Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

When polls aren’t conducted using unbiased data – things like Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games win them

I’ve come to realise few people have much of a clue when it comes to understanding the results of polls and votes on subjects where the sampling pool is not formed by a large enough sample to approach statistical neutrality, or simply be unbiased.

These days, the first thing I look at when someone shoves a survey or poll under my nose is the source of the voting.

If it comes from a organisation that can demonstrate the population sample was selected randomly, and was large enough to minimise any potential bias, I’ll consider the result seriously.

However, if it comes from a source where the participants were not random, were self-selected, too few, or suffered some other sort of bias, then I move on, and don’t take the published/claimed result seriously.

With that in mind, I managed to avoid a panic attack when I read a headline proclaiming…

Glasgow 2014 voted greatest moment for tourism in 50 years

It sounds good (or disturbing) until you look close at the voting and the result.

It wasn’t a random sample, only people who were interested voted (meaning those who didn’t like the games didn’t vote  the even down), and ‘the greatest moment’ didn’t poll more than 50% of the votes, but just the largest fraction, only 20%.

People voted Glasgow Commonwealth games as the biggest draw for tourists. Runners up included the release of Braveheart in 1995.

I’m not a great film fan, but I do seem to remember the release of Braveheart – wasn’t it seen as a joke citing Mel Gibson’s attempt at a Scottish accent, and some questionable portrayal of Scottish history?

Looking at some of the results, I don’t think I have to add anything.

To be fair (and I freely admit my bias because of the ‘Games’), but for the weird event at the top of the list, I’d probably not have any issues with this list, or the way it was created.

See the whole fantasy poll here: 50 years of great tourism moments

Greatest Scottish Poll

Greatest Scottish Poll


Let me see…

What cute graphic could I finish this fun with?

Myth Reality

Myth Reality

11/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Surveillance | , , , | Leave a comment

I’ll go to hell for this – but I spotted a real howler (and a Commonwealth Game Legacy mythbuster)

I tend not to concentrate on writing errors, but when a source makes one in a headline and nobody spots it before the article is released, it’s hard not to mention it.

Hopefully to be edited and corrected, I grabbed this one in case it does change later.

Recording-breaking year

Recording-breaking year

RECORDING-Breaking Year For SEC Venues

Did they mean:

RECORD-Breaking Year For SEC Venues?

Glasgow Commonwealth Games Legacy myth

There a line almost hidden in this article…

Aside from the year of the Commonwealth Games in 2014, it was financially the most successful year in the history of the SEC. Trading turnover increased by 21 per cent to £35.1million.

The ‘Lasting Legacy’ myth of the dopey games must, of course, never be questioned (you may be ‘disappeared’ overnight if you do).

But that doesn’t stop me wondering what the SEC’s results were like for 2014, given that the year was specifically excluded from the years of financial success.

Did the SEC just not do as well in 2014?

Or did the great games cause it to make a loss that year?

If so, is that loss accounted for in the ‘creative accounting’ used to tell us how much of a great success the ‘Lasting Legacy’ of the 2014 Games was?

Confused Guy

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

Council will pick up another cost thanks to ‘Lasting Legacy’ of 2104 Commonwealth Games

I mentioned the collapse of the ‘Legacy Hub’, one of the wonderful ‘Lasting Legacy’ marvels foist brought to Glasgow courtesy of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games (a reminder that the host city pays for this fun, NOT the organisers of the games).

I spotted an item on Glasgow City Counci’s web site, announcing that it would be picking this facility up from the Administgrators.

The council will pay a whole £1 for the ‘Hub’, the same amount it sold the developers the land for.

But those of us who know better also know the real cost of these things is not the structure, but the ‘Cost of ownership’, or the running costs (wages, services, stock etc), which the council now has to cough up. And since this place collapsed, we know it makes a loss, not a profit.

Glasgow city council today (07 February 2019) agreed to exercise its right of pre-emption over The Legacy Hub, in Dalmarnock, meaning that it can buy back the former council-owned land and Hub building from Administrators.

In 2014, the council and a number of other funders supporting a new community initiative, sold the land for the construction of the Hub to the People’s Development Trust (PDT) for a nominal sum of £1.

As the council was not selling the land for commercial value it created a right of pre-emption, effectively a right of first refusal in its favour to buy back the land, in the event of a future sale by PDT.

Following the PDT being placed into administration at the end of January, the Administrators, KPMG, acting on PDT’s behalf, have now offered the land and buildings back to the council for the same sum.

The council’s Contracts and Property Committee agreed that it should take the necessary steps to accept this offer and acquire the ownership of the Hub.

Looking to the future of the Hub, the committee also agreed that officers could enter into negotiations with KPMG to buy any equipment within the Hub including IT and catering equipment, and furniture items that would be needed by the council for the future running of the building.

Following completion of the sale, which may take a number of weeks due to the legal and due diligence process, the council will also take over landlord responsibilities for the tenants still operating from the Hub.

Work will now take place by council officers to investigate a range of options for the running and management of the building. They will also consider, with input from key stakeholders, including the community, how best it can serve the local area while ensuring the Hub has a sustainable economic model for the future.

Council agrees to buy The Legacy Hub in Dalmarnock

Given the place collapsed and ended up in administration, there’s an amusing little remark from Convenor for Neighbourhoods, Housing and Public Realm City Policy Committee and member of the Contracts and Property Committee, Councillor Greg Hepburn:

“The news of the PDT’s administration and subsequent impact on The Legacy Hub and the services it provided, including the nursery, was a blow to the local community.

“However, after repeated attempts to stabilise the governance and financial side of things it became clear that it simply could not continue operating the way it had been.

“Now that the council are planning to buy back the Hub we have a chance to start afresh for a well-run, ambitious and thriving community facility, giving the community what they need but also something that is sustainable for the future.

Best of luck with that.

Guess the council will also have to pick up the tab to get workers up there to remove People’s Development Trust from the façade.

Wonder just how fed up the locals are with the ongoing nonsense of the Games that started BEFORE 2014, as their community was taken apart?

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

12/02/2019 Posted by | council | , , | Leave a comment

Flagship 2014 Commonwealth Games ‘Legacy’ sinks

I make no apologies for having mocked the idea that the 2014 Commonwealth Games would leave any of the ‘Legacy’ so widely touted as parts of the east end of Glasgow were razed to make way for a mere two weeks of fun for some, and years of pain for others.

One of the casualties was Dalmarnock’s community centre, razed along with surrounding building to clear land for the dopey ‘Games’, the cleared land has lain derelict to this day, and I understand has only recently seen plans for a housing development make their appearance, five years later!

PROPOSAL For More New Homes In Dalmarnock

I never had a pic of the community centre – just the flattened ground after it was razed (and also the old people’s home that can be seen fenced off on the right, another Games Legacy gem, completed and left unoccupied for years due to yet more silliness).

Dalmarnock Community Hub Site

Dalmarnock Community Centre Site

For losing their community centre, locals were promised The Legacy Hub, developed as a flagship legacy of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Legacy Hub Night

Legacy Hub Night

Foolishly, I’ve walked past this many times thinking “That went well”, even though it always looked deserted (which may be down to the time of day I pass).

I shouldn’t have been so naïve, should I?

This was closed without prior notice on Friday after going into administration.

The centre was created as part of a £40 million scheme funded by Big Lottery, the Scottish Government, Clyde Gateway, and Glasgow City Council.

Owned by the People’s Development Trust – which was created as part of the ongoing regeneration work in Glasgow’s East End, it provided childcare, community activities, a theatre and bistro cafe.

Hundreds call for Dalmarnock community hub to be saved after sudden closure

Sadly, as usual, Glasgow City Council is expected to cough up some ‘Magic Money’ from its bottomless pot, and take over the running of this failed Legacy promise.

“The community are devastated by this decision and request that the hub be taken over and run by Glasgow City Council as soon as possible and remain a community asset.”

While it finds £500 million for its recent equal pay settlement, £7.5 million for the Winter Gardens etc etc…

They should haul up those who promised all these silly ‘Legacies’ and brought the stupid ‘Games’ to Glasgow with their grand promises…

And hand them the bill!



27/01/2019 Posted by | council | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s million pound problems – after the 2014 Commonwealth Games handout


In recent weeks, we’ve seen Glasgow presented with a number of ‘Million Pound Problems’…

First to come to mind was the Clyde Tidal Weir, which saw its repair bill jump from around £5 million to something more like £7 million.

Glasgow Tidal Weir Low

Glasgow Tidal Weir Low

Then there was the Winter Gardens attached to the People’s Palace, which coincidentally has a similar bill on the table for repairs to render it safe, ranging from £5 million to £7 million.

Peoples Palace viewing gallery above Winter Gardens

Peoples Palace Winter Gardens

Now, another of our ‘institutions’ has a large repair bill which will need to be paid to save it from self-destruction too (and you’ll see shortly that this is a tad more than a mere £7 million).

Millions are needed to stop the Clyde Tunnel falling down, according to city roads bosses.

The shock claim was made as Glasgow City Council have been trying to get the Scottish Government to take responsibility for funding for more than a decade.

Norrie Campbell, the city’s Roads and Lighting Manager, admitted that £2.5m will be required every year to maintain the structural integrity of the tunnel.

But the local authority only receives around £90,000 a year in grant aid for repairs, meaning there is a huge funding gap that has to be made up by the council itself.

Speaking to members of the city’s Environment Committee, Mr Campbell said: “In terms of the Clyde Tunnel, we’ve been putting forward an argument for a number of years that it is of national importance.

“What we’ve not been able to do is persuade the Scottish Government to take on ownership of the Clyde Tunnel and its approaches, which are very costly to maintain.

“The £2.5m is an accumulation of everything we need to maintain the structure. Every single year to stop the tunnel disappearing into the Clyde we have to spend that. That includes concrete repairs, lighting, and maintaining the support structures and turbines.”

Glasgow City Council is responsible for maintaining the tunnel, which sees around 64,000 vehicles driving through every day.

City bosses have pleaded with the Scottish Government and Transport Scotland to take responsibility for the tunnel, claiming it is of national importance.

But those pleas have been rebuffed by ministers and national roads chiefs who say the road is more important to Glasgow than it is to Scotland as a whole.

Councillor John Kane, whose ward the Clyde Tunnel falls under, claimed the Scottish Government’s argument was “nonsense.

In a report to the council, the council’s roads department will recommend £25.8m is spent on the tunnel to make it “pristine”.

Clyde Tunnel needs millions to stop it falling down, road safety bosses warn

And, let’s not forget the one right on my own doorstep…

Tollcross Winter Gardens

Tollcross Winter Gardens Broken Glass

Tollcross Winter Gardens Broken Glass

Some might even add the restoration of the Mackintosh Building to that list (just saying, not arguing).

I don’t know how well the books were ‘cooked’ following the 2014 Commonwealth Games hosted by Glasgow, but whatever it cost Glasgow to host this nonsense, everybody should be aware, and remember that the bill for hosting this is NOT paid for by the people behind the games.

They get a ‘Free Go’ as the host city has the ‘privilege’ of paying for them.

There’s plenty of spin following the event, with all sorts of claim about how much the dopey games made for Glasgow, but it seems like a lot of rubbish, especially given a recent article which revealed that Glasgow Celtic makes more for Glasgow EVERY YEAR than the Commonwealth Games did in its one ‘glorious’ year.

So, I won’t go with any reports or claims subsequent to the2014 ‘Games’, which appeared after the wordsmiths and accountants got to exercise their skills on the numbers.

Before it all started, the media reported on the projected cost rising from around £300 million to £500 million, as early as 2010.

Cost of hosting 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow rises above £500m

I think we can believe that figure range.


Have you ever seen a project that came in BELOW BUDGET (before the bean counters massaged the figures)?

I don’t claim to know all the number, what the real cost was, or what the real benefit was for Glasgow, in financial terms at least.

But, it does look as if, in hand-waving terms at least, if we had kept the money we had, instead of handing out to the Commonwealth Games, we’d have had sufficient funds to deal with all the dramatic emergencies we’re seeing come to head in 2018.

I KNOW things in the real world are not as simple as this, or as black and white.

BUT, I do suggest we should think about being more careful about where our money goes, and look to out our bills before paying for ‘vanity projects’.

Time to practice…


30/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

TWO reasons to say ‘Thank You’ to Celtic

Thanks for the road Celtic

I’m no fan of (any) football, or the clubs, but I will offer a ‘Thank You’ when it’s justified, and even TWO if it’s a really good day.

First of all, I have to offer thanks to Celtic, which is in the process of developing the land around its stadium.

While I’m no fan of the shops, hotels, and other disruptions it will bring to the area as part of its developments in the next few years, I have to thank them for resurfacing the mountainous track that was Dalriada Street.

While I never took a picture of it (too busy trying not get inured while bouncing along it), it can be found in past Street View images.

Now, it’s brand new.

