Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Food fit for a king

I forgot I’d forgotten all about this gem

Promising ‘Food fit for a king’, we have to assume the king succumbed to starvation long ago, as The Indian Place has been closed for years, which is how long I tried to get a decent pic.

I’d come to forget about it for many of those years as the building was covered with scaffolding, and although I’d tried, I couldn’t get a decent pic of either the sign above the door, or even the façade.

But, a recent wander down that way (in daylight!) revealed the place was in the open, and almost in clear view.

My favourite part is still the sign above the door, with its ‘Food fit for a king’ statement.

The Indian Place Door Sign

The Indian Place Door Sign

There’s now a decent view of the façade too.

The place was up for sale or let for a while, hence the two vertical straps over the right part of the sign, but it looks as if they’ve given up (or somebody pinched that sign).

Looks as if the larder was upstairs, and some of the fresh food was left behind!

The Indian Place

The Indian Place


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

Dora Street Cab & Car Repairs

Another trawl of some old pics I took a while ago, and in this case rejected as they weren’t up to my standards.

Although I tool quite a few as I tried to catch the façade, none of them seemed to be satisfactory as they either failed to be orthogonal and cover the area of interest, or were at an angle that caught enough, but suffered perspective problems.

Now, I can stitch multiple images easily, and catch wider views, which would have been handy.

This was as much as could catch from across the road, after correcting for my inability to hold the camera level.

Dora St Cabs & Car Repairs

Dora St Cab & Car Repairs

The rendering was still present in earlier images I’ve found of this street, hence my knowledge of the full name.

Note the three square marks on the upper wall, with holes in the centres. I take these to be from reinforcement rods once added to the building to compensate for bulges in the walls. Without these I guess the building is not going to be occupied again, and its disappearance can also be anticipated.

I tried taking a view along the facade, but couldn’t quite get it all in without tilting the camera a little, and this was the result after the catch was corrected for perspective distortion.

I suppose I could have edited it to remove all the perspective, but… that was too much like effort 😉

I really just wanted to have the main vehicle entrance included.

Dora St Cabs & Car Repairs

Dora St Cab & Car Repairs


I happened to be around the same area some time later, with a wider lens to hand, and made a slight detour to try for a better pic.

It ALMOST worked.

Dora St Cabs & Car Repairs

Dora St Cab & Car Repairs

I’m not sure what the openreach lorry was doing there, up on the footpath, and couldn’t see if there was anything running from the lorry into the building entrances behind, but those tyres on the road were matched by more piled up around the rear of that lorry, to block casual access (which is why I couldn’t take a quick glance along the side to satisfy my curiosity).

April 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Surprises never end – as Ye Olde Telephone Exchange proves

Perhaps not ‘long abandoned’, but definitely abandoned, the old telephone exchange building (latterly used by Royal Mail) in Cubie Street, was a nice building to look at if passing.

But it’s a bit in the back streets of Calton, so you really have to go for a deliberate look, and aren’t likely to pass it by chance – and the street it’s in is now a dead-end.

I went for a pic some time ago, but at the time found it was just too wide to catch all at once, so I never got around to using the pics.

But, I did take enough to be able to (later) stitch them together as a radial image (that I can do for free – linear stitching costs, so is out for me). That said, I hadn’t worked out how to straighten the image reasonably… so more delay.

I’ve now delayed so long…

That a chance find while browsing revealed that the building has been saved from potential loss as it is now the office of a firm of architects.


My pic from when the building was sealed.

It doesn’t look much different today, apart from a new glass door and door entry system.

Rightly described as a ‘striking’ red and white building, it is C listed, and now has a few more years of life to come.

1910 Telephone Exchange Cubie Street

1910 Telephone Exchange Cubie Street

April 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Boys’ stone

(Yet) Another post inspired by the proposals to brighten the area up.

With the enclosed gardens of Provand’s Lordship (Glasgow’s oldest house) in the background, I came across the disembodied lintel from a nearby school (I don’t know which, so won’t guess) entrance, ‘relocated’ to a more public green and laid on the ground, apparently now serving as a handy seat.

This one is for the ‘BOYS’ entrance. Two others I’m aware of lie nearby, close to Barony Hall (just visible in the centre background), home of the school of music at Strathclyde University, and are for the ‘GIRLS’ entrance and the ‘INFANTS’ entrance, both of which serve as entrances to the hall’s car park, and are complete.

I’ve since learned that these stones/gates were part of Townhead Primary School, which stood in Rotten Row.

I need to complete my collection with pics of those two one day, but this will do for now.

Boys Stone Lintel And Provands Lordship

Boys Stone Lintel And Provand’s Lordship


Boys Stone Lunch

Boys Stone Lunch

I’ll never understand people who buy food and drink and then just throw it away or discard it virtually untouched. (Scotland is in poverty? Don’t make me laugh).

Bottled water is disgusting for many reasons, yet I witness many bottles discarded in the street with barely a mouthful taken.

Possibly the worst examples come from the kids at a nearby secondary school, behind our local main street.

The swarm into the local shops buying various snacks, sandwiches, filled rolls, and hot ‘meals’ in cups/containers, then discard the wrappers on the street, but worse, pull out any fillings they don’t like from their rolls/sandwiches and drop the at their feet, and pour out anything they don’t like in their cups/containers, again just on the ground at their feet.

The street can look like a mini landfill site after they’re done, and gone back to school, littered with discarded wrappers, and the food and drink they have just thrown away.


April 2, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Cathedral Square public toilets

(Yet) Another post inspired by the proposals to brighten the area up.

I’d forgotten about collecting these pics one day, as it was pure chance that I noticed the reason.

These public lavvies (toilets) have, like all the other underground types that once dotted much of the city, been closed for years.

Unlike many, however, the ‘TO LET’ sign suggests they are not ruinous below, have been trashed and/or vandalised, or deliberately wrecked and sealed forever.

These are quite grand, with sandstone surround and tiled entranced leading down from ground level, presumably due to their location. The more usual appearance of these ancient street conveniences (which I understand Glasgow was quite proud of, and envied for) was of a black painted wrought or cast-iron fence, surrounding steps leading below ground.

And that, I believe, was also the reason for their demise (although these facilities all seem to be closed now), but I’m sure there were many more.

Being underground, it didn’t take much for these places to flood, either by accident of there was a plumbing failure, or by intent, if the vandals got down there and decided to smash the place up a little, and block the drains.

The reason I collected these pics was spotting one of the outer gates being unlocked and open (you’ll see the other is still locked), and wandered in thinking this might allow some access and maybe some pics inside.

As you can see, this wasn’t happening any time soon, as the entrances are secured by roller shutters.

Cathedral Square Public Lavatory Entrance 1

Cathedral Square Public Lavatory Entrance 1

I’m guessing this had the usual ‘LADIES’, ‘GENTS’, or ‘GENTLEMEN’ plaques attached somewhere, but I couldn’t spot them.

Cathedral Square Public Lavatory Entrance 2

Cathedral Square Public Lavatory Entrance 2

March 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Two interesting buildings off High Street

The announcement of plans to consult on improvements to the area east of the city centre reminded me of a couple of buildings near High Street, just a short way from Glasgow Royal Infirmary.

Unfortunately, neither building seems to have been of sufficient interest, or have any history recorded on any of the usual registers.

The first would appear to be the more modern of the two, and from the signs left on it was once St Rollox Post Office in Glebe Street, then a discount supplier of Highland ‘things’ (I can’t tell you what, as the place closed long ago). This is the small part seen to the right, with access steps and a handrail leading up from the footpath.

I did make a chance discovery of some more pics online, which revealed that this building is credited to architect Stewart Sim, and dates from 1955, which is a perfect match for the style. I failed to find this record by searching the indexes as the location is wrongly plotted on the relevant map.

The remaining (larger) portion of the building (to the left) still appears to be in use, but there are no signs identifying the occupant. All I can find online are directory entries for a computer related business.

St Rollox Post Office Building

St Rollox Post Office Building

I’ve highlighted the Post Office sign in this detail shot as it was originally lost in the darkness.

The signs on the right give details for the Highland supplier.

St Rollox Post Office Building Detail

St Rollox Post Office Building Detail

Side view, only notable point being that the metal fence replaces an original brick wall,

St Rollox Post Office Building Side

St Rollox Post Office Building Side

The second building is a small lodge or meeting hall on Stirling Road.

Stirling Road TTA Hall

Stirling Road TTA Hall

This is up for rent at the moment (2018) for £7,000 pa negotiable.

Dated from 1900 in the offer, it is described as “masonry construction arranged over a single floor with wooden flooring“.

However, while the façade may be all brick, a look at the side and rear elevations (and roof) suggests it may possible be a ‘corrugated iron’ building built on a brick base. These were once common as they were cheap, durable, and quick to assemble, although some of the metal sheeting now visible looks modern. This may mean the metal sheeting was added later. It’s impossible to tell without inspection, so this is all just random rambling on my part, based on seeing the place from the outside only.

Stirling Road TTA Hall Side

Stirling Road TTA Hall Side

What is intriguing about this hall is the lettering above the front door.

Old OS maps show the building as ‘SA Hall’, and the stylised cross formed by the bricks just below the apex of the roof suggests a fairly safe assumption that this may have been a Salvation Army hall in the past.

However the remains of the sign over the door now are clearly TTA, and that is not so obvious.

The Territorial Army had drill halls, but that organisation is normally abbreviated to TA, and it seems the 8th Battalion Cameronians Scottish Rifles, a unit of the Territorial Force, had their HQ at 149 Cathedral Street, making this an unlikely TA venue, being so close.

The other suggestion that has come up in discussion for TTA is Townhead Tenant’s Association.

March 25, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Intriguing regeneration proposal for Glasgow city centre east

After this morning’s post about a little known peace mosaic I happened to come across in Cathedral Square, I spotted a news article which announced a public consultation regarding the same area – it actually covers the area from Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Cathedral, the Necropolis, then down the High Street towards Saltmarket, Glasgow Green, and the People’s Palace.

That area is relatively quiet and undeveloped, and a walk anywhere through the area described is actually quite nice and peaceful.

The route along the High Street from the Infirmary down to the Green has become particularly quiet as all the large shops have closed over the years, and most of the small shops joined them not long after. It is the edge of the city centre, and convenience stores probably fill most of the occupied shops, with a number of more specialist types occupying a few more, but quite a few remain empty.

This initiative may have been triggered by the fact that I’ve observed more have closed and not been taken over by others in recent years and months.

I have a recollection that Saltmarket was ‘modernised’ some years ago, when all the traditional shops were closed (many were empty as old businesses had shut) and brought up to date. But I also recall this didn’t bring any new occupants. Even a baker’s shop (and surely a baker should be able to survive) I used to visit regularly didn’t return – surely not a good sign.

I hope this can be achieved, with the right mix.

The area is becoming atrophied, and while it has gained residential improvement, and been tidied to appear more presentable, it lacks any reasons for most people to venture there, hence the slow death of businesses and shops.

It would be nice to see more sustained activity there, as it can feel very lonely and isolated just walking the streets in that area once darkness falls.

I kid you not, once darkness falls, even just in the evening, it’s possible to walk from Glasgow Cross to Parkhead Cross and sometimes not see another soul.

Five year plan

Glasgow City Council confirmed a working group had been set up to develop a five-year action plan, with the aims of supporting the heritage strategy for the area and promoting it as a visitor destination.

Angus Millar, depute city convener for inclusive economic growth, said: “The High Street and Saltmarket area is one with a rich heritage and enormous potential, but there is a widespread feeling that the area has not been given the attention or recognition it deserves as the historic heart of Glasgow.

“With the right investment and approach, it can be restored to its traditional role as an important centre for Glasgow and the High Street action plan identifies a range of key priorities and opportunities to revitalise and champion the area.”

Other aspirations include calls for more bespoke businesses and unique traders as well as increasing footfall in the area.

The consultation begins on 26 March and will conclude on 6 May.

Mr Millar added: “We would like everyone with a stake or interest in the High Street and Saltmarket’s future to take part in this consultation, put forward their thoughts and ideas, and help us deliver a future worthy of its history.”

