Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Soaves return to Baillieston shops

I recently noted that after moving from the shops in Baillieston – to a vacated former TV shop, then café, on the outskirts – an ice cream parlour appear to have closed, and speculated that the move had not been a good idea as the footfall at the quieter spot was insufficient.

Although not received as a comment here, I was later told the shop had indeed closed, and gone back to shared premises in the middle of the main street, and I would guess a better return from lower operating costs and more passing trade.

Story confirmed when I spotted this recently.

Soaves Return

Soaves Return

Referring to the original post…

The little clothes shop is said to have a new taker, and will open again (no details).

And then what can only be described as fantasy…

That the former bank building is going to open under the auspices of one of the big businesses I refer to as ‘Coffee Cons’.

It now has another sign indicating it has restaurant planning permission – but a new restaurant already opened recently, just along the road, so I guess that is not really going to help moving a building this size with its attendant costs of ownership.

A bank might eat those costs for a while, but you will have to be coining it to make this building viable.

Baillieston Bank Building

Baillieston Bank Building

I won’t give them free publicity by naming them online, but they cost city worker a fortune, selling paper cups of brown slops – coffee with various silly and trendy names – for around £2.50 or more a time.

People fail to think, and buy this stuff, costing them well over £100 a year for little more than hot water.

It’s no wonder these cash black holes use paper cups, and avoid any refers to… MUGS.

If an ice cream parlour can’t cut it here, then I doubt there’s any way a franchisee would be able to cover their costs operating from this deserted area with few customers to pay for such a huge building and the franchise costs.

It’s only the founder that becomes a millionaire and enjoys the trapping of wealth from such plans.

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August 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | 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

The ‘Tidies’ have been to Baillieston

Our little industrial estate used to get a little overgrown, until…

Folk got fed up with the local using the jungle as cover to make it easy to sneak up to cars and break into them without being noticed, and then sneak away with the goodies afterwards. They started making revolution and protest noises to the landlord, and we eventually got regular visits from gardeners to keep the growth down.

Although the original idea had to been to make the place look nice, the bushes (and eventually trees) that bordered the parking bays on the units really did hide anything that was happening, and we had at least two visitors find their cars broken into after being with us for a few hours. Funniest was one guy up from London – they couldn’t actually get his radio out of the dash, and he was almost pleased… it had stopped working months prior to this attack, but when he turned the switch found it was working perfectly.

Abandoned but not derelict, the former Airdrie Savings Bank in Baillieston had a decorative patch of greenery in front of its Main Street façade. However, this has gone wild since the bank was closed a few years ago, and it’s recently become a dump too, either having rubbish thrown in by nice people as they pass, or perhaps just acting as a rubbish catcher as the wind blows litter around the street. Smell suggests it was also seen as a handy toilet by some.

Thanks to Google, we can see how it looked:

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden

Thanks to me, we can see how it looked last night:

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden Cleared

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden Cleared

Diversion signs each time too.

Wonder if it will turn into a piece of block paving?

Exciting, isn’t it?

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Is Baillieston closing for business?

Unless there’s something unusual or interesting I don’t usually bother about the steady coming and going of business or shops on the ‘Main Street’.

These tend to balance out, with a few empty shops, the occasional new arrival, and the occasional closure maintaining a steady balance.

But last night was a bit different as I took my regular wander through Baillieston, with two obvious losses (three now that I think of it), and the realisation that there may be a fourth I had not noticed.

The first obvious one was the bookies, really, a betting shop closing?

I’m more used to being surprised at seeing them being granted permission to open in Shettleston in recent times, there are so many, and within sight of one another too.

That makes this closure in Baillieston all the more of a surprise, unless they’re moving or refurbing. But that seem unlikely as I recall the place being gutted and upgraded not so long ago, when all the old computer gear was dumped in the road. And it didn’t even seem to close for that. There’s a note stuck to the window near the door, but it’s just security details.

Betting Shop Closed

Betting Shop Closed

Next one I came across was this former ladies clothes shop.

Oddly enough, as I’ve been passing this in recent weeks I’ve actually been thinking how remarkable it was that it was still there after so many years, and how the window displays were always fresh and clean. Many long-established little shops let their window displays slip, get untidy, out-of-date, and even dusty, dirty, and faded as they are neglected, but not this one.

Looks like my thoughts were similar to Murray Walker’s ‘Kiss of Death’ or “Commentator’s Curse” which often applied when he suggested someone was about to win an F1 race – which would almost immediately cause their car to fail in some dramatic way.

