Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Have fun with the tourists on Dumbarton Road

I don’t live there, so I don’t know if the locals have fun with tourists in Partrick, on Dumbarton Road.

However, when I saw this, I couldn’t help but remember a documentary made in Dunoon a few years ago, which was made mostly of clips of an interviewer talking to locals – in one section, he spoke to some local kids, and asked them what they had to do there (“Nothing”, according to them), and when he asked them how they passed their time, they told him that they liked to be asked for direction, to which they’d give completely random answers, and enjoy the fun as the lost traveller went and got even more lost!

Tut tut.

Subway or subway?

Subway Subway Dumbarton Road

Subway Subway Dumbarton Road

As a slight aside and comment on design…

It’s interesting to note that the ‘fake’ subway sign on the left is actually a better representation of the transport option than the ‘genuine’ article on the right.

For one, it’s clearer, stands out more distinctly from its background, and easier to read.

And those arrows at each end of the word – I’d say they provide a clearer hint to the idea of transport than some overpriced sandwich filling.

Remember, if you patronise this place you’re not only paying for the sandwich, but providing a cut to keep the person behind the franchise rich just for sitting in their mansion, and collecting their cut from EVERY franchisee, year after year. Go get your sandwich from the little shop next door, an honest small business which deserves your support.

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27/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Partick pigeon feeder defies Tweeter’s demand

I had to grab this pic while I was on Dumbarton Road this evening.

The reason being a Tweet I received this morning, from someone demanding that everyone ‘STOP FEEDING THE PIGEONS!‘ on a number of major Glasgow roads.

Well, if you’ve read this blog for long enough, you’ll know my opinion of the endless stream of habitual Naysayers we have to live with nowadays – people who are already forming the word ‘NAW!’ on their lips before you’ve even had a chance to ask for something.

Although this gent had half a loaf in hand when I spotted him, by the time I crossed the road it had already gone.

Partick Pigeon Feeder

Partick Pigeon Feeder

I’m pretty sure the few people who get some pleasure from feeding the flying rats make little or no difference to the population, and they gain far more sustenance from the rubbish and scraps dropped by those who seem to suffer from worms or something, have to gnaw on something all day, and generally just drop their leftovers and litter at their feet as they walk along the street.

19/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Kiki – Lost cat poster in Partick

Poster says it all. Spotted in Dumbarton Road.

No date on the poster (PLEASE put dates on them), but it wasn’t there a few days ago.

Can you help find Kiki?

Kiki Lost Cat Partick

Kiki Lost Cat Partick

25/05/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Coffee – need more be said?

Spotted recently.

Partick Coffee Fun

Partick Coffee Fun

16/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Slum landlord revealed in Partick

Can only hope the resident(s) found somewhere better after the old place was condemned.

Partick Slum

Partick Slum

10/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Another coincidence – just a few doors away from St Simon’s in Partick

I try to avoid the ‘Spooky Coincidence’ theme I seem to attract, but this one deserves a mention, if only to add to the calls for the dross responsible to be ‘Dropped in it’.

Reading the report about the vandalism carried out within St Simon’s church in Partick, it was depressing to note I was just a few doors away from the church when the vandalism took place, as I’d spent a while rummaging around in the goodies in the Salvation Army’s Dumbarton Road shop.

I even picked up a little bargain too, a pair of brand-new tyres (half price) for a ‘beater bike’ I’m slowly putting together from parts. I might even finish it one day.

But the subject is the attack that tool place on the church, which I have to confess I was unaware, and was surprised not to have come across references to, as it is known as ‘The Polish Church’, due to connection with Polish person who stayed nearby during World War II.

Polish services are still held there today.

Archdiocese condemns ‘shameful’ attack on Catholic church

St Simon's vandalism

30/04/2019 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, World War II | , , , , | Leave a comment

New Partick-Govan footbridge over the River Clyde revealed

Yet another new bridge is going to appear over the River Clyde, a footbridge connection Govan to Riverside, the Museum of Transport.

DESIGNS Revealed For New Pedestrian Bridge Over The Clyde

New footbridge at Riverside

New footbridge at Riverside

Work is expected to begin on the foot and cycle bridge in 2021, and it restores a long lost connection which was provided by ferry years ago.

Money for the infrastructure and development of new homes and public spaces is coming from the City Deal pot, which is funded by the Scottish and Westminster governments (but don’t tell anybody that – they like to complain about lack of funding, especially if joint).

A new quay extension will be built on the north bank to service the crossing, and it has been designed to avoid obscuring views of Riverside.

I did recently mention concerns that some opponents (the usual whining naysayers who automatically just say ‘NO!’ to anything) had to such projects, on the basis that they prevent vessels from travelling further along the river.

They’ll be going home sad tonight, as this bridge can open.

Update

There’s ALWAYS one.

You may have noticed this is part of a larger project, hinted at above with “Money for the infrastructure and development of new homes and public spaces is coming from the City Deal pot“.

It seems that it is not popular – with ONE family.

“The development plans are good for Govan – but we live in Govan and they’re not good for us,” says one long-time resident of the Water Row site

Govan showpeople community speak out over £57m development at Water Row

Oh dear…

Could we be building up to another showdown like the one we saw in Dalmarnock, as the place was cleared for the dopey 2014 Commonwealth Games er… ‘Legacy’?

Not that I am suggesting the 2104 farce has any similarity to improvements at Govan.

30/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Regeneration plans to thwart naysayer and climate change deniers

As somebody who spent a fair few hours of their working life wandering the various shipyards and businesses that once lay along the River Clyde to the west of the city centre, it’s funny to look at how deserted that same area has become in recent years.

Not only have many of those varied business gone, many of the sites they occupied have also been razed and cleared, leaving little to show where they once lay.

This would have been hard to see clearly from the ground, but thanks to tools such as Google Earth, it’s possible for anyone to ‘fly’ over all these places today, and compare them to the past.

Some parts have been regenerated or redeveloped with housing and other features, but a wander along the river shows that there’s probably more deserted area than reused now, and that many of the formerly occupied sites remain derelict today.

There are some ‘backward looking’ nostalgic types who keep calling for shipyards to be planted on the Clyde, but that’s never going to happen with our wages and costs. Those people notably fail to reveal how to finance such yards, or who would but the hugely expensive ships built  in them.

Fortunately, there are a few who can look forward rather than backwards, and plans for redeveloping and regenerating these areas are dependent on looking at change.

Despite flooding concerns, plans to regenerate the River Clyde are moving forward.

The Glasgow Strategic Development Framework (SDF) has been set up to create houses and transform isolated visitor destinations along the river by 2050.

A proposal has identified an approach that would make areas from Govan to Glasgow Harbour more accessible by linking them via a footbridge.

Those involved in the project want to achieve a sheltered water or habitat for wildlife and uncover hidden gems within forgotten parts of the city by linking Govan and Partick by building a bridge.

Those working on the framework have been in conversation with SEPA to ensure flooding can be prevented along the river and allow the project to continue.

Michael Ward of the Glasgow SDF told the Hillhead partnership: “There is a flooding issue and we are engaging with SEPA to see how this can be resolved.

“We are aware of the implications if the river rises by one metre or more. We need to conduct a feasibility study.

“We see this as a long-term vision for the area. There is a lot of potential for the river and we need to maximise that.

“We need to build up activity and vibrancy along the river corridor and prioritise areas which can be included in the strategy from Govan to Glasgow Harbour.”

It is hoped that by constructing a footbridge, visitors will be more likely to visit Govan and its historical assets.

Flooding fears over River Clyde development plans in Glasgow

A couple of items jumped out of these proposals, for me at least.

First was “Concerns were raised that boats navigating along the River Clyde would not be able to sail under the new bridge.

I found that slightly amusing, given how the bridges ALREADY added to the river in recent years have significantly reduced access.

But that doesn’t mean ignoring such access, which the planners clearly are NOT forgetting.

Second has to be the reference to rising water levels “We are aware of the implications if the river rises by one metre or more. We need to conduct a feasibility study.

Easily dealt with just ensuring Climate Change Deniers are selected for this development, then things can proceed without worrying about rising water levels.

(Just kidding, water levels are rising, and deniers have become a minority in danger of extinction – unless they paid lobbyists.)

Let’s never forget problems are there to be solved – there used to be a yard building ships upriver of the Clyde Tidal Weir.

And they were so big the only way to get them over the weir was to pick the right time and tide, and float them over.

didn’t always work, and local history tells of the day one almost got stuck – but the did manage to get it over

Clyde Tidal Weir From West

Clyde Tidal Weir From West

25/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Maritime, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

I fixed the hidden mural in Partick

I only get to places like Partick and Dumbarton Road occasionally nowadays (once used to be there every week), so get taken by surprise by some changes.

This one came as I turned round to take some pics of Partick Library, and found a new (to me at least) mural had appeared on the gable end of a building, and was yet another that follows a recent trend of apparently placing these deliberately in places where they cannot be seen properly. It’s like many that have appeared on the Glasgow City Centre Mural Trail, often placed on walls in narrow lanes where they cannot really be seen.

I’m afraid I’m a bit of a perfectionist, and find such placements tend to spoil these images, as they only allow the viewer to see them at an angle, imposing unavoidable perspective distortion.

I’m not sure if the murals themselves are painted so as to try to compensate for this, but after playing with perspective correction of this Purdon Street mural, and finding it problematic, I think they do. In this case, when I had the correct geometry of known objects in the image, I found the proportions of the girl’s body to look very unnatural, and had to re-apply the correction to get a natural appearance.

This is the least distorted view of the mural, as spotted when I was about to take a pic of the library:

Partick Library plus Mural

Partick Library plus Mural

I suspect the image has been created taking into account the enforced viewing angle, as the girl’s body, I think, would appear narrower due to perspective it had been painted normally.

This is my best attempt at correcting for the viewing angle, where I feel I had to balance the degree of correction and set the amount of correction by eye, rather by referring to the known geometry of fixed objects in the scene:

Purdon St Mural Fixed

Purdon St Mural Fixed

Might be interesting to try the same trick on other examples of these recent murals.

Historic precedence

This isn’t some sort of magical revelation I had, but is inspired by prior knowledge of the work of early Glasgow sculptures, responsible for many statues to be found on elevated locations around the city.

They distorted their creations to take account of the foreshortening which would take place when the viewer was looking up at the statues from the street far below.

Partick Library

I never actually got that pic of the library, the one I’d meant to get.

I had a lot of bits, so stitched them together for a panorama – it almost worked too.

If only Dumbarton Road was not so busy, and there had been no traffic, it would have been fine:

Partick Library Pano

Partick Library Pano

28/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two letters and two number still look good even if squinty

This was a nice surprise, spotted almost immediately as I stumbled out of Partick station recently.

68 NC on a trimmed plate fitted to a nice shiny black Mercedes-Benz C250 D AMG Line Premium + (as registered).

With the chances of me ordering a Mercedes these days, let alone an AMG variant, I’m no longer as familiar with AMG as I used to be, but it looks as if ownership of the formerly independent performance tuning operation by Mercedes in recent years has seen a marked reduction in the value of the badge.

While the true performance AMG is identified (usually) by a 2-digit model number such as C63, or a series such as the Black range, it seems that anybody and their dog can have an AMG badge tacked onto a fairly standard car to make it look better. Perhaps merely buying a set of AMG wheels is enough to qualify for the badge. I doubt if many/any of the numerous AMG badged Mercedes in my creaky old neighbours’ drives have any REAL tuning.

And they certainly SOUND nothing like the few genuine AMG C or Blacks that sometime accelerate past my front door.

So, back to Partick and my hint about something being squinty – while the plate layout and spacing is all nice and legal (thank goodness), it looks as if whoever lined up the numbers might have had little too much ‘falling down water’ before they started.

Mercedes C250d [68 NC]

Mercedes C250d [68 NC]

17/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow in the 1970s – a set of photo surveys

1970s' GLASGOW: Through the Lens
My visit to a couple of Glasgow museums was well-timed last week, and I already mentioned GLASGOW 1955: Through the lens.

I picked up another book, similar but this time 1970s’ Glasgow: Through the Lens.

Also the result of surveys by the Partick Camera Club, it covers three: Partick in 1975, Calton during 1976-77, and the Fish Market (including Paddy’s Market) over 1977-78.

The period is significant, as it shows the effect of The Bruce Plan, born as far back as 1945, and which saw 300,000 people relocated out of Glasgow on the late 1950s, to New Towns like East Kilbride, Cumbernauld, Irvine, Livingston, and Glenrothes. or moved into newly built housing schemes on the edge of the city at Easterhouse, Castlemilk, Pollok, and Drumchapel. This also brought the high-rise tower blocks (now largely demolished), and the M8 motorway through the city.

The three surveys resulted in well over 1,000 prints, which were displayed in the city’s museums, and ultimately joined their collections.

The pictures have an uncanny, and almost unsettling atmosphere to them.

Although they are not particularly old, the fact that they have been printed as black and white images gives them a feeling of being much older than they actually are, a feeling reinforced by many of their subjects being of ‘old’ Glasgow – places that were originally created in Victorian times, and are now gone in many cases, having been razed to make way for plans which promised newer and better things.

Whether or not they ever arrived will be a matter for endless debate amongst those of us who lived through, or just after, that period, and can see the city in the form it has now taken.

First published in 2011 – and currently priced at £9.99 – this is another one worth adding to the collection if interested in Glasgow.

This is a new publication, and there is an exhibition behind it, at the Scotland Street Museum, From June 3, 2011, free admission:

The Glesga that I Used to Know

What’s On – The Glesga that I Used to Know – 1970s Glasgow: Through the lens From June 3, 2011

19/06/2011 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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