Dalriada Street Resurfaced

Dalriada Street Resurfaced

Commonwealth Games Utter Folly confirmed by Celtic

At a stroke, Celtic also just confirmed the utter folly of the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games fiasco.

Celtic contribute around £165m to Scotland’s economy annually – more than the 2014 Commonwealth Games – according to a report commissioned by the club.

The Fraser of Allander Institute economists examined spending by the Scottish champions and their spectators during the 2016-17 season.

Celtic chief executive Peter Lawwell hoped policy makers would take note.

“The economic contribution from football, and Celtic in particular, is consistently undervalued,” he said.

The reports states:

  • Celtic and their supporters contributed £165m in 2016-17 to the Scottish economy
  • The spending helped support the equivalent of 2,820 full-time equivalent jobs
  • Celtic Park is the seventh most popular visitor destination in Scotland
  • Celtic FC is the 25th strongest brand in world football
  • Celtic’s club website ranks 23rd in world football for “hits”, with more than one third coming from outside Scotland
  • Almost two million fans attended matches involving Celtic during the 2016-17 season
  • More than 40% of Celtic’s day-to-day spending was with Scottish firms

The institute states that other studies have estimated golf tourism’s contribution to Scotland’s GDP is around £157m each year, while the one-off economic impact of the Commonwealth Games in 2014 to Scotland was valued at £125m.

Celtic ‘contribute more to Scottish economy than Commonwealth Games’, says report

What’s not analysed above is…

The £330 million Glasgow had to pay out to host the Commonwealth Games, since the mugs that host this event have to cough up the money for it – NOT the lucky Commonwealth Games organisers.

Then there’s the hidden cost of months of disruption to the city while preparing for the event, plus the extreme disruption for the weeks of the ‘games’ themselves, with may street closures and diversion in place, damaging business.

Add to that the animosity generated, and largely ignored, in local communities, closed down, razed, moved, and inconvenienced by the ‘games’.

Is £125 million enough of a return, if the figure is genuine?

And it’s a one-off.

Celtic is reportedly brings £165 million ANNUALLY.

AND, doing it without all the building, rebuilding, demolition, and DISRUPTION that the Commonwealth Games demanded.

As I see it, there’s one benefactor – the Commonwealth Games which doesn’t fund the host city or pay for the event.

And one MUG!

The host city.

I might add there are other problems, such as the loss of reputation and credibility of some council departments and business, as they try to ‘spin’ events after the games, to show that they produced benefits in things such as sporting activity and health of the locals.

I could probably waffle on more, and keep moaning, but that might make it seem like I care.

All I really care about is being spoken to as if I was an idiot, and being expected to believe all the tripe spouted about the supposed ‘benefits’ bestowed on the east end by the dopey games.

That just insulting.

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 Costs

Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 Costs


I have no forgiveness for squandering hundreds of millions on this elitist crap – while Tollcross Winter Gardens now lies in ruins (metres from the useless Commonwealth Pool), only a few years after being saved and restored, and for the want of only a couple of million to give it many more years of life.

22/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost | , , | Leave a comment

Adelaide beats Glasgow in glasshouse restoration

Glasgow (and even Scotland) has a dismal record regarding the preservation and maintenance of the few historic glasshouses (or winter gardens) in its care.

Examples such as Springburn Winter Gardens have long lain in ruins, and although I can’t get there now, was sad to learn that the glasshouse in Ayr’s Bellisle Park had been closed in 2005, and I saw the sad sight of it boarded up, but thanks to local efforts had been restored and reopened in 2016.

Surely the worst case (since it was rescued but then dumped only a few years later) now has to be Tollcross Winter Gardens (not forgetting its once new Visitor Centre).

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

While Glasgow City Council squandered more than £300 million paying to host the farcical 2014 Commonwealth Games, and spent freely on ‘upgrades’ for the Commonwealth Pool in the sports centre only a few metres from the stricken glasshouse, not a penny could be found to restore what would have been a better tourist attraction – since it would always be there, unlike the ten days or so of sporting madness of the dopey games that were ‘Here today, gone tomorrow’.

Since the hull of the clipper ship ‘City of Adelaide’ (aka The Carrick) went there, I get automated news updates, which include articles relating to Adelaide.

This story about what would appear to be the only such glasshouse in the southern hemisphere was just highlighted, and puts Adelaide ahead of Glasgow in this particular race.

Being a sole survivor of war is a burden few ask for, but when you fall under the weather and weigh 22 tonnes, you can be sure to draw attention.

The Palm House in Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens is undergoing its second restoration in about 25 years, with a team of painters and builders treating it for salt damp and rust incursion.

Plants have been moved out and cracked glass panes are being replaced, as workers utilise a huge freestanding scaffolding structure that took a week to build inside and around the 1877 structure.

Originally built in Bremen, Germany in 1875, the Palm House was shipped to Adelaide and reassembled, although the glass panes were all broken by the time it arrived.

Following the devastation of subsequent wars in Europe, it remains the only known German-built glasshouse from the era and is Australia’s second oldest.

Andrew Carrick from the Botanic Gardens and State Herbarium said there were similar examples of iron and glass botanical houses around the world, such as the Crystal Palace and the Kew Gardens palm house in London.

“They are the same style with the cast iron, and obviously at a much grander scale, but ours is probably the only one in the Southern Hemisphere,” he said.

It is also possibly the only surviving example of a prefabricated glasshouse, and was originally used for tropical plants until rust incursion in the early 1990s led the gardens to change its use to dry plants from the southern and western tips of Madagascar.

Palm House at Adelaide’s Botanic Gardens stands alone as example of German glasshouse design

Compare and contrast…

The Adelaide glasshouse scaffolding supporting… restoration.

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

Photo: The palm house was built in Adelaide during 1877 after prefabrication in Germany. (ABC Radio Adelaide: Malcolm Sutton)

The Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding supporting… what’s left.

Tollcross Winter Gardens ruined

Tollcross Winter Gardens scaffolding

31/08/2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Shocking reminder of Glasgow’s dystopian Commonwealth Games of 2014

I wonder if I could sue Glasgow City Council for not ensuring that all reminders of the days when Glaswegian were not allowed free access to their own streets and buildings?

Even parts of the Clyde walkway were closed and fenced off, so you had to find your way back to the surface streets, and detour around the closed off parts of the River Clyde, and find your way back down the river. But by then, you’d have walked so far… you’d have lost interest in carrying on.

I really should be able to get some cash for the mental pain and suffering this reminder caused when I came across it unexpectedly.

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Found blowing around the wastelands created in Dalmarnock, after loads of fuss and bother to raze existing buildings to make way for?

For what?

I don’t know, four years after this stupidity, many of the cleared areas are STILL clear, just open ground where there used to be houses, shops, and community centres.

They’ll probably tell ‘we’ got some new houses.

I suggest not listening too closely, and looking at the aerial view of the area on Google Earth.

Then think about how much of the cleared land has houses, and how much is left unused.

It looks to me as if the builders just decided to give and leave one day, as if the stuff they had built wasn’t selling fast enough, and there weren’t enough takers to make it worth carrying on.

Even an old people’s home which was built back them had to stay locked and unused for years after it was completed, because the plan was flawed.

It was fenced off and secured until earlier this year (2018) when it was finally opened, and might even have occupants (I didn’t get that close – they’d probably lock me in if I did). I saw a few cars, but no bodies.

Glasgow 2018 European Championships

Four years later, it’s no better, as Glasgow sees fit to shut down its own citizens to make way for the ‘sporting elite’ of Europe to take over the city.

RESIDENTS claim they will (be) left trapped in their homes as hundreds of major roads are closed for the upcoming European Championship Games.

Parts of Kirkintilloch Road, Torrance Road and Springburn Road in East Dunbartonshire are among almost 100 road closures which will hit the city on August 8 for the men and women cycling trial – leaving residents clueless as to how they’ll enter or exit the area.

Some roads will have parking restrictions in place as early as August 6.

The upheaval has left residents fearing for the safety of elderly family members and worried they’ll be forced to book hotel accommodation to arrive at work on time.

READ MORE: Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships
One resident said: “The main road I stay on is closed from midnight the night before and with no buses running I have no way of getting to my work.”

While another added: “They are shutting our road on the Wednesday, we got notification which said that if you had to make a critical journey to phone them.

“So I did and they were worse than useless. No help at all. Told them that I had to be at work for 6.30am making and public transport wasn’t an option at that time and was basically told tough.”

Residents left ‘trapped in their homes’ due to Glasgow 2018 road closures


Somebody needs to learn that this sort of elitist tripe does not belong anywhere near a city centre.

After the misery of 2014, and its apparent repeat in 2018, those in control should lose their jobs, somebody smart enough to spread this sort of nonsense around the outskirts and away from ordinary people, to avoid disrupting their lives, should be put in their place.

Just look at this RIDICULOUS list…

Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships

And even that is not complete.

It mentions Wellshot Road (southbound), between Tollcross Road and Fairburn Street.

But fails to mention that access to Tollcross Park has been closed there, so you have to detour around the park, which you could previously walk through.

This is inside the park.

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Since I took that pic, a return trip yesterday revealed a small ‘portacabin’ planted to the right, with one bored guy sitting at a window, apparently watching the path.

And there was a road team digging up the surface of Wellshot Road, presumably removing potholes, and laying nice bits of smooth tarmac.

For whom?

The locals, the tourists, or the elite European athletes, lest they stub a toe and sue the City of Glasgow?

01/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The Lasting Legacy of shame following Glasgow’s 2014 Commonwealth Games

With the passing of 2017, another year has been lost, and another opportunity to embarrass and shame Glasgow City Council over the dereliction of Tollcross Winter Garden and Visitor Centre has been delivered.

(For what it’s worth, I DO NOT subscribe to any of the generalised mindless criticism of the council, this is a specific case.)

In summary, the Winter Garden glasshouse in Tollcross Park was last rescued and refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having then lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to be vandalised or rot at best. However, £1.7 million was raised to save it then, when it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

But, having suffered storm damage during the winter of 2010/2011, it was simply closed and left to rot, with lack of cash being given as the reason.

Despite more than £300 million being squandered on the 2014 Commonwealth Games Glasgow was lumbered with paying for the privilege of hosting, and who knows how much of that being spent on upgrading the adjacent Sports Centre and swimming pool in Tollcross park (allegedly great attractions that attract visitors and money), the Winter Garden and Visitor Centre was not considered to be a visitor attraction. NO MONEY could be spared from the ‘Games Pot’, nor has any been liberated from the so-called ‘Lasting Legacy’ the Games were supposed to bring to the area.

This earlier post summarised a number of reviews of the site

A visit to survey the structure at the end of 2017 showed that both the glasshouse and the fabric of the Visitor Centre were visibly displaying the signs of neglect.

Anti-council cynics would be quick to now suggest that we are approaching that time when the council issues the traditional demolition notice on the basis that the structure is unsafe, and it has to go to protect the public.

Or the vandals, who are now beginning to turn their attention to the once fairly unmolested glass walls and doors, will have a party and attempt to discover just how flammable some of the remaining structure might be.

And that is bound to be followed by that council demolition notice for the remaining ‘unsafe structure’ – and the removal of the problem.

Previously just about intact, the glazed Visitor Centre now has THREE glass panels boarded over, suggesting they have been smashed to kicked in.

The entrance doors have also been attacked.

The  suspended tent-style roof may have been a dramatic feature (and originally criticised as impractical), but without regular maintenance, it will eventually fail completely, and get beyond repair before that. Perhaps that early scepticism was well-founded.

The interior is wet, and puddles above and below suggest the roof is no loner weatherproof.

Plasterwork is breaking up and falling to the floor.

One set of doors to the glasshouse now appears to have gone.

The other side isn’t much better.

Perhaps obvious, but the glass is an easy target

Again, perhaps just stating the obvious, but damage to the glazing just grows over time.

Perhaps less obvious, a look at the closer shot given below (click to zoom) reveals that the underlying structure of the building is now failing, putting the whole structure at risk.

The spine of this gallery is now visibly distorted, showing that structural integrity of the cast iron framework is failing, and parts are moving.

The ridge should be straight – it is now distorted. Parts below should run straight and parallel to it. They no longer do so.

See also the fit and alignment of the framework around the windows.

Windows no longer fit, and the surrounding structure is curved rather than straight and aligned.

Click to zoom detail

I haven’t seen it appear to look so bad on previous visits.

I hope we don’t have any heavy or lasting snow falls during this winter (or any to come).

Most people don’t realise it, but water weighs 1 tonne per cubic metre, and snow is basically frozen water, so not far off that figure..

For comparison, a car now weighs around 1.5 tonnes (I’m not even guessing what a hulking SUV weighs).

Picture this structure with a line cars sitting on top – how long would it support them, and what might the effect of adding a few more be, or just increasing that load by mixing in some storm or hurricane force wind?

Reminder, from a year ago.

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

21/01/2018 Posted by | Appeal, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Another Commonwealth Shames Legacy failure – sculptures nobody’s heard of

Having lived through the ridiculous months of disruption prior to 2014’s Commonwealth Shames nonsense (was all that really just for few DAYS of events?), and still see plenty of land that was razed to make way for… sorry, I have no idea, not to mention a WHOLE CARE HOME in Dalmarnock that still seems to be standing empty to this day, I tripped over another LEGACY FAILURE recently.

Passing the fire station in Polmadie’s Calder Street I spotted a cute sculpture beside the ‘staff’ entrance.

Commonwealth Discus Sculpture

Commonwealth Discus Sculpture

I expected it to related to the firefighters, but when I looked closer was amazed to find it was not, but was actually number 8 of 11, with the remainder scattered somewhere around Glasgow.

The plaque gives no details of the collection, their locations, or even where to find out about them.

Commonwealth Legacy Sculpture Plaque

Commonwealth Legacy Sculpture Plaque

As someone who had no interest in the nonsense, this collection is a dreadful failure and waste.

These should have been highlighted years ago, to make sure that people like me (NOT interested in the Shames) would have been made aware of this collection.

It’s a shame, as the sculpture actually looks quite good, and I’d like to see the rest of the collection.

Sadly, it’s lost as just another mess left behind that useless waste. Well, probably not useless if you were one of the lucky folk that picked up some of the £300 million+ squandered on it. (Let’s not forget the thousands of mugs volunteers who helped keep the cost down).

Glasgow faces up to reality of a divided Commonwealth Games legacy

I’ve found one sculpture for you…

See if you can go find the rest now.


They’re a secret, even online a simple search only brought up ONE reference – it gave only the background, a pic of the first one at Cowcaddens, and not as much a list identifying the rest.

Since I don’t want to be seen as kicking the concept of the statues or those responsible for their creation (I am, however, quite happy to be seen as mocking the Commonwealth Shames), here’s the intro:

Community fire stations across Glasgow will be home to lasting symbols of the 2014 Commonwealth Games thanks to the on-going partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the Scottish Prisons Service and Glasgow Life.

A series of sculptures created by prisoners at HMP Barlinnie will be installed in each of the city’s 11 stations, with the first officially unveiled Monday (16 June) at Cowcaddens.

SFRS offered the use of the city’s fire stations after Glasgow Life and HMP Barlinnie ran into difficulty when attempting to find suitable sites to place the then-planned sculptures.

So, all you have to do now is go find a list of the city’s 11 fire stations.

Nice one by the firefighters – pity they seem to have received little recognition or publicity for their efforts.

22/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Increasing support reported for petition to save Tollcross Winter Gardens

I’ve been highlighting the shameful behaviour of Glasgow City Council, which squandered million on its vanity project – the 2014 Commonwealth Shames – spent a wad of cash on the leisure centre in Tollcross Park (which a local solicitor assured me is not used by locals, but by people who drive there from outside the area – and claimed that local kids are kept away by gangs, shocking if true).

Yet while throwing all that money around, the council couldn’t find a relatively small amount (compared to the amount wasted for a few days of games) to repair and re-open the winter gardens, which was somehow not seen as an attraction that the supposed thousands upon thousands of spectators coming to see the shames would have been drawn to, even though they would have been only a few metres away while attending events in the enlarged puddle (swimming pool and extension) that was added to the leisure centre so that a few privileged swimmers could splash around in it, and maybe get sponsors.

I’ve photographed and blogged about the shameful neglect and ongoing damage and vandalism the winter gardens (and the ‘new’ visitor centre that was tacked on when it was last rescued and restored.


Although a petition was raised over a year ago, and has attracted a number of signatures in support, it is only now, in September 2017, reaching the 5,000 needed to have it submitted to the council.

In fact, it’s only a few hundred away from that figure this morning.

Go and give it the final nudge, here:

Save the Tollcross Winter Gardens before It’s too late

See these past posts (I’m really just repeating myself time after time, so seldom write about this disaster, it’s too sad):

The sorry story of Tollcross Winter Gardens just goes from bad to worse


Tollcross Winter Gardens – Shame of the 2014 Commonwealth Games ‘Lasting Legacy’


Tollcross Winter Gardens – a ‘Lasting Legacy’ to betrayal


Tollcross Winter Gardens refurbishment 2013

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

03/09/2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

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