Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Will I make it to the Mela?

One of those things I never knew about was the Glasgow Mela – and probably still wouldn’t had I not been sharing some pics with someone, and asked them about some very colourful scenes they said came from Glasgow.

It’s yet another one of those events which shows the glaring difference between the west end, and east end of Glasgow.

Glasgow Mela is the highest profile annual multicultural music and dance festival in the West of Scotland. It is now organised by the Scottish Academy of Asian Arts and takes place in Kelvingrove Park in early summer. The Mela was set up in 1990 when Glasgow was European City of Culture and has grown from being an indoor event at Tramway to an outdoor extravaganza.

I wonder if I’ll make it over there for a look?

Not such a silly question since I’ve recently started a ‘Lucky Streak’ of being knocked out of circulation by things that come out of nowhere, such as the problem with my back that kept me indoors last week, Appeared for no reason, and went away just as mysteriously.

I decided to try a quick, late night, 20 mile trip on the bike, to see if there were any after effects, but it went fine.

Part of this took me through Kelvingrove Park, which was a little surprising.

As expect, since the action starts at 12:30, the place is laid out for the event, with numerous stages and canvas booths for participants, plus lots of toilet facilities, which include loads of hand-washing stations, something I’ve not seen before. Basically drp units with a pair of sinks, soap dispensers, and paper towel dispensers (and I was so surprised I forgot to take a pic of one, oops).

But the place was also like a ghost town, as not one of them had anything set up, or was occupied by anything.

Like the stage below, although the infrastructure was complete, everything was completely empty.

Kelvingrove Park Mela stage

Kelvingrove Park Mela stage

23/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Pathetic driver of hulking great Mercedes SUV hit all the stereotype buttons

I’m fairly easy-going on the road, but a old guy in a huge Mercedes SUV managed to press all the wrong buttons today.

Location: Entrance into Kelvingrove Park at the junction of Claremont Street, Royal Terrace, and La Belle Place.

I’m coming along the cycle path along Claremont Street, about to cross Royal Terrace and enter the park as I do on most days.

There’s a big Mercedes SUV coming from the right so I adjust my pace to pass behind.


The driver looks over at me – and then just comes to a dead stop directly in front of me (good job I was already slowing).

Then, he gets out, blocking Royal Terrace (and the park entrance) to traffic approaching from Claremont Street and La Belle Place.

Since I had to come to a dead stop while still in higher gears I have to struggle around the front of his road block, and suggest he try harder to block the whole road.

This brings a stream of abuse as he opened both front doors and the rear hatch, as if I was the one that did something wrong.

He could have lied, and claimed he was collecting his sick little pup that had taken ill in the park, which would have been reasonable.

When I made it into the park, got moving and was able to change gears, when I looked back he was carrying his dog back to the car.

Who CARRIES their dog out of a park?

Well, it LOOKED as if that was what he was doing, and put in the back of the car.

Maybe he was a dognapper, and that was why he was upset about having attention drawn to him, as he collected his next pet blackmail subject.

Unfortunately, by the time I could stop and pull my camera, he was all done, so all I got was a pic of the car before he sped off, and his number plate was blocked too. I’ve blurred the face if the guy walking behind, he was just a chance catch in the pic, completely unrelated.

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Abusive Mercedes SUV driver

Wonder if his female partner approved of what he said?



Probably, since she opened her door to make sure the road was indeed completely blocked as well as the park entrance.

Context shot of the entrance and road.

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

Kelvingrove Park Royal Terrace gate

One large SUV, doors open, and this junction is all blocked until it moves.

A handy van turning from Claremont Street shows how the road is only one vehicle wide, also the National Cycle Route marker on a pole.

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street

Kelvingrove Park from Claremont Street


Lest you make the mistake of thinking I wrote this post because I was ticked off by this motoring retard, you’d be wrong. If he carries on like that, karma will deal with him one day, doesn’t need any help from me.

I am ticked off, and did indeed write it to work off some steam, but…

The reason for that is how long it takes for even a ‘quick’ compact camera to ‘wake up’ and be ready to start working and take pics – a delay extended by the controls, including the zoom, all being administered via buttons.

It’s one of the major reasons I still favour the bulkier dSLR and semi-manual lens when I can carry it.

It has no ‘wake up’ delays.

Raise it and you can press the shutter immediately at any time, and the manual zoom works as fast your hand can slide the barrel.

17/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

A little Glasgow park tour

Heading home last night, I started reflecting on the difference between parks in the west end, and parks in the east end.

I’d decided to make a detour through Kelvingrove Park, just to depress myself as it’s so much more fun there than in any of my local parks.

Just to be clear, apart from Tollcross, they don’t even rate a mention or a pic, since the only ‘interesting’ thing you’re likely to see in the parks on my doorstep is people with their hand in dog poo – at least they have that hand in a plastic bag as they pick it up, even if some of them think it’s acceptable to then chuck the back into the nearest garden, or hang from branches at the side of the path. My neighbour recently had to box off the rear of a street electrical box against the wall of his house, as the dog walkers just threw the bags of crap down the back rather than into the bin provided only 2 metres away.

When I arrived, I thought I might get the chance to shoot some rare (for me) video. The girl in black was giving a hula hoop performance, backed by some Turkish sounding music.

But, by the time I stopped and got back – she was done, and all I managed was a couple of stills.

Kelvingrove Park fun 1

Kelvingrove Park fun 1


Kelvingrove Park fun 2

Kelvingrove Park fun 2

While it’s always easy to get a crowded pic of the hill just behind the above, on a sunny day, I walked along a bit, and took a pic towards the fountain. Not so busy, but still pretty busy. You find out how busy as you cycle through, and avoid the cyclists who still try to speed through the place.

Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park

Next stop on the tour was Glasgow Green.

I was surprised at how few people were there on such a nice day. I’ve seen it much busier on less sunny or warm days.

It seems you need an event there to bring the people out – on the other hand, it’s a lot better like this, rather than being like sardines.

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

Last mention goes to Tollcross Park, which was even quieter (but I should say was busier around lunchtime).

Most folk must have gone home for their tea!

Tollcross Park crowd

Tollcross Park crowd

Being Tollcross Park, I can’t miss a chance to mention the ever decaying winter garden.

Last time I mentioned the remains, I spotted the wooden shuttering had been burst through by the vandals, as well as the glass.

That had already been patched – but they’d just punched another hole in it, this time beside the visitor centre door.

I try to avoid looking – the slow destruction of this place in the shadow of the so-called ‘Lasting Legacy’ of the money squandered on the  Commonwealth Games is just too depressing.

Tollcross Park winter garden crowd

Tollcross Park winter garden crowd

On reflection, it’s a shame that nobody (apart from dog-wakers and the odd football team) uses any of the smaller, local parks.

There used to be the odd gala day or fete, but that’s long gone in the past.

The last gathering I can recall seeing was drunken yoofs in the only one that has seats – the one on my doorstep doesn’t even have seats.

Well, that’s not quite true – it has ONE bench,

Also, a few years ago I found that one park used to have two parts, one on either side of a road.

The smaller part had seats and a few sculptures.

Today, that part is overgrown and inaccessible, the paths are all but lost, and the sculptures were left to rot.

There was one very large piece in the larger part of the park.

It disappeared a few years back, The council even removed the plinth it sat on.

I always mean to enquire about what happened and why, but still haven’t got a Round Tuit.

Some might say Kelvingrove Park isn’t much better.

15/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Damn! Kelvingrove’s not that far from Charing Cross

I used to go for some fairly long walks, especially when I had long days to kill – 3 hours out, and 3 hours back can eat up a day, especially if you mess about while stopping to take pics.

Not sure what’s changed, but while I still walk a few miles most days, the long ones seem to have melted away as I can’t find the time for them.

One ‘extension’ I pondered, but never followed, was the stretch from Charing Cross to Kelvingrove.

I often looked along St Vincent Street, or Sauchiehall Street, but always turned around, remembering that I still had to walk back home after getting there.

I never checked the distance, but it’s only about a mile, or 20 minutes, so would actually have been fine – but it just felt a lot longer when I ran the route in my head.

I’m not sure what the walking distance would be (maybe I’ll have to step it out one day) but I do know that between the bus, or the bike, the distance travelled is between 7 and 8 miles. However, unlike those two routes, which have to wander around a bit to suit the roads, walking can be considerably shorter as it can be more direct, so would be less than either of those alternatives.

