Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Kelvingrove’s secret tunnel system tested for ‘Childfree’ days

If you’re looking for a reference to the real ‘International Childfree Day’ then look here

Otherwise, join me in a little wishful thinking 🙂

Those familiar with Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum will (or should) be aware of its ventilation system, basically a system of tunnels built into the stonework, with the outlets, or vents, covered by large grilles, some of which are plain, and some of which are decorative.

Some say, they form a network of tunnels leading to the basement, and secret places, such as a nursery, or maybe even a restaurant (with a very ‘special’ menu).

I can’t hide the fact that some people’s ‘cute’ kids’ behaviour is quite the opposite for others, and screaming kids stamping their feet, or racing repeatedly from end to end the central hall as if they had OCD, do little to enhance the daily organ recital.

Few parents seem to care these days, afraid to do anything to curb theirs sprogs for fear of scarring them mentally, for life, and dooming them to years inside the social service, or even prison, system.

However, I did spot one particularly considerate parent testing Kelvingrove’s tunnel system recently – and one smart kid, who had clearly worked out what was going on, and making good their escape.

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test

As the grilles are securely fixed in place…

It was necessary to carry out a practical test, to determine what size child could pass through the grille spacing.

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test 2

Kelvingrove tunnel grille size test 2

The remaining pics of the test results weren’t pretty (if you think that opening in the grille is smaller than the kid, you’d be right, and getting it through wasn’t easy, neat, or tidy, so I thought it better not to include them.

However, we did receive this pic, claimed to show the exit of this tunnel (after a few interdimensional jumps).

Slide end

Slide end

Oh well, we can always dream/hope 😉


I wanted a pic of a complete/undamaged grille, but this isn’t possible at the moment, since the museum’s information desk was moved from the centre of the central hall, and set up in the corner across from the grille seen above, blocking the view.

However, the same grille appears on other vents fed by the same ventilation tunnels which run through the building.

This is one of a pair which lie on either side of the organ.

Interestingly, there are others nearby, but they are not in plain sight, and are simply made of a plain mesh, finished in gilt.

Kelvingrove ventilation grille

Kelvingrove ventilation grille

01/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

At least one cat killer may have been found

While it’s easy to call for criminals to be caught, the reality is that many incidents take place where they can’t be seen happening, or leave little tangible evidence that can be used to find the perpetrator.

Single cases may never be solved, but repeat offenders can get careless, or simply allow evidence to build up which eventually leaves a trail which leads to them.

While this is (very) south of the border, it does at least suggest that these people can give themselves away.

Sussex Police have arrested a man in connection with a spate of cat deaths that have plagued Brighton since early 2018.

In a case reminiscent of the notorious Croydon Cat Killer – who, it so transpired, doesn’t actually exist, according to police – officers have for the past 18 months been investigating the death or maiming of 25 cats in the seaside town.

A breakthrough was had after the police were made aware that a cat had been injured near Queens Road, Brighton, on Friday evening (31 May).

Sadly, the animal could not be saved, but officers were able to secure CCTV footage from the area, which subsequently led to the arrest of a 52-year-old man on Sunday 2 June.

The man, currently unnamed, was arrested on suspicion of criminal damage and possession of an offensive weapon in a public place. He has been released on police bail until 28 June.

Leading officer Detective Inspector Chris Thompson said: “We were made aware of a cat death and officers conducted a quick-time investigation to establish the circumstances.

“The arrested man has been released on police bail while enquiries are continuing.

Man arrested after 25 cats killed or injured in Brighton in the past 18 months

As usual, my own take on this is found in one further line I can quote from this article:

There are many who believe there was – and potentially still is – a human element to the killings, however.

I can only repeat the worrying studies that show people prepared to abuse animals are likely to be practising for the day they move on to people, probably children, and maybe even adults if they can overcome their cowardice.

Hit Cat

09/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Weirdest obesity ‘fix’ you are likely to hear

I had to give this gem a quick mention.

Glasgow City Council is currently seeking views on the introduction of a city-wide 20 mph speed limit.

Obviously, this is bringing out a lot of people with polarised opinions, and they are bringing all sort of studies showing how such a limit would reduce injuries from collisions, and some who are popping up with claims that it would make no difference.

Simple physics tells us the latter group are mad, or bad, or have some other agenda, but let’s ignore that for now.

The most amusing claim I spotted was one that claims a 20 mph speed limit would help cure child obesity (reduce the number of fat kids).

Cutting the speed limit to 20mph in all urban areas could help counter Scotland’s obesity epidemic, a leading child health expert has said.

Professor Steve Turner of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health said the move – being proposed by Green MSP Mark Ruskell – would help encourage more families to get outdoors with their youngsters and take part in physical activities.

Mr Ruskell has brought forward a Member’s Bill at Holyrood in a bid to introduce a 20mph speed limit in all built-up areas.

Prof Turner hailed the Bill as a “significant step in the right direction towards achieving safer roads for all”, adding the slower traffic would help make parents feel more confident about allowing children to play outside.

The expert said: “Slower traffic will encourage children to walk and change their lifestyle to one which counters the obesity epidemic.

“Parents will not have the confidence to allow their children to play outside if our country’s roads are too dangerous. Reducing the speed limit in built-up areas will help to reduce fatalities on the road and make outdoor activity a more attractive option for children and their families.

“More than a quarter of Scottish children are overweight or obese, and this is associated with childhood mental health and orthopaedic problems and putting them on course to develop potentially devastating illnesses which include type 2 diabetes, cancer, stroke and heart disease in early adulthood.

“Regular physical activity helps to keep children a healthy weight, and contributes to greater wellbeing. The Restricted Roads (20 mph Speed Limit) (Scotland) Bill marks a significant step in the right direction towards achieving safer roads for all, and thus, safer spaces for children across Scotland to spend their all-important recreational time outdoors.”

Glasgow’s urban roads could have 20mph speed limit enforced in bid to combat obesity

Sorry, but to me this sound like a Green Loony trying to spin a story and gain support for his bill than anything that might actually have a significant effect on cutting obesity.

I believe this is called playing the… THINK OF THE CHILDREN! card.

I think they’d be better trying to sell the reality of lesser injuries and fatalities at 30 mph than 20 mph, due to reduced kinetic energy at impact.

I’m pretty sure that could be shown to outweigh (oops, sorry) any fat reduction.

I’m not promoting, or suggesting this view from 2016 is correct, merely citing it as an example of someone trying to argue that 20 mph causes increased pollution, so they think 20 mph is a BAD idea.

Is a 20 mph speed limit really safer?

20 MPH

20 mph

Just one observation.

I live in some burbs where 20’s Plenty signs (ie not compulsory) have been stuck up everywhere.

The thing that makes me laugh is that I’d have to use all 300+ horses in my car to REACH 30 on many of the very short roads these signs have been placed on.

By the time you reach even 20, you’re braking for the end of the road!

07/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Actions of a few wastes things for all of us

I noticed this news story recently, and realised that it (together with various other stories which have been given ‘high profile’ publicity in the media recently) is restricting legitimate photography, or picture taking opportunities for those who choose to wander around with ‘real’ cameras, not phones with cameras (which some of us don’t even have).

It’s funny – in the non-humorous way – how there are many scenarios where I can’t even take out my ‘real’ camera (especially if I happen to be carrying one fitted with a super zoom lens), yet someone with a clever smartphone could easily be taking covert pics under the pretext of making a phone-call and having a conversation. But I’d be the one pointed at, or at least being made to feel uncomfortable, even though I wasn’t even actually using the noticeable camera.

I found myself in an irritating situation recently, when I happened to be standing at a local bus stop.

It spilled a load of pupils from the far-off secondary school I attended, and I was about to step back and take some nostalgic pics to reflect the changes in the uniform since I wore one, when…

I realised most of the subjects were girls.

I just walked away. I thought it was the safest option.

Almost the same night, I saw this story in the media – sighed, and considered I was glad I’d walked away

‘Third of girls’ harassed in school uniform

Sad to think that if I had a smartphone and stalked the same bus stop I could take the pics I wanted covertly.

But if I stood there with my big ‘professional’ camera and highly visible lenses, I’d probably have the police called to talk to me and ‘Offer advice’ if concerned parents collecting offspring spotted me, and made an ‘assumption’.

I’m left wondering if it’s even ‘safe’ for me to go take pics of the school.

I can’t actually do this – they knocked it down a few years ago, and rebuilt it a few hundred yards away from that original site.

I keep trying to get there for some pics of the new place, to go with those I have of the old place.

Maybe one day.

Since I obviously don’t have a pic to go with this one, I’ve use a ‘No Cameras’ sign, but not just any one.

This one does not include any reference to phones or other devices that can record images, and shows a specific type of camera in its illustration, so technically, I’d be OK so long as I didn’t use such a thing, and could take covert or phone pics without transgressing against this prohibition.

No Cameras

22/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 2 Comments

Nice to see Michael Calwell called out over his shocking letter

I see I was not the only person who found Michael Calwell’s letter to The Scotsman shocking.

Michael Calwell (Letters, 12 September) says “that corporal punishment, unlike actual physical abuse, causes no detectable physical, psychological or emotional harm, and has no detectable negative behavioural consequences”.

He could not be more wrong. Research studies made over a long number of years and one involving more than 160,000 children, clearly indicated children who are smacked are more likely to exhibit higher levels of aggression and mental health problems.

Other research indicates that children who are smacked are more likely to be abusive to their partners as adults.

Letters: Studies show smacking ban is the right approach

There’s not really any point in going over the same ground again, and it is covered in more detail than I have to hand in the article the above quote is taken from.

The sad thing is still that so many of those motivated to comment are AGAINST the ban.


Mad, bad, or sad?

Mad: They simply don’t understand the issues raised or caused by showing children that violence is the solution to a problem.

Bad: They’re child abusers, perverts, or pedos.

Sad: They don’t care, and are just trolls or politically motivated, and see a free space to promote ‘their’ party, or rubbish their opposition.

Regardless, the chances are they may be dangerous people, and merit watching.

Tonight, there was more bad news to go along with this.

Scottish Child Abuse Inquiry to look at 17 more institutions

Glaswegians urged to watch for signs of abuse and be ‘ready to take action’ following ‘harrowing’ case of neglect

Life is NOT good for some.



13/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Is Michael Calwell dim or dangerous?

Being actively opposed to banning smacking can mean a number of things.

I’m not which possibility is the most worrying.

There’s the obvious concern that someone wants to make sure they have something to hide their hobby of ‘child abuse’ behind, so they can laugh of any visible evidence of harm as smacking, or ‘reasonable chastisement’.

Then there’s the innocent and the dim, who are naïve, and just don’t comprehend the lengths child abusers are prepared to go to hide their perversion.

And then there’s maybe the sickest of the lot…

Those who care not in the slightest for the children – but see only an opportunity to make a politically motivated statement, and oppose the proposed legislation simply to vote down something by the party they don’t support.

Read Michael Calwell’s letter here…

Letters: SNP ban on smacking criminalises loving parents



12/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Smacking kids is OK – but smashing their iPads sends wrong signal about violence?

If you ever needed convincing that the masses are too stupid to be allowed to make their own decisions, then the existence of campaigns to oppose a ban on disciplining children by beating (sorry, smacking), and the attacks on Kirstie Allspop after she smashed her children’s iPads when they broke the rules on gaming times should do the job.

Kirstie Allsopp leaves Twitter over iPad smashing backlash

Probably nobody would have noticed if she’d just beat them into a bloody pulp to emphasise the fact that they had been ‘naughty’, and should learn what happens when they don’t do as they are told.

Go on – play on this you little…

Smashed iPad

Smashed iPad


11/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Smacking to be outlawed in Scotland as ban is backed

This opening section probably sums up most of the relevant points, and shames those NOT supporting the passage of this bill.

