Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Just a couple of Glasgow’s pedestrian direction signs, and an observation

I highlighted one of the sign installed a few years ago, for pedestrians and cyclists travelling around the Glasgow area, as it had a bit of an anomaly regarding how long it might take to walk from it to the entrance to Tollcross Park.

I wasn’t sure if they were to be permanent fixtures, or just installed for an event, but it looks as if they’re there to stay, so I thought another couple of examples might be in order, especially since one of them raised another question.

Both examples are just chance grabs, when they caught my eye one day.

The first is pretty simple, but still makes me wonder about some of the detail.

In this case, showing 7 minutes to the Forge Shopping Centre, and 10 minutes to Parkhead Cross.

That’s a difference of 3 minutes. Granted this is a small time interval, but you’d have to trip and fall a few times if you tool that long to get from the Forge to the Cross.

Glasgow Direction Sign

Glasgow Direction Sign

The second one caught my eye after I noticed the time difference between walking to Glasgow Cross, and then on to the City Centre, as seen on the highlighted sign on the right.

A difference of 12 minutes, or around half a mile – just doesn’t feel ‘right’.

This is actually more or less matched by the first sign, which I later noted shows 28 minutes to Glasgow Cross, and 40 minutes to the City Centre, also 12 minutes.

Glasgow Direction Sign

Glasgow Direction Sign

I guess the simple explanation is that a local thinks of these destinations as areas, rather than points (on a map), so perceives those time and distances in terms of reaching the edges of those areas, while the times on the signs are calculated between fixed reference points.



Nov 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maps, photography | , | Leave a comment

Glasgow 1984

Couldn’t pass this item without giving it a mention.

Only spoiled by GlasgowLive ‘feature’ of sliding a window with the next video OVER the one you actually WANT to watch BEFORE it has finished playing. Somebody needs to be taken behind the toilets and given a good kicking for thinking that this is a ‘Good Thing’.

They need to add an option to disable this sort of irritating junk, not make it automatic with no choices!

Glasgow local’s ‘1984’ photo project shows how our city looked over 30 years ago

1984 has one of special ‘spots’ in my head, not simply because Orwell’s dystopian novel was stunning, but because it was one of the set texts during my school years.

As a ‘tiny’, my little brain could not comprehend how far, or near, that was in terms of years/life. Numerically it was an easy calculation, but that just didn’t seem to sink in, and I really wondered if I would live long enough to see what 1984 was really like.

Now it’s 2018!!!

In later years, I become more confident, moved into electronics and became convinced that the technology envisages was not possible, or at least not practical, using analogue video system, then moved into computing, onto the Internet, and was alarmed to see that digital system COULD (and have) place working versions of Orwell’s Telescreen in EVERY home throughout the world.


It’s a pity the pics are black and white, colour was not a novelty in 1984, but then again, the medium adds to the atmosphere.

There are some interesting views, some the same, some completely different today.

I wonder what I have from 19984?

I wasn’t long into taking pictures by them, and could just about afford cameras, film, and d&p (that developing and printing for those digital only types).

I really should go out and buy a Round Tuit, and get on the case of digitising my film pics, but there are thousands!



Oct 29, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Are ALL commenters on The Scotsman’s articles really morons?

While I take the results of most studies made by ‘business and financial advisers’ with a pinch of salt (you don’t have to be a genius to work how easy it is to skew the results by carefully crafting the study itself), I feel less charitable towards the commenters (or ‘morons’, as I tend to think of them nowadays) who seem to have endless time to spout their mindless and ridiculously preconceived views in those Scotsman articles that still allow comments.

I wouldn’t normally even waste the few minutes it will take to rattle this post together on their ramblings, but one stood out as so ridiculous, ill-informed, and biased, I had to stop for a moment.

This story caught my eye, initially to see how it had been fabricated. Probably the result of someone worried about keeping their job, and looking for a way to ‘get noticed’ by the boss, for doing something ‘clever’. In this case, inventing a term called ‘vibrancy’ and making sure Glasgow and Edinburgh came out at opposite ends of the scale.

Edinburgh and Glasgow at opposite ends of ‘vibrancy’ league table

But forget that, what really caught my eye as I sped-read down the page was this moron’s comment.

MLyons1952 • 6 days ago
Passed through Glasgow for the first time in many years last week. Judging by the people on Buchanan Street there is definitely something gone very wrong with the gene pool in the city. 200 years of bevying probably.


I’d venture that MLyons1952 has never set foot in Buchanan Street.

I’m there quite often.

It has some of the most expensive shops to be found in Glasgow.

Passing through it these days, I often feel like a peasant, as it filled with ‘The Beautiful People’ who are not short of a bob or two, are dressed in the latest fashions, and have mobile phones clamped to the ears (or rather their hands, as they seem to spend more time scrolling through social media than talking nowadays).

I’d venture that many of them are tourists too, with many American accents, and others babbling away in languages I can’t understand (and I don’t mean the Polish I’m used to hearing throughout the east end, from my fellow ‘natives’).

Maybe MLyons1952 is suggesting all those tourists are inbred (or staggering around drunk)?

At the moment (if MLyons1952 is not actually lying about being there ‘last week’), it’s also full of street performers, who I doubt would be wasting their time there if those in Buchanan Street were either ‘bevvying’, or suffering from gene pool defects.

I don’t have many pics of Buchanan Street – it’s too ‘kewl’ for me, and I’m so down-market I like to move quickly, for fear of being moved on as I look like a tramp.

Remember my ‘coffee victims’?

I’ve never paid (never would, never will) for a cup of coffee what they paid for those paper cups!

I wonder if MLyons1952 thinks they’re ‘bevvying’, or are inbred?

I think I’d quite like to chain MLyons1952 to a pole in Buchanan Street, with a copy of their comment pinned to their chest, and watch the locals’ reaction.

Coffee Fashion Victims

Coffee Fashion Victims

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

New lamppost – Old lamppost

Nothing special, just a nice coincidence.

I happened to look up (advice I often give, as not enough people ‘Look Up!’) and caught this coincidence of a pair of Glasgow Lampposts, one recent, one not so recent.

Worth considering the two different designs of their day, ornate from the past, efficient and utilitarian from the future.

New Lamppost Old Lamppost

New Lamppost Old Lamppost

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

How does Scotland’s ‘Upskirting Law’ work when…

There’s no skirt?

(And no ‘up’ either, since I was shooting a subject along a main public road).

For those who don’t keep up to speed, in Scotland, upskirting is an offence, and has been since 2010 when it was listed under the definition of voyeurism.

All I can say is I’m glad I don’t have to define it.

Such as when I was looking at a larger pic I took in the centre of Glasgow one evening, and spotted something ‘interesting’ I’d caught in one corner of the pic.

Cropped from a larger original, hence the poor quality, but, did she hurry out and forget something?



Sep 15, 2018 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

MCLellan Galleries strangeness

Recall the recent post regarding the vanishing porch of the McLellan Galleries.

Since I didn’t seem to able to dig anything up regarding the fate of this venue online (if you know better, PLEASE add a comment below), I decided to make another detour when nearby.

Last time I hadn’t bothered sticking my nose up against the glass doors as they were locked and filthy, but this time I decided to have a closer, just in case I was missing something obvious.

From the previous post, there are NO signs anywhere around the entrance, and I can now confirm there is nothing on show just inside the entrance either.

Although the place is in darkness, with no lights on, my ‘famed’ handheld low light photography skills extracted a view from the gloom (and this was 20:30 with fading exterior evening light).

The sandstone sides of the corridor behind the door can still be seen, with the odd circular detail on each side.

The track lighting system installed on the roof of this entrance corridor is also still clearly visible.

In the distance, the glass doors to the gallery space can be seen, complete with reflections from the street, even showing the steel mesh of the perimeter fence around the current works in Sauchiehall Street (and some sort of ghoulish figure standing in the doorway).

Even some floor detail can be seen.


What the heck is that in the upper right of the pic?

It looks like a hole in the ceiling, and view through to the roof of the surrounding building.

Impossible, and I didn’t notice this at the time.

I’m assuming the rational explanation of this merely being a reflection of the building behind the photographer, caught in the gallery’s glass door – which is a fine explanation, were it not for the fact that the lens of the camera was placed against the door, to avoid any reflections. It’s definitely the building behind (from the window design, chimneys, and vegetation – the mystery is just how it came to appear.

I suppose this means ANOTHER visit as soon as possible, just to work out what actually caused that roof segment to be captured in the shot.

My guess is simply a double set of glass doors – so I was able to avoid any reflections in the outer set, but couldn’t do anything about the inner set.

McLellan Galleries Entrance Corridor

McLellan Galleries Entrance Corridor

Aug 23, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

What’s happening (or happened) to the McLellan Galleries

When I was finally able to get as far as Sauchihall Street to get a look at the Mackintosh Building, I wandered near the McLelland Galleries, which are almost inaccessible due to road works in Sauchihall Street, unrelated to the closures resulting from the Mackintosh fire.

I thought I was suffering from a touch of ‘brain fade’. Although it’s some time since I had any reason to be near the galleries (since most of the shops that interested me around there have gone), I recalled the galleries had a porch, or portico, extending into the street and providing a sizeable cover to the entrance, as seen in the old pic clip.

McLellan Galleries Porch

McLellan Galleries Porch

Although I thought I’d arrived at the right place, the absence of any porch, or even a sign with the words ‘McLellan Galleries’ to be seen, had me thinking I was in the wrong place (not helped by the likes of Jessop’s being long gone).

But, I was pretty sure I was in the right place, so started looking at the detail of the building entrance, which were the same, and then I spotted the stubs of the girders that used to support the porch.

I hadn’t ‘lost it’!

McLellan Galleries Porch Cut Off

McLellan Galleries Porch Cut Off

The fence around the road works meant I couldn’t stand in front of the entrance to get decent pic, but I found I could get a better view by shooting through the fence, from the other side of the street.

McLellan Galleries Facade Minus Porch

McLellan Galleries Facade Minus Porch

What was more noticeable one I’d confirmed I was looking at the right building was not the absence of the porch, but the fact that I could not see any signs identifying this as the McLellan Galleries, and the derelict nature of the entrance. A stranger or visitor to Glasgow would not know what they were looking at.

Dirty from the works in the street, the place was in darkness. Granted I was there in the evening, but from the limited view through the dirty glass doors, it seemed to be empty inside, with no lights or even security staff to be seen.

I took a look online, but could find no recent references to displays or exhibitions held there.

Nor was there any recent information about the galleries, such as invitations to hold events or exhibitions there, or even a dedicated web site.

Is it derelict?

Has it closed?

Do tell if you know better.

Aug 18, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Interesting proposal/consultation on George Square traffic ban

In a way, I’m slightly intrigued by the appearance of a proposal and consultation regarding the banning of traffic and permanent pedestrianisation of the area around George Square.

While I’m happy to admit my comment is ‘Tongue in cheek’, I almost wonder “Why bother?”

There’re already restrictions in the form of bus lanes, and the convoluted routes that get you to and from George Square in a vehicle (not to mention the time spent sitting at all the traffic lights both around, and approaching, the Square, make it an area to avoid if you actually want to get somewhere.

Granted road access is needed for deliveries to business, and passengers to Central Station, but neither of those happen at speed, or quickly, so controlled or limited access is fine for their needs.

It might as well have a traffic ban.

And if they match that with a sensible organisation of the roads and routes around the area (straighten them out and rationalise the traffic lights) then traffic flow would probably be improved.

But that’s my thoughts from actually standing in the Square for ages, watching how the traffic moves around it.

I’m sure the many ‘Armchair Experts’ who never move their backsides out of their comfy chairs, or have even seen the Square will have better ideas and proposals on a traffic ban and pedestrianisation there than I ever could.

On more serious note, given that this process is STARTING with a consultation rather than an announcement means it will get a fair hearing and be given due consideration.

Consultation on potential George Square traffic ban

Glaswegians are being asked for their views on removing traffic from the city’s George Square.

Roads around the square, in the heart of the city, were closed during the European Championships – with a busy programme of cultural events attracting thousands as part of Festival 2018.

Although roads are now reopening, Glasgow City Council today confirmed it was considering making the move permanent in future – and asked people to share their views.

Council Leader Susan Aitken said: “I think most Glaswegians would like a George Square that is focused more on people, rather than cars – but, with the experience of the European Championships fresh in people’s minds, we’re keen to hear what the city feels would work.

“We’re already making some other significant changes to how the city works and moves; including establishing Scotland’s first Low Emissions Zone and dedicating more space to walking and cycling through our £115m Avenues project.”

People can have their say by completing a short online survey, which is live now

Consultation on potential George Square traffic ban

The survey is actually short and simple – I even filled it in, and I don’t do that very often nowadays!

George Square Stitch

George Square

Aug 14, 2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Invisible woman spotted in Argyle Street

This was odd.

She was standing on this little plinth in Argyle Street when I first ‘saw’ her.

And she was STILL standing there when I passed the same place on my way back home a few hours later.

Maybe she had nothing better to do?

Argyle Street Shoes

Argyle Street Shoes

Aug 11, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Fatal Accident Inquiry into helicopter crash on Clutha set for April 2019

The Crown Office has announced that an FAI (fatal accident inquiry) into the crash of a helicopter onto the roof of the Clutha pub will begin fully in April 2019.

Ten people died and 31 others were injured when a police helicopter crashed into the roof of the pub on 29 November 2013.

A preliminary hearing will take place on Wednesday 3 October 2018 at Hampden Park in the city, also the venue for the full inquiry.

Further preliminary hearings will also be held on 4-5 December 2018, and 5-6 February 2019, with the main inquiry date set for Monday 8 April.

It’s interesting to observe the posture of two of the legal firms involved.

Patrick McGuire, a partner with Thompsons Solicitors, said: “This is very welcome news from the Crown Office, although it has taken far too long for us to reach this stage.

“An FAI is the only way the families of those who lost their lives will be able to learn what happen to their loved ones on that awful night almost five years ago.

“The FAI will also be able to make recommendations that will hopefully prevent a similar accident from happening again.

“I hope the Crown Office will make sure the families are at the very centre of this process, are kept fully informed of all developments and are treated in a compassionate and sympathetic manner.”

However, Paul Kavanagh, of KM Law, who represents the families of five of those who died in the pub and its owner, said: “They are more concerned about the lack of information coming from the Crown.

“This is in marked contrast to the M9 deaths, where the Crown kept the families up to date on a monthly basis.”

Mr Kavanagh said he was not concerned about the time taken for the FAI to start.

He said: “The Crown must have learned from their actions in the Glasgow bin lorry case [in which six people were killed in 2014].

“The FAI [which reported within a year of the crash] was rushed and it was a disaster

“Justice rushed is justice denied.”

Clutha helicopter disaster FAI to begin in April

Clutha helicopter inquiry set for Hampden in April

The Crown Office previously said there would be no criminal proceedings.

Investigators found that fuel transfer switches on the helicopter were turned off at the time of the crash.

A report published in 2015 by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said the pilot did not follow emergency protocol and flew on despite low fuel warnings.

It said fuel transfer pumps were turned off and a controlled landing was not achieved for “unknown reasons”.

The Crown Office previously said that following a wide-ranging investigation, which involved the consideration of a “significant volume of documentation” and detailed statements from witnesses, it had concluded there was no evidence to justify criminal proceedings.

14 February 2014: AAIB special report finds both engines “flamed out”. One of the fuel tanks was empty, while a second contained 0.4 litres. A third contained 75 litres, but transfer pumps to take this fuel to the other two engine tanks were switched off.

Date announced for Clutha helicopter crash inquiry

The Clutha

The Clutha

Aug 10, 2018 Posted by | Aviation, Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Shocking reminder of Glasgow’s dystopian Commonwealth Games of 2014

I wonder if I could sue Glasgow City Council for not ensuring that all reminders of the days when Glaswegian were not allowed free access to their own streets and buildings?

Even parts of the Clyde walkway were closed and fenced off, so you had to find your way back to the surface streets, and detour around the closed off parts of the River Clyde, and find your way back down the river. But by then, you’d have walked so far… you’d have lost interest in carrying on.

I really should be able to get some cash for the mental pain and suffering this reminder caused when I came across it unexpectedly.

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Glasgow 2014 Restrictions

Found blowing around the wastelands created in Dalmarnock, after loads of fuss and bother to raze existing buildings to make way for?

For what?

I don’t know, four years after this stupidity, many of the cleared areas are STILL clear, just open ground where there used to be houses, shops, and community centres.

They’ll probably tell ‘we’ got some new houses.

I suggest not listening too closely, and looking at the aerial view of the area on Google Earth.

Then think about how much of the cleared land has houses, and how much is left unused.

It looks to me as if the builders just decided to give and leave one day, as if the stuff they had built wasn’t selling fast enough, and there weren’t enough takers to make it worth carrying on.

Even an old people’s home which was built back them had to stay locked and unused for years after it was completed, because the plan was flawed.

It was fenced off and secured until earlier this year (2018) when it was finally opened, and might even have occupants (I didn’t get that close – they’d probably lock me in if I did). I saw a few cars, but no bodies.

Glasgow 2018 European Championships

Four years later, it’s no better, as Glasgow sees fit to shut down its own citizens to make way for the ‘sporting elite’ of Europe to take over the city.

RESIDENTS claim they will (be) left trapped in their homes as hundreds of major roads are closed for the upcoming European Championship Games.

Parts of Kirkintilloch Road, Torrance Road and Springburn Road in East Dunbartonshire are among almost 100 road closures which will hit the city on August 8 for the men and women cycling trial – leaving residents clueless as to how they’ll enter or exit the area.

Some roads will have parking restrictions in place as early as August 6.

The upheaval has left residents fearing for the safety of elderly family members and worried they’ll be forced to book hotel accommodation to arrive at work on time.

READ MORE: Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships
One resident said: “The main road I stay on is closed from midnight the night before and with no buses running I have no way of getting to my work.”

While another added: “They are shutting our road on the Wednesday, we got notification which said that if you had to make a critical journey to phone them.

“So I did and they were worse than useless. No help at all. Told them that I had to be at work for 6.30am making and public transport wasn’t an option at that time and was basically told tough.”

Residents left ‘trapped in their homes’ due to Glasgow 2018 road closures


Somebody needs to learn that this sort of elitist tripe does not belong anywhere near a city centre.

After the misery of 2014, and its apparent repeat in 2018, those in control should lose their jobs, somebody smart enough to spread this sort of nonsense around the outskirts and away from ordinary people, to avoid disrupting their lives, should be put in their place.

Just look at this RIDICULOUS list…

Here are ALL the Glasgow road closures over the 2018 European Championships

And even that is not complete.

It mentions Wellshot Road (southbound), between Tollcross Road and Fairburn Street.

But fails to mention that access to Tollcross Park has been closed there, so you have to detour around the park, which you could previously walk through.

This is inside the park.

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Tollcross Park Access Closed For Glasgow 2018

Since I took that pic, a return trip yesterday revealed a small ‘portacabin’ planted to the right, with one bored guy sitting at a window, apparently watching the path.

And there was a road team digging up the surface of Wellshot Road, presumably removing potholes, and laying nice bits of smooth tarmac.

For whom?

The locals, the tourists, or the elite European athletes, lest they stub a toe and sue the City of Glasgow?

Aug 1, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

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