Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Soaves return to Baillieston shops

I recently noted that after moving from the shops in Baillieston – to a vacated former TV shop, then café, on the outskirts – an ice cream parlour appear to have closed, and speculated that the move had not been a good idea as the footfall at the quieter spot was insufficient.

Although not received as a comment here, I was later told the shop had indeed closed, and gone back to shared premises in the middle of the main street, and I would guess a better return from lower operating costs and more passing trade.

Story confirmed when I spotted this recently.

Soaves Return

Soaves Return

Referring to the original post…

The little clothes shop is said to have a new taker, and will open again (no details).

And then what can only be described as fantasy…

That the former bank building is going to open under the auspices of one of the big businesses I refer to as ‘Coffee Cons’.

It now has another sign indicating it has restaurant planning permission – but a new restaurant already opened recently, just along the road, so I guess that is not really going to help moving a building this size with its attendant costs of ownership.

A bank might eat those costs for a while, but you will have to be coining it to make this building viable.

Baillieston Bank Building

Baillieston Bank Building

I won’t give them free publicity by naming them online, but they cost city worker a fortune, selling paper cups of brown slops – coffee with various silly and trendy names – for around £2.50 or more a time.

People fail to think, and buy this stuff, costing them well over £100 a year for little more than hot water.

It’s no wonder these cash black holes use paper cups, and avoid any refers to… MUGS.

If an ice cream parlour can’t cut it here, then I doubt there’s any way a franchisee would be able to cover their costs operating from this deserted area with few customers to pay for such a huge building and the franchise costs.

It’s only the founder that becomes a millionaire and enjoys the trapping of wealth from such plans.


August 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The ‘Tidies’ have been to Baillieston

Our little industrial estate used to get a little overgrown, until…

Folk got fed up with the local using the jungle as cover to make it easy to sneak up to cars and break into them without being noticed, and then sneak away with the goodies afterwards. They started making revolution and protest noises to the landlord, and we eventually got regular visits from gardeners to keep the growth down.

Although the original idea had to been to make the place look nice, the bushes (and eventually trees) that bordered the parking bays on the units really did hide anything that was happening, and we had at least two visitors find their cars broken into after being with us for a few hours. Funniest was one guy up from London – they couldn’t actually get his radio out of the dash, and he was almost pleased… it had stopped working months prior to this attack, but when he turned the switch found it was working perfectly.

Abandoned but not derelict, the former Airdrie Savings Bank in Baillieston had a decorative patch of greenery in front of its Main Street façade. However, this has gone wild since the bank was closed a few years ago, and it’s recently become a dump too, either having rubbish thrown in by nice people as they pass, or perhaps just acting as a rubbish catcher as the wind blows litter around the street. Smell suggests it was also seen as a handy toilet by some.

Thanks to Google, we can see how it looked:

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden

Thanks to me, we can see how it looked last night:

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden Cleared

Baillieston Main Street Bank Garden Cleared

Diversion signs each time too.

Wonder if it will turn into a piece of block paving?

Exciting, isn’t it?

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Is Baillieston closing for business?

Unless there’s something unusual or interesting I don’t usually bother about the steady coming and going of business or shops on the ‘Main Street’.

These tend to balance out, with a few empty shops, the occasional new arrival, and the occasional closure maintaining a steady balance.

But last night was a bit different as I took my regular wander through Baillieston, with two obvious losses (three now that I think of it), and the realisation that there may be a fourth I had not noticed.

The first obvious one was the bookies, really, a betting shop closing?

I’m more used to being surprised at seeing them being granted permission to open in Shettleston in recent times, there are so many, and within sight of one another too.

That makes this closure in Baillieston all the more of a surprise, unless they’re moving or refurbing. But that seem unlikely as I recall the place being gutted and upgraded not so long ago, when all the old computer gear was dumped in the road. And it didn’t even seem to close for that. There’s a note stuck to the window near the door, but it’s just security details.

Betting Shop Closed

Betting Shop Closed

Next one I came across was this former ladies clothes shop.

Oddly enough, as I’ve been passing this in recent weeks I’ve actually been thinking how remarkable it was that it was still there after so many years, and how the window displays were always fresh and clean. Many long-established little shops let their window displays slip, get untidy, out-of-date, and even dusty, dirty, and faded as they are neglected, but not this one.

Looks like my thoughts were similar to Murray Walker’s ‘Kiss of Death’ or “Commentator’s Curse” which often applied when he suggested someone was about to win an F1 race – which would almost immediately cause their car to fail in some dramatic way.

Terrible lighting and compact camera made for a terrible pic – the sign is still there, above the door, but the colour combination just comes out as a smear with its little sensor. I also thought there was a hole in the roof before I tweaked the image, but I believe is/was actually a chimney, centre front.

Chambers Fashions Closed

Chambers Fashions Closed

The other two that came mind were the pub at the bus stop. The Circle Bar if I recall correctly, appeared to close then was open on odd days, then closed completely and became a shop.

Caught in this Google view from 2016 being converted into a shop full of bongs:

Pub to Shop

Pub to Shop

The other one is, or was, the  grossly over-priced designer brand label ice-cream shop. (Sorry, nothing against the shop, just the concept of a brand names and labels that have silly money premium prices attached.)

This moved from a smaller shop in the busier middle of the Main Street to this once derelict former TV shop a while ago.

The place has been closed for a while now, and the shutters are up. I had wondered if they were maybe just on holiday, but there’s no sign or note obvious.

A pity, as it always seemed to have a steady stream of customers, I thought it was ‘safe’ – perhaps not sustainable. Despite the name, it is a Scottish brand, based not that far away, and while I see they offer help to start a business, I don’t see any mention of the ‘F’ word (franchise – can be expensive).

Maybe business is really good, and they’re having a looooooooooooooong holiday.

Again, Google has to rescue me as I’ve never pointed a camera this way:

Ice Cream Parlour

Ice Cream Parlour

I’m there all the time, so any changes or updates will be added below.


As par a later post, the Ice Cream Parlour has moved back into the busy body of the main street, away from this quieter spot, and is installed in a shop that sells trendy stuff.

The betting shop is indeed gone, as estate agent’s signs were bolted on to the front a few days later. No real surprise, more that it lasted so long, as two others sit beside one another in the busier part of the main street, and are next to a pub.

Thinking back (I’m not a betting shop person) I have memories of a fourth one that opened across the road from those two, but was hardly there long enough for me to remember it quickly.

July 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Oddness in Uddingston – Where’s my chimney?

I’ve seen quite a few discarded satellite dishes lying around the street, but I had to look twice when I saw one lying on the side of the footpath in Uddingston Main Street – still attached to a lump of sandstone, and with the rest of what was obviously once a chimney lying nearby:

Uddingston satellite dish in street

I couldn’t recall any local stories of disaster in the news, and when I looked at the footpath (and the pieced of sandstone from the chimney), there was no evidence that they had fallen from the roof to the ground – so it would seem that there may have been a danger to passing pedestrians, but nothing tragic actually happened (I hope).

When I wandered across to the other side of the street, a glance back at the building and its roof-line soon revealed where the dish and sandstone had come from. That there was no evidence of the pieces have fallen to the ground is remarkable, unless the problem was noted before this happened, and the pieces were removed and brought down safely. Oddly, standing a little further back seemed to show that there were still pieces up there, and maybe a TV aerial too, but they may be secured, and be due to be used for repairs.

Still, it’s interesting to see how obvious the missing chimney is once you realise where it is supposed to be.

Uddingston satellite missing chimney

March 9, 2013 Posted by | Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment


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