Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Why we can’t have nice things

I spotted a pic online that probably shows one of the downsides of cheap mass production of advanced items that shouldn’t be in the hands of ‘everybody’ (aka morons).

Back in what we could probably now refer to as ‘The Good Old Days’, some of us managed to have radios in our cars, and even GPS systems that matched with laptops.

At the time, I don’t recall any cases of crashes or similar attributed to us (or them), or anyone able to make a name for themselves by demanding legislation to curb their use.

In the years I had them, I used them freely, yet was never diverted by them, crashed, or went flying off the road at any time, while I operated them.

Yet putting what amounts to the same devices into the hands of the mindless masses seems to have created death-dealing monsters.

Although I’m no longer in a position to play with those toys, looking at current legislation, I think I’d be locked up and have the key thrown away if I dared try, or even just sat them on the seat beside me, as I used to.

Yet I was once covering anything up to 1,000 miles per week with them.

How did I do that for years, yet not die, or kill somebody?

This pic probably sums up the problem.

Phone Bump

Phone Bump

The driver didn’t even try to lie, and said she wasn’t wearing her seat belt, and when she dropped her phone while driving, just leaned down to try to pick it up, ending up by colliding with an inanimate object and being launched against the windscreen, creating the nice little bulge pictured.

As other noted, Darwin had his chance with this one, and failed miserably.

Still, only 15 mph in a car park.




February 26, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Missed me again – but that will buff out

After I decided to let the ‘Missed me again’ joke wind down a little, and not bother with ever mangled railing that was mown down while I was not following a particular route, it seems that this has just meant the Murphy (you know who I mean, the famous Murphy of Murphy’s Law) has upped his game, and is going to try harder.

I’m back on my old Shettleston loop, which I’ve missed for a while.

Not exactly related to my ‘Missed me’ them, I’ve noticed an interesting side street where a number of white Transits are parked.

Nothing interesting about that, until you look at their wheels – nearly all have flat tyres (but only the bottom part!), and this has been the case when I’ve looked for some nights now, after spotting the first one.

Anyway, back to the real subject, and it was nice of this van to put in the effort to mark my return to some waddling along the streets of Shettleston for a while.

As an aside, I have noted a number of people look at similar crash collision damage, sneer, and point to it as an example of how rubbish modern cars are compared to the ‘tanks’ of yesteryear.

That’s a gross error and demonstrates a fair degree of ignorance.

It forgets, or ignores, that the front end of a modern or current car is designed as a crumple zone, intended to deform progressively in a controlled manner and absorb the energy of a collision rather than allow it to be passed back to the passenger compartment, and ultimately to the occupants.

Modified Vauxhall

Modified Vauxhall


They’re not going away (unlike the Vauxhall, gone the next day when I passed)!

Those Transits I mentioned are coming and going (but who can tell one or more white Transits apart?), and still have flat bits on their tyres, and still only at the bottom:

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

Flat Tyre Transit(s)

For what it’s worth, the valve caps all seem to be on, and there’s no obvious damage.

We used to have something similar in our works vans, when we visited some customers who were less than careful with the dross the their manufacturing areas and let metal shaving get carried into their yard.

We’d find our tyres kept deflating overnight, and only twigged when we found small shards of metal in the tread.

Guess what – we didn’t park in their yard any more, despite the ‘favour’.

August 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Mercedes is back (A1 GPM)

Victim of the long dark nights, I clearly failed to spot the return of this Mercedes (recently?) after it suffered an encounter with an impatient driver.

See the original spotting of the incident, when it was totalled as another car drove into the side as it was turning right:

Modified Mercedes

Mercedes Collision 01


I said it would be back, or to be more specific and accurate, that the registration A1 GPM would be back.

Looks like it was repairable, as it still looks like a grey 2013  Mercedes-Bens CLS250 CDI Blue Efficiency. I had suspected the floor pan/chassis might have suffered.

I guess I must have passed this a number of times recently, comfortably parked this time, in the street it was about to turn into in the pic above. But, it’s usually been dark when I pass here until recently, and the chilly weather means ‘Eyes Front!’, and only the recent light evenings and less windy/chilly days means I can look to the side once again.

I wonder how long I’ve been passing it, and never noticed?

The original was back in November of last year.

This is Ogilvie Street, off Tollcross Road.

Nice and shiny – insurance is a wonderful thing (until the no-claim bonus starts to go downhill)…

Mercedes 2 [A1 GPM]

Mercedes 2

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Metal or stone – Rutherglen offers a selection of crash alternatives

When it’s on one of my regular walks I tend to lest these under the title of ‘Missed me’, but Rutherglen is not seen that often, only if I feel like a longer walk than usual.

Given the number of bashed barriers and broken bollards I see, it’s a surprise I don’t also see them happen, but then again, most culprits are probably drunks and speeding criminals, so the action happens in the wee small hours, when even I am tucked up in bed.  By the time I get there, the evidence has usually been cleared away (done very quickly these days to avoid traffic disruption) and all I get to see is bits of car – and the fun is then to guess the make and model.

I thought this was mildly amusing as Rutherglen has gone to the bother of installing decorative polished stone bollards on the main street to deter rogue pavement parking, and matched these with decorative metal fencing for pedestrian control.

In the case noted below, it’s interesting to note that the driver concerned elected to go with the nice soft metal barrier, and avoid the nasty lump of granite (I think that’s what is, but don’t quote me) as a handy ‘stopper’ for their car.

The degree of bending is mild, at least compared to sort of mangling and uprooting which tends to be seen when cars go careering into similar barriers in Shettleston. While I’d quite like to get pics of the actual event, given the extent of the loss of control and speed indicated by the damage, I’m also relatively happy not to be anywhere near one of these useless articles when they lose control.

Driver’s choice… stone:

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

(Sorry about the taxi, it pulled up as the pic was being taken, but it’s  not too bad, since it counts as an ‘interesting’ registration).

Or metal:

Rutherglen bent barrier

Rutherglen bent barrier

These are actually adjacent, and the two pics were taken from the same place, one looking to the left, and one to the right.

Not sure about the bending. After getting home and looking at the pic, can’t decide if it is low/manoeuvring speed incident (like a lorry reversing), or something a bit faster with a car, which would also have been moving against the flow of traffic here to do that.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Given up on repairing this crash barrier

There’s a barrier on London Road that seems to have been crossed off the ‘Repair List’ (or perhaps just moved to the bottom) as it seems to be pointless repairing it, such is the desire of some drivers to crash into it.

There’s a 40 mph limit on this road, and the fairly tight bend is approached shortly after a set of traffic lights. I used to work nearby and travelled this section regularly. Cars are much better now, but even then, as a regular I knew that I could zip up to 40 mph and just drive around this curve safely, while most others would brake and back off, but it does indicate how fast those clowns who go crashing into the barrier must be travelling. From the start of the damage point on the barrier, it’s easy to see how they have failed to make the turn (no excuse, not even on the basis of poor lighting).

I seem to have been watching this poor barrier being victimised by idiots for years now, with regular repairs being carried out, but now seems to be being left its fate since it was usually no sooner repaired than some fool decides to fly into it.

I can’t remember when it was last mangled, but have noticed that it appears to have been years ago – and was not subsequently fixed (although it has still changed shape every now and then). Or perhaps is trashed again so quickly it just looks as if it is no longer being repaired.

London Road barrier trashed

London Road barrier trashed

The good news for those that fly through/over this mangled barrier is that their next stop is the parking area behind an Arnold Clark Ford dealership, so they can just leave their heap there for an insurance inspection and quote (which the insurers will hopefully reject). Or run away if it was stolen (or they don’t want to be breathalysed), since there’s regrettably little for them to hit and be injured by here.

