Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace Viewing Gallery became the Glasgow Green Viewpoint

Some years ago I discovered an ‘Undocumented Feature’ in the People’s Palace, and eventually rattle off a couple of Blog posts about it, so won’t repeat the tale here, these are the originals…

People’s Palace Viewing Gallery is an official thing now

People’s Palace Viewing Gallery – Part 2

Although they still don’t seem to do anything to promote the existence of this feature, it seems it has undergone ‘rebranding’ at some point, and is now the…

Glasgow Green Viewpoint.

People sPalace Glasgow Green Viewpoint

People’s Palace Glasgow Green Viewpoint


People's Palace Viewing Gallery doors

People’s Palace Viewing Gallery doors

Still the same view 🙂

People's Palace Glasgow Green Viewpoint View

People’s Palace Glasgow Green Viewpoint View

A tad wider.

Click for bigger.

People's Palace Glasgow Panorama

People’s Palace Glasgow Panorama


Jan 19, 2019 Posted by | council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Time to make events pay their way, NOT the hosts – especially when our Winter Gardens are rotting

I wonder if people are generally aware that lucky events like the Commonwealth Games (dumped on Glasgow in 2014), The Olympic Games (probably never coming to Glasgow, thank goodness), and now the first ever World Cycling Championships (set for August 2023, don’t have to PAY for the privilege of disrupting the cities they take place, or all the work needed to allow them to take place.

Glassgow was ‘taken’ for something like £300+ million by the Commonwealth Games, and is now being asked for £15 million in advance of the cycling event.

As usual, the promoters are blackmailing the hosts with promised of wonderful returns and benefits which they will lose out on if they don’t throw money at the organisers, and bring the event Glasgow.

GLASGOW councillors are being urged to approve £15million towards the city hosting most of the events in the first ever World Cycling Championships, taking place in August 2023.

The world governing body for cycling, the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI), revealed last year a plan to combine around a dozen existing individual cycling world championships into one major event every four years.

Following an approach by Glasgow and EventScotland, the UCI has given an exclusive opportunity to Glasgow/Scotland to present its case to host the first championships. The final submission, including funding commitments from the major partners, has to be made by February 2019.

A report to city councillors stated: “This will be the biggest cycling event in the world with over 100 countries represented and over 200 World Champions being crowned during the course of the Championships. The huge media interest will guarantee worldwide broadcast coverage delivering massive international profile for both Glasgow and Scotland.

CHANCE For Glasgow To Get On Its Bike For Historic Hosting Of World’s Biggest Cycling Championships

I’m not even going to waste more of my time digging into this.

You can read more of the fantasy in the linked article. It’s pretty much a self-explaining fiasco.

What I will say is that it’s a scandal that I would NOT mock dopey MP Paul Sweeney if he questioned it with the same vigour he did after hearing ‘tale telling’ about the plants in the People’s Palace Winter Garden.

But, I doubt we’ll hear as much as a squeak.

That this famous and long established Winter Garden should be languishing in closure for the lack of £7.5 million while there is a farcical demand for £15 million to be poured into a transient event that lasts for a few days is little short of shameful.

And gets even worse when we reflect on the dead shell that was Tollcross Winter Garden, closed after some 2011 storm damage, and could not be spared a penny when the millions were being squandered on the Commonwealth Games, and in particular the swimming pool in the sports centre only a few metres from that glasshouse.

As they say…

Somebody need to GET A GRIP!

Tollcross Winter Garden – ignored while millions were spent on an adjacent Commonwealth Games venue…

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

Tollcross Winter Gardens Derelict

People’s Palace Winter Garden – closed while £7.5 million is searched for, but £15 million is being demanded for a cycling event…

Closed Winter Garden North

Closed Winter Garden North

Jan 18, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

For those suffering People’s Palace Winter Garden withdrawal symptoms

While the People’s Palace is only close until April to allow modifications to be carried out to entry/exit facilities, there’s no escaping the extended closure the Winter Garden will endure until anything up to £7.5 million is ‘magicked’ to allow extensive maintenance work to be carried out the 100+ year old ironwork and glazing.

I took a casual walk around the beds shortly before many of the plants were removed and sent to other glasshouses.

Strangely, unlike some moronic attention-seeking MPs, I anticipated that Glasgow City Council might do something.

Quite why I should be smarter than an MP I don’t really know.

Then again, I don’t get any free publicity, or noticed by media by making a fuss one way or the other.

These pics are not really in any special order, not have they been processed to get the best out of them – they’re just a photographic memo.

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You can see the later appearance of the beds when I caught them being cleared shortly before the closure day.

Jan 11, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace Glasgow panorama

Since there won’t be an opportunity to try this shot from the People’s Palace viewing gallery for a while, I thought I’d have a quick try at taking a wide, or panorama, view while I could.

Unfortunately, the panes in the window are quite small, making it impossible to get a clear view easily, and avoid having to move slightly to get the whole view while avoiding the window frame. The exposure is a little tricky too, as the glass is Georgian Wired, and as you rotate the camera, the changing angle means shooting through varying thicknesses of glass.

The light wasn’t good for contrast, and I don’t think shooting through the glass helped either, as it wasn’t possible to improve the contrast by processing the image. The exposure was very variable across the extent, so does vary in the final view.

But it’s not too bad.

Click to show the full panorama.

People's Palace Glasgow Panorama

People’s Palace Glasgow Panorama

Jan 9, 2019 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment

Little Barrowland neon revisited

The request/suggestion for Billy Connolly to consider doing a farewell gig at Barrowland reminded me I had collected another pic of the little reproduction neon sign exhibited in the People’s Palace.

The first time I notice this one, and tried grabbing a pic, I thought the blue ‘neon’ stars had failed and were all dead.

My guess back then had been that some of the phosphors were maybe being exited by the adjacent tubes, but I realised later that this was wrong.

In fact, a closer look showed that a few were still lit, albeit fairly dim.

I recently tried for a better pic, with a little enhancement to pick them out a little better than in the first shot.

I think I did better this time, and you can see the ‘live’ stars amongst those that have expired.

Looks like it’s down to only three.

This was probably made at a Glasgow neon workshop (oops, sorry, I forget the name of that workshop) that I believe is now closed, since neon has largely been superseded by cheaper alternatives, and was a bit of a craft and art, was also becoming expensive, and a bit risky (in the eyes of some) due to the high voltages employed.


People's Palace Barrowland Neon Sign

People’s Palace Barrowland Neon Sign

Jan 8, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace Winter Garden closure clue

Just a quick update, away from the stupid politics some people seem to think is helpful.

As soon as the Winter Garden was closed, the windows were treated to a coat of the white stuff used on greenhouse or glasshouse windows, presumably to deter sightseers – even though access is now limited by security fencing.

Closed Winter Garden West

Closed Winter Garden West


Closed Winter Garden South

Closed Winter Garden South


Closed Winter Garden North

Closed Winter Garden North

Jan 7, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Is MP Paul Sweeney just making stuff up as his Winter Garden claim dies?

It’s said that one of the ways to detect lies is to see if the story you are being told keeps changing, since anyone telling the truth doesn’t have to keep changing their story as it pulled apart, so they have to make it up as they go along.

I spotted some apparent rubbish being spouted by some MP called Paul Sweeney yesterday, and published some of my own pics taken recently in the Winter Garden at the People’s Palace.

Today, after the leader of Glasgow City Council issued a statement debunking his claims, he decided to…

Change his story (his original claim was that the heating had been turned OFF).

Labour MP Paul Sweeney raised concern for the gardens’ exotic plants after claims the heating had been turned off and all active maintenance halted.

He said the move would be considered “an appalling act of civic vandalism”.

But Susan Aitken, the SNP leader of Glasgow City Council, rubbished the suggestion and accused the MP for Glasgow North East of “making things up”.

She tweeted: “The heating will stay on, the most important species have been moved to other glasshouses & the remainder will be maintained as required.”

Mr Sweeney responded: “Not according to a senior official in the parks department who I spoke to today.

“The heating has been turned down to a ‘minimal level’ and they said they won’t be maintaining remaining plants as none are regarded as of ‘horticultural value’, but that is beside the point isn’t it.”

Row after MP claims plants at Glasgow Winter Gardens will die due to closure

Give it up man –  you’ve been caught out.

Nobody votes for a liar.

This isn’t the ‘Old Days’, when all you had to do was kick Glasgow Council and nobody checked what was being said.

So long as it was bad or negative, everybody just believed it whether it was true or not.

SOME of us have moved on.

Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal

Jan 4, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow City Council’s rebuttal of MP Paul Sweeney’s fantasies

I’m beginning to think my recent suggestion that Glasgow City Council is just an easy target for anyone wanting to get themselves noticed by making some daft claim about it, misrepresenting its actions, or just plain making stuff up, is closer to reality than I thought.

I make no secret of listening to such people years ago, shaking my head, and going ‘Tut-tut’ as I read their brave outbursts against the council of the day – but I’d also have to say that I never checked any of their revelations as they never referred to anything that mattered to me, or that I cared about.

These days, there seems to more appearing that I do have at least a slight knowledge of awareness of, and the signs are not good – for those telling tales about Glasgow City Council.

Recent irritations came from cycling activists, then there was more nonsense from pollution campaigners. Both notably attacking the council, rather than supporting policies it is actually implementing, and saying it is doing nothing, or not enough (in their view).

Now, a MP has decided to get a free ride and some publicity to make his name with claims that Glasgow City Council is destroying the plants in the People’s Palace Winter Gardens, which have just been forced to close on safety grounds.

Accusations by a Glasgow MP that all heating and maintenance of the People’s Palace Winter Gardens has ended have provoked outrage in city residents.

Paul Sweeney, MP for Glasgow North East, hit out at Glasgow City Council in a tweet, where he claimed that all tropical plants in the winter gardens would die after the heating was turned off.

The tweet read: “Shocked to learn that all heating and active maintenance of the People’s Palace Winter Gardens has been ended by Glasgow City Council this week.

“That means all the tropical plants contained inside will now die off. This is an appalling act of civic vandalism and must be stopped.”


Instead, he chose to profit from the claim first, and got this response while spreading his name.

Hundreds of Glasgow residents replied to Mr Sweeney’s tweet to express their anger over the alleged decision.

By running with the allegation, he gets a free publicity, and wins fans.

Once thrown, mud sticks, and few of those who responded to his tweet will care about what followed as they join the ranks who ‘Shoot first and (don’t bother to) ask questions’ later.

However, Glasgow City Council has denied the claims, saying that the heating has not been turned off and many of the plants have already been moved to other gardens across the city.

A spokeswoman said: “This is not true and we have not turned the heating off in the Winter Gardens and have no intentions of doing this.

“We want to reassure any concerned citizens that we have already moved the plants of significant horticultural value, as previously agreed, to our other glasshouses across the city and we will continue to maintain any remaining plants.”

Frankly, I’m not really even interested in what he said/claimed afterwards.

All quotes from…

Glasgow City Council hits back at MP’s claim of ‘appalling act of civic vandalism’ at People’s Palace

He, and others like him, should be forced to declare details in public, identify sources, and provide evidence, since they are MPs and should be fully accountable. Not just open their mouths and let their bellies rumble!

I knew this was nonsense, as I had visited the Winter Garden just before it closed, as seen in previous posts, and also took pics inside.

These show how many of the beds had already been cleared of plants even BEFORE the building was closed to public access.

Had I known they would come in useful to counter the scurrilous publicity-seeking allegations made by Paul Sweeney, I’d have taken a lot more, but they were just taken as part of a collection for a later post about the days before the Winter Garden was closed.

Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal


Winter Garden Plant Removal

Winter Garden Plant Removal

I don’t usually support calls for people to lose their jobs, but I can think of at least one who’s demonstrated enough lack of trust to suffer that, and maybe at least one other – IF what that one said was to be believed.

Jan 3, 2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Au revoir, People’s Palace and Winter Gardens

Although I collected some specific pic sets recently (they haven’t made it into the Blog), intended to help my withdrawal systems in the coming weeks, with the People’s Palace closed for modification for about 12 weeks, and the Winter Gardens closed until someone prints off something in the order of £7.5 million to deal with its ‘old age’, I couldn’t resist ‘Just One More’ as a slight disruption to my travel plans for the day landed me on Glasgow Green late in the day.

This pic is significant – being taken on 31 December 2018 means that the People’s Palace was on its last day for visitors prior to closure for building mods to add a fire escape route, since the Winter Gardens doors are no longer an option.

However, the Winter Gardens closed one day earlier, and is the reason for the aforementioned mods since the People’s Palace only has one entrance/exit at the front. Should a fire break out AT that door, anyone inside the building would be trapped. There are, of course, windows, but these are 1898 windows, so not so easy to get yourself through quickly, and doesn’t cater for everybody.

The glasshouse is completely dark, but you can see some lights in the museum building.

Quite apart from just wanting to get back in, it’s going to be fascinating to see what the planners came up with for the new emergency exit, or fire escape.

Steps and ramps were added to all three access points when the building improvements were carried out about 30 years ago, but two of those (plus a non-ramped door) belong to the Winter Gardens, leaving only the front door of the museum building.

Don’t miss the little tease of Templeton’s carpet factory behind.

Click for bigger.

People's Palace Open Winter Gardens Closed

People’s Palace Open Winter Gardens Closed

This wasn’t real!

I’d say just a false alarm, but when I asked at the time, they weren’t sure if it was, or had been a malicious call.

You can see the one front entrance and the rails of the ramp and steps.

Peoples Palace fire alert

Peoples Palace fire alert

Bonus pic

Coincidentally, I came across this early illustration of the Templeton Carpet Factory just the day before, in Kelvingrove.

So I get to use it.

Templeton Carpet Factory Illustration

Templeton Carpet Factory Illustration

Dec 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

If unions built lifts (elevators)

There’s an exhibit in Kelvingrove which I get wrong every time I spot it.

Going from memory, I think the reason is down to an exhibit that used to be on display in the industrial section of the People’s Palace, until they ‘Made it Better’ a few years ago, and emptied that room for some reason I forget now. Afterwards, I waited for the industrial goodies to reappear – the never did.

When I asked, I was told they weren’t coming back, ever, and the space would be used for temporary exhibits.

It lies empty most of the time these days, occasional home to the odd, very sparse, special exhibit, such as the story behind the three (Sir) Billy Connolly murals, and also his own art once.

Bit of a shame, as I haven’t come across the industrial items that used to be shown in that room elsewhere.

So, I can’t confirm, or even be sure I am right about this recollection…

I think they had a part of a tower crane there, similar in appearance to the item shown below, and that why I always get it wrong when I spot it the corner it hides in within Kelvingrove.

Reading the descriptive plaque always makes me smile, as I imagine the reason for this ‘One Man Cage’ is down to a union demand, and the threat of strike action if the evil pit owner had even as little as thought of improving productivity, and profits, by having a cage that could carry more than ONE man at a time.

Mining Cage

Mining Cage


Mining Cage Plaque

Mining Cage Plaque

Dec 29, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

What happened to the People’s Palace tenement cat?

I’m not sure if I ever managed to get a pic of the poor old stuffed cat which decorated the tenement flat display in the People’s Palace.

I think I did, but I just can’t think of an easy or quick way to find it. My film pic archive is on another computer since the database system won’t run on anything past Windows 98!

And I don’t seem to have anything digital.

I was reflecting on this during a recent visit, when I tried to see if it was lurking anywhere in the ‘room’.

Unfortunately, they have either decided to keep this exhibit fairly (very) dark, or the lighting just isn’t working.

I decided to take some (very) low light pics, and have a look at the spots where I thought the old cat had been lying, when I could enhance the images.

The average light across these images was very even so, even though the place was almost dark, they were able to record an image that looks much brighter than reality. All the light came from the ‘window’ on the left, and the bed image took seconds to catch, even at a fairly high ISO, which is why it is not very sharp compared to the others.

I hadn’t realised quite how dark it was, or how odd the lighting was – you can see for yourself in the images.

I’m afraid there’s no cat to be seen.

I think it used to lie on the bed, or was sometimes seen sleeping on the edge of the hearth, below the range.

I would ask, but while the staff are helpful, the knowledge is becoming less and less over the years.

The ‘range’ was the name given to the combined fire, oven, and stove fitted into tenement flats.

As you can see, the room served as kitchen (sink is just out of sight on the left), living room, and bedroom – for the whole family.

The communal toilet was outside, on the stairhead – everybody had a key!

People's Palace Tenement Bed

People’s Palace Tenement Bed


People's Palace Tenement Range

People’s Palace Tenement Range


People's Palace Tenement

People’s Palace Tenement

Dec 26, 2018 Posted by | council, photography | , | Leave a comment

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