Terrible lighting and compact camera made for a terrible pic – the sign is still there, above the door, but the colour combination just comes out as a smear with its little sensor. I also thought there was a hole in the roof before I tweaked the image, but I believe is/was actually a chimney, centre front.

Chambers Fashions Closed

Chambers Fashions Closed

The other two that came mind were the pub at the bus stop. The Circle Bar if I recall correctly, appeared to close then was open on odd days, then closed completely and became a shop.

Caught in this Google view from 2016 being converted into a shop full of bongs:

Pub to Shop

Pub to Shop

The other one is, or was, the  grossly over-priced designer brand label ice-cream shop. (Sorry, nothing against the shop, just the concept of a brand names and labels that have silly money premium prices attached.)

This moved from a smaller shop in the busier middle of the Main Street to this once derelict former TV shop a while ago.

The place has been closed for a while now, and the shutters are up. I had wondered if they were maybe just on holiday, but there’s no sign or note obvious.

A pity, as it always seemed to have a steady stream of customers, I thought it was ‘safe’ – perhaps not sustainable. Despite the name, it is a Scottish brand, based not that far away, and while I see they offer help to start a business, I don’t see any mention of the ‘F’ word (franchise – can be expensive).

Maybe business is really good, and they’re having a looooooooooooooong holiday.

Again, Google has to rescue me as I’ve never pointed a camera this way:

Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream Parlour

I’m there all the time, so any changes or updates will be added below.

Updates

As par a later post, the Ice Cream Parlour has moved back into the busy body of the main street, away from this quieter spot, and is installed in a shop that sells trendy stuff.

The betting shop is indeed gone, as estate agent’s signs were bolted on to the front a few days later. No real surprise, more that it lasted so long, as two others sit beside one another in the busier part of the main street, and are next to a pub.

Thinking back (I’m not a betting shop person) I have memories of a fourth one that opened across the road from those two, but was hardly there long enough for me to remember it quickly.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , | 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

Where did the little old Austin go?

I wonder what happened to this little old car?

Baillieston Old Austin 01

Baillieston Old Austin 01

It was back in 2014 that I noticed its profile over a wall, and after that I got so used to seeing it that I forgot all about it as stopped registering with me.

So, since I wasn’t really looking or paying attention, I don’t have any idea when it disappeared, but I think it must have been a while ago.

As you can see, it’s definitely gone.

Baillieston Missing Austin

Baillieston Missing Austin

Wonder what happened to it.

While I only saw it from a distance, it did look solid enough to be restored, so I guess somebody probably made an offer and took it home to restore it.

They’re not worth a mint, so it wouldn’t be an expensive project, and the part aren’t going to cost an arm and a leg.

If you know about, drop a comment below.

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

Just a gate – all that’s left of Loancroft

It was pure chance that I learned these gates were the only remains of a big house (mansion or villa) in Baillieston.

These pillars and some wrought iron fencing are all that remains of Loancroft House, which is now the site of the present Loancroft Care Home.

Loancroft Gates

Loancroft Gates

I can’t remember where I found this note about Loancroft, and searching online is futile since all the property and estate agents have their useless house sales web sites forced to the top any searches for a house, so ruin the usefulness of search tools.

That’s not helped by Loancroft House not being mentioned in the most common historic online references, since it’s long gone, nor does it appear in an old book which lists many of those that are gone, but has pictures and prints of many.

So, other than the name, and the gates, there’s not much I can add regarding the history of the old house.

If you anything, you could do worse than share it in the Comments below.

May 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XI

It’s unfortunate that those who seek fame on the scourge that is ‘Social Media’ and try to create ‘viral’ content have found popularity by making the most trivial of parking errors into something to be seen as some sort of Mortal Sin or major crime. Instead of using it to log serious offenders, they have succeeded in making any parking transgression a matter that needs vigilantes to ‘key’ or otherwise vandalise offender’s cars, or take some other action against them, even though all they may have done is park over a line in a car park – usually where there are many empty spaces to be seen in the background, so nobody has been inconvenienced or troubled.

Equally strangely, those same vigilantes seem to see such parking as a major offence – yet seem to think they are justified if they (deliberately and knowingly) park one – or more – of their vehicles to block the first vehicle in, or block the driver’s access to it.

Strange logic – unless you are a bully, thug, or someone out to win ‘likes’ or create a viral pic or video.

Meanwhile, in the real world, they seem unable to see genuine offences on the road and footpath.

For example, this doesn’t look to bad at first glance, but look closer at the kerb:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 01

If it’s stopped it’s parked

Seen from the other side, the problem becomes more obvious:

Barrachnie Parking Vauxhall 02

If it’s stopped it’s parked and not legit

Sadly, this is the sort of thing that is leading some people (not me, I just take pics in public places) to seek new laws to make it easier to fine those who park like this.

I don’t agree incidentally, since this is already an offence – vehicles may not drive on the footpath, other than to cross it for access.

But this law is seldom enforced – yet we supposedly need another!

A little further along the road, we had a more blatant example.

I suspect the driver thinks this makes them immune from the double yellow lines on the road, since they are off the road and on the footpath.

Not so!

Check the law and you will find that the enforcement area of the yellow lines extends to EITHER SIDE of them – so parking on the footpath does not escape their enforcement, and ADDS a further offence, of driving on the footpath.

Baillieston Tesco parking

If it’s stopped it’s parked

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

My past is being erased – 01

One of the sad things I remember my mother saying one day was something along the lines of “I’m done. There’s nothing left in this world that I recognise“.

It was an understandable outburst from anyone who lived through the Glasgow of the 1960s and saw how the streets that they once saw teeming with life and people had become little more than vast empty spaces. The family home (and grandfather’s newsagent’s shop) was gone, having been razed to make way for London Rd Police Station.

While we may now reside in area where that’s unlikely to be repeated, I doubt I could find any shops in the city centre that mattered to me, let alone my parents. This was brought home some years ago when I decided to go collect some pics of ‘old surviving shops’ in the city (identified from books that were not that old), only to find that 90% had gone, making the task a quick one, and with little to show for the effort.

This has also been brought home to me recently, by chance, as I happened to trip over some places that I once saw frequently.

I happened to look across Baillieston Cross last week, not somewhere I see often since I was priced off the road.

It took a moment for the scene to sink in, and I realised that the road I once travelled on a daily basis to get to Coatbridge was GONE!

It was the area now being filled in behind the comes on the left.

Baillieston Cross

Baillieston Cross

I was obliged to travel that way to get to school (actually schools since I had to transfer after 4 years), unless I had to use the train.

In more recent years I’ve killed the odd spare hour by taking a walk to Bargeddie – at least I can still do that.

Here’s a closer look at the ‘erasure’ of part of my past, or infill of the former road.

Baillieston Coatbridge Rd Dead

Baillieston Coatbridge Rd dead

However, there is at least good reason for the change: M8 Missing Link Opens

Seeing this gave me a feeling something like nails being hammered into my coffin.

I’ll have to dig out some previous pics I collected a while ago.

These came from an earlier, but similar ‘shock’ – when I discovered not one, but BOTH of the schools I had attended in Coatbridge had been demolished.

The first I was prepared for (a few years ago), and actually made the trip to take a look after I couldn’t find it on Google Earth, and went to see why.

The second was more of a shock, as I had no idea it had just been demolished not long before I made the trip last year, and actually thought I had got off the train at the wrong station!

I hadn’t, and count myself lucky to have gone back in earlier days just for some pics – on film, which indicates how long ago that was.

April 6, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas 2016 – Baillieston

Last of the set, and it turned out to be the hardest to catch, almost being missed.

This should have been easy, but a change in habit meant hardly being in Baillieston at all over the season, and when I did get there… found the layout was hard to catch in simple pics.

Always placed at the cross, the tree is quite far from the main street, and while all the lampposts carry lights, they are quite slim, so hard to show in a pic if not facing straight on to them.

In the end, I kept three pics, but the street decorations look better than in their pics, and the tree was lying at an angle (due to the ground) so I had to try to straighten it, just a little.

bailliestonchristmas2016-1

bailliestonchristmas2016-3

bailliestonchristmas2016-2

December 29, 2016 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 2 Comments

Missed me – again

I still find it intriguing that my varied walking routes, which I change every few weeks to stop becoming bored, mean I see changes I would not see happening gradually.

They also mean I see some significant changes, not least of which is the way road barriers are trashed when I go back to a route, indicating vehicles went onto the footpath at speed.

I noted one in Baillieston a while back.

They didn’t replace the barrier, but it looks as if they later added a more substantial bollard to the corner.

Guess what?

Yup… when I went back to this route, the bollard had been flattened too.

Clearly needs MORE foundation!

Baillieston Bollard Down

December 3, 2015 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | 1 Comment

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