Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Will people get fed up with town and city centre event disruptions?

While Glasgow is having problems with disruptions arising from what I’ll refer to only as ‘traditional’ event, I was inconvenienced in both Glasgow AND Ayr this weekend, due to special events.

Glasgow had TWO cycling events disrupting public transport, and travel, across the city, with roads closed and bus diversions on both Saturday and Sunday.

While I’m local and watch the local travel reports for this nonsense arriving, I now see that people who have no interest in this stuff are taken by surprise when buses turn off their usual routes to divert around the road closures, and elderly people just heading to the shops find their usual bus stops are closed, and they have to walking to find an alternate, or someone who knows where to send them.

My bus should have gone along Gallowgate, but ended up touring the Gorbals before heading to Central Station.

And I haven’t even bothered taking my usual weekend bike rides this year, as most of the roads I cut across Glasgow over were listed as being closed during most of the day. I have to cross Glasgow to get to the longer, more interesting routes to the west.

Then I took a spontaneous trip to Ayr (rather than mess about with the nonsense in Glasgow on Sunday) when the Sun suddenly came out, only to find the place was jammed as a number of roads were closed for its annual GO! Festival. Traffic around the bus station was jammed almost solid for a couple of hours in the afternoon, even though much of the event didn’t take place until later.

I’m sure these events are fun for the two or three people who attend, but I suspect (since I’m more tolerant than most, but am now becoming fed up and irritated by these things) the majority of people with no interest are going to get fed up with them soon, and might even start complaining or objecting.

These events should be moved, and held on the outskirts, away from main traffic routes, but still accessible by those who want to attend.

Ayr Go Festival 2019

Ayr Go Festival 2019

11/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Volunteers… DON’T go into the light!

While I admire those who are able to volunteer their time and effort to support legitimate charities (always check any organisation sailing under the charity banner – and find out if it’s supporting a multimillionaire head first, and beneficiaries second).

I can’t offer the same ‘charitable’ opinion of huge commercial ventures that depend on volunteers to make it work.

Yes, I’m looking at you, usually giant sports ventures that eat millions, pay little or nothing to those who make them successful, and strut their stuff with claims of how much they benefit the local economy – while selectively forgetting about any monies that goes to those behind them.

I suspect a few lucky folk walk off with a nice little pot – while thousands of volunteer get expenses and beer money to keep them happy, and probably lots and lots of mind-bending indoctrinational inspirational talks about how ‘important’ they are to the success of the venture.

I’m impressed, really, I am, at how these events manage to pull the same trick every time they come around, be they the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games or whatever.

There’s currently a whopping THREE such events competing for free labour volunteers to help them along to a healthy bottom line once the books are closed and the accountants go home.

A recruitment drive has been launched for volunteers to join the team running three major sporting events in Glasgow.

Glasgow Life are looking for people to help with the running of the LEN European Short Course Swimming Championships, the LGT World Men’s Curling Championship and UEFA EURO 2020.

Applicants will be able to choose which event, and how many, they’d like to be involved in.

A variety of roles, including supporting spectators and visitors,

Applications open on Monday July 22 and will close on Sunday August 25, for a variety of roles including supporting spectators and visitors to the city during the events.

Thousands of people have volunteered at previous events in the city including the 2014 Commonwealth Games and 2018 European Championships.

Across all three events, more than 1,000 volunteers will participate in some of the biggest events in the world.

Glasgow volunteers sought for three major sporting events

It’s funny how unions and suchlike get all up in arms and mouthy about ‘Free labour’, ‘Cheap about’, or even ‘Slave labour’ when business try to run apprenticeships, or work experience schemes, but I can’t think of a union that has lifted a finger over highly profitable sporting events and similar – which would probably be financial ‘Black Holes’ if they were forced to pay EVERYBODY involved in their running.

Maybe the union bosses like football etc, and have corporate boxes at those events, for their rich mates.

Volunteer Zombies

PS – Don’t forget

Don’t forget the other little scheme that let goodies be divvied up between the lucky few.

The ‘Awards’.

I’m not going to waste time on this, but it would be nice to know how much Glasgow will have to throw into a ‘Money Pit’ (regardless of whether it wins this award) just to keep in the running for this.

Glasgow officially noted its intention to bid in January of this year, and submitted a formal candidature bid last month, resulting in the city being shortlisted for the title alongside Genoa, Italy.

If successful, Glasgow would be the first city to win the coveted title twice. It would also mark 20 years since it first gained the accolade back in 2003.

Glasgow shortlisted for European Capital of Sport award

Mentioning ‘sport’ seems to make some people lose touch with reality, and expenses.

22/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost | , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting policy change set to arrive regarding major outdoor events

I’ve recently waffled (mildly) about the disruption Parkhead and the surrounding area suffers when there are major matches at the football ground there. That said, I doubt anything is ever likely to change. This does relate to ‘religion’ after all.

I’d mention the big, empty, apparently dead red shed they built there (some say… it’s called the Emirates Arena), but so far, it doesn’t seem to have brought any crowds or disruption, or anything.

More disturbing was all the nonsense of short and long term road closures we suffered for the 2014 Commonwealth Games fiasco, together with all the attendant demolition of anything that looked old or untidy, and construction of (some) stuff to replace it.

Incidentally, just this month, a number of planning application have been made (and just passed) regarding the construction of new houses on a lot of the land that was razed in Dalmarnock, as part of the Shames.

It was kind of nice having the green areas they grassed over for a while, but I guess it was never going to last.

Related to all this I see the council has brought in more licencing rules which will apply to organisers of large outdoor events in future, and force them to consult with communities further from the event’s location.

Good idea!

Glasgow’s biggest outdoor events could be on a collision course with community chiefs after a change in licensing rules.

Currently, organisers of music festivals, such as TRNSMT and Glasgow Summer Sessions, only need to notify community councils which cover the specific areas of Glasgow Green and Kelvingrove Park that music will be played in.

But now those in charge of bringing some of the world’s biggest acts to the city will have to consult with all neighbouring community councils whose areas may be affected by the events.

And that means that they may face more objections to planned events, potentially making it more difficult to acquire a temporary public entertainment licence.

Mairi Miller, Glasgow City Council’s head of licensing, said: “We recognise that the impact of these types of events are felt beyond the immediate area where the event is situated.

“The community councils which cover a much smaller area are often not notified.

The new licensing rules relate specifically to events that take place in parks across the city with an anticipated capacity of 5000 or more at one time, and events that take place over five days or more under one temporary entertainment licence.

More neighbours to be consulted on impact of Glasgow’s major outdoor events

I wonder if there will be fun to follow as this is comes into force in January 2019?

No Objections

No Objections


27/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Lovely unobstructed Glasgow Green

Not sure if just this year, but access to Glasgow Green was truly atrocious for periods of weeks during the summer of 2018, something I just don’t seem to have any recollection of in previous years.

Glasgow City Council should take more care when closing off the roads and paths on the Green, and consider those who have no interest whatsoever in the ‘great events’ which seriously disrupt access.

One major event may be perfectly acceptable, but I think there were at least three this year, maybe even more, but I can’t be sure as I just gave up going there for almost two months, preferring just to make the best of things, and find alternative routes.

Spread that sort of disruptive event around some other parks, or just snub the organisers if they won’t spread them around.

I’m almost surprised the other parks/areas don’t complain, about the Green getting all the top attention and benefits of visitors and their spending.

Oh, wait! Maybe those ‘benefits’ are just imaginary, and are hollow promises made by those who back these events, and are never actually delivered (other than the disruption and inconvenience).

I was reminded of this when I came across some pics I have of some nice clear avenues on the Green… notably clear even though it is obvious that there is at least one sizeable event taking place on the grassy area, but has not led to the adjacent pathways being blocked off as well.

One of the worst aspects of this year’s events has been that access to the Green was not only closed for the duration of the events concerned, but also in advance of them as part of those events, then largely left in place between them, and still causing issues in the days after, as they were not cleared as promptly as those closures which affected roads carrying traffic in the city.

Enjoy a rare sight  😉

Unobstructed Glasgow Green

Unobstructed Glasgow Green

So much nicer without metal barriers blocking them, and security staff on duty on every road to make sure nobody tries to get past or around them.

Click this one for a bit bigger.

Unobstructed Glasgow Green

Unobstructed Glasgow Green

20/10/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas fun at Mount Stuart on the Isle of Bute

Christmas RussiaIf you’re lucky enough to be on Bute at the right time, then there’s an excuse to drop in to Mount Stuart for some events related to Christmas:

Mount Stuart Christmas Fair

Saturday 3rd & Sunday 4th December

10am – 5pm

Celebrate the festive season in traditional style at Mount Stuart’s Christmas Fair. A food & craft market, festive entertainment, mulled wine and mince pies, Santa’s grotto and much more. A great place to shop for all your presents and welcome in the festive season!

Admission to the Mount Stuart Christmas Fair on 3rd and 4th December is free, as is parking.

Carol Service by Candlelight

Monday 19th December

7pm An atmospheric evening of Christmas Carols in Mount Stuart’s Marble Hall, a perfect way to celebrate the festive season!

Please call (01700) 503877 for further information

Event details are correct at time of print, however all events are subject to change and/or cancellation at short notice – please call Mount Stuart on 01700 503877 to confirm, or email:

via Mount Stuart, Isle of Bute, Scotland (Events page).

28/11/2011 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Museums at Night’ and the ‘Festival of Museums’ – May 13-15, 2011

Just as I mention the closure of the John Hastie Museum in Strathaven, I spot a story that could suggest South Lanarkshire Council should consider thinking ‘outside the box’, employ someone with a brain somewhere within their organisation, and view the £20,000 “loss” they claim to be saving (even though they have publicly stated they do not know how much the museum costs them to run) as an investment, and use it to raise revenue.

This weekend marks the 2011 Museums at Night event, to be held from Friday to Sunday, May 13, 14, and 15.

Museums at Night 2011: Hundreds of museums, galleries, libraries, archives and heritage sites opening their doors for special evening events over the weekend of May 13-15.

Museums at Night | Culture24

The annual Museums at Night event will feature dozens of special exhibits, such as short film screenings and live nocturnal creature displays.

A new Scottish Festival of Museums will also see over 70 venues holding events over the weekend.

Organisers said the aim of the scheme was for people to have fun and explore the cultural venues more often.

Culture24, those behind the event, said last year’s programme saw about 85,000 people visit museums all over the UK.

The organisation said that 47% of those had never been to that museum or gallery before.

BBC News – Scottish museums to open after hours for visitors

I’m sad to say, I’ve never heard of it, nor can I recall tripping over any mentions in the news before – I must really be out of touch now 😦

Here’s the site of the festival that was also mentioned, and this event runs over the same period as noted above:

Festival of Museums

14/05/2011 Posted by | Civilian | , | Leave a comment

March roundup

March seems to have been busy, even though it feels as if nothing actually got done!

The content of our PoW Camp Summary got a boost, with new information, and the grid references of many of the locations.

Unfortunately, although we can plot location very quickly using lat/lon with our built-in Google mapping, this depends on international WGS84 lat/lon being known, rather than the parochial, local. British National Grid. We have written some code to convert this within the site, and do have modules to convert between coordinate systems, but this was not built into our mapping since we usually only needed one or two points in each case, rather than almost 100 as brought by the PoW Camp page. We tried a quick addition to the code to see if the British Grid figures could be converted on-they-fly and inserted into the existing market plotting function, and by initially limiting this operation to 6 digit NGRs, were able to slot this in very quickly, and add markers for all the camps (and also got the option of plotting 6 digit NGR directly too, without having to do the lat/lon conversion externally).

We haven’t finished this routine, although it works fine, but now that we’ve identified the relevant section of our code that breaks down the NGR into its relevant Eastings and Northings from the letter and number references, we’ll be returning to it so that it can be written properly, and will accept 4, 6, 8, or 10 digit NGRs without the need to tell it how many digits are involved, as at present.

This Blog has gone through a change during March, when the content net was spread a bit wider, and more generalised items were included. This will change again during the coming month, as it was a bit disappointing to find that it attracted adverse comments which had to be deleted, or led to problems arising with the reporting of some subjects.

The Scheduled Event section that appears at the bottom of The Forum reached an important milestone during March, as we reached the point where we started to add interesting dates and events last year (no, it wasn’t March). We decided to delete all the entries that fell into the category of “On This Day” which were being added to the Forum, and transfer them to Calendar Events. This seemed to make sense as it seemed to be a bit silly to be adding the same post to the Forum each year to mark an event which was recurring every year. That doesn’t mean to say no-one should add and event we don’t already have, they should, and we’ll add it to the Calendar Events so that it will appear automatically each year, on the appropriate date. At the moment, the events will appear two weeks in advance of their occurrence. There’s no great mystery about their source, as most of them have been spotted on the BBC’s On This Day feature, although this hasn;t been consulted religiously, and we don’t claim to have spotted every relevant event either, so there’s still plenty of opportunity for additions, and we’re still on the lookout for interesting items.

Mention also for the finalisation of the Discussion option for the site, which directs anyone that hits the Discussion Tab on the Main Site to the Discussion thread in the Forum, and will hopefully prevent the losses of info that we know have happened in the past, when the discussion tab added an all but invisible page to the system, only ever noticed by the Admins, if they happened to look in the right place.

The Discussion thread in the Forum is still being fettled, and will probably be heavily moderated, with irrelevant material being excised fairly mercilessly, as the Discussion is really an extension of the relevant page in the Main Site. The advantage will be that the Admins can add a link between the tow items, so that once established and accepted, it becomes easy to switch between the two, without having to work out what the url/address is.

I’m sure there’s probably something important I’ve forgotten to include, but I seem to be being forever diverted by whatever smote the server at the New Year (now memorialised by references to The Great Forum Disaster of 2008 – which was later found to much wider), as some other file problem pops up out of nowhere.

Currently I’m trying to track down what’s killing the Upload Tab on the Main Site pages. I released this a few months ago, and faithfully tested it was operating properly at the time. However, I’ve recently been alerted by a user that they were asked for a password when they tried to use it (which I would have happily given them, IF there was one programmed into the Upload option). I see someone else has offered to upload pics later, so am trying to track down whatever might have been fouled up at the turn of the year. I’m sure it’s no consolation to anyone trying to upload pics, but you’re not being victimised – even the Admin, who should have unfettered access everywhere, is currently being rejected when trying to upload test pics!

There will be a notice posted if/when we find the source of the Upload problem, but so far, can confirm that the cause is far from obvious.

31/03/2008 Posted by | Site News | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: