Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Why let facts get in the way of a good People’s Palace scare?

Ever since news of problems with the Winter Gardens attached to the People’s Palace broke, and a certain local news site jumped with the story that the BOTH the Winter Gardens AND the People’s Palace would close indefinitely, it has continued to write stories using ‘Weasel Words’ to suggest the People’s Palace will join the Winter Gardens indefinite closure pending structural repairs (which need around £7 million), while noting in ‘small print’ that the People’s Palace closure will only be temporary, to allow the fire escapes to be altered. This change is needed since the present fire escapes depend on access through the Winter Gardens, so if that closes, then the People’s Palace would be obliged to close too.

However, although the ‘knee-jerk’ double closure story was headlined, and led to a silly petition being raised, when the final story was released by Glasgow City Council, the reality was that while BOTH would close at the end of 2018, the People’s Palace would only close until Easter, to allow modification to the fire escape, to allow the museum to remain open to visitors while access to the Winter Gardens was restricted.

I wonder if the writer is even aware of what they are doing?

It’s easy to do, and not fully realise the bias is there, simply through the choice of words, and positioning of material.

But I’m not supposed to be neutral.

Those in the public eye should be.

Worst – headline – ever.

Glasgow says goodbye to People’s Palace as fence marks closure for repairs

We’re NOT saying goodbye to the People’s Palace.

And, it’s NOT closing for repairs either.

It’s being closed temporarily for modification to the fire escapes, and some other access features. So, to steal someone else’s clever word play, ‘This is only au revoir, not goodbye’.

And it’s the Winter Gardens that are being closed, and not for repairs, as the £7 million has not been found yet.

Inaccuracy and bias in the media.

NEVER a good thing.

One might be tempted to suggest partaking of a little ‘Glasgow City Council Bashing’.

But nobody does that today.

Do they?

Do people even deserve to get into the Winter Gardens?

Maybe they shouldn’t bother fixing the place, and just leave it closed.

Shocking suggestion!

But I have a reason for making it.

A while ago, I posted after seeing signs added to the plants asking visitors not to remove fruit (lemons).

Peoples Palace Lemons

Peoples Palace Lemons

I recently did a pre-closure shoot in the Winter Gardens, and there was a NEW plea dotted around the displays…

Click for bigger if you can’t read it.

Winter Garden Rock Sign

Winter Garden Rock Sign

Still, at least the sign is just asking them to keep off the rocks, rather than not to steal them, and use them as ‘half bricks’ to beat their mates about the head with, after the Buckfast kicks in.


Dec 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

How to suggest self-regulation PROPERLY

I recently posted the sad and embarrassing tale of an elected Glasgow councillor and a self-important group of (apparently trendy club) business owners (GAG – Glasgow Action Group) who proposed that Glasgow City Council criminalise beggars and sweep them from the city centre.

The leader of Glasgow City Council responded by shaming the lot of them for seeking to criminalise beggars and homeless people, suggesting they contact the police if they find any actual criminal behaviour or activities, or social welfare departments to help people in difficulty.

Hot on the tail of that story is an example of how to tackle an issue involving street behaviour properly.

Unfortunately, one of the downsides of Glasgow’s increasing creation of pedestrian precincts and pedestrian friendly areas is that it attracts a growing number of street artists, performers, and buskers.

Some are really quite good, others… ? Maybe they should go to Edinburgh 😉

In the past, the problem might just have been their numbers, and proximity. If good performances attract crowds on a nice day, and apparently wide pedestrian precinct suddenly becomes choked.

However, today there is a real problem as many of them are bringing very loud, portable, battery-powered amplifiers to their pitch, trying to be louder than the act ‘next door’ and some becoming louder and louder. Recent battery tech means a lot of power can generated without the need to lug heavy lead-acid car batteries around.

As usual, I have to be clear I’m NOT levelling this complaint against ALL those performers – just the usual few who feel the need to spoil things for EVERYBODY in pursuit of their own gain.

Unlike the almost ‘brownshirt’ response by the ‘kewl’ business owners to beggars, Glasgow City Council has published a ‘Code of Good Practice’ for buskers.

It’s just a few reasonable (obvious?) guidelines to help avoid conflict.

There’s no BIG STICK attached to them… yet.

Whether they are observed, or not, is another matter, and we’ll have to wait to see if this offer of self-regulation is taken up, or if the same few selfish types just ignore it, and we see some sort of regulation having to be introduced in a few years.

Buskers Code Of Good Practice

Code Of Good Practice

Glasgow City Council has introduced a Code of Good Practice for the city’s busking community following complaints from businesses and residents.

Glasgow is home to a number of well-known and talented buskers adding a vibrant and fun atmosphere anytime you walk down Buchanan Street.

The city council is aiming not to detract from the time-honoured art form but for buskers to consider the impact on other users of the city centre.

According to the council it receives a number of complaints regarding negative relationships with buskers and adjacent city centre businesses, with the main concern being amplified equipment.

The code outlines ‘good practice’ which includes; giving pitches a break after a reasonable time, keeping volume at t a reasonable level, having a varied and good-quality repertoire, keep any crowds under control, and respect your neighbours around you.

Council issues rules for Glasgow buskers following ‘number of complaints’

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

Buchanan Street Piper Juggler

Dec 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Yet more local cycling news

I’m going to have to be careful, or I’ll start to look like a cycling activist, and have to kill myself!

But, our local media seems to be enjoying writing about cycling at the moment and, since it lets me rub actual cycling activists’ noses in stuff they whine about NOT happening, I’m not going to ignore it 🙂

They’ve been monitoring and counting the number of cyclists (and pedestrians) at a number of locations, and have now published a short summary showing the most popular routes.

According to the most recent data released by Glasgow City Council (you know, the council the activist don’t think does anything for them), cycle journeys to and from Glasgow city centre have more than doubled in less than ten years.

New data collected by the council shows the annual count of people cycling past 35 locations has gone up by 111 per cent between 2009 and 2018.

According to the count, which took place over two days in September, there were 5,712 journeys by bike into the city centre on average each day.

That’s a total number of 11,000 journeys on a daily basis.

The 2018 count also indicated that almost 53,000 people walk into the city centre on average each day, with a total number of 102,972 journeys on a daily basis – an almost a 19 per cent increase on 2009.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction, said the figures provided concrete evidence that cycling is growing in popularity in Glasgow.

With new cycling infrastructure such as the £6.5m South City Way due to be completed in the near future as part of the ambitious, overall City Way initiative, Councillor Richardson believes there is huge potential for the figures to grow even further.

The most popular locations for people travelling on bike to and from the city centre are:

1. Broomielaw (at Washington Street) – 2,065 daily journeys on average.

2. Saltmarket at Clyde Street – 1,231 journeys.

3. Tradeston Bridge – 1,088 journey.

4. Victoria Bridge – 929 journeys.

5. Friarton Place East at Garscube Road – 539 journeys.

The most popular locations for people travelling on foot to and from the city centre are:-

1. Trongate at Albion St – 10,335 daily journeys on average

2. Sauchiehall Street at Charing Cross – 9,070 daily journeys on average

3. High Street at George St – 7,227 journeys

These are the most popular cycle routes in Glasgow city centre

I pass first four bike locations at least twice per trip – the fifth is simply not on my route or an area I visit.

I usually pass the three foot locations each time, and walk there too. I used to walk to them from home, but that’s over two hours, just one way (and takes longer as I always get diverted).

I’ll have to ‘borrow’ this pic to illustrate the result, and hope I don’t get my fingers rapped.

I just don’t have something similar to hand (I’m always ‘travelling’ when I’m at these places), but I’ll make the effort and grab some of my own as soon as time/weather permits.

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Dec 18, 2018 Posted by | council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The Bike Life report/survey turned up on the telly and YouTube

After almost being caught and interviewed by That’s TV last week, I thought I should take a closer look.

Although their channel and content comes up on the Freeview programme guide, they are currently NOT appearing on the feed I use online, which comes from the mighty Radio Times. Not sure why it should be missing, as its predecessor was there in the slot for Freeview channel 8, and That’s TV has taken its place until recently, when channel 8 just vanished.

Since I use the online listing rather than the Freeview option, I haven’t really been following the programmes, and have kind of given up most TV due to the disgusting level of advertising. I see the few programmes I do watch now have 6-minute ad-breaks, which means at least 18 minutes of utter shite shoved in my face per hour with three breaks, and a ridiculous 24 minutes if there are four breaks.

We really are moving to the world of ‘programme breaks’ in the midst of a steady stream of advertising.

However, when I tracked down That’s TV’s web site, I found it had done a video report about the Bike Life survey I mentioned recently.

And you probably know what I’m about to say.

I have to give this a further mention, and rub the cycling activist’s nose in it, as it really does show what a horrible/ueless lot they are.

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Saltmarket Cycle Counter Pic Credit ReGlasgow

Far from the claims in their usual whining about Glasgow City Council (and probably everybody else) doing nothing to advantage them, it shows significant spending (hundreds of millions) and a steadily growing cycling infrastructure for Glasgow. Some might even say rapidly growing, thinking back to the ‘bad old day’, and how long it took to get something ‘new’ done by the council.

I even met some of the people in this video, and I’m not an activist, just interested in what is happening in my own area – they were at an open event, inviting people to offer comments about cycle paths being added (not planned, promised, or debated, but actually being added) to our streets.

And some electric vehicle (EV) fun

I don’t want to digress, but this is slightly related.

I sometimes mention the backward attitude of the UK compared to the US as regards EVs, and spotted an anti-EV gem this morning.

One of the things found in the US is how simple EVs are compared to cars using fossil fuels, with no complex fuel burning engine to look after. Even the brakes are become ‘lifetime’ items, as EVs use increasingly clever regenerative braking to charge the batteries and recover energy. Some say the only parts that will need replacing in future will be tyres and wiper blades!

But, that’s not good enough for the naysayers.

I saw one chap seriously trying to argue that EVs were “Too complicated for old people to drive and charge”, and we had to keep petrol cars on the road for them.

Think about that for a while – he’s trying to sell the idea that a car that has one pedal to make it go, one to make it stop (and even that can be one pedal now – push to go, release to brake/stop); a lever or buttons for forward or reverse; doesn’t need a fuel pump to refuel it, just plug in a charging lead, (and barely needs servicing) is TOO COMPLEX for old people to cope with.

Naysayers are funny people.

Dog And Old Lady Driver

Dec 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

The problem with Glasgow City Council – ADULTS!

I’ve recently made a few posts complimenting or supporting Glasgow City Council.

I’d like to make it clear that I have nothing to do with it, other than give it all my savings every year (in the form of Council Tax), so have started to consider what it does with that in mind, rather than the more popular view from the past of “Let’s Hate Glasgow City Council” just because it’s Glasgow City Council.

I think that may have had some validity once, when it had cliques and cronyism in its ranks, but there may be ONE good aspect of social media – it makes those things harder now, as does simple publicity.

I noticed one article which highlighted this, and ‘Named and Shamed’ some not-so-nice people and businesses.

Indeed, it’s a shame there wasn’t a more detailed list of those involved, so they could be boycotted (but I kind of doubt their clientele cares).

The Glasgow Action Group (GAG), set up by bar and club owner James Mortimer, today held an ’emergency summit’ on several topics including drug abuse and organised begging on city streets.

GAG was formed in September this year and includes Donald McLeod, the owner of the Cathouse and Garage, and Kevin Maguire, owner of the Metropolitan.

And I’m sad to think I’m losing my mind, and becoming… and adult!


I should explain a little – I look a bit rough when I venture out, no smart designer clothes, just old tat.

