Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Was it really that nice on Monday? (Nope)

Looking at the pics I collected this week I was going to do a weather related series, but various problems have eaten the time not only for that, but some other goodies I collected during a week of travelling. Most of the material isn’t time sensitive, so I’ll be able to get around to it.

The weather was (almost) amusing, since I seemed to leave Glasgow in rotten weather, and arrive in Ayr in nice weather – but in reality, the rotten Glasgow weather was just moving slowly south, and by Thursday, Glasgow’s rain had arrived in Ayr, but not nearly as bad.

I couldn’t make the last day (Friday) so don’t know if it did get as bad as Glasgow by then, but do know it was wet (as in very wet) in Glasgow – as I was out in it later in the day.

Back to Monday (which was the day the weather started going downhill), I was toying with the idea of catching a mural near Kelvingrove, when a girl who had been on the bus decided to get off and walk through my shot. I’d seen her running for the bus, and had been impressed by… how she didn’t seem to feel the cold. The chap that can be seen walking behind, with what looks like a heavy coat on, was more suitably dressed for the day.

Nice Monday

Nice Monday

The weather really is nuts at times.

While I was out and about suffering from a constantly running nose in the cold at the start of the week, by Friday I was finding myself overdressed and bursting into a sweat as I wore a rainproof jacket, and decent shoes as the streets around here are almost flooded in places, as the rate of rainfall is pretty high at times, and paddling through large puddles is sometimes unavoidable.

There are some huge puddles at the side of the road, and they need to be avoided, or timed to pass when there is no traffic, unless you want a bath!




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

Next giant mural could be seen in the east end

Thenue Housing Association has commissioned the work, in London Road, near Bridgeton Cross, to mark its 40th anniversary in October 2019.

The association manages a number of buildings in the area, and is seeking permission for the mural to be created on a prominent gable at 499 London Road, near Bridgeton., and is near their head office.

The mural would depict the moment Princess Theneva was rescued from the River Forth by St Serf of Culross Abbey, while she was pregnant with the future St Mungo (Glasgow’s patron saint and founder), after being cast out by her father.

In a statement submitted with the application, Ali Smith of ArtPistol explains: “It is this brief moment of fate, which is to become part of the origin story of Glasgow, that we want to capture in the mural.

“This is not going to be a religious mural, with religious imagery. We are avoiding that and looking to visualise the moment in a contemporary way. It is all about that moment Serf meets Thenue [Theneva], the sheer significance of it, the fortuitous and beautiful timing, and creating a stunning piece of street art.”

GLASGOW’S Latest Mural To Be Inspired By Rescue Of Patron Saint’s Mother

In more detail…

The new street art will feature Princess Theneva or Saint Enoch (Thenue), who lived from 510 to about 570.

She was the daughter of King Loth of the Gododdin, and mother of St Mungo or St Kentigern – the patron saint and founder of Glasgow.

The work will capture the moment Theneva was rescued by Saint Serf of Culross Abbey in Fife after her dad had thrown her into the River Forth.

Glasgow mural trail: new artwork in tribute to St Mungo’s mum planned for east end

This would add to the existing murals on this theme in High Street and George Street.

So, here’s the ‘before’ shot.

499 London Road at Abercromby Street

499 London Road at Abercromby Street


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

Ride reversal – brings mural surprises

Trying to get back on the bike after a bit of enforced avoidance, I had a go at reversing my usual route into Glasgow, just to break the routine and habits.

Not necessarily a good idea, but it makes you think as a number of cycle paths/routes only work in one direction, meaning you have to think and plan if riding them the opposite way to usual, or you end up on normal roads. Some of those are best avoided in some busy and narrow parts of Glasgow city.

But it does bring the odd surprise.

While I found the sad replacement for the red mutant a while ago, I knew this ‘face’ had appeared in quite a few places, just not any I saw, or so I thought. I thought they were all the same too, but this pair shows that’s not so, and there are differences.

Turns out I’d been passing this one for ages, but it’s not visible from my usual direction of travel, but was staring back at me when I went the other way.

It’s not the only piece of unseen art that the change let me see, but the others will take longer to pull together.

Road Support Face Mural

Road Support Face Mural

The ‘Red Mutant’ replacement – was not even red!

Anderston Red Mutant Replacement

Anderston Red Mutant Replacement

07/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

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

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