Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Glasgow Green’s Penny Farthing Bike Rack (mystery?)

A while ago, I got one of those anonymous ‘hints’ (aka an email with no details) telling of a ‘Penny Farthing themed bike rack’ somewhere on Glasgow Green. I’m not sure if this was offered in light of my interest in Glasgow, or in things related to The Prisoner.

Over the years I’ve probably crawled over most of the Green, yet this came as a complete surprise – so I had to investigate.

After going online, I eventually came up with the following photographic confirmation, captured by the very helpful Thomas Nugent back in 2008 – all of 10 years ago!

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green

Cycle racks in Glasgow Green
Penny farthing shaped racks in Glasgow Green, near the adventure playground.

This at least explained why I hadn’t this rack over the years – I’m a little past the ‘adventure playground’ stage.

But I do know the place, so off I went for a look, TWO looks in fact – BOTH failed, although they were both late evening detours (kind of dark), and covered all the area around the playground.

What’s not clear from the above is that the playground lies adjacent to a Cycle Training Centre

I’d taken a few pics back in 2017, and when I examined them I got a surprise – I already had a pic of the penny farthing rack!

Penny Farthing Bike Racks

Penny Farthing Bike Racks 2017

So, they were still there, but I still couldn’t explain why I hadn’t seen them a few day earlier, hence the hint of (mystery?) in the title – I really did look at the cycle training area, this being the obvious place to look. Maybe it was just too dark, and they couldn’t be seen from the perimeter fence (the place was locked by the time I got there).

I checked the centre’s own pics, and found this view, bear in mind their pics are probably ‘old’ as it opened in 2011.

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Detail From Free Wheel North Pic

Note that the two ‘old’ 2010/2011 pics show the racks sunk into the block paving.

Fast forward to 2018, and my third visit – this time directly to the area in front of the Portakabins in the cycle training area.

There was no problem finding the racks this time (or even seeing them from the perimeter fence, which I checked before heading for them).

If not immediately obvious, it’s worth noting that the racks no longer lie in their original location – sunk into an area of block paving.

They’ve been lifted so their base is no longer buried, and now just lie freely on the ground.

That could mean they’re fair game for scum metal thieves.

It also means they may not have actually have been out on show when I was there earlier, and had been stowed in the training area’s containers for safety during the dark evenings.

Let the pics begin…

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Zoom

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 2

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 3

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 4

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5

Penny Farthing Bike Rack Closer 5


June 17, 2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘shows’ are back on the Green

I never know what to call the fun fair that arrives on Glasgow Green at this time of year, and in the past feel sure they were referred to as ‘The shows’ when being spoken about.

Probably my own fault as I was never a great visitor, although I would take a walk through for a look.

I’ve really no idea why, but you could probably count the number of fairground rides I’ve been on in my life on the fingers of one hand.

I didn’t realise it was time for this to arrive.

Coincidentally, I had been reading a short history of Glasgow Green (very short), and one of the things it had pointed out was that the fair which arrived on the Green used to set up on the grass. To be more accurate, it used to set up on the ground where the football pitches and their building have been installed near the area known as Flesher’s Haugh (where is the place I tend to remember they would set up on).

However, since the Green has been extensively restored and the grassy areas are actually well engineered (drained) and maintained nowadays, the fair has been moved to the tarmacked area around Nelson Monument, and this is where I grabbed a pic of both this weekend.

I’ve no idea when it was, but I was near the Green much more often then, and it was a surprise to see vast areas of grass lifted while the ground beneath was carefully structured to stabilise it and provide support and drainage.

There’s interesting stuff under that grass – and I don’t just mean those works, as there have been historic discoveries made down there over the years, with the odd relic and artefact being uncovered during works. It’s an area worth reading about.

There’s coal down there too. Despite a number of proposals to add a coal mine to Glasgow Green in the days when coal was ‘king’ in the 19th century, none of them ever gained approval. When Glasgow council tried reviving the idea (ironically to make some money to purchase parks) the people of Glasgow protested, and the idea was dropped.

Looks like the fair just fits, and no more!

Glasgow Green Fair

Glasgow Green Fair

May 28, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Dassie Green on Glasgow Green

Another feature to be found in McPhun’s Park on Glasgow Green is the gate to Dassie Green.

Robert McPhun was a local wood turner and owner of Greenhead Saw Mill in Mill Street. Around 1773, he funded McPhuns’s Park, which was entered by this gate.

I believe this was moved from the street where it formed a gate in the fence that ran along the footpath here, when that was replaced, some time around 2003 from what I’ve found online.

Unfortunately, my pic of the former gate is a little hard to see and read clearly – its colour just wants to merge with the trees behind.

I tried taking a closer pic, but it was just the same – I think the only good way to show this clearly with a pic having the sky behind, and to avoid perspective distortion, that demand a revisit in the depth of winter, when the trees are bare.

I’d wondered about the name, Dassie Green, and what it may have referred to.

According to old OS maps of the area, this was known as the Daisy Green.

However, I haven’t noted any tales regarding the spelling of Daisy as Dassie.

Unless YOU know better.

Dassie Green Gate On Glasgow Green

Dassie Green Gate On Glasgow Green

While looking for anything referring to Dassie Green, and finding Daisy Green, I came across various discussions about the names used for Glasgow Green.

Daisy Green seems to raise the number to three.

Glasgow Green itself refers to a stretch of parkland in Glasgow’s East End, between London Road and the River Clyde, reportedly first mentioned in 1175, said to make it the oldest public park in the whole of Europe.

There is also the Fleshers’ Haugh, an area of land largely contained on three sides within a loop of the River Clyde, at the Green’s eastern extremity. ‘Haugh’ is a Scots term generally applied to low-lying, level meadowland beside a stream or river. Also, members of the Incorporation of Fleshers were allowed to use the pastureland there for their animals (fleshers was a term applied to butchers).

While considering the various areas, it should be borne in mind that the divisions resulting from roads through the Green and its parks are fairly recent in its life, date from around 1900 and later.


May 24, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Time Spiral in McPhun’s Park (Glasgow Green)

Ever passed something and never seen it?

Although I’ve passed McPhun’s Park many times, that’s just what I’ve always done – passed it!

I guess the railings (fence) and gates put me off just wandering through it – and I’ve come across some nasty types in the past (not here, I hasten to add) who think their little piece of fenced off greenery is just that, THEIRS, and woe betide any strange face they see in it, which must clearly belong to someone who is up to no good.

I decided to give the place a glance after reading it had been the location of a World War II Barrage Balloon site, and that some slight evidence remained in the form of bumps on the ground (but I forgot to check exactly where they might be found – oh well, another visit some day).

I’d seen the collection of large stone blocks from the road, so decided to look closers, and they turned out to be much more than they looked.

Click the pic for a little bigger.

Glasgow Green McPhuns Park Time Spiral

Glasgow Green McPhuns Park Time Spiral

Described best by one of its own plaques.

Sadly, the plaque doesn’t detail its creation date.

It was around in 2006, but when did it arrive?

McPhuns Time Spiral Plaque

McPhuns Time Spiral Plaque

And a sample of one of the plaques – I picked the Charlotte Street on deliberately, as the little house that manages to survive there is just nice to see.

Time Spiral Plaque 1780

Time Spiral Plaque 1780

It’s a quiet spot, which is nice for the little park and the nice folk who go there, but it also makes it easier for the morons who like to damage stuff, and some of the plaques have been attacked with a vengeance if they refer to sensitive items.

May 23, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green has… mermaids?

Passing through Glasgow Green on a nice evening (the same one that got Kelvingrove Park in the news, again) I still find it slightly odd to see ordinary folk enjoying the space late into the evening. Cleaning up the surrounding area, and adding new flats/housing around it has paid off big time, and it’s great to see people take it back from the dross that used ‘own’ it and make it somewhere to keep well clear of.

I would have given it a wide berth at this time a few years ago, but today go through it even when it’s dark (there is lighting there now) and rather than drunks, now bump into locals who are running and cycling there.

Back to the nice evening, and while I snapped a few pics they didn’t really turn out, and just showed some nondescript views of people wandering on a grassy area. I may consider myself good at buildings and structures, but I need to work on people/street/candid.

I’ve developed a habit of checking corners of pics and stuff in the background though, before I dump them, in case there’s something interesting I didn’t notice at the time.


This jumped out of one.

Mermaid Water?

Glasgow Green What's That?

Glasgow Green What’s That?

Closer – yes, it is.

Mermaid Water

Mermaid Water

I wonder if they only come onto land when it’s sure to be dry?