Legislation to ban the smacking of children in Scotland is being published at Holyrood.

The bill, lodged by Green MSP John Finnie, has been backed by the government and looks certain to pass.

Mr Finnie said children should be given “the same legal protection from assault that adults enjoy”.

Other parties are expected to give members a free vote on the issue, with MSPs from across the political spectrum voicing support for the move.

However, the Scottish Conservatives said present legislation “works well because it is based on common sense, and reflects what the majority of parents want”.

Adopting a ban would make Scotland the first part of the UK to outlaw the physical punishment of children, with parents in England, Wales and Northern Ireland currently allowed to use “reasonable chastisement”.

At present, parents in Scotland can claim a defence of “justifiable assault” when punishing their children, although there is a bar on the use of any “implement”, shaking or striking a child on the head.

Mr Finnie, a former policeman, is seeking to change that with his members’ bill, which would scrap the legal defence and give children “equal protection from assault”.

Smacking ban bill published at Holyrood

Smacking to be outlawed in Scotland as ban is backed

I still see nothing to change my view that those opposing or campaigning against this bill should be watched or investigated – for reasons I hope are obvious. There can’t be ANY good reason for opposing a law that protects children from violence from ANYONE.

And I still pose the question of why it is seen by such people as acceptable to use physical punishment of children under the guise of “reasonable chastisement”, yet (fortunately) is not acceptable for the same solution to be used by those looking after the elderly, who may display similar behaviour to disobedient children if suffering from dementia.

From the numerous moronic comments which follow the article given above, it seems that it’s fine for children to be beaten into submission or obedience (by fear) as it is quick. The commenters ask what a parent can do if they can’t beat their children.

Some might suggest parents take the time to find out why they are misbehaving, and address the issue – but that would take time, and detract from valuable drinking time!



08/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Celebrity chef crashes and burns

Crying babyIf it’s not obvious, I have absolutely no time for the cult of celebrity, so I was particularly pleased to see Nick Nairn – apparently a celebrity chef – put his celebrity foot in his celebrity mouth, and illustrate that most excellent rule: Don’t do as I do, do as I say

Rather than simply not give his dubious custom to a couple of restaurants in Oban, he chose to ignore their policies which restrict access to children in the evening, and turned up at their doors with… his children.

The Oban Seafood restaurant Ee-Usk, and Coast Restaurant, also noted for fish and seafood.

Both web sites state their related restaurant’s policy regarding children during evening meals.

This then provided him with the ideal opportunity to slate them in his blog, and also to contact the Oban Times and inform it of his displeasure, thereby gaining some more celebrity publicity and maintaining his public profile at no cost to himself.

It seems he conveniently forgot to mention his own policy regarding “No Children” in his own restaurant, and when this was pointed out, he developed selective myopia, and suggested that his élite establishment was a special case, implying that the rest of us – who presumably can’t afford to eat at his esteemed premises – don’t deserve a little peace and quite to go with an evening meal.

The children are not even the real problem, but the parents.

We used to take clients to a number of bars/restaurants around the area, but eventually have to give up this practice after it became fashionable for such places to allow children in. When they were basically adult establishments, we could consider out business in a less formal environment than a boardroom, but that doesn’t work when you are sharing your space with yelling infants, and children whose parents allow then to run around the tables and into patrons unchecked. And you dare not utter a word of complaint – or they immediately turn in fire-breathing gorgons (the parents that is, not the children).

We’d be a lot better off without Nick Nairn’s shenanigans, which had one aim – to get his name into the media for a while.

I usually give links to backup my articles, but not in this case – I’m not helping.

People can make up their own minds whether or not to give their business to an establishment with a policy that restricts evening access to children – they’ll soon go close their doors, or change their policy, if they don’t attract any patrons.

Sadly, it seems some can’t do the same, and give celebrity chef restaurants a miss, as some still consider such name dropping to be ‘kewl’ when trying to impress.

25/04/2011 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment


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