Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Brushies sold here

Question: Where can you buy a brushie?

Answer: At a Glasgow indoor market.

Question: Why would you want to buy a brushie?

Answer: To brush you Internet meme with!

I’m not sure which order I saw these in (apart from my own market original of course), but I would have had the pic of this collection of sad spelling/grammar examples seen in a Glasgow market anyway.

Don’t know if this is funny, or a shame, since it reflects both on out system of education, and the level of education attained by some ordinary people.

Glasgow Market Grammar/Spelling

Glasgow Market Grammar/Spelling

Apparently, the original ‘Brushie’ pic was NOT of a cat, but of a bat, back in 2008, and didn’t get the ‘Brushie’ added until 2010.

Brushie Bat

Brushie Bat

I’m going to be honest here – I’d rather have cats with brushies.

Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


Brushie Cat

Brushie Cat


July 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow’s Miles Better – Nope, Glasgow Smiles Better in this old sign

“Glasgow’s Miles Better” was a publicity campaign launched in the city in 1983, and was marked being one of the few that proved universally popular (forget the few Mr Grumpies), probably because it was fun and featured Mr Happy as its lead character.

It’s still referred to fondly when mentioned many years later.

There are reminders to be found, and I came across one by accident recently.

I had no idea I even had this example, and just spotted it on the edge of a pic taken of something completely different and unrelated.

As you will be able to see, this is not a new sign and has suffered over time, with the lower half of the cheery character having been lost at some time.

Not part of the original campaign, it avoids infringing the rights of that one by NOT using Mr Happy AND rewording the original catchphrase.

Old Glasgow Smiles Better Sign

Old Glasgow Smiles Better Sign

I’ve since found this guy has a twin, but he’s not fared much better over the years, and lost his hair when the floodlights over this sign were pulled down – I guess that same assault all those years ago explains where the guy above lost his ‘nether regions’. That’s a new LED floodlight over him. Those didn’t even exist when this sign went up!

The other twin.

Glasgow Smiles Better Twin

Glasgow Smiles Better Twin

June 29, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , | 2 Comments

View from Rottenrow

Something nice for those suffering from the bad news about the Glasgow School of Art.

I’m guessing I’m not the only local wondering just who the Mackintosh Building offended.

Anyway, This is just a nice view taken one evening, looking from Rottenrow over Rottenrow Gardens, built on the site of Glasgow’s former maternity hospital, and quite unintentionally ending up with ‘The Big Safety’ planted dead centre of the image.

For those not familiar, I should probably add that this is a sculpture in memory of that hospital, and remembers all the nappies than must have been used there over the years.

The Royal College (now the University of Strathclyde of course) lies to the right, while the building behind the big pin is the McCance Building, the library in ‘my’ day (this has been resited in a new, purpose-built building nearby), it now seems to be a massive Admin Centre for the university.

Rottenrow Evening View

Rottenrow Evening View

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

Risky invitation withdrawn

As one of those completely anti-social types who doesn’t strike up a conversation at the first opportunity, I reckoned this bench I spotted sitting outside a ‘shop’ (sorry, I completely forgot to look inside and see what was going on behind) in London Road was risky to sit in, to say the least.

Note also the chain, apparently standard for any light bench in Glasgow.

London Road Bench Invitation

London Road Bench Invitation

A closer look at the writing.




Roll on to a year or so later – the seat is still there, but for some reason the invitation is no more.

Wonder why?

There’s a pub next door – there could have been some interesting conversations!

London Road Wordless Bench

London Road Wordless Bench

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

They really are demolishing Queen Street Station

I’d read a few stories in the news about how Glasgow’s Queen Street Station was going to be demolished and improved by rebuilding, but to be honest, I hadn’t realised the demolition was going to be as extensive as I recently found it to be.

In terms of building life, I seem to recall tripping over some old pics of the station dating from around 1970 or so, and it looked to me as if some fairly extensive clearing had been done back then, to make way for new build.

As seen from George Square, the demolition is being carried out all the way from the internal works of the station, all the way up to West George Street and the Square.

They’re not leaving much!

Queen Street Station Demolition

Queen Street Station Demolition

I spotted a nice ‘Arty’ view of the scene, with one of the statues looking on.

Then wasted when I failed to spot the arm overlapping the pole. Just a little further to the side and it would have been so much better, with the statue standing in isolation.

Queen Street Station Demolition

Queen Street Station Demolition

May 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Things are crawling out of Glasgow’s bins

Passing through Shettleston one night, I wondered if there was maybe an unknown nuclear reactor somewhere, or if someone had been illegally dumping naughty chemicals and pollutants in the drains.

GIANT SNAILS crawling out of the bins!

There are times I’m glad I can’t afford booze.

Genetic Mutation 1

Genetic Mutation 1

At least they don’t move very fast.

Since I’d missed the face, I got a chance to make up for that mistake the next day.

Genetic Mutation 2

Genetic Mutation 2

Doesn’t look threatening at all (until it jumps on your face and smothers you).

In fact, the funniest thing about this pic is almost invisible.

Can you believe this is fitted with a ‘Safety Belt’ for the seat, to keep the fragile little mite sitting in it safe?

Maybe the REAL idea is to let harassed parents strap them in, so they can get some peace, and the kid can’t escape and wander away.

May 25, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Ferrari repeat sighting

The only time you’re likely to see me reporting I passed a Ferrari on my bike!

I almost passed this one sitting in the car park of the hotel (no idea what it’s called, don’t care either) near the SEC (did I get that one right), at Bell’s Bridge.

It’s been seen before (where I noted some details), also from behind, but at least this time I was able to take my time and get a decent pic AND identify the right car. It’s funny that the (wrong) registration guessed from that last fuzzy pic happened to be a similar Ferrari (well, being recorded as black should have been a clue my spy had got it wrong).

I love reporting on Glasgow’s poverty.

I think I do it so much better than the media.

2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Coupe [F1 JMK]

2015 Ferrari F12 Berlinetta Coupe [F1 JMK]

May 14, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

There goes Dalmarnock

I was never hugely familiar with Dalmarnock, but did come to recognise quite a lot of it when I started walking there some years back.

I almost remember seeing a couple of high flats that once stood there, but saw more of them as piles of rubble coming out of a rock crusher after they were demolished.

I found a school there, closed, derelict, and also demolished shortly after I tripped over it.

There was one factory that managed to survive in Springfield Road (my company even did some work in it, but I never visited) – until the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games had it eliminated. A pity, since it was vaguely historic and a little interesting, being nicely built in sandstone – but that didn’t save it as it stood in the way of the athlete’s village, so became a ‘Dead Man Walking’ and gave its life for the silliness.

Nearly all the sandstone tenements in the area were eliminated, only a few still stand at Dalmarnock Bridge. A few early 20th century houses that had somehow been missed in an earlier round of demolition were mopped up at the same time.

While I never saw the power station that sat next to the bridge, I did see the wall that once bordered the river, and even had jetties for coal deliveries (I think that only happened once in its life though – rail was the normal route. But, like the power station, that vanished too, again thanks to  the stupid Commonwealth Games.

There was one Stoddart’s bed factory down there, but that stands long abandoned and derelict now.

Probably thanks to that larger building, some smaller industrial units have survived alongside.

But a recent wander there suggests they’ll be for the chop soon, as they were occupied, but it’s so long since I was there during working hours it looks to me as if they are now abandoned too.

I used to spy inside this body shop as I walked past, there looked to be some interesting chassis lying around, as if someone did some serious racing as their hobby. But, the last few times I passed it didn’t even look as if they had power – although it was open and they were working, there were no lights on.


I’ve no idea, but the place has been closed whenever I’ve passed recently, and the state of the old sign suggests “There’s nobody home”.

Baltic St Body Shop

Baltic St Body Shop

The sign.

Rough Sign

Rough Sign

May 10, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

It’s still chilly

The past week has been fun (for what I can still think of as fun, which is not much) as I waited and waited for the snow to come, and for the country to grind to a halt based on the weather forecast The Scotsman relied on for some strange reason.

I know we have the occasional weather extremes in Scotland, but who in their right mind would give any credibility to The Weather Channel, founded by an acknowledged climate change denier (according to John Coleman – dead – it’s all government manipulation to make money), when it said:

Experts at The Weather Channel warned that the mercury could drop to -2C in areas by the middle of next week, causing air frosts in rural regions that are a complete contradiction to this week’s summer temperatures.

Heatwave over: Scotland set for sub zero temperatures

I’ve screen-grabbed that article, just in case it is deleted, and also noted the weather in Glasgow for the week following its publication, see here Now it’s winter in late April (I just object to being treated like an idiot, and I consider that forecast, and the article, both did that).


On a lighter and more fun note, I did get to dig up a couple of pics I didn’t get around to using before the ‘heatwave’, so it’s not all bad.

Just for fun, I grabbed an almost complete 180° panorama of George Square when it was quite on a chilly day – it’s not the full sweep simply because I had to crop out some ‘distractions’ at each end which would have wasted the view if they’d been left in. (Click to expand).

George Square Stitch

George Square Stitch




How can you tell (they’re tourists)?

They’re dressed for a chilly day – therefore clearly NOT locals (and I could hear them, but not understand a word)!

April 27, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

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

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