May 16, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green parties on (Nice sky too)

I was in Glasgow Green again last night, and more than a little surprised to see the same party back there on another lovely evening.

I’d assumed (obviously wrongly) that what I’d seen on Sunday night was the tail end of something that had taken place over the weekend, and I’d just caught it winding down as music was being dismantled and bundled into a van.

Not so.

This was Monday night at almost 9 pm, and things were as they were on Sunday.

(Oops – This may NOT be normal behaviour after all, as I’ve just realised this was a holiday weekend. Guess I’ll gave to check another evening – but the heatwave we enjoyed Sun/Mon had also gone today, as it cooled and rained on the Tuesday).

Glasgow Green More Fun

Glasgow Green More Fun

That’s a nice sky captured over the People’s Palace.

I also took the opportunity to wander along to the office block I mentioned in yesterday’s post.

UnseeFor me, it was the defining moment of the phrase “What has been seen cannot be unseen”.

No ‘dirty women’ there any more.

I knew that anyway, since this is still on my way home if I’ve been wandering anywhere near the river and the city centre.

Greendyke And Charlotte Street Corner

Greendyke And Charlotte Street Corner

As I noted yesterday, this is an interesting building, with those ‘flying’ windows extending beyond the building wall, and that inverted triangular structure on the roof, which I’m guessing is a water storage tank.

May 8, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Is this really Glasgow Green?

Ever since I was a little kid, I had it beaten into me to stay away from Glasgow Green, especially if it was late at night, or dark.

And to be fair to those warnings, in their day they were probably fair warnings too, at least going from what lurks at the back of my mind as regards local newspaper stories (remember them?) from the time.

Even when I worked in Glasgow for a time, it was still somewhere to be wary of, although the council was well underway with their plans to tidy it up and return it to the decent people. I recall one evening I was there a little later than usual, and turned the corner from Greendyke Street to Charlotte Street (there’s an interesting office block on that corner) and ran into a “Wire Brush and Domestos Moment” for my eyes as a hooker broke away from a hunting group on that corner and set after me! If you’ve ever had anyone describe how drugs or a hard life ages someone, she was the classic illustration – and a short tank top and mini skirt on a woman who might have been 30-something but looked more like 70-something is NOT NICE. Especially if chasing you.

Fast forward to present day, and the change on the Green is remarkable.

I find myself there at various late hours, and still get a surprise finding normal, ordinary people using it for recreation, running, cycling, or walking with their kids.

Yesterday was a prime example, as there had been some sort of fun and games taking place, but I wasn’t there until after 8 pm, hoping to get some pics of a spot I hoped would be deserted. It was (almost), but even at that time the Green was still full of people just having fun.

Glasgow Green Sunday

Glasgow Green Sunday

There’s always one wally who has to run into your scene once you’ve composed it!

Glasgow Green Sunday

Glasgow Green Sunday

Even though this sort of scene is now the norm on the Green, I just can’t get used to it, and it still takes me by surprise when I’m there at times I would once have given it an extremely wide berth, and see it like this.

To give you an idea just how hard the ‘old’ image is set in my mind, I have a book of images of Glasgow from 1988, and the author of that volume was already saying much the same about both the city and the Green, which underwent real changes around the time of the Glasgow Garden Festival.

Amazing. I managed that without having a kick at the dopey 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games and their non-existent ‘Lasting Legacy’.


May 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Nala – another sad tale from the old collection of missing cat posters

Another post inspired by the proposals to brighten the area up, or maybe I should say ‘reminded’, since it comes from the right area.

Yet another from my collection of missing cat posters from years ago.

This one was probably collected somewhere near Glasgow Green, but I’m not sure where exactly, but before I reached Saltmarket.

There’s no year on the poster, but I can say that this was a find from 2015.

Missing Cat Nala

Missing Cat Nala

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow Green football pavilion

Sometimes you come across decent pics completely by chance, at times and in places where you might not even have thought about finding them.

With our dopey practice of ‘Moving the clocks’ there is at least the option of being in places which are dark, but not at times that would classed as insane (if you value your life).

One such place could be the walkway along the River Clyde where it goes through Glasgow Green. With clocks set back an hour, darkness can descend here while the shops are still open, and people are still around.

Being mostly open land or park, there little or no lighting, and when the few lights on the paths are dead – it gets dark fast down there.

But football pitches were established on the Green some years ago, and these are floodlit, and provided with a pavilion.

I should declare that if measured, my interest in football would produce a negative number.

So, first surprise for me was a pool of light, and that eventually produced a nice wide shot (click for wider).

Glasgow Green Nighttime Football

Glasgow Green Night-time Football (Click for wider)

But the real gem was the pavilion itself.

I got lucky here, as the failed path lighting on the Green itself seemed to extend to the lighting around this building, and even the street lights closest to it.

This meant the building was bathed in a dim but even glow from street lighting far in the distance, and there were no bright spots to screw with the exposure.

These were long handheld exposures, one braced against a handy old tree, the other while I was buried in thick hedge for support. Even so, I don’t know why they are not blurry, at over 2 seconds apiece.

You may see an apparently light/white sky, but this is purely an effect of the exposure time, and that sky was quite black in reality.

Glasgow Green Pavilion Front Night

Glasgow Green Pavilion Front Night

I have no idea how those railings were captured with sharp edges, as I was supported by nothing more than a hedge, which far from solid or stationary, and the rear of the building had even less incident light than the front, which had a few street lights shining in the distance. This backed onto the Green, so the only light was spilling from the illuminated pitch seen above.

Glasgow Green Pavilion Rear Night

Glasgow Green Pavilion Rear Night

January 30, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Changeable weather – but Glasgow Green was nice a few days ago

While I’m not the world’s greatest fan of panorama shots (or anything other than a good plain reasonably honest photograph), there are occasions when a wider view (devoid of any gimmicks) can still be appreciated.

Standing near Nelson’s thingy, I thought the view looked decent enough to chance grabbing a series of shots, just to see how they might come out when stitched together for a… panorama!

The result turned out to be quite pleasing, and takes you from the old fish market, or Briggait (obscured by flats, but you can see the clock tower), all the way to Templeton’s.

And I spotted enough mistakes in it to have benefited from the exercise too.

While I had enough shots to fix it, I also learned something to watch for at the planning stage – don’t do this when a cyclist is hurrying across the view, unless you want to have twins or triplets in view.

As this is a little bit wide, you’ll have to click on the thumbnail for the full size view.

Glasgow Green Pano

Glasgow Green Pano

December 15, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Any love for the alternate Templeton view?

While I’m little different from most who head down towards Glasgow Green and grab the odd pic of the Doge’s Palace look-alike façade of Templeton’s old carpet factory side, it looks as if I differ in that I take pics of the rest of the remains of this building.

I saw some other pics of the developed side (facing the Green) which was largely demolished and redeveloped in a modern, but matching, style beside the old factory face with it chromatic glazed brick topping.

I’d include a sample of that view (but see end of post), but for the fact that I made the mistake of taking a set of pics on a sunny day, and the bright glare and reflections ruined them. So a revisit on a less sparkling day will be needed.

The real subject today was the view from London Road, one which I can’t recall seeing anyone bother about.

I just grabbed a shot in passing, with no real plans for it, so it’s not ideal, and needed quite a lot of straightening since I didn’t take care over it. but it came out ok.

This view has changed slightly over the years – what is now an entrance on the corner was once a window looking into a gym.

The view was once better than then sweaty bodies of those who chose to show off there.

The ground floor window was once proudly displayed the carpet factory’s work for all to see.

Templeton On The Green

Templeton On The Green

No, I’m not going to miss out the rest of the place.

Standard view.

For those not in the know, this is a decorative façade, with the factory wall behind.

Templeton Facade

Templeton Facade

Along the street, start of vivid polychrome brickwork, and view past the new flats.

Templeton Development

Templeton Development

Recovered view of the area topped by the polychrome brickwork.

The exotic weave is created with crimson Ruabon brick, red terracotta (for the twisted mullions) and red sandstone; by vitreous enamel mosaic in deep blue, gold and white within the tympana; and in the topmost storey, by red and green glazed bricks zigzagged against a bright yellow ground – an essentially High Victorian marriage of medieval forms and modern materials.

Ignore the black areas below, they’re just the result of processing the original view to get something decent out of it.

Templeton Polychrome View Glare Etc

Templeton Polychrome View Glare Etc

Came out better than expected, but there’s no detail – I had wanted some closer views of the bricks themselves, and the pattern.

In real life, sunlight really brings out the vividness of the colours, but the angles just don’t work at the times I’m there.

November 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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