I can wander around almost invisible, and stand near “beggars and homeless people” in the street. I use quotes because some of them are like “bogus asylum seekers” (a term I am apparently not supposed to use) ie “bogus”. One or two of them are not what they appear! When they think there is no-one listening, they let their guard down, and discuss where they can get the best ‘take’.

I even wonder if they threaten ‘real’ beggars to get them off a good/profitable pitch. Realising we have slavery and trafficking, it wouldn’t surprise me if this was also organised.

I used to think they should be dealt with like criminal, since they are, but once you become ‘An Adult’, you can’t really think that, since the result is to sweep up people who have fallen into difficulties, and criminalise them, although they have not committed any crime.

This story is really disappointing, both because an elected councillor (supposedly a representative of ‘the people’) proposed the motion, and because a group of business owners backed it – both should be fired!

A call to ask the Scottish Government to allow by-laws to criminalise begging in Glasgow has been shot down by the leader of the council.

Tory Councillor Tony Curtis asked Susan Aitken if she would request power from Holyrood to pass by laws on begging.

But he was told this wasn’t the solution.

Mr Curtis asked what the council leader was going to do to “eradicate anti-social behaviour of beggars in Glasgow city centre?”

Ms Aitken replied anti-social behaviour was a police matter and it should be reported to them.

Mr Curtis however said that tougher action was required and suggested criminalisation.

Mr Curtis said he had met with a goup (sic) of business owners, the Glasgow Action Group, who are concerned about street begging.

He said: “They are angered by the increasing anti-social behavior (sic) of beggars in the city centre and have asked particular members of your administration and myself to challenge the Scottish Government and to ask what sort of vagrancy laws we can establish in this country like we do down south.

Mr Curtis added: “Use them as an incentive to put some stability in people’s lives rather than to criminalise them.”

The council leader said that was not the answer and was “shocked” and elected member could think it was.

She added: “I am very grateful that we don’t criminalise begging and I will not be encouraging the Scottish Government to go down that road.

“I am shocked that a councillor in our chambers does not know what is driving people onto our streets.

Council leader rejects calls to criminalise begging in streets of Glasgow

There was a time I might have extended some degree of understanding towards the Glasgow Action Group, but they seem to be so far off any thought of social responsibility, and just centred on self-interest (profit) that it seem unlikely.

Charities fear Glasgow Action Group on homelessness could marginalise the vulnerable

GAG’a tone is worrying, and the few names I’ve seen suggest it comprises wealthy club owners who do not want the eyes of their ‘kewl’ patrons offended by the sight of reality on the streets.

They’re not very nice people,  not very nice at all.

Glasgow business group question council’s approach to ‘anti-social behaviour’

As a former ‘real’ business owner, this lot actually make me feel ‘dirty’ by way of association.

I know it used to be fashionable to ‘knock’ Glasgow City Council, but these days I find that old but of fun harder and harder to justify.

It’s response to GAG and scummy councillor who clearly support that self-interested group was perfect.

No Adulting Today

No Adulting Today

I freely admit that when I was ‘Young and Stupid’ I thought the view below  should have been cleaned up by sweeping away the problem (bottom left corner).

Now, I’m thinking I’m so ‘Old and Wise’ (just kidding!) that I should be making (funeral) arrangements for myself.

Christmas in Buchanan Street

Christmas in Buchanan Street

GAG watches too much ‘Taggart’

After noticing that all the GAG members mentioned in the article were nightclubs or similar, I had a flashback to an episode of Taggart.

Sad to say, I can’t remember the title, and am a little surprised to find that I can’t find it by searching online.

The episode was notable for the appearance of a nightclub, set in an alley off Glasgow’s St George’s Square (supposedly renamed these days, but not for me).

The club was called ‘Le Kilt‘ – a name so bad it’s good!

The owner was portrayed as a nasty character who would surely have been a fully paid-up member of the Glasgow Action Group, had it been needed back then.

But in Taggart’s day, any unwanted beggars near Le Kilt would just have ‘disappeared’.


Dec 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

WHAT? Surely not ANOTHER cycling initiative from ‘useless’ Glasgow City Council

It’s almost as if I was attracting stories about Glasgow City Council which will be rubbing the cycling activists’ noses in their whines about the council not being much use with regard to improving things for cyclists in the city.

This time it is something which has been largely overlooked in the past, but I have seen being tackled by a number of authorities/cities recently, the last one being Edinburgh.

This has actually been raised before, but this seems to be the beginning of action to address this issue.

Glasgow City Council has launched a feasibility study to assess opinion on its plans to introduce new secure covered on-street cycle parking for residents of the city.

The provision of such parking, the council feel, will help remove one of the major barriers to the uptake of cycling, namely the ability to conveniently and securely store a bike.

In the first instance, the council are looking to provide facilities at 50 locations across the city.

And in doing so they will prioritise those areas of Glasgow where housing includes tower blocks, flats and tenement properties.

Glasgow City Council announces plans to introduce secure on-street cycle parking

I’m lucky in that I have my own secure space, and don’t have to negotiate stairs (just an irritating convoluted path) to get to the street.

But recently, while standing in Anderston, was intrigued to see quite a lot of bikes being stored on porches or verandas outside flats, four or five storeys up. That has to get boring after the first few hundred trips up and down!

I also see quite a lot of people with bikes in halls, or even living rooms, sometimes hung on walls to keep them out of the way.

I have to confess to wishing there were bike parks, like car parks, which were more secure than the usual street bike parking rack, or handy pole!

I have seen a few secure, on-street bike parking enclosures similar to the one pictured, one of which can be found at the rear of Glasgow Women’s Library.

Unfortunately, these would have to be maintained, so there is a cost associated with them, which is currently estimated to be about £1.50 per week.

Secure Cycle Shelter Image Glasgow City Council

Secure On-street Cycle Parking Image Glasgow City Council

Dec 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | 3 Comments

63 e-bikes arriving in 2019

Another ‘poke in the eye’ for the pesky cycling activists who whine incessantly about how Glasgow City Council is doing nothing for them.

ELECTRIC bikes are due to be added to Glasgow’s cycle hire fleet by August 2019, as use of the Nextbike network continues to grow at a massive rate, contributing to a reduction in city centre traffic.

Glasgow City Council has agreed to press ahead with a £350,000 project to introduce e-bikes to the Nextbike scheme. The council has accepted £176,000 from the Energy Savings Trust (EST) for the initiative and will pay the other half of the cost from its Cycling Strategy budget.

A fleet of 63 e-bikes will be purchased and electrical facilities will be provided at 21 of the current 63 cycle hire stations.

GLASGOW Pressing Ahead With Electric Bike Hire Fleet

I find the whole Nextbike thing a little bizarre, seeming to me to be a pretty expensive way to get on a less than perfect bike, and no use to anybody without a mobile phone.

Then again, the nearest Nextbike station is still almost a 2-hour walk away from my front door in the depths of the east end of Glasgow – I need a bike to get to there!

Buying a cheap bike from Halfords seems like a better idea if it’s your own money – but, I’m and engineer (apparently our brains are wired differently).

I guess I’d have to say I find electric bikes a little bizarre too, but then again, I ride more for health/fitness than transport, but the latter is a bonus. Electric doesn’t offer me anything, especially when the ridiculous price of e-bikes is considered.

Nextbike has at least provided me with a few smiles.

Unlocking my own bike in Argyle Street, I bent down to pick up the loose end of the chain – and a Nextbike and rider went sliding along the ground past me, separately, on their sides, towards St Enoch Square. No idea what he did, but I had seen him riding towards me along the road, and he looked fine then.

He seemed OK, picked himself and his Nextbike up, and walked away as if nothing had happened.

Then, nearly the same place, I thought one of Glasgow’s finest winos was about to strike up a conversation with me, but it was an elderly gent who wanted a closer look at a Nextbike next to mine. I’ve never even touched one, so couldn’t answer his questions, but he wasn’t impressed, and moaned about the material, the shape, all the stuff hung onto it, the weight, the tyres – I was beginning to feel sorry for the poor Nextbike he had picked on!

I shouldn’t really start on the terrible cycling of some of their riders, mostly with no helmet, or clue about traffic. I honestly don’t know how some of them survive what they do. (That’s NOT to meant, or taken, as a generalisation of Nextbike riders, just that there’s a good chance of seeing something bad if you watch out for the bad ones, just like with cyclists, and drivers, and pedestrians, and taxi drivers, and… )

As an aside, Nextbikes in Glasgow look pretty boring.

I’ve seen the Nextbike web sites abroad, and they have quite a choice, including MTBs that look fairly mean and well spec’d!

Regardless, the main point is that Glasgow is clearly NOT all mouth and  no trousers when it comes to cycling.

As usual, I suggest ignoring any whining or moaning cycling activists, and find out what’s happening in Glasgow for yourself.

Sadly, I also have to suggest digging deep, as info is still a bit sparse if you don’t dig, and just make general queries online.

But that has improved through 2018 – so I guess it can only get better.

I really wanted to track down a pic of one of their e-bikes at a charging station, but there seem to be none, and only a scarce few pics of the e-bike itself. I was curious to see how they managed the connection, but I guess I’ll have to wait.

You can identify them by the larger enclosed hub around the cranks.

Back tyre in this pic…

Nextbike e-bike

Nextbike e-bike

Dec 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Wait for the cycling activists and naysayers to ignore Glasgow’s Transport Strategy

This will be interesting to watch in the coming days and weeks (and probably even longer).

I’ve recently become completely unimpressed by cycling activists in Glasgow, whose one job in life seems to be to ignore any positive developments, claim nothing is being done, and whine loudly while demanding that…. something be done to improve their lot.

This development clearly reaches a wider community than cyclists, but I really have been irritated recently, as I’ve read some of the utter nonsense those who fall under the umbrella of ‘activists’ spout about how nothing is ever done to improve their lot.

I suspect the only day they will say something that suggests they are even remotely pleased will be the say a wall is built around the city with gaps only about 1 metre wide, so bikes can pass through, but not cars.

They’ll still be unhappy though, as nasty pedestrians will still be able to walk through those gaps, and get in their way!

I wonder what their response will be to…

GLASGOW City Council has secured £3million to develop strategies for better connectivity, city centre transformation and improving the attractiveness and accessibility of neighbourhoods.

The council say the three inter-related projects will significantly shape the transport network, active travel choices, the liveability of neighbourhoods, and the cultural vibrancy, sustainability and inclusive economic growth of the city centre.

Councillor Anna Richardson, City Convener for Sustainability and Carbon Reduction said; “The Connectivity Commission has set out clear recommendations to improve transport in our city, and we agree that we must be bold in our ambitions.

“Without strategic thinking in our city centre we will not unlock the potential for inclusive economic growth and increased city centre living that Glasgow needs.

“We also acknowledge that we must look even further than the recommendations of the Commission, to tackle the transport needs of all our communities, and improve connectivity across every neighbourhood in Glasgow.

“That’s why I’m delighted to announce that with an investment of £3 million of Scottish Government funding in partnership with Sustrans, we’ll be able to start work on these three significant projects.

£3MILLION Towards Setting Out 10-Year Transport Strategy For Glasgow

It’s becoming apparent, to me at least, that there are some people you just cannot satisfy, no matter what you do, and others who are simply selectively blind to anything that does not precisely match their own narrow definitions. They just seem to completely ignore or dismiss anything that doesn’t measure up to their demands.

The council statement added…

“We’ll develop an overarching transport strategy for Glasgow with sustainability at its heart, as well as setting out how we’ll transform movement around the city centre and address many of the challenges we’ve been set by the Connectivity Commission.

“We’ll also produce a Liveable Neighbourhoods Plan, a blueprint for improving every neighbourhood in the city through a range of interventions to make them more pleasant places for people to live, work and play.

“Over the next 18 months, through these projects, we’ll set out our 10-year vision for a transport system that will address inequality, connectivity and climate change. The development of these three plans will ensure a more sustainable, healthy, liveable, connected and inclusive thriving Glasgow for all.”

I wonder if ‘activists’ even know they could pick Falkirk or Loch Lomond for a wee Sunday run, on cycle paths/routes, if they were in Glasgow?

Or just like to moan about having nowhere to go without some evil driver mowing them down?

Forth And Clyde Canal Signs

Forth And Clyde Canal Signs

Dec 12, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

A little game you can play as the nights draw in

While I’ve never asked anyone about this, I suspect my thoughts are likely to be correct about this.

Referring to the pic below, it should be fairly obvious that the street lights caught in the shot are different.

One is fairly (very) yellow, while the other is white, but is NOT a new LED street light.

The yellow light is a standard low pressure sodium type, used around Glasgow (and the rest of the country of course) for years.

The white light is fluorescent type once common, but eventually phased out.

I know that because a found a web site dedicated to such things a few years ago, when I first noticed these lamps appearing.

Sadly, that web site has gone, but at least I took this quote at the time I found it.

By the 1980s, the fluorescent street lighting lantern was becoming a rarity. Installed on the wave of post-war rebuilding, the original fluorescent tube (born during the war years) was an exciting and practical light source for the 1950s and 1960s. Although far more expensive than lanterns for other bulb types, the fluorescent lantern offered a natural warm light and a wide beam which was good in both the wet and dry. Unfortunately these multiple tube monsters sucked up too much power, were too complex to keep running and simply cost too much to maintain. Throw in the energy crisis of the 1970s and fluorescent street lighting had only limited time left on the streets of the UK.

However, it seems that these continued to be developed for a while, and although they were never adopted, they were around for a while, used in many places, and it seems there are still stores full of spares.

Wandering around Glasgow housing schemes, I have found entire streets still lit by these types.

More intriguing are the (increasing) number of streets I find where failed LP sodium lamps are being replaced by these fluorescent type.

My guess is that Glasgow (and presumably others) are mitigating the cost of LED conversion on main roads by ending purchases of any new LP sodium bulbs, and digging into piles of unused spares when they need to replaced failed lamps, either with a similar LP sodium if available, or with one of these white fluorescent types.

I’m spotting more of them making an appearance nowadays, instead of a yellow sodium lamp when dead lamps are replaced.

You can play the same game if you’re wandering around as the darker evening arrive.

Fluorescent Vs Sodium

Fluorescent Vs Sodium

I couldn’t quite climb up for a look at the label inside the luminaire, but I did manage to take a pic from below, to get the details.

Although the year is not clear in this pic, it did appear as 2013 in others, but they were less readable overall.



These white lights – remember, they are NOT LED types – are becoming more common, so you should be able to find them somewhere.

There are a couple of features I couldn’t catch in a pic to illustrate them, they just don’t show up in pics taken from the ground, but they are noticeable.

Unlike sodium lights, the covers are made of ‘water clear’ plastic, and have no lenses to shape or direct the beam.

They are very bright, which may be down to the phosphors used in the tubes, but is also due to the lamp having two tubes, although it just looks like a single tube when seen from below. The tubes are usually mounted vertically, one over the other, but more recently, I have come across some which appear to have the lamp mounted on its side compared this, so the tubes are aligned beside one another.

Sometimes they sneak up on you, and watch you looking for them from behind hedges (and there’s also a sodium in the background).

Fluorescent And Sodium

Fluorescent And Sodium

But we’ll still give them their ‘Glam’ shot.

Fluorescent Closeup

Fluorescent Closeup

Oct 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

This is your street. Not your personal bin.

It looks as if Glasgow is having another go at its litter louts with a new campaign.

