Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow’s Doors Open Days 2019

It’s hard to believe I was hunting around for places to visit almost as soon as the first Doors Open Days event appeared in Glasgow.

I don’t know how long it had been running for before I discovered it, but I do know it did appear online, on what would now be described as ‘primitive’ web pages, made mainly of plain text plus pics, with relatively simple, or basic, search options.

Oh, and don’t forget most access was then by dial-up modems over the phone line, or if you were lucky (as I was) via ISDN, which was almost always on, and faster, 64 kbit/s. Dial-up had to dial and establish a connection, then ambled along at 56 k (or faster with cleverness applied). ISDN made an almost instant connection when demanded, and could even use pair two channels to achieve 128 k. BUT, you were billed double if you did that, as each line being used was charged for by the minute, albeit at a flat rate. We could afford 64 k, but not 128 k. Compared that to today’s always on broadband, and at GB speeds too.

Back then I used to download and print what I needed or was interested in, as this was cheaper than racking up connection charges for going back online to look at stuff I’d found.

I wonder if kids even believe this?

Sad to say, Doors Open Days was (and I realise this is entirely my own opinion) better then than I think it is today.

Then, there were still too many venues to visit in the time available, but there were just enough to let you pick your favourites, and with a bit of effort and planning, get to them.


There are so many venues on offer that it’s almost impossible to pick the best and make the trip.

No matter what selection I make, I feel as if I’ve made the wrong choice and should have gone to others, rather than the one I picked.

There’s one other slight irritation (which has grown over the years), and that’s the number of places that are ‘open’ anyway.

When it began, ‘Doors Open Days’ comprised venues where the public would not normally have been welcomed, possibly because they were places of business, offices, or meeting rooms where people would usually be working, or were places that had been closed for years, maybe even derelict, or being restored.

However, many of today’s venues are open to the public on a daily basis, and can be visited anyway, and seem to be joining in just to gain some publicity, which fair enough, but perhaps should not be included.

Removing them, or perhaps placing them under some sort of separate categorisation, would reduce the size of the list of truly ‘Open’ venues, and make it easier to see the ones which the festival is REALLY giving rare access to, and avoid wasting time looking at those which could actually be visited at any time.

(If there weren’t so many, I’d almost consider it worth the effort of compiling such a segregated comparison, just to see how many GENUINE participants were listed).

I’d also like to take this opportunity to upset the Green Loonies…

You really need a car to get to them all in the time available.

Public transport is just far too slow (and limited by its timetables), and while cycling is OK for a neighbourhood, if you want to catch unique locations in different counties, then that’s just not going to happen by bike.

Not sure if opening doors like this would be a good idea (as always, if you look for these old relics of the past, you can find quite a few still surviving – used for moving stock/supplies).

On the other hand, could be useful if someone you’re not too keen on asks for directions.

“No problem pal, straight through the double doors at the end of the corridor. OH! By the way, you’ll need to take a bit of a run at them, they’re always getting jammed shut”


Hope Street Doors

Hope Street Doors


It’s now Monday, 16 September 2019, and the main Doors Open Day web site has NOTHING listed for Glasgow.

Fortunately, Glasgow has its own web site for Doors Open Days, and that DOES have content.

Unfortunately, when I try to use the ‘search’ facility, it’s not well enough designed to return only the criteria I enter, eg ‘stables’, ‘police’, ‘office’, and the  like, and return a simple list of venues which are open, together with their locations and dates.

It returns everything on the site which mentions the criteria I input, so I get a whole load of sh rubbish which is of no interest, such as info about volunteering, city walk and tours, talks, other events, and events which may be taking place in venues.


What’s so hard about just returning a list of open venues?

That’s all I want to know about, so I can plan a route to suit my time and ability to get to the places I’d like to see.

Sadly, as I noted about, this event (or perhaps its organisation, management, and presentation) has gone downhill over the years, instead of getting better.

With lists of perhaps up to 40 items being returned, of which maybe a 5 to 10 are actually unique venues (and many of them are not genuine ‘Open’ venues, but could be visited at any time), I’m already fed up, and can’t be bothered.

16/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

That was the first Forge Comic Con – so I’m told since I wasn’t there

If anybody noticed my advance alert of the Comic Con event (made a few weeks ago) to be held in Parkhead Forge, and maybe expected a pic or two from my visit…

Don’t hold your breath.

This was one of the plans doomed to the failure the moment I mentioned it.

Forgetting that I was, in part, too busy with other rubbish I had to do, and probably would either have forgotten to go for a look, or just not been able to go, technology managed to defeat even the attempt to go.

While admission was free, you may recall entry still required a ticket, which you were supposed to print out and bring after registering online.

That printing part finally defeated me this time.

I seldom need to print, although I have quite a lot of printers accumulated over the years.

The total was once more than 12, but the two oldest lasers (including a postscript printer) were scrapped as they just wore out, and even repairing them became pointless.

Four more impact printers are just pointless (and the ribbons dried up years ago).

Two original inkjet printers plus four newer types also suffered from drying up. The two originals died when the ink feed tubes became blocked, and the later cartridge types began to demand silly money for their rare cartridges, rendering them too expensive to use.

The last laser just didn’t get enough use, and the drum/rollers became useless, causing marks on the paper, and these could not be eliminated.

Then they ALL suffered one common problem due to their age – ‘modern’ computers don’t have printer ports!

Connection is now via USB – the original parallel printer port is just too big to fit anything made nowadays.

Plus, if there’s no Windows driver (and there often isn’t for old printers), then you can’t even connect or print to it anyway.

I did use a USB to parallel converter for a while, but that became pointless once the rollers started turning from round to square as the aged, and all the inkjets became blocked by dried up ink.

It’s true that some ‘machinery’ just dies if it’s not used, or becomes so expensive to run that you really are cheaper to buy something new rather than keep it limping along.

And that kiddies, is how I came NOT to go to the Forge Comic Con.

NO DAMNED TICKET! since I couldn’t make ANY of those printers respond to the print job being sent from my computer.

They’re all sitting in a pile by the door now – waiting for their fate to be decided.

Forge Comic Con

Forge Comic Con

24/07/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Free Comic Com event at Parkhead Forge shopping centre 20 July 2019

Not sure how, but I seem to have noticed an event taking place BEFORE it is over and done 😉

Date:  20th & 21st July 2019 (Weekend, Saturday and Sunday)
Time: 10am – 5pm
Venue:  The Forge Shopping Centre, 1221 Gallowgate, G31 4EB

Free tickets!

NOTE: You will receive an e-mail confirmation of your purchase which will act as your e-ticket for the event.

Maximum of 4 per person. Tickets are valid either day.

Glasgow 2019 – BGCP Comic Con

Glasgow 2019 – BGCP Comic Con

Glasgow 2019 – BGCP Comic Con

As always, it’s important to check events before making a journey (these posts are written in advance of the day, and events can be cancelled or changed at a moment’s notice).

20/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Will anything from Glasgow appear during the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship paranormal lockin?

Some intriguing goodies turn up in my carefully curated set of feeds, and this one about the former Carrick, once moored in Glasgow, now the City of Adelaide, definitely falls into that category.

Come aboard the City of Adelaide Clipper Ship docked at Port Adelaide. Investigate the ship where 7 people died on the first voyage to Adelaide. Converted to a Hospital Ship in 1893, many more lives were lost on this ship.

Our investigators will show you how to use the equipment and you can search for any activity yourself!

Hear the history from the Ship’s own volunteers and then poke around the Ship’s remains.

Time Sat Jun 22 2019 at 07:00 pm to 10:00 pm

Venue Dock 1, McLaren Pde, Port Adelaide, Adelaide, Australia

City of Adelaide Clipper Ship paranormal lockin

So, still time to arrange that trip half way around the world and not miss that unique experience on board the old hull.

There just HAS to be something spooky left after this…

Sunk Carrick

Sunk Carrick

Then again.

Ghost Ship

Ghost Ship

You don’t have to go to Aus for this sort of fun

Thrill-seekers will get to take part in a ghost hunt at Glasgow’s Merchants House this winter.

Scottish Ghost Nights are set to explore the building on George Square, which boasts over 400 years of history.

It was once a hub for social gatherings, civic affairs and an almshouse for merchants and their families who had fallen on hard times. The investigators reckon places like this are “alive with energies of the past” – which should make for a spine-tingling night of spooky goings-on…

The event will take place on Saturday, November 9 between 7:30pm and 12:30am. Over the five hours, you’ll explore the building and get the chance to try out table-tipping, spirit boards and a full Victorian Seance.

Tickets are £39 per person and you can get them here

Hunt ghosts at Glasgow’s Merchants House this winter

Cheaper than a trip to Port Adelaide 🙂

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maritime | , , , | Leave a comment

Mackintosh 150 – apparently good news follows after two years

Although I thought I had been lucky to notice that 2018 was to be noted as Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s 150th anniversary and be marked by a number of events, I managed to miss them all (suffice to say a couple of little accidents meant I was stuck indoors for some time).

Two years on, it seems things went well, even without me 😉

A recent article notes:

A campaign celebrating the legacy of Charles Rennie Mackintosh has boosted visitor numbers to Mackintosh attractions in Scotland by more than a quarter.

Today – the architect’s birthday [07 June] – new results showing the success of Mackintosh 150 and Beyond have been revealed.

It has helped to attract 1.2 million people to venues he designed – a 29% increase compared with the same period last year.

The campaign was focused on promoting venues and events in and around Glasgow and the west of Scotland to visitors in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Dundee.

It was also aimed at encouraging UK short-break visitors to make a Mackintosh-inspired trip to Glasgow in 2019.

Charles Rennie Mackintosh campaign boosts visitor numbers to attractions in Glasgow

Not around back in 2018, I wonder how many come for a look?

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

Charles Rennie Mackintosh Argyle Street Statue

13/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Events set for 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s death

Jim Clark

A series of events has been unveiled to mark the 50th anniversary of Jim Clark’s death.

Taking place over the weekend of 7/8 April 2018, events include an exhibition showing some of his cars and an anniversary dinner.

Last September, plans for a new £1.6 million museum in Duns were confirmed, to honour the driver, and is expected to open in early 2019.

This will expand the existing facility which was dedicated to the driver, and which I must have passed many times before I learned of its existence, but not before my regular trips to the area ended, so I really missed out on this one.

Via Jim Clark anniversary events unveiled

More details from The Jim Clark Trust

18/01/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Comic Con 2014 set for Glasgow’s SECC in September

MCM Comic Con ScotlandDue to take place between the 7th and 8th of September 2014, Comic Con will have to (and probably will) do well to match its inaugural event of 2013.

Then, queues were reported to have lined up along the Clyde for the 1-day event, with a ‘one-out-one-in’ policy having to be operated for a time.

About 20,000 people were said to have attended the first Comic Con event in Scotland – no-one was turned away but the last 300 people in the queue were given free entry, as they were only able to get in for just over an hour.

There’s a promise of events and attractions, including a Comic Village packed with talented artists and writers; onstage panels and cosplay masquerades; a retro games zone and League of Legends tournament and, of course, a line-up of film and TV talent. (There’s no detailed list at the time of writing – I’ll try to update this post closer to the event.)

Scotland Comic Con

September’s Scotland Comic Con to run over entire weekend! | Scotland Comic Con

Space explorer

Space explorer

01/09/2014 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

Britain From Above – Scotland’s Industrial Might at The Lighthouse 14 Feb – 27 Apr 2014

I only came across this exhibition a few days ago (but doubt I’ll be in Glasgow before it ends), and there’s still time to catch it at The Lighthouse in Glasgow’s Mitchell Lane, as it runs from 14 February to 27 April, 2014.

Drawing on many rare and previously unseen aerial images, this exhibition traces the histories of factories, shipyards, mills, ironworks and their surrounding communities over three decades, from 1919 to 1953. Industries are shown operating at peak and also in decline, as the ‘bird’s eye view’ tracks the impact of social, political and economic change on the urban fabric of Scotland, from the Great Depression to reconstruction in the aftermath of the Second World War. While many buildings are now gone, they live on in the memories of workers and their families – the economic powerhouse of the past is the heritage of today.

Via The Lighthouse – Glasgow : Visit : Exhibitions : Britain From Above – Scotland’s Industrial Might

There a bit of a coincidence with this, as I recently found a little shop selling assorted bric-à-brac (ok, junk) and other items, probably collected from house clearances and similar.

First time I passed, I noticed a dish full of mounted (but not framed) B&W pics of Glasgow. They looked to be largely industrial, but I didn’t have time to take a closer look.

Next time I was there, they had migrated to the wall, and I could see they originated from a well-known Scottish archive. I even recognised some of them, and knew where to download them (for personal use, of course.)

I thought they were just a single collection, but while discussing them, learned they were £2 each, or could be bought in sets for a reduced amount – and I didn’t ask any more.

I’m being deliberately vague, as I don’t want to make the guy in shop grumpy by affecting his sales (the prints are high quality and nicely mounted), not do I want to end up in the midst of some copyright nonsense involving the archive, which I know gets a little ‘nippy’ if it finds its material being used in a way it does not approve of.

26/04/2014 Posted by | Civilian, photography, World War II | , , , | Leave a comment

Satellite 4 the 65th British Science Fiction Convention in Glasgow

I’m almost tempted to use the ‘Better late than never’ excuse for this event mention, but even that barely applies, or excuses, my failure to the notice the arrival of a Glasgow Eastercon.

I don’t really understand how I failed to notice or find Satellite 4, which is the 65th British Science Fiction Convention, taking place in the Crowne Plaza Hotel (next to the SECC) from the18th to 21st April 2014. It’s not all that long since I wrote (elsewhere) about the dearth of Eastercons (or any Science Fiction Conventions) in Glasgow these days, and I even had a hunt around the web for related events, and didn’t come across it. Cons are arranged well in advance of their due date, so I really should have found it. I’ve no idea how I managed to search so badly that I didn’t find this long ago.

(Hopefully I’ll do better in advance of ComicCon, due to take place in September 2014, over the weekend of the 7th and 8th in Hall 4 of the SECC.)

Full details of Satellite 4, its programme, and its Guests of Honour – including British scientist Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell – can be found on the official web site:

Satellite 4

The BBC also mentioned it, and I found it there last night:

Sci-fi fans descend on Glasgow for Satellite 4 convention

Space explorer

Space explorer

19/04/2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Glenrothes Aeromodelling Club static event at Kingdom Shopping Centre

Aircraft plan view

A static exhibition is planned by the Glenrothes Aeromodelling Club for Saturday, March 15, 2014, at at Lyon Square in the town’s Kingdom Shopping Centre.

Club members will be joined by friends from other clubs in the area, including Dunfermline, Balbedie, and Kinross, and will be displaying their model aircraft at the special event in the Centre.

The Glenrothes Club was formed in 1960, and has consistently had a healthy membership within the town.

Currently they have more than 60 regular members who attend events across the region.

The Glenrothes club is highly respected amongst the aeromodelling fraternity, and boasts a wealth of facilities including its own clubhouse and five-acre flying site with runway.

Via Glenrothes models take to the skies! – Fife Today

Fife Today might have been just a little over enthusiastic with their headline, since this is a static display.

It seems this is first time this sort of display has been organised for some years.

Although it’s years since I was last there, I was at the club site and enjoyed the flying displays they put on at the fairly numerous events held there.

Find out more on their own web site:

Home – Glenrothes Aeromodelling Club

08/03/2014 Posted by | Aviation | , , | Leave a comment

Electric Glen 2014 sells out at Rouken Glen Park

Electric GlenI didn’t spot any news about East Renfrewshire Council’s Electric Glen show last year (which is said to have been a sell-out), but it seems that 2013 was the first time Rouken Glen Park was used to host the event, described by the council as “a fantastic night time experience of light, sound and performance.”

The show comprises a specially designed illuminated trail which guides visitors on a magical after dark adventure, deep into the glen, over the waterfall and around the boating lake, with a host of surprises, characters from Rouken Glen’s past, and interactive fun for all the family.

This is all a massive change from the dark days of 1983, when I recall there was huge outcry when plans to close the park were announced, and boulders were rolled across the gates and entrances to stop any entering as the grounds lay untended. Fortunately, negotiations between the two District Councils involved resulted in Eastwood District leasing the park for 125 years from 16 June, 1984.

I only made it to one Classic Car event held in the park, probably only a year or two before that closure, and circumstances have meant I never made it back again. Maybe I will try harder.

For 2014, they say Electric Glen will showcase the diverse natural beauty of the park at night, whilst special guests will share their unique stories and bring to life the heritage and history of the park.

I usually like to quote some numbers to give an idea of how popular shows like this are, but the BBC’s article describing the 2014 event as a sellout, but the reporters have made a bit of a mess, and refer to a “10,000 ticket” sell out last year (2013), a “24,000 ticket” sellout this year (2014), then end their article be stating that “This year’s festival has attracted 24,000 people”.

And one of those has to be wrong, because one family ticket admits up to 4 individuals – so we’ll lay safe and just say the event attracts “thousands”.

As already noted in the title, the 2014 show has sold out, but here are the prices, for info:

Adult: £7.50 – Concessions: £5.00 – Under 5’s: FREE but will require an under 5’s ticket

Family ticket (2 adults + 2 children): £20.00

Disabled (full show access inc. free ticket for carer): £5.00 – Disabled (wheels only route inc. free ticket for carer): £3.00 (The route for 2014 includes three sets of stairs and is unsuitable for wheelchairs.)

Official web site: About Electric Glen

Gallery: Gallery

Via: Electric Glen winter light show sells out – BBC News

See also: Rouken Glen – A History in Pictures

And: Rouken Glen Park

I tried to dig up some video of the event, but the official site didn’t appear to have any, and this was all I could find that was a decent length and included some reasonable image quality in the low light:

[url=]Rouken Glen Park[/url]

12/02/2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

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