Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

More graffiti scum tagging

It’s hard to convey just how much contempt I hold for so-called graffiti artists and taggers, who think the world deserves to see their crap as they vandalise and damage people’s property.

As always, this does NOT extend to those working with permission.

In this case, some worthless little tagger chose to vandalise a lifebelt alert sign AND showed extreme disrespect by doing it next to someone’s memorial tribute.

Now that I see it with fresh flowers laid, I’m guessing someone died here, either drowned in the river, possibly an accident, or perhaps a suicide who jumped from the old Polmadie Footbridge, which lay just to left of this pic (and is now the new Polmadie Footbridge).

I don’t know the details, and queried the reason for a bottle of water being tied to the railings (fence) here. Original pic and query here: River Clyde pilgrimage point

Lifebelt Sign Vandalised At Memorial

Lifebelt Sign Vandalised At Memorial

Impressive fence painting too – dribbling nicely down from the top of the sign.

08/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Polmadie Footbridge Update

I did threaten to return to this job and take pics sometimes.

For once, I’ve made it back BEFORE the job’s done and dusted!

That was back on 13 April, now it’s three weeks later and…

Not a lot seems to have happened.

Polmadie Footbridge works

Polmadie Footbridge works

This view is from my more usual vantage point on the north bank of the river.

We’ve got some more scaffolding in place, but I think most of the work has taken place just out of shot, to the left of the view.

There’s now an even larger works area fenced off than I think was there last time I passed on the other side (so I couldn’t really see it properly).

Loads of stuff there, and vans, and blokes in overalls – so probably lots of tea being brewed.

It just occurred to me that I still can’t really make out how this bridge will be constructed, so I’m assuming precast concrete sections will be assembled on, and between the bridge pillars seen in the water.

Hope I get another look before it’s done.

08/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

River Clyde pilgrimage point?

I can usually come up with a reasonably sensible reason/use for odd things I spot while wandering, but…

This one probably has a practical application for the person who ‘installed’ it (or they’ve just seen far too many crazy Russian ‘lifehacker’ videos on YouTube, repurposing plastic bottles as cups, or shoes, or even gas masks), but if there is a general use, then it escapes me.

I’m certainly in no hurry to touch stagnant water containing who know what!

But on a more amusing note, it could be inspired by the holy water receptacles found in churches, but installed on the fence along the River Clyde, as it blocks easy access for many, so could be provided so that Clyde Worshippers can touch the hallowed waters without having to scale the fence (if they can) and risk sliding down the bank and taking an early or unwanted bath.

Alas, for the many, I’ve seen only this one, near Polmadie, so worshippers still have to at least make their pilgrimage there.

And, no, I’m not even going start guessing about that padlock.

Clyde Worship Point

Clyde Worship Point


Sad to say, a later trip past this point revealed the purpose of this bottle.

It’s used as a vase for a floral tribute, so is probably a memorial to someone who died here.

02/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

They have interesting street parties in Polmadie

Thanks to an offering from our ‘new’ friend The Abbot, today begins with a look at party life in Polmadie, and the remnants of an interesting evening’s ‘fun’ spotted lying behind a street fence.

While there’s strangely no evidence to be seen of Buckfast, there is an intriguing blue object lying to the right of the group, and which appears to be in the ‘used’ position.

One can only imagine…

Polmadie Street Party

Polmadie Street Party

17/02/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | | Leave a comment

I found a surviving old factory building – The Sentinel Works

While the city centre may provide a refuge for classical architecture from the 19th and early 20th centuries, with many continuing to live on into the 21st century and probably beyond (unlike a certain £400+ million skip built in Holyrood that will barely last decades before becoming an uneconomic wreck), the same is not true of much of the surrounding area’s industrial architecture.

I’ve written before about wasted weekends when I set out with the intent of grabbing pics of such structures some years ago, only to find it was largely a waste of time. Years of ‘tidying’ have seen many survivors being expunged, probably to provide some councillor or politician with proof that they are ‘Doing something’ for the community, and which was highly visible.

Now, such features are probably only going to be found by chance, unless extensive area research is carried out first.

I got lucky when I ended up in Polmadie, much of which has been razed, but has still managed to retain a few old remains which, although derelict, have the benefit of being listed.

Coming over a bridge, I saw the shell of one such building.

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Rear

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Rear

The most noticeable feature in this view must be the remaining cast iron supports which once led the way for a fire escape.

This is a concrete structure (probably why it has survived), based on the Hennebique method of reinforced concrete: Hennebique’s idea of strengthening concrete used steel reinforcing bars embedded within the bottom face of a concrete slab. This originated on a house project in Belgium in 1879 where Hennebique used concrete as a fireproof protection for wrought iron beams.

Concrete is strong in compression, but weak in tension. The bars reinforce the structural area in tension, so preventing early failure.

This factory was built in the period 1903 to 1904 for Alley and MacLellan, engineers, who built some built 500 ‘knock down’ ships – a type which was built, dismantled, and then reassembled on inland waters.

It has 4 storeys containing 12 x 3 bays, large metal-framed windows, and an off-centre entrance bay with wide door having 3 tall lights above, added in the 1930s.

The works are named after the Sentinel steam lorry, developed by Alley and MacLellan, and which was also produced at their branches at Shrewsbury and Worcester.

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Front

Sentinel Works Jessie Street Front

Records indicate that this was the first fully reinforced concrete building with a ferro-concrete frame and panels, and the third oldest  surviving in the UK.

The absence of arches is said to anticipate American-inspired daylight factories by Albert Kahn, using straight lintels.

To the rear lay a foundry, equipped with a light railway.

Owned from 1918 to 1937 by Beardmore, the building was taken over by the Weir Group in 1960.

Like may large buildings, there isn’t enough space to stand sufficiently far back to take a view of the façade, without expensive lenses.

But I can stitch multiple images (only radially though, not linearly), so can catch it all at once.

Sentinel Works Stitch

Sentinel Works Stitch

Just to be complete, I found a public domain Sentinel steam lorry pic – taken in Australia!

Sentinel Australia

Sentinel Australia

31/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Does Polmadie Car Boot Sale still exist?

A long long time ago, in a land far far away…

I used to enjoy a Sunday morning walk to one or two small outdoor markets that used take place nearby.

But every one of them has gone now, all lost to the land (or venue) where they took place being sold and given over to housing developments, and although I’ve walked around quite lot of other areas, there seem to be no others that have survived, or appeared in their wake.

However, I had noted quite a few large adverts for Polmadie Car Boot Sale, claiming to be “THE BEST CAR BOOT SALE IN SCOTLAND” and that “Polmadie Car Boot Sale is Scotland’s only fully undercover car boot sale”.

While it’s not exactly at the end of my street, it is a reasonable walk, and I recently landed in Polmadie, and by chance, walked down Jessie Street, where it should have been located.

This was the middle of a Sunday afternoon, so I expected some activity, but the place was deserted, doors locked, and not even a single body wandering around. Nothing. Nobody.

Ghost ship market!

Polmadie Car Boot Sale

Polmadie Car Boot Sale

While it all looks nice and clean, that also extends to the floor I could see inside, where I would have expected to see at least some rubbish blowing around even if it had just closed for the day, but there was nothing.

Glad I didn’t go on this long walk with the expectation of a nice wander round a market at the end.

Their last tweet (yes, they are on Twitter) was back in 2012!

There are few reviews online, but the most recent I saw was from 3 months ago, in August 2017.

While I haven’t seen any posters or street ads for a while, there is still a full web site up and running:

– Polmadie Car Boot Sale –

So, I’m curious.

Did I happen past on the wrong day?

Is this as dead and buried as the markets that used to take place on my doorstep, or did I just chance past on a day when they held a market – and nobody turned up?


From comments (and there’s one below) it looks as if I DID turn up on the wrong day, and Sunday is indeed ‘The day of the dead’.

Guess I really will have to try to wander over that way on one of the other days.

By chance, I also discovered why this thing stays lodged in my mind.

I was walking through Calton and arrived at what’s left of The Barras and happened to look up into the sky. On top of what appears to be the tallest and last standing tenement there is a huge Polmadie market sign!

Intriguingly, if you pull it up in Google’s Street View, it ONLY shows Saturday and Sunday as the opening days, and does not mention the Wednesday.

I think they need a new manager.

23/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 3 Comments

Another Commonwealth Shames Legacy failure – sculptures nobody’s heard of

Having lived through the ridiculous months of disruption prior to 2014’s Commonwealth Shames nonsense (was all that really just for few DAYS of events?), and still see plenty of land that was razed to make way for… sorry, I have no idea, not to mention a WHOLE CARE HOME in Dalmarnock that still seems to be standing empty to this day, I tripped over another LEGACY FAILURE recently.

Passing the fire station in Polmadie’s Calder Street I spotted a cute sculpture beside the ‘staff’ entrance.

Commonwealth Discus Sculpture

Commonwealth Discus Sculpture

I expected it to related to the firefighters, but when I looked closer was amazed to find it was not, but was actually number 8 of 11, with the remainder scattered somewhere around Glasgow.

The plaque gives no details of the collection, their locations, or even where to find out about them.

Commonwealth Legacy Sculpture Plaque

Commonwealth Legacy Sculpture Plaque

As someone who had no interest in the nonsense, this collection is a dreadful failure and waste.

These should have been highlighted years ago, to make sure that people like me (NOT interested in the Shames) would have been made aware of this collection.

It’s a shame, as the sculpture actually looks quite good, and I’d like to see the rest of the collection.

Sadly, it’s lost as just another mess left behind that useless waste. Well, probably not useless if you were one of the lucky folk that picked up some of the £300 million+ squandered on it. (Let’s not forget the thousands of mugs volunteers who helped keep the cost down).

Glasgow faces up to reality of a divided Commonwealth Games legacy

I’ve found one sculpture for you…

See if you can go find the rest now.


They’re a secret, even online a simple search only brought up ONE reference – it gave only the background, a pic of the first one at Cowcaddens, and not as much a list identifying the rest.

Since I don’t want to be seen as kicking the concept of the statues or those responsible for their creation (I am, however, quite happy to be seen as mocking the Commonwealth Shames), here’s the intro:

Community fire stations across Glasgow will be home to lasting symbols of the 2014 Commonwealth Games thanks to the on-going partnership between the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS), the Scottish Prisons Service and Glasgow Life.

A series of sculptures created by prisoners at HMP Barlinnie will be installed in each of the city’s 11 stations, with the first officially unveiled Monday (16 June) at Cowcaddens.

SFRS offered the use of the city’s fire stations after Glasgow Life and HMP Barlinnie ran into difficulty when attempting to find suitable sites to place the then-planned sculptures.

So, all you have to do now is go find a list of the city’s 11 fire stations.

Nice one by the firefighters – pity they seem to have received little recognition or publicity for their efforts.

22/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


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