The view below shows the route I wandered along when I decided to take a wander through Kelvingrove Park after leaving the museum.

By the time I got to the memorial at the Park Circus gate (the houses right of centre), it seemed daft to head back, so I just carried on to Charing Cross.

While this was not even the most direct route, it seemed to take very little time, and would have been even quicker/shorter had I left the park at the Claremont Gardens gate, and headed to Charing Cross from there, which is almost a straight and direct route.

Kelvingrove To Charing Cross

Kelvingrove To Charing Cross

22/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Maps, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Still sunny and quiet in Kelvingrove Park

After the problems of the past few days, it was nice to be at the other end of Kelvingrove Park and see normal people just enjoying the nice weather.

This alternative view still show the ‘Big bin’, and just the one mobile CCTV unit.

I managed this with no time to spare, and was puzzled when I lowered the camera and there was no mobile unit to be seen!

It must have started moving as I pressed the shutter, and had almost left the place by the time I spotted it at the end of the road.

Click for bigger.

Kelvingrove Park Sunny Alternate

Kelvingrove Park Sunny Alternate

21/04/2019 Posted by | photography | | Leave a comment

Correction/update to earlier Kelvingrove Park bin post, quieter Glasgow Green, and a barbecue

Having made a post about the ‘Big bins’ arriving in Kelvingrove Park this year than last year, and noted that there were no mobile CCTV camera units with them…

Of course, I had to be proved wrong!

When I went back a few hours later, not only had a mobile CCTV camera unit arrived – it had brought a friend to keep it company.

Click for bigger.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

Kelvingrove Park CCTV twins at big bin

A little closer.

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

Kelvingrove Park CCTV

It’s sad to say that these are actually necessary, and not for the litter/rubbish, as was the case last year.

The police are already in the park enforcing Glasgow’s ban on alcohol consumption in a public place such as this (there are pics of them pouring away bottle taken from ‘teens’ – an option avoiding prosecution), but sad to say, this doesn’t prevent mindless violence which seems to have erupted with the sudden jump in temperature (I’m not going to start listing this stuff again, but there were TWO – actually more if I look just off roads I walk – violent crimes near me in the past day), as these new items relating to this park yesterday show…

Attempted murder probe launched after teenager chased through Glasgow park and attacked

Kelvingrove Park appeal: teenager scarred for life after fight

Boy ‘permanently scarred’ in Kelvingrove Park attack in Glasgow

There’s a big police presence around Glasgow

Although I didn’t note it, Glasgow Green (is it the East end’s equivalent of the West end’s Kelvingrove Park) is busy now, and I passed a number of motorcycle police stationed on the exits last week, partnered by SUVs inside the Green.

As far as I know, apart from the People’s Palace reopening, there wasn’t anything special happening. If there was, I didn’t see any evidence, but it was still off-putting to be wandering through so many police.

This weekend seems to see the return of outdoor events on Glasgow Green, and there were more foot patrols in evidence, plus cars, but no motorbikes.

I don’t know what this weekend’s event was, but I’ll class it as ‘Disgusting’.

I hate rap at the best of times, but whoever was ‘performing’ on the Green was below pathetic, and just shouting obscenities and swearing. At least that was all I heard when the noise he was making unfortunately drifted in my direction.

Maybe that’s why the Green was looking quiet, even thought there was something happening.

This was the middle of the afternoon – when I passed on my way home in the evening (around 19:30) the place was deserted.

Click for bigger.

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

Glasgow Green Disgusting Music Event

It’s OK to have a barbecue in Glasgow

WHY you might want to is another matter.

Apart from the food usually being some sort of health hazard (I usually take one look at the near raw interior, under the burnt black exterior, and discreetly ‘lose’ it), I don’t see the fin in being blinded and having runny eyes for about half an hour as these thing smoulder away.

But, if you like being blinded and poisoned, it seems you’re free to indulge yourself in Glasgow’s parks.

Can you legally have a barbecue in one of Glasgow’s public parks?

No mention in there about the legality of dog meat.

Cat Dog Barbecue

Cat Dog Barbecue

21/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance | , , | Leave a comment

Kelvingrove Park’s BIG bins arrive earlier this year – amidst disturbances

Pity they weren’t there a bit earlier, they could have been filled with some REAL RUBBISH, then just sent to the incinerator.

Have to confess I thought about cycling to Kelvingrove yesterday, but the time I wasted thinking (it’s hard for me) meant I had to go the ‘lazy’ way, which turned out to be just as well, since my trip includes the cycle route that cuts through the park.

4 pm would have seen be head for home, so it looks as if I made the right choice.


Looking at last year’s post, it looks as if the BIG bins and mess didn’t really arrive until the latter part of May, after a bank holiday.

They seem to be managing without the mobile CCTV unit (so far).

Kelvingrove Park Big bns

Kelvingrove Park Big bins

Incidentally, the park was glorious today, and busy rather than crowded.

In fact, I was surprised at the above scene I pictured, as this was lunchtime.

There was an interesting article title last year, which appeared to suggest wealthy ‘West enders’ don’t consider themselves ‘Glaswegians’.

Of course I noticed this… being a poverty-stricken East ender myself 😉

‘Glaswegians make litter’ – west end resident hits out at state of Kelvingrove Park after bank holiday

However, I’m also fair, and when I read the article, despite being inserted between single quotes, the title phrase is NOT a quote from the resident, or at least does not appear in the article.

Tut tut…. surely not a bit of ‘clickbait’ phrasing in a GlasgowLive article headline?

20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Incomers! And Easter egg rolling near Kelvingrove Park

One of the many interesting things I learned about some years ago, when I was able to have closer links to the Isle of Bute was the term ‘Incomer’, which I’m sure applies in other circumstances.

But on the island, it wasn’t generally good to earn the name as it was usually used in a derogatory way.

While many people happily move to an island and blend in, there is another group that doesn’t.

They move there as some sort of statement of status, and want to make it obvious.

The have NO interest in the island itself, those already living there, or the way of life.

Incomers generally make their presence felt by complaining about things that don’t suit them, their way of life, and interfere with their social life, which they want to carry on as if they were still on the mainland. They don’t change to accommodate the island and islanders – they want everything changed to suit them.

One example might possibly be the creation of a Ferry User Group, to complain about the existing ferry service, and campaigning to have it changed.

They might, for example, not be happy about reduced services at certain time, possibly when they and their boozy pals want to travel late at night after partying.

They might petition for additional late sailings to suit THEIR schedule (after all, who wants to have to get up early the next morning, with a hangover, and an early ferry to catch).

A well-managed campaign by a few well-resourced people might win those extra sailings, only for the ferry company to find just a handful of people ever use them, and then disappear after a while.

I am, of course, being hypothetical, having never moved to an island (even if I wanted to), or met any ‘incomers’ – but then again, I might know someone who did.

Why do I ramble on about incomers and ferries?

This story about new residents near Kelvingrove Park, who had letter sent out to their neighbours, somehow reminded of them.

Residents near Kelvingrove Park have been branded “pathetic” for trying to ban kids from rolling their Easter eggs.

Families in the leafy west end area hit out over a letter from new neighbours telling them to stop the egg rolling as they feared it may “cause distress”.

One outraged dad said the 10-year-old tradition would now come to an end as another local said kids were “really upset” by the news.

He told the Daily Record : “It is beyond pathetic. We were shocked to get a letter from the factors of 20 Clifton Street this week.

“Our kids along with many of their friends have always gathered on Clifton Street to roll eggs on Easter Sunday.

“It’s a tradition that’s lasted nearly 10 years and involves 12 families. One resident – who had just moved into the building – asked what happened to the bits of waste eggs left over.

“They were told family dogs with the group ate most of the leftover bits and the rest were polished off by passing dogs, gulls and maybe even a fox or two.

“We thought nothing more of it until this letter from the factors arrived to ask us ‘to not cause distress, nuisance or mess within the area of the property’.

“Do they have nothing else to bother them? The waste is entirely natural produce and will be gone within hours. It’s not like we are leaving rusty ­shopping trollies outside their front door.”

Residents near west end park slammed for trying to ban kids’ Easter egg roll

Technically, my Easter eggs rolling says should be well behind me, but…

This story makes me feel like going out and buying a nice Creme Egg, tying a piece of string to it (NOBODY wants to lose their Creme Egg), and heading there to roll it with the families, – in front of those in 20 Clifton Street.

They’d probably call the police and have me removed as a trespasser or vandal of some sort, since I don’t live there.

I wonder what ’20 Clifton Street’ will do when there’s some REAL messy action there soon?

Be TERRIBLE if a piece blew ’20 Clifton’s way’ – value of the place would tumble!

That ended up with so much rubbish they had to put in bigger bins AND camera cars.

Kelvingrove Park Tidy

Kelvingrove Park Tidy

06/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Let me fix that for you

As I passed through Kelvingrove Park recently, I noticed the damned vegan activists had been defacing the place with their protest graffiti.

Fortunately, only in chalk this time, so no damage done.

But it’s still very irritating.

I saw one attempt at cleverness which they didn’t seem to have quite right – so I fixed it for them…

Kelvingrove Park Graffiti

Kelvingrove Park Graffiti

I also came across this video around the same time, and quite liked the sentiment contained within.

In fact, I think I’ll keep a note of the link – if you just replace the word ‘vegan’ with the name of whatever activist has just alienated you from whatever cause they were blubbering on about, it still works 🙂

As I’ve recently noted (quite a few times more than I’d liked to have), the cycling activists and the environmental activists are just going over the same stuff again, and again, and again… apparently so busy trying to convince people that THEY are right while EVERYONE ELSE is wrong, that they have failed to notice  the changes that have been since they started whining. Or, perhaps have just chosen to ignore them, as that would put them out of a ‘job’.

20/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Boer War memorial damage revisited

Since my first visit to catch some views of the damage to the vandalised Boer War memorial were made in semi-darkness, I stopped to collect some more in proper daylight, and see the detail.

As far as I’ve noticed, there’s be no further news about those who smashed it, or of plans to restore it.

Vandalised smashed Boer War memorial Kelvingrove Park

Vandalised smashed Boer War memorial Kelvingrove Park

You’ll notice the sculpture is missing a leg, but I couldn’t really take a pic of that.

I mention it as it seems obvious that whoever did this was also trying, but failed, to smash out the forearm of the right arm as well.

Vandalised Boer War memorial

Vandalised Boer War memorial


Vandalised Boer War memorial face

Vandalised Boer War memorial face


Vandalised Boer War memorial foot

Vandalised Boer War memorial foot

Looking at how ‘slight and unnoticeable’ the damage is, I think we can be fairly sure that whoever was responsible (if found) will say it was an accident, and happened when they tripped and bumped into it, so wasn’t their fault, and they didn’t mean it.

06/03/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, military, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Scum smash Kelvingrove Park Boer War memorial statue

I don’t have any problem referring to the vandals who smashed the face and broke parts off a memorial sculpture in Kelvingrove Park as ‘scum’.

There are some things that step over a line of acceptable behaviour, even when it’s criminal, and I’d say that includes such a deliberate and extensive defacing of a memorial to those who lost their lives.

Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Smashed

Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Smashed

Erected in 1909, the memorial was paid for by public subscription as a tribute to the officers and men of the Highland Light Infantry who had died while fighting in South Africa.

More than 300,000 British soldiers served in the war, and more than 22,000 lost their lives.

A plaque shows the statue  was raised by “comrades and friends”.

Glasgow City Council is assessing the damage and looking at how it may be repaired.

A spokesman said:

The statue was originally raised by ordinary, local men in tribute to their fallen comrades and is very much part of the story of Glasgow. The roll of honour on the plinth still resonates sharply with families all across the city and they will be aghast at the damage done.

Whoever is responsible has not only defaced a statue, but also put an ugly scar across a much loved public space.
Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Face Smashed

Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Face Smashed

An appeal has been made for any information about those responsible to be given to the police.

Police believe the incident took place around 11.30pm on Tuesday, February 12.

The two suspects are in their late teens and wearing dark clothing.

Military statue in west end park vandalised

Although I was able to drop in for a look and take some pics, it was quite late in the day, and much darker than the pics suggest, hence the quality is not so good.

Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Feet Smashed

Kelvingrove Park Boer War Memorial Feet Smashed


17/02/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, military, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

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