And the dealer will charge them for damaging their ‘fence’, which is slowly being deposited behind their skips:

London Road fence trashed

London Road fence trashed

January 11, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 1 Comment

Waverley woes II

Not quite to the day (it was actually June 19), but almost exactly a year ago I wrote about the paddle steamer Waverley’s unfortunate start to the 2008 season, Paddle Steamer Waverley suffers at start of season, when problems with a drive shaft sent the steamer off to Greenock’s James Watt Dock for essential repairs, and the Telegraph newspaper published a claim by the Nautilus UK trade union, alleging to have found evidence of failure to comply with with UK employment regulations regarding a Latvian sailor working on board.

I should add here that Waverley excursions replied that the accusations were unfounded, and that they were without grounds, but I failed to catch any later reports, so can’t provide any update on the outcome.

Waverley is seen below, during that 2008 visit to the James Watt Dock.

You did spot the missing paddle wheel, didn’t you?

PS Waverley under repair at James Watt Dock, Greenock, June 2008 © Thomas Nugent

PS Waverley under repair at James Watt Dock, Greenock, June 2008 © Thomas Nugent

Sadly, it came to pass that the 2009 season began little better for the last ocean-going paddle steamer in the world, when a routine survey of the boilers at the start of the year showed that they required essential work, and their extent saw PS Waverley sailings postponed to May/June.

It seems that the rest of last year’s season was not without incident, and according to some online reports I’ve read regarding 2008, PS Waverly and English piers don’t seem to get on too well with one another, and are said to have come to blows on more than one occasion.

If correct, it seems that this problem has made it across the border, and it seems that the Waverley had a coming together with pier at Dunoon, on June 26.

Waverley Excursions issued a statement on their website: “Whilst berthing at Dunoon the Paddle Steamer Waverley landed heavily on the Pier. There were passengers on board, 12 of whom sustained very minor injuries which were attended to by a doctor.”

One of the passenger said there had been a loud bang, followed by a hissing sound coming from two of the life rafts stored on deck, which had been released into the water and began to auto-inflate. He added that the other passengers didn’t seem to be angered or begin complaining about the incident, but appeared to be more concerned about the damage done to the steamer.

You can see the damage suffered by the steamer in this picture, with the life raft mount visible immediately above – small wonder two of them made the way down to the sea.

There is also a gallery with more Waverley images here.

Waverley seems to have more than her share of problems, and it should be remembered that compared to today’s modern ferries,manoeuvring with two giant paddle wheels lacks the finesse of control which these vessels now enjoy thanks to the adoption of bow thrusters, Voith Schneider propellers, and azi-pod propellers – although on the Clyde at least, the latter appears to have proven somewhat inferior to the Voith Schneider units which preceded them.

June 27, 2009 Posted by | Maritime, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

HMS Superb strikes Red Sea rock

attack subBased in the Clyde, the nuclear powered Royal Navy Submarine HMS Suberb was reported to have struck rocks in the Red Sea on May 27, some time after passing through the Suez Canal.

Although no-one on board was injured, and the vessel remains watertight and operating under its own power, the collision damaged the main sonar, meaning that submerged operations are not currently possible.

HMS Superb is a Swiftsure-class attack submarine with a displacement of 5,200 tonnes submerged, built by Vickers Shipbuilding at Barrow and commissioned in 1976.. 272ft long, with a complement of 112. Her armament includes Spearfish torpedoes.

I have to admit to a certain admiration for sub-mariners, entrusting their safety to charts etc prepared by other, and sailing next to blind through the sea. While they have plenty of aids to navigation, depending on what amounts to second-hand information demand a degree of faith, and there’s always the chance that things have changed since the last survey.

Deliberately left to the end, the radiophobes section of this items recounts the MoD’s statement that the sub’s nuclear reactor was completely unaffected, and that there is no environmental impact arising as a result of this collision.

June 2, 2008 Posted by | military, Naval | , , , | 1 Comment


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