Wandering around various burbs, I’ve come across the following sign placed high on many lampposts:

Litter Campaign Sign Not Your Personal Bin

Litter Campaign Sign Not Your Personal Bin

While I like the sentiment, I suspect the people who will really like it are the residents who are fed up with those who litter, while those who litter will just laugh at it, and pay absolutely no attention whatsoever.

While I was raised not to drop litter, and don’t – ever – anything goes in my pocket or a bag to be disposed of later, I see very few children who have been taught not to litter. And they become the adults that also have no care regarding litter.

It’s sad to walk along the street, especially with shops, and watch the behaviour of people as they leave shops.

Those leaving convenience stores, newsagents, and fish & chip shops are amongst the worst offenders.

Often unwrapping cigarette packets, the wrapping is discarded instantly without a second thought.

But the saddest sight is that of the kids, especially the smallest ones, as they come out with packets of sweets or similar treats, and these are already being opened and unwrapped as they leave the shop, and you can see they have NEVER been taught not to litter, as the wrappers are dropped as soon as they come off, without as much as moment’s thought about what they are doing. They don’t even know they are littering. Putting the wrappers in their pocket does not even occur to them.

And if the council, a community worker, or police officer DARES to pull anyone up, or issue a fine?

THEY are slated as the ‘Bad Guys’, unreasonable and oppressive, just out to make money and pick on people.

If they wanted to do that (make money), they’d be better to collect all the discarded McDonald’s packaging that fills our streets (buyers of this muck are amongst the worst, just opening their car doors after visiting a drive-through, and dropping the lot on the road), return it to source and charge them for each piece of branded litter they return.

I can dream.

Jul 23, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, photography | , , , | 1 Comment

The intriguing plans for Glasgow’s neglected lanes

It’s a shame that so many people are ready to cast scorn on any initiatives proposed by Glasgow City Council out of hand, without the slightest consideration of their merit. Granted, the council has suffered (and in some cases still does) from the possible existence of ‘Ego Projects’ at the behest of some councillors, but such dismissal is probably as bad as those wayward proposals.

I know, I used to be a member of a forum that enjoyed attacking the council regardless – but then I realised this was just mindless hate on the members’ part, and left.

I’m sure they’ll be having a little ‘hate orgy’ this week, and dancing around burning copies of the Glasgow City Council’s draft strategy and public consultation documents for the improvement of some 90 lanes within the city centre.

That would be a mistake.

While I was initially sceptical after seeing stories about the strategy in the media, actually looking at the detail for myself revealed a sensibly researched review and proposal within this strategy, and one which I hope will eventually come to be financed and adopted.

In fact, the strategy runs to some 90+ pages in a well presented document:

Draft Lane Strategy for Public Commnet (pdf document)

Council approves next stage of strategy for Glasgow’s city centre lanes

I’m familiar with many of Glasgow’s lanes (and seldom venture into them, and certainly not in the dark), and those that come to mind at first are not appropriate for the plan, being the back of many business, or access to their services. They also suffer from one of our good/bad ideas – giant wheelie bins for their waste. Admittedly better than the piles of black bags and waste, they still take up space, and can ‘go walkies’ since few lanes are level – I used to work near West Regent Lane for example. As can be seen, it’s needed for access, and the lane surface is old, failing, and on an incline.

West Regent Lane

West Regent Lane

Similar, but not on an incline, is Renfield Lane, but it has a fine crop of business related wheelie bins:

Renfield Lane

Renfield Lane

These are NOT the lanes of the plan, although it suggests that improving their condition would still make for a better, cleaner environment, provide improved access, and help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

In fact, taking the time to look at the proposals without an ant-council bias shows the selection of a small number of lanes in areas where they could be developed as attractions, and turned into public spaces with shops, restaurants and bars.

This has happened in other areas of the city, and those lanes have become favourites with both locals and visitors.

With this in mind, it’s now worth reading the media coverage:

Glasgow’s back lanes in line for Melbourne style revamp

World-inspired revamp for Glasgow’s 90 city centre lanes

Apr 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

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