Via New campaign to regenerate Glasgow’s ‘historic heart’

Public consultation announcement



Key aims of the Action Plan – which has been informed by previous engagements with people and organisations with a stake in High Street and Saltmarket in the recent past – include:

  • Supporting the heritage strategy for the area, promoting the local built environment as a visitor destination and building on the area’s medieval history and range of internationally recognised historical assets
  • Celebrating and promoting the unique local offer
  • Enhancing the look and feel of the area
  • Improving physical connections to and throughout the area
  • Maximising growth opportunities for local and emerging SMEs (small and medium-sized enterprises)
  • Increasing footfall to the area

Other aspirations from previous public engagement included calls for more bespoke businesses and unique traders; increasing footfall along the length of the High Street / Saltmarket corridor by creating circulation between Glasgow Cathedral and Glasgow Green; and investment in public realm and traffic issues.

For the full announcement see:

Council to open public consultation on the future of High Street

For the actual consultation, use the council’s Consultation Hub:

Consultation Hub

March 23, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Close call on Glasgow’s Pavilion

Flicking through some pic being shared this afternoon, I just came across what looked like part of Sauchiehall Street on fire.


See Pavilion Theatre saved after ‘inferno’ in Glasgow nightclub block

A fire chief has said saving one of Glasgow’s most-loved buildings was a priority when tackling a major blaze in Sauchiehall Street.

Fire crews say the blaze, in Victoria’s nightclub in Sauchiehall Street, is now contained after a “really complicated” operation.

The fire has been described as “an inferno” by the crews fighting it.

One of their first priorities was stopping the fire spreading to the 114-year-old Pavilion Theatre.

I was almost in Glasgow today, but got diverted at lunchtime and had to abandon that thought.

If I had, I’d have been in the south, opposite end from this incident, and would not even have heard about it until late at night.

Sauchiehall Street Fire

Sauchiehall Street Fire from somebody’s phone

The Pavilion is not really on any of my tracks, and I’ve never collected a pic. Nor, for that matter, have I even been inside.

It’s most notable feature can’t actually be seen – an opening roof!

The auditorium contains a rare operational sliding roof panel to keep the air in the theatre fresh. An early centralised vacuuming system remains in place with the main apparatus surviving in the basement.

Glasgow Pavilion

Glasgow Pavilion

March 22, 2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow meat market and abattoir last remains

Once a large and significant part of Glasgow, the meat market and abattoir closed its doors many years ago.

Most of the site was razed, leaving only a few sections of its distinctive perimeter wall in place, and some of the covered areas used to manage the animals in pens. These served as covered car auction areas, until this use was also abandoned, leaving those structures abandoned beside the derelict land. Another part of the land was used as the site for a few flats.

The last building from original market appears to lie on Melbourne Street, and can be seen below.

14-28 Melbourne Street, former Slaughter House, c. 1910, A B McDonald. Gateway, with two massive piers and wrought-iron gates bearing City crest.

The distinctive wall was once a feature of the market, and used to surround the entire site, until much of it was demolished and removed along with the main market buildings.

Last Meat Market Building

Last Meat Market Building

The left/north gate pier carries a related carving.

Gate Pier Carving Detail

Gate Pier Carving Detail

The two sets of coat of arms remaining in the gates.

Gate Coat Of Arms

Gate Coat Of Arms

Both steadily decaying.

The gates are secure, and the perimeter remains closed by a substantial fence replacing the demolished wall, while the flats close off the remainder. So even though it’s little more than what might largely be referred to as ‘spare ground’ as a piece of private land on offer for development (but still no takers), it’s not really accessible for a wander.

February 23, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

It says ‘Beautiful Gate’

Well, what do you think?

Is this a ‘Beautiful Gate’?

Beautiful Gate

Beautiful Gate

February 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Ye Olde Glasgow at the People’s Palace

I’ve tried to get a pic of this old painting of Glasgow along the River Clyde for some time, but every time I get the catch home and take a look – it’s been ruined by reflections in the glass.

I finally managed to avoid them for once.

It’s worth spotting this painting in the Viewing Gallery at the top of the building.

Old Glasgow Painting

Old Glasgow Panorama Painting By John Knox

A little detail.

John Knox Panorama Detail

John Knox Panorama Detail

February 14, 2018 Posted by | Maps | , , | Leave a comment

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