Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

People’s Palace – still all there

For anyone wondering about the People’s Palace and the effects of any changes made since the closure at the start of the year – worry not.

I got there sooner than I expected to, and took advantage of the chance to get there shortly before closing yesterday.

It’s all still there (there are some unrelated changes and other fixes underway, but they don’t count), plus a new display in the temporary exhibition space upstairs.

Obviously, there’s no access to the Winter Garden/glasshouse. Corridors and doors that used to lead the public that way are no more.

New routes have been established for the lift and toilets, with the latter now directly accessed from the main entrance foyer.

Sadly, the large arched window that formerly provided a view into the glasshouse has been painted over, so is now just a plain white feature.

Peoples Palace Arched Window Obscured

People’s Palace Arched Window Obscured

The café that used to be in the glasshouse is now located in the space to the left of the doorway into the shop, where the counter can now be found.

This extends into the room/space at that side of the shop, which holds a display relating to Templeton’s carpet factory building which can be seen through that room’s window. Unfortunately, they managed to close the doors to that room just before I got my camera out.

The display was around the perimeter of the room anyway, so no changes really needed to be made to allow tables for the café to be added to the space.

Peoples Palace Old Shop New Cafe

People’s Palace Old Shop New Cafe

The temporary exhibition space on the top floor was created some time ago, and has already been home to a number of short exhibitions.

The space used to be dedicated to many of Glasgow’s industries, but sadly, for some reason best known to whoever sanctioned the change, all those artefacts were dispersed after the space was cleared and used for registration for the Monte Carlo Rally when it started from Glasgow some years ago.

Currently, it now holds a number of black & white prints from a collection of old pics taken by members of Glasgow’s camera clubs, and is well worth seeing.

The other notable change is the loss of the balcony that used to overlook the Winter Garden from the top floor of the People’s Palace, as this has been walled off.

I had been worried about access to the Viewing Gallery (or just Viewpoint) overlooking Glasgow Green and beyond, but am pleased to say that as this is part of the stairwell, when I pushed the door it didn’t set of an alarm, but still led to the gallery.

Today, the view showed the fair that was at the base of Nelson’s column was packing up and leaving.

Peoples Palace Viewing Gallery or Viewpoint

Peoples Palace Viewing Gallery or Viewpoint

Cycle parking – still there too

One of the problems I spotted arising from closing off direct access to the glasshouse was the unfortunate side effect of also blocking access to the new bike racks provided there, as they were installed immediately adjacent to the north door, so fall within the fenced off zone.

Fortunately, there is a second set of proper bike racks provided adjacent to the disabled parking area, located just to the left of the main entrance into the building.


Those paying attention may have noticed I missed something.

While I didn’t forget about spying out revisions to the emergency exits (a problem, as this was previously provided via the glasshouse doors), I did forget to pay attention to the detail, and note them.

I did notice the new corridors etc had the usual signs and arrows, after which I completely forgot I had meant to look at where they went.

Oh well… maybe next time.


16/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

So, the People’s Palace IS open

I did say I might divert for a look at the reopened People’s Palace – and I did.

Small point, I only saw the outside since I arrived at 5 pm on the dot, in time to see the staff closing the front door.

Well, I hadn’t planned on going inside anyway, just wanted to make sure it was open (since Easter is not quite here yet).

Nice to see it active again, and you might be able to see that door is no longer locked shut.

This pic is too wide to really see the detail of the signs, but these were plain white last week, just stating the museum was closed until Easter.

You can see it is now coloured (header and footer), and it now lists the opening hours.

I also wanted to try a shot from the near side of the fountain, as I hadn’t tried this before and had been wondering if the shot could be made without a ridiculously wide lens.

It can, easily, I’m happy to say.

I was so used to taking the shot from the hillside on the other side of the fountain, I never even thought to try it before.

Click for bigger.

People's Palace Reopened

People’s Palace Reopened

I’ll have to organise a wander in.

Of course, the Winter Garden at the rear of the building is still closed, and the new fencing and gates are securely shut and locked.

A little bit unfortunate, and a nuisance for cyclists, as the bike racks are located just at the side entrance to the glass house, so bike parking not available thanks to the fence and locked gates.

Guess visiting cyclist will just have use their imagination, and the surrounding cast iron fences and other fixtures.

Winter Garden access closed at Peoples Palace

Winter Garden access closed at Peoples Palace

If this is new too you, and you don’t know why, see the story beginning here.

07/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Media reports say the People’s Palace reopened today

While I couldn’t make the trip to see for myself today, I was pleased to see that the media didn’t forget to give the reopening of the People’s Palace a mention.

One of Glasgow’s most popular museums, the People’s Palace, is reopening after being closed due to concerns over the neighbouring glasshouse.

It was forced to shut in December because of structural issues at the Winter Gardens – which was used as the fire escape from the museum.

The People’s Palace opened again after £350,000 of modifications were carried out.

The alterations included a new fire escape, café and retail space.

The museum – which highlights the social and cultural history of Glasgow – also has a new photography exhibition capturing daily life in the city in 1955.

People’s Palace in Glasgow reopens to the public

The People’s Palace has opened its doors to the public once again.

The much-loved Glasgow Green museum had been shut for a vital repair programme since December, 2018.

The adjoining Winter Gardens glasshouse will remain closed due to health and safety issues.

The historical tourist hot-spot has had a £350k revamp during its upgrade, and now boasts a new cafe and retail space on the ground floor, access to public toilets and a fire escape.

School groups will also now be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor, replacing the former space available within the Victorian glasshouse.

People’s Palace reopens after £350K revamp and repair

I’ll have to take a look – when there’s no school groups or kids tearing up the place 😉

People's Palace And Fountain

People’s Palace And Fountain

05/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

People’s Palace looks set to reopen as planned during Easter 2019

Having done a lot of jumping up and down when closure of the People’s Palace (temporary, while works were carried out to provide emergency exits), and Winter Garden (effectively permanent until something in the order of £7 million can be raised for restoration) was first announced, the media and those looking for some free publicity by making a lot of noise about the closure, but not actually doing anything to help other than make stupid, time-wasting claims/comments, seemed to dry up and disappear.

It has now been announced that the People’s Palace will reopen during the Easter holidays, with some £350,000 of work being carried out to make it safe, and replace facilities that were previously located in the Winter Garden.

Following a £350,000 programme of works, the city’s social history museum will open independently of the Winter Gardens during the school holidays.

The Winter Gardens requires window replacement costing up to £7m.

The People’s Palace has seen several alterations during the works, including the addition of a new cafe and shop on its ground floor, access to public toilets and a new fire escape, which was previously located within the Winter Gardens.

School groups will be able to access a new purpose-built packed lunch area on the top floor of the museum, replacing the former space available within the glasshouse.

The museum reopens with a new photography exhibition, which captures daily life in the city in 1955.

Recent view of the Winter Gardens open while work was being carried out.

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Councillor David McDonald, chairman of Glasgow Life, said: ‘The People’s Palace is just that; it’s the official residence of the stories, the images, and the memories of the people of our great city, entertaining and informing Glaswegians with displays of how we lived, worked and played in years gone by.

“There was an understandably strong reaction to the suggestions of the possible closure of the People’s Palace, a clear demonstrations of its affection amongst the Glasgow public. So I’m pleased that it is now scheduled to reopen and vindicates our pledge that we would undertake the work to allow it to remain open while a long term solution is found to the challenges of the Winter Gardens. The People’s Palace collection belongs to Glaswegians and we’re glad they will continue to enjoy access to it.”
‘End of its life cycle’

The Winter Gardens will remain closed indefinitely.

The structure is in need of repairs.

The sealant used to secure thousands of windows in the glasshouse has reached the end of its life cycle and requires wholesale replacement.

Glasgow’s People’s Palace prepares to reopen after works

Winter Gardens’ future unclear as People’s Palace reopens

People’s Palace set to reopen after £350k repair works

I took a run past at the weekend, and the place was tight shut, with no new notices attached.

But the Doulton Fountain, in front, was back on and in full flow.

People's Palace and Doulton Fountain

People’s Palace and Doulton Fountain

Obviously not a current pic, as the lights are on!

01/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Nelson’s Column and a lightning strike marked 1810

Originally shown in the People’s Palace, one of my favourite painting now hangs in Kelvingrove, alongside a number of other paintings showing ‘old’ Glasgow.

If I’m right (and I forgot to check the plaque) the painting showing the strike on 05 August 1810 is by Glasgow artist, John Knox.

In those days, lighting conductors were still to be invented and fitted to tall structures, so lightning damage was not unusual during violent storms, as happened on that day.

It seems the top 20 feet (6.1 metres) of the column collapsed, with serious damage caused to the remainder. The stone exterior covers a rubble filled interior (said to be from demolished building). Troops were brought in to keep the crowds away until repairs were completed.

A careful look can reveal signs of that damage today. I think that hint means the different stone used to repair the damage, as against actual visible damage – there are distinct areas of stonework at the top, which have different colour/weathering. The repair is not really much younger than its surroundings, but perhaps the stone used for the repair did not absorb the black soot staining from Glasgow’s industrial era as readily as the original material.

Erected in 1806, it rises to a height of 144 feet (43.89 metres), was designed by architect David Hamilton (1768-1843), and paid for by public subscription – 80,000 attended the laying of the foundation stone, such was the popularity of Nelson at the time.

It has a grim past too.

Glasgow had a cheery little saying, to “die facing the monument” referred to public executions, hangings, which took place in the square to its east from 1814 to 1865. Nelson’s monument would be the last thing the condemned saw as they faced east from the scaffold, before they dropped.

Nelson's Column Lightning Strike by John Knox 1810

Nelson’s Column Lightning Strike by John Knox 1810

Excuse the reflection, there’s not much choice about where to stand to catch this view.

The lighting is also very warm, and I’ve cooled this down a little.

The actual strike is hard to see as this painting is mounted quite high on the wall, so I tool a closer look, and there is much more detail than suggested at first glance.

I cooled this down a little further, as it looked even redder in isolation, and increased the contrast, a little.

Nelson's Column Lightning Strike

Nelson’s Column Lightning Strike

I’m getting too fussy!

15/03/2019 Posted by | council, Naval, photography | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Work goes on at the People’s Palace and Winter Garden

Despite the tall tales of media whoring MSP Paul Sweeney about plants being killed, work is progressing at the People’s Palace and Winter Garden on Glasgow Green.

Although I couldn’t really take decent pics from so far away, I can assure anyone who was taken in by the trendy little vote hunter that there is plenty of greenery apparently alive and well inside the glasshouse (and as I noted, many of the plants were removed well before the closure anyway).

What disappoints me is that there doesn’t seem to have been a petition to get him dumped. Voters should remember stuff like that.

I don’t even pay attention, yet it looks to me as if his name pops up every time there is some free publicity to be had for someone jumping up and down wanting to be a ‘champion’.

The People’s Palace still appears to be on course to re-open at Easter.

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

Peoples Palace Winter Garden

13/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

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

19/01/2019 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

18/01/2019 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.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

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

11/01/2019 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

09/01/2019 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

08/01/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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