Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Baillieston conversion big reveal

I win my bet!

I’d be impressed – if it hadn’t been obvious.

Pigeons are still there – guess they’re stuck there since somebody boarded up the house beside the police station (the one that evaporated a few weeks ago) and the chippie along the road, where they used to live inside (presumably after some nice concerned animal activists smashed all the windows so the poor wee birdies could get in and shelter out of the cold).

I think I’d be wanting a fairly deep surveyor’s report on this one before parting with my cash.

Looks to my eyes as if there is something to be concerned about with that façade.

Run a straight line/edge along that steel lintel revealed above the entrance and left window – it’s curved!

The upstairs windows all look like they are at different angles to the horizontal, and match the lintel.

Since the front was covered while work was carried out here, it’s not possible to tell if it looked like this before, and the removal of the render revealed this.

It may be settlement in an old building, but I’d expect to see it stabilised, and not just left like this, especially with visible gaps and distortion.

Guess I’ll keep watching this whenever I get the chance to be here.

Baillieston Conversion Reveal

Baillieston Conversion Reveal


January 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Baillieston conversion bet

I don’t bet, but since the betting shop closed (still leaving two, I might add), and a shop moved failed to stick, I might be tempted to prise a penny from the safe and have a flutter.

I noted Chambers Fashions had closed back in July (as per the post mentioned above), and the place had sat untouched since, or at least that was the case until recently.

It sprouted a wooden screen over the entrance and windows recently, but no signs or other indication as to who was doing what.

But, I’ve seen a fair number of similar structures appear around some of the remaining ground floor shop units that survived into the 21st century, so I think I’m on fairly safe ground to stick my neck out and say that another original is about to bite the historic dust, and this shop unit will be flats when the light of day next strikes the full-frontal area of this façade.

Baillieston Chambers Fashions Redevelopment Underway

Baillieston Chambers Fashions Redevelopment Underway

Believe it or not, this is actually 9 pm (ie late night) on a December night, yet the brightness, shadows, and colours could almost be taken for daytime, such is the effect of LED street lighting (and a little extra help from vehicle headlight emerging from South Street), but a look at the black sky behind the roof confirms the time.

I thought I should grab a wider shot, while the adjacent barber shop is still a barber shop!

Baillieston Main Street Barber

Baillieston Main Street Barber Shop

Seen at top left of the roof is a flock of sleeping ‘flying rat’ aka pigeons. The outline of scaffolding erected against the right gable wall of the building can also be seen.

December 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Citizens Theatre wins £4.8 million redevelopment award

I’m not a theatre-goer, although I have visited one or two and enjoyed the shows seen as a result.

However, despite passing the Citizens Theatre ‘more than once’, I’ve never ventured inside. But, it will at least last long enough for me to maybe get the chance one day.

The Citizens Theatre Company has been awarded £4.8 million from the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) for its “transformational redevelopment” project, which will see the conservation, repair and expansion of one of Scotland’s oldest and much-loved working theatres, and be used to “protect the physical asset for future generations” while preserving and revealing the most significant parts of its heritage.

The redevelopment, by architectural practice Bennetts Associates, will provide new learning spaces, rehearsal rooms and a 152 seat studio theatre.

The company has been entertaining audiences for some 139 years.

In June 2018, the Citizens Theatre Company will move out of the Category B listed building (leases from Glasgow City Council) for more than two years, but will continue its work at Tramway and provide its Citizens Learning activities at Scotland Street School Museum.

The plan should see the company move back into its Gorbals home in autumn 2020.

Via Citizens Theatre awarded £4.8m grant for redevelopment

Plus Citizens Theatre’s future secured with £4.8m grant

Funny building – although I’ve passed it many times, and taken pics of surrounding structures, it never caught my eye, so we need a shared view from geograph (from a great contributor). My apologies, but I always think I’m walking past some new flats, or an office building, rather than a theatre.


Some of the new exterior looks as if it will be a little more inspiring in future.

Citizens Theatre via geograph

Citizens Theatre via geograph

December 18, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , | Leave a comment

Soaves return to Baillieston shops

I recently noted that after moving from the shops in Baillieston – to a vacated former TV shop, then café, on the outskirts – an ice cream parlour appear to have closed, and speculated that the move had not been a good idea as the footfall at the quieter spot was insufficient.

Although not received as a comment here, I was later told the shop had indeed closed, and gone back to shared premises in the middle of the main street, and I would guess a better return from lower operating costs and more passing trade.

Story confirmed when I spotted this recently.

Soaves Return

Soaves Return

Referring to the original post…

The little clothes shop is said to have a new taker, and will open again (no details).

And then what can only be described as fantasy…

That the former bank building is going to open under the auspices of one of the big businesses I refer to as ‘Coffee Cons’.

It now has another sign indicating it has restaurant planning permission – but a new restaurant already opened recently, just along the road, so I guess that is not really going to help moving a building this size with its attendant costs of ownership.

A bank might eat those costs for a while, but you will have to be coining it to make this building viable.

Baillieston Bank Building

Baillieston Bank Building

I won’t give them free publicity by naming them online, but they cost city worker a fortune, selling paper cups of brown slops – coffee with various silly and trendy names – for around £2.50 or more a time.

People fail to think, and buy this stuff, costing them well over £100 a year for little more than hot water.

It’s no wonder these cash black holes use paper cups, and avoid any refers to… MUGS.

If an ice cream parlour can’t cut it here, then I doubt there’s any way a franchisee would be able to cover their costs operating from this deserted area with few customers to pay for such a huge building and the franchise costs.

It’s only the founder that becomes a millionaire and enjoys the trapping of wealth from such plans.

August 8, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Perth City Hall designs go on show

It’s a far cry from the first headline about Perth City Halls being proposed for demolition:

Plans to demolish Perth City Hall unveiled

Now the building has a number of proposals for its future:

Proposals for the re-development of one of Perth’s most historic buildings have been unveiled.

The B-listed Perth City Hall, which was built in 1911, has lain empty for more than 10 years and had been threatened with demolition.

However, it was saved after those plans were blocked by Historic Scotland.

It is now hoped the building will help boost Perth’s visitor attractions, with plans to transform it into a venue for the visual arts.

The council said the hall would become a major new venue, displaying museum and art collections alongside iconic loans from elsewhere and touring exhibitions from the UK and abroad.

It will also provide community and learning spaces.

Via: Architects’ designs for Perth City Hall unveiled

No hurry though – The final decision on the design will be made in the summer, with construction expected to begin in 2019.

Perth City Hall shortlisted designs - top Richard Murphy, bottom left LDN, bottom right Hoskins

Perth City Hall shortlisted designs – top Richard Murphy, bottom left LDN, bottom right Hoskins – Images via BBC News

June 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , | Leave a comment

East End Orthodontics appears

Following on from an earlier post about the surprise appearance of (yet another) funeral director in the east end (is this a hint, should I move?), I got a similar surprise when I wandered through the same area again.

This time, all finished and installed – and I never saw even a moment of the place being fitted out – we have East End Orthodontics.

I think they mean ‘dentists’ in normal language, but want to be posh or more up-market, or… something.

Regardless, this was ever so slightly unexpected since this unit was not even being worked on when I came across the new funeral directors, and it was the units to the right of this sighting that were actually being worked on – but as can be seen from pic, are still boarded up.

So, NEVER assume!

East End Orthodontics

East End Orthodontics

Incidentally, that was a WEIRD pic – originally I just used it as it came, but the verticals diverged slightly (and I mean VERY slightly, only evident when the left of the original pic was against a true vertical window border) and made it look very distorted, and as if it bulged out in the centre.

All I did was align the left vertical – and all the oddness disappeared almost completely.

So, I learned something new with this one.

June 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | 2 Comments

South Rotunda saved

Not a place I see often these days (for many years to be honest), but I did reach the South Rotunda recently, and was aware that it has been saved recently, after being acquired by a company that carried out a complete refurbishment of the structure to convert it into their offices.

For those completely unfamiliar with it, suffice to say its original purpose was to house a pair of hydraulic elevators that took vehicles (that meant horse & cart as it opened in 1895) up and down to a tunnel under the river, with a separate tunnel accessed via stairs for pedestrians.

I’ve already made some notes about it elsewhere, so you can read more details here, in our Wiki:

South Rotunda

It’s really strange to see it like this, at a junction, and next to a bridge over the River Clyde.

I watched the roads being recreated here after the Glasgow Garden Festival, when the place was a near desert and there was hardly a car, or person, to be seen. Now it’s practically a main thoroughfare, and quite a shock to see all the traffic flowing here.

South Rotunda

South Rotunda

May 27, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

The intriguing plans for Glasgow’s neglected lanes

It’s a shame that so many people are ready to cast scorn on any initiatives proposed by Glasgow City Council out of hand, without the slightest consideration of their merit. Granted, the council has suffered (and in some cases still does) from the possible existence of ‘Ego Projects’ at the behest of some councillors, but such dismissal is probably as bad as those wayward proposals.

I know, I used to be a member of a forum that enjoyed attacking the council regardless – but then I realised this was just mindless hate on the members’ part, and left.

I’m sure they’ll be having a little ‘hate orgy’ this week, and dancing around burning copies of the Glasgow City Council’s draft strategy and public consultation documents for the improvement of some 90 lanes within the city centre.

That would be a mistake.

While I was initially sceptical after seeing stories about the strategy in the media, actually looking at the detail for myself revealed a sensibly researched review and proposal within this strategy, and one which I hope will eventually come to be financed and adopted.

In fact, the strategy runs to some 90+ pages in a well presented document:

Draft Lane Strategy for Public Commnet (pdf document)

Council approves next stage of strategy for Glasgow’s city centre lanes

I’m familiar with many of Glasgow’s lanes (and seldom venture into them, and certainly not in the dark), and those that come to mind at first are not appropriate for the plan, being the back of many business, or access to their services. They also suffer from one of our good/bad ideas – giant wheelie bins for their waste. Admittedly better than the piles of black bags and waste, they still take up space, and can ‘go walkies’ since few lanes are level – I used to work near West Regent Lane for example. As can be seen, it’s needed for access, and the lane surface is old, failing, and on an incline.

West Regent Lane

West Regent Lane

Similar, but not on an incline, is Renfield Lane, but it has a fine crop of business related wheelie bins:

Renfield Lane

Renfield Lane

These are NOT the lanes of the plan, although it suggests that improving their condition would still make for a better, cleaner environment, provide improved access, and help reduce crime and anti-social behaviour.

In fact, taking the time to look at the proposals without an ant-council bias shows the selection of a small number of lanes in areas where they could be developed as attractions, and turned into public spaces with shops, restaurants and bars.

This has happened in other areas of the city, and those lanes have become favourites with both locals and visitors.

With this in mind, it’s now worth reading the media coverage:

Glasgow’s back lanes in line for Melbourne style revamp

World-inspired revamp for Glasgow’s 90 city centre lanes

April 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Surprise funeral directors

This was something of a surprise, and a reminder that unexpected things can happen when you are not watching – in this case while my regular walking route happened to be in another direction for a while.

Building seen has been abandoned, or more accurately unoccupied, for years.

A long long time ago it was a car dealer’s, might even have been built for that use originally. That eventually closed, then it was a Job Centre for a while. I’m not sure if it was before or after that, but I think it was some sort of office for a while, but was fairly anonymous, so I have little recollection.

It looks as if the agents have decided to divide it up into smaller units, with the funeral directors having established their presence while I was absent, and another premises (no clues yet) being fitted out next door.

Given how long this place has lain empty, I hadn’t expected to ever see anything there again.

Shettleston funeral directors

Shettleston funeral directors

February 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Railway signal boxes look for new uses

It will be interesting to see what sort of plans arise regarding the re-use of old railway signal boxes, either already retired, or due to be retired as part of modernisation and improvement plans for the rail network.

I was almost surprised to read about this, as all the signal boxes I can think of having seen in recent years have all been closed and abandoned.

It seems many are listed, to varying degrees, so the owner (Network Rail) still has to maintain them, even if not in service and decommissioned, since listing confers responsibility, but so far, does not provide any cash. If the boxes can be let, then the interior could be maintained by the lessee, while the exterior remained with the network. Some could become cafes. Other suggestion include re-siting the boxes to allow them to be reused, perhaps at heritage railway sites.

Heritage plans for 70 Scots signal boxes – The Scotsman

Derelict Murthley (sealed and devoid of its stairway) is pictured below, but could be re-sited if funding can be put in place.

June 6, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Last evidence of Glasgow Zoo erased

While it’s not a particularly recent event, this is the first time I’ve been able to visit the former entrance to Glasgow Zoo and grab a pic to show that it has now gone completely, together with any remains of the zoo which had survived on the ground behind. This was the last piece of zoo grounds which the developer consumed to build houses on. Although I’ve been past a few time since the turn of the year, it should come as no surprise to learn that the weather was usually just too wet to risk taking an ordinary (ie not waterproof) camera out.

Needless to say, but just for completeness, all the zoo roads and building that had survived on this last piece of ground have been razed, and the ground cleared to make way for more new build.

Glasgow Zoo no more

Glasgow Zoo no more

For those not familiar with the view as it was, visible on the left (behind the wall) is one of the new houses nearing completion, while the gap on the right (with the pieces of temporary fencing scattered around) used to be the entrance, complete with wrought iron gates, and gatehouse to the left. This was largely destroyed by arson many years ago, and the shell stood until it was demolished a couple of years ago.

The old shot below gives an idea of what was left, in 2008:

Glasgow Zoo entrance remains

Glasgow Zoo entrance remains

March 31, 2014 Posted by | Civilian, Lost | , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: