 outside.

Given that another restaurant opened nearby a few years back, it will be interesting to see if there is enough trade to support this sizeable venture.

I’ll definitely be watching with interest.

Airdrie Savings Bank

Airdrie Savings Bank

March 9, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Chambers conversion continued in the snow

While I was laid low during the snow of past week or so (I was out and got chilled by the Beast from the East BEFORE it was announced in the news – and it hit hard that day), and missed almost every opportunity to grab a pic of anything, it seems those working on the conversion of the old Chamber’s shop to a new home for BCU (Baillieston Credit Union) were made of stronger stuff, and work there progressed even while I wasn’t watching.

Also, looks like my guess about the little barber shop to left coming to the end of its days was right. It was demolished and cleared away while I was out of it.

The exterior seems to be getting a scrape in preparation for being rendered to make it look ‘new’.

The roof’s being replaced, and it looks as if the central ornamentation on the roof has been removed as well.

This seems to be the latest trendy fashion these days, to hide the original appearance of buildings being refurbished, and while I never saw this being done before, all the neighbouring houses to mine that sold during the past few years received this treatment. Some had the original rendering removed first, while others just had some tinted gunk trowelled over the original, and stone chips thrown at it.

Looks good the day after, but I’ll be watching.

In good old damp and rainy Scotland, if this is done with ordinary cement as the base, this creates a waterproof layer that cannot ‘breathe’. Once moisture gets trapped behind it can ‘blow’ out the surface, especially if moisture freezes behind and expands during winter.

I know this as a cowboy (who was jailed for 5 years for other offences discovered a few days after he finished patching some rendering on my house with concrete). The patches are indeed blowing out now, and separating from the wall.


Chambers Conversion Grows

Chambers Conversion Grows

March 8, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Chamber’s conversion continues in Baillieston

I almost missed this, although it’s hard to miss.

I wasn’t really looking after all the other changes, AND because the place has already had scaffolding up and down (but not over the facade, just the sides).

Also… It wasn’t obvious before, since I’m only here at night, but looking in the window of the former barber’s shop in the low building to the left shows it now appears to be boarded up, so I guess it has gone as well. The wooden panel padlocked over the entrance is probably also something of a clue.

I hadn’t anticipated this going as well, as there had been ads for part-time barbers in the window just before all this started. I guess there weren’t any takers.

Oh well, there is still another barber just across the road – although I haven’t been there during its opening hours, so don’t take my word for it before checking.

Chambers Conversion

Chambers Conversion


February 20, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Baillieston Credit Union seems to be on the move

Bad timing meant no pic to back up my claim that it looked like the Baillieston Credit Union (BCU) might be the next occupant of the former Chamber’s lady’s clothes shop.

Better luck this time, and a nice clear view of the sign on the wall beside the building.

Chambers Wall Baillieston Credit Union

Chambers Wall Baillieston Credit Union

I keep referring to this, but it can still be amazing to see the difference the steady change from yellow sodium street lighting to white LEDs makes, as this is virtually a daytime pic taken in the ‘dark’ of night, a fact that only the dark sky sitting over the top of the wall confirms.

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Rhindsdale Tavern has left the room

Looks like the last pic I took of Baillieston’s Rhindsdale Tavern open for business was not quite what it seemed…

It must have been its closing down party.

Last night, it was not only closed, but sealed, just to make sure nobody gets in.

Rhindsdale Tavern Gone

Rhindsdale Tavern Gone

A closer look at the above pic from last night will show that both the windows and doors have been secured and sealed.

And this is the sign on the door.

Rhindsdale Tavern Sealed

Rhindsdale Tavern Sealed

Guess I’ll have to keep an eye on this one now, to see what happens.

I don’t hold out much hope, given the Circle Bar, probably in a more prominent position disappeared not that long ago, and became a convenience store.

And the pub at the end of my own road (not all that far away), complete with function rooms that appeared to be doing regular trade, was boarded up over a year ago with an ‘Offers Welcome’ sign nailed over it – and is still the same derelict today. That one really was a surprise given how busy it was, and I didn’t even realise it had gone, genuinely there one day and gone the next, with a door similar to that bolted over the entrance.

Going from memory, I think that still leaves two pubs in the main street, and two betting shops (recall I mentioned one closing a little while back).

I think there’s two chip shops too.

Maybe I should just do a single big photo shoot of both sides of the street one day.

February 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Rhindsdale Tavern daylight bonus

Since I was there anyway, and it was open too, I thought I might as well grab an unusual DAYLIGHT shot of the Rhindsdale Tavern.

Night is more usual for me.

Funny to see a pic with… SKY in it.

That’s all.

Rhindsdale Tavern By Day

Rhindsdale Tavern By Day

Compare and contrast?

Rhindsdale Tavern Still Lives

Rhindsdale Tavern Still Lives

Actually, last night’s shot was a failure by my standards.


Look at the pub sign, obscured by the traffic lights. BASIC MISTAKE!

Not my mistake, but unavoidable as some guy was playing/exercising his ‘hound from Hell’ on the spot where I wanted to stand, and the way it was mauling the football it was destroying… I thought discretion, and best possible pic under the circumstances was the smart way to go,

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Rhindsdale Tavern revisited, also, Chamber’s former shop looks like BCU

Well, not really revisited, just happened to spot the change as I was visiting the shops.

Last time past (and it really was the last time, not been near since) I wondered if the shutters had gone up, although my less than perfect memory does recall the doors being closed for periods, the life suddenly returns.

Looks like the recent weeks of closed doors are not a sign of the end, and there was still life there last night.

Rhindsdale Tavern Still Lives

Rhindsdale Tavern Still Lives

I await my next passing of this point with interest.

Bonus note on former Chamber’s shop

I couldn’t get a pic last night, but if I make an assumption, then it looks like the old ‘Chambers’ shop is not being revamped as flats/accommodation, but is set to become the new home to BCU, that’s Baillieston Credit Unit if not obvious.

While there’s currently no change to the facade (I think), work seems to have been going on out of sight, and there’s a sign announcing the imminent arrival of BCU here, nailed to the wall to the right (not seen in this recent pic).

Need to watch this one too.

Baillieston Chambers Conversion Reveal

Baillieston Chambers Conversion

February 5, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Is the Rhindsdale Tavern Baillieston’s next departer?

I’ve been noticing the departure of one or two fairly long-established ‘faces’ in Baillieston recently, and after being taken a little by surprise when the Circle Bar departed from the Main Street (to be replaced by some general store franchise or other), I thought I’d get in with an earlier observation speculating on the Rhindsdale Tavern.

This has been shuttered for some weeks now – at least going by my visits there, which have been more widely spaced than they used to be.

The place used to be very noticeable, with various events and live performers until a few weeks ago, belting numbers out of the open door into the street, it was hard to miss.

Now it’s cold, dark, and silent whenever I do make it over that way.

Baillieston Rhindsdale Tavern

Baillieston Rhindsdale Tavern

January 25, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Baillieston conversion big reveal

I win my bet!

I’d be impressed – if it hadn’t been obvious.

Pigeons are still there – guess they’re stuck there since somebody boarded up the house beside the police station (the one that evaporated a few weeks ago) and the chippie along the road, where they used to live inside (presumably after some nice concerned animal activists smashed all the windows so the poor wee birdies could get in and shelter out of the cold).

I think I’d be wanting a fairly deep surveyor’s report on this one before parting with my cash.

Looks to my eyes as if there is something to be concerned about with that façade.

Run a straight line/edge along that steel lintel revealed above the entrance and left window – it’s curved!

The upstairs windows all look like they are at different angles to the horizontal, and match the lintel.

Since the front was covered while work was carried out here, it’s not possible to tell if it looked like this before, and the removal of the render revealed this.

It may be settlement in an old building, but I’d expect to see it stabilised, and not just left like this, especially with visible gaps and distortion.

Guess I’ll keep watching this whenever I get the chance to be here.

Baillieston Conversion Reveal

Baillieston Conversion Reveal

January 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

So I passed this window Nativity scene

It’s getting harder and harder to find an accessible Nativity scene.

Glasgow’s George Square (it was not complete the last time I was there, maybe later) is now behind a security screen – and maybe hidden guards ready to pounce – after parts were stolen a few years ago.

There are some nice simple ones, and other more elaborate versions, but they are sometimes placed out of reach.

Heading home from the shops last night, I passed a house that generally has plenty of lights on, but after passing I had one of those “Wait! What was that?” moments when something seemed different.

It was, as seen below.

Nativity Scene

Nativity Scene

My favourite part is the Police sign included in the lower right corner:


Did the Three Wise Men make an appointment?

Merits a closer look.

Nativity Detail

Nativity Detail

December 20, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: