Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

MUSTIO LOVE’S YOU – is that a good thing?


Graffiti promoting The Greengrocer’s Apostrophe now?

Mustio Love's You

Mustio Love’s You

I didn’t spot the aberrant apostrophe when I grabbed the pic, but it’s there.

I was more concerned about the meaning of the three ‘action lines’ behind Mustio’s butt.

What at they about? Has the poor mutant got a ‘gas’ problem?

More seriously, we need to help our poor, uneducated graffiti artists, and improve their grammar.

Maybe someone should start a petition to have a free course laid on for them, to avoid them being embarrassed by making mistakes like this, and embarrassing Glasgow too, when tourists see how lacking our schools and education system are.

After all, we know the psychologists and social worker will confirm that being laughed at for making such a basic error could scar them mentally for the rest of their lives.

Someone, maybe like MP Paul Sweeney, noted for supporting worthy and important causes, getting his name in the papers, making stuff up, and raising petitions in Glasgow at the drop of a hat, should start one 😉


24/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

There’s a crocodile hiding under the Charing Cross bridge

I have to confess to being fairly lazy, so when I come to Charing Cross I tend to slide across the footbridge over the road rather than negotiate the multiple pedestrian crossings provided there, or worse, run across the various roads if I can’t be bothered waiting for the elusive little ‘Green Man’ to make an appearance.

I don’t usually approach from Woodlands Road either, so got to see bits of the footbridge which are usually well out of sight for me.

And that’s when I spotted the crocodile.

Since I don’t seem to have come across in any random posts about murals, I’m guessing most have missed it too, and it’s not made its way into any obvious lists either.

Same street artist as the tiger down at the Clyde, near the suspension bridge.

I should also add that it doesn’t look quite as good as this in real life.

Sadly, some moron with a can of paint added their own crap to the work, so I removed it.

Charing Cross Crocodile

Charing Cross Crocodile

23/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

If you didn’t get a nice easy pic of Whitevale Baths…

You’re too late now!

Seems I’ve been taking pics of the façade of Whitevale Baths for years, in various formats since they razed the houses between the baths and the Bellgrove Hotel for some unknown reason years ago. I always wondered why, as I remember them being built, and then disappearing not all that long afterwards. I didn’t even notice it, as I stopped travelling into Glasgow along that road for some years, and it was a while before I realised the ‘new’ houses had gone.

I wonder if there was something wrong with them, and they had to be demolished as a result?

Now, they’re building modern flats on the land, and the space around the retained façade of the baths is being occupied by this new build.

It not only covers the open land cleared when the houses I referred to were razed, but they are also building on the land adjacent to the remains of the baths.

So, while you could stand as far away from the façade as you liked to, and take a ‘whole of front pic’ in past years, that option is now gone, as there are flats on that ground. Now, you can only stand across the street and take the pic.

You’ll need a pretty wide lens to manage it now, or some clever panorama/image stitching software to get the shot now.

There will be a side street you can stand in, but I don’t think it will be on the centre line of the baths.

This is what it looks like down there now.

Whitevale Baths Facade

Whitevale Baths Facade

Another ‘loss’

Some time ago, while I was down there I noticed a mural or image on the end wall of the remaining part of the baths’ building.

I never managed to find anything online that referred to those images, or described them, but they’re lost and gone now.

They were on the wall between the baths and the new build seen on the left.

I thought I’d posted the shots some time ago, but clearly never got around to it.

I dug up the images I played around with back then, and picked a few.

Nobody’s going to be taking this view for some time to come, as the ground they’d need to stand on is now full of flats!

Whitevale Baths Facade straight

Whitevale Baths Facade straight

This will be the norm for the next few years (decades), so the ability to take a single wide shots (then correcting), or using special lenses to avoid the distortion will be needed.

Whitevale Baths Facade stitched

Whitevale Baths Facade stitched

Note that both of the above were deliberately framed to avoid having things like lampposts appearing over the subject.

And the last shot goes to…

The Whitevale Baths end wall mural that will never be seen again, and is probably lost.

Whitevale Baths end wall mural

Whitevale Baths end wall mural

Be nice to know something about it, if anybody knows anything.

As noted above, I couldn’t find anything online when I had a look, neither any story or record behind it, or any other pics.

17/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Mural surprise along a lane

With so many murals now being listed almost ‘officially’ on some web sites and publications, it’s almost something of a surprise to go wandering down lanes and finding examples not seen listed in those sources – or I’ve just missed them.

This one turned up in Burgh Lane, Hillhead, not far off Byres Road, and is on the wall of the Western Baths, which is just as well, as it features – the Western Baths!

Quite a place by all accounts, I managed to miss my chance to get in for a look at the place before it was revamped and became a club, although much has been retained.

Prior to the changes (and I have to say I am going by memory here, risky), I think the place, exclusive as it was, was under threat of being lost, but that seems to be a thing of the past for it now. It seems to be doing well.

The Western Baths Club is a Victorian era private swimming and leisure club founded in 1876. The club remains at its original site at 12 Cranworth Street, Hillhead, Glasgow. The 19th-century baths are protected as a category A listed building. Along with the Arlington Baths it is the one of two clubs of its kind left in Glasgow.

I had to go back a couple of times – I didn’t feel like taking an awkward pic (ie not a quick snap) with a small crowd of ‘yoofs’ who were intent on studying the contents of plastic bags they were carrying, standing on almost the same spot I had to be on to take the pic.

The lane is fairly narrow, and the mural fairly wide – there’s no chance of catching with any ordinary wide lens.

I had to stitch four shots together to get the whole thing in one pic.

It actually worked.

Click for bigger.

Burgh Lane Western Baths Mural

Burgh Lane Western Baths Mural

Although I don’t have any accurate tools to correct the distortion in such a wide stitch, I thought I’d try anyway, just to see how it did.

It does help, but if you look at the extreme edges on the left and right of the second image, you can see how this correction tool is adding more (different) distortion as it corrects the original distortion.

Click for bigger.

Western Baths Mural Version 2

Western Baths Mural Version 2

26/03/2019 Posted by | Uncategorized | , | Leave a comment

Red mutant replacement – not so good

A few weeks ago I reported on the death of the ‘Red Mutant’, a cute piece of street art spotted on one of the bridge piers in Anderston.

I’d passed it a few times, and fortunately grabbed some pics before a wide campaign of repainting obscured it, and all the other, presumably non-officially ‘blessed’, murals on all the bridge piers around the area.

It was a while before I got back that way. but had seen another blog about that end of the city post a number of identical face murals which had popped up around the area.

When I got back to that particular bridge pier I found it had sprouted one too (with so many, are they just stencilled copies rather than original work?), but to be honest, it’s no match or replacement for the original, friendly, three-eyed monster that used greet you as you came down the bridge over the M8.

Anderston Red Mutant Replacement

Anderston Red Mutant Replacement

Reminder of the original occupant of this pier…

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

09/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Woman in Black, Royal Exchange Square

I can’t remember where I saw the first mention of this mural, but the directions were poor, and I had to hunt it down.

Find it in the lane on the north side of Royal Exchange Square.

Take a VERY wide-angle lens if you want a pic though, or get some good image stitching software. As you’ll see, you’ll be close to it when in the passageway.

I tried shooting from North Court Lane, and then in the passageway. Both were frustrating.

This is from the lane (I think the view is even less from the square).

Woman in Black mural

Woman in Black mural

I decided to try altering the geometry, to see this improved the view.

Not too bad.

Woman in Black lane mural fix

Woman in Black lane mural fix

I went back for a second attempt, this time with a 24 mm lens, but that barely covers even half of the length of this image, so a single shot is useless.

I tried stitching two wide shots together, then trying to sort the perspective distortion.

It kind of works OK, but compared to the first, you can see the radial distortion – unfortunately I can’t do linear image stitching (not for free, at least).

Woman in Black stitch

Woman in Black stitch

07/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Surprise mural in Elmbank Street and Sauchiehall Lane

Another of those little surprises that pops up when you happen to look in a different direction from usual.

I’ve no idea how long I might have been passing this without ever having noticed it.

Nor can I recall seeing it mentioned in any guides to murals which can be found in Glasgow – but I don’t look too closely at them, preferring to find these gems by chance, like this.

It’s maybe too new/recent to have been included.

As far as I can see from past pics of the lane, this was not there in 2017, but appeared in early 2018.

Also, that irritating street light only appeared on the wall recently.

Sauchiehall Lane Elmbank Street Mural

Sauchiehall Lane Elmbank Street Mural

Again, this is one you can’t see properly because of the restricted view into the lane, so I had a go at some perspective correction to see if I could improve the view.

I hope I haven’t made him too fat.

Straightened Sauchiehall Lane Mural

Straightened Sauchiehall Lane Mural

14/01/2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

They killed the Hip Hop Marionettes

Well THAT wasn’t much good.

After clearing the view of the Hip Hop Marionettes mural…

They just knocked it down!

Spotted recently as I slipped through Glasgow and headed home via George Square one night.

Although I know there was a load of redevelopment underway at the top end of John Street, I hadn’t realised it stretched all the way down to George Street.

I guess that means an end to students getting grabbed in John Street to act as witnesses for weddings in the former John Street registry office. I remember getting the warning about that one – then carelessly letting myself get caught one day.

Well, there are worse things that can happen.

George Street Hip Hop Marionettes Gone

George Street Hip Hop Marionettes Gone

06/01/2019 Posted by | Lost, photography, Uncategorized | , , | Leave a comment

That Stan Lee mural

I missed a few chances to fly past this (for various reasons) when it was revealed, although I did make it across to the Gorbals a few nights ago and bagged it in the dark, in case I couldn’t get back.

That was really more of a route finder, so you’re not going to see that pic, despite it turning out surprisingly well.

A proper visit in daylight followed, which proved interesting as I bumped into a nice man who was even more serious about collection Glasgow’s various murals than me (I just catch them when, and if, mostly by chance rather than design).

That said, we were both at this one as it’s already known it is only temporary, and will be gone in a few weeks (to be replaced by… windows!)

There was also a little stream of people arriving to grab their pic too.

Interesting chat too, as we both notice how a number of murals around the city are already being lost, either to the slightly unfortunate progress of development around the city, and opening of businesses/shops in previously empty building or shops that provided wall space.

Or, something not so understandable and excusable, somebody deciding that the murals have to go, and destroying them, or painting them over.

Bear in mind these comments DON’T refer to graffiti vandalism or similar property damage, but decent murals, not painted on private property, people’s homes, or their doors or walls. Anything put up by scummy Banksy wannabes – I’m happy to see that exterminated a few nanoseconds after it appears. Same goes for the vandal behind it too.

I always wonder what eventually happened to an Australian student who decided to play this game few years ago, sprayed his crap on any clean wall/door he could find, then went crying to the media when he was caught and told he was going to be deported for his crime of repeated vandalism. Sad to say, the media never reported the end of that story (or he got a slap on the wrist – hardly good clickbait for a tired old hack to impress their editor with, and ask for bonus),

Stan Lee Mural

Stan Lee Mural

31/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

The Red Mutant of Anderston is DEAD!

It took a while for this one to sink in, as I passed under an access ramp in Anderston, and thought things didn’t look quite ‘right’.

I was… right.

The Red Mutant of Anderston had been evicted!

All the ramp supports had been treated to the same coat of anonymous grey paint, removing any moronic graffiti and tagging of the local brain-dead, but unfortunately also evicting the rather nice and friendly looking Red Mutant I had recorded there a few weeks earlier.

It really was quite well executed, unlike most other unofficial offerings, and should have earned a place on Glasgow’s growing Mural Trail.

While we need an active clean-up team removing the disgusting rubbish that defaces many public spaces, similarly, we would seem to need some sort of rules or guidance to spot and retain material that is not offensive or illegal, or which causes distress to owners of private property if their walls and/or doors are vandalised by the disreputable cum side of this art.

No More Red Mutant Of  Anderston

No More Red Mutant Of Anderston

Goodbye, Red.

We will always remember you.

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

The Red Mutant Of Anderston

19/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

New Stan Lee mural… and weather

I try to avoid weather posts, they could be a daily event in Scotland, but sometimes…

The media carried news of a new mural in Glasgow, dedicated to Stan Lee, who finally passed away at 95.

Most of them latched on to the story, as it’s an obvious source of good clickbait for them, and bound to attract lots of clicks for them, with little effort by their hacks.

Here’s the top three that beckoned me.

Stan Lee tribute mural created in Glasgow’s Gorbals

11ft mural for comics legend Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

(Interesting to note the usual ‘Scotsman’ morons didn’t manage to come up with a single comment after this article.)

Marvel-lous mural of Stan Lee unveiled in Glasgow

Then our local source even managed TWO articles!

Stunning Stan Lee tribute mural appears in the Gorbals

The story behind Glasgow’s Stan Lee mural

How do you connect this to the weather?

I’ve been stuck indoors for a few days.

I dared venture out last night (since we’ve had reasonably dry days, of chilly), and almost crippled myself when I found one of those stupid cast iron fence supports in the dark, as I was leaving our local park. Painted black, of course, it reinforces the edge of the gate. Today, I’m limping.

This kept me up/awake, so I know that there wasn’t a drop of rain all night, but it was gusting wind.

I thought I MIGHT be able to nip across to the Gorbals and grab a pic of the Stan Lee mural.

How silly of me.

I fell asleep around 7 am, when I woke a couple of hours later – it was, of course, raining.

As if by magic, my weather station shows the rain didn’t start until I woke up, just before 9 am.

And that means no 2 hour trip to the mural, since I can’t jump in a nice, warm, dry car.

The mural was painted by Glasgow artist EJEK, who is also known for his work at Strathclyde University and the Clutha Vaults. I’ve collected quite a few of his murals in this blog, some of which are HUGE!

For the moment, you’ll have to make do with the pic he released.

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

Stan Lee Mural Credit Danny McDermott (AKA EJEK)

18/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: