Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

When the River Clyde collapsed (even more)

I’ve already been lucky once, and found some remaining evidence of how the banks of the River Clyde subsided when the tidal weir failed and allowed the river level to fall below its now long-established normal level.

I thought the subsided walkway I found that day was all that was left of the damage caused during that event, since it had taken me so long to get anywhere the affected area.

I was wrong.

Wandering even further west of that damage, along Adelphi Street, I came across an even more extreme case of subsidence following the loss of water level during weir failure.

The first find looked impressive enough, but this second area had even better (worse?) evidence remaining of the damage.

I find it amazing that this degree of damage could follow after what amounted to only hours of reduction in the level of the river compared to its usual height, maintained for decades by the weir, yet so quickly defeated as the banks drained.

If that was your cycle path – you’ve had it (it’s OK, they marked out a new path to the left).

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

Poor lamp.

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

This was the most impressive section – just look at the row of kerb stones suspended in mid-air after the ground fell away below them.

You probably couldn’t have made that happen if someone had offered to pay you to do it.

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

River Clyde Tidal Weir Subsidence Adelphi Street

I don’t suppose anybody else is in any pleased about this, but I have to confess I am, as I really wanted to see what had happened, and was disappointed at not being able to make it along for a look at the time.

(OK council, you can fix it all now.)


June 8, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

Polish fire on the Clyde

Remember the (presumably stolen) suitcase I came across on the banks of the Clyde last week?

Click the thumb for bigger reminder:

Polish On The Clyde

I was along the same path this week, and guess what?

Someone took an intense dislike to the case and stuff still inside, and set fire to it.

You should be able to recognise the spot, but there’s no case there now, just some charred remains.

Funny thing – they left all the books and papers scattered around the spot untouched. They might have taken the time to throw them on the fire and at least tidy the spot up a little.

Polish Fire

Polish Fire

One good thing – I found a nice new ballpoint pen there this time.

May 31, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , , | Leave a comment

That 1988 rowing pic I asked about?

While I blog for my own reasons, independent of any readers, it’s still sad to note that the few comments/responses the material once got have dried up completely.

I guess ‘Social Media’ has killed this sort of thing.

I posted a pic taken from about the River Clyde in 1988, with rowers shown on a section of the River Clyde I couldn’t identify from present day aerial views…

Clyde Rowers From The Air

Clyde Rowers From The Air

Now that I know where this is, I also know why it wasn’t immediately obvious where it was, and why it didn’t make for an easy find using present day aerial views.

The first problem was one of assumption, deliberate or otherwise, that the pic had been shown with North at the top.

I know it’s a notional thing, but if this scene is inverted compared to its appearance on a map – those rowers are actually rowing downriver, to the south east.

The building seen to their right can still be found at the back of Richmond Park. Such buildings can usually be found and identified on old OS maps, but this one seems to be absent.

Clyde Riverbank Building

Clyde Riverbank Building

Incidentally, this pic caught one of Glasgow City Council’s safety initiative from years gone by – when all the spikes were sawn off their railings and fences. This followed a number of incidents where children (and others) had managed to fall and impail themselves on these old features, sometimes fatally.

The second problem was just nature – seen from above, most of the ground detail is now hidden below trees, and simply cannot be seen.

Don’t forget – the Google view below is inverted compared to the original pic shown above. That little building is on the south (lower) bank seen in the view below. You can also see how the trees have grown to completely the cover the view of the path and two benches seen in that original view.

Even this view is now out of date – the area on the south bank of the river (where the building still lies) is currently fenced off and has been cleared for extensive land works, not further identified.

May 21, 2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Polish on the Clyde

It’s funny how some spots of the River Clyde’s banks seem to collect rubbish, while others seem to stay clean, and the odds of finding something interesting (carried along and dumped by the river seem to be low.

I’ve mentioned this before, and think the reason is down to the route the river takes, and it doesn’t pass close to populated places near people (who can drop goodies) until it reaches Glasgow.

However, in this case, although the stuff was on the riverbank, it wasn’t the river that dumped it there.

Looks like some Polish traveller had their luggage stolen, and it was taken down to river, where it could be raided on a steep bank out of sight of the road.

Nothing of value was left, only a selection of Polish literature, notes, and cheap stuff like odd pens.

Polish OnT he Clyde

Polish On The Clyde

There was ONE interesting detail though – the packaging for a soft (toy) hand gun.

While not illegal, increasingly restrictive firearms’ legislation in Scotland, and the chances of a “Shoot first and ask questions later” response by armed police, who can’t be sure if a good replica is a genuine firearm or not, or the state of mind of the person issuing threats with it, are sufficiently high to render it a ‘Bad Idea’.

Soft Pistol Packaging

Soft Pistol Packaging

The damp had got to the printing, and while I could see the details identifying the usual ammo and its weight (plus the obvious muzzle velocity claim), it wasn’t clear if this was CO2 or spring powered.

Oh… Found it!

Armed police arrest man after ‘gun’ report

(Just kidding).

May 20, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Oh look… a rowing club

Wandering along the unfamiliar (to me) south bank of the River Clyde, I was slightly surprised to find the home of the Glasgow Rowing Club (established 1983) while somewhere near Polmadie.

That’s not to say I didn’t know there was a club building somewhere down there, noted when I’d been studying maps of the area for other locations, but it never really clicked with me, since I’m more local to the ‘other’ side, where there’s a bigger and presumably older/longer established rowing club building (actually home to the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club, this boathouse is B listed, a two-storey building completed in 1905), and I have often seen that one in use. I just didn’t know the one on the other side was active.

After all, there’s a matching club building a little to east of that larger one, notable for a Taggart scene involving firearms set on its landing stages. Identified as the University of Glasgow Boat House, this comprises a long, two storey brick building built in 1924..

There were rowers on the river at the time, but as this club house was bolted up tight, they must have come from the other one, but I wasn’t going that far.

Glasgow Rowing Club

Glasgow Rowing Club

Nice to see the graffiti cleaned off – would be even nicer to hear the vandals concerned made a big splash nearby 😉

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, 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

May 2, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Oh look! A new footbridge over the river

I took a long bike ride along the River Clyde some months ago.

The route isn’t one I’d choose to walk, simply because the meandering riverbank walkway adds miles to an already reasonably long walk into the city centre.

I spotted some concrete pillars rising from the river near Polmadie and Oatlands, which I thought looked like the remnants of some sort of bridge. Searching around when I returned home revealed that these were the remains of a footbridge which had been declared unsafe, and demolished/removed.

This (missing/demolished) bridge was built around 1955, and was itself a replacement for a still earlier bridge, built around 1900. The first one was wooden (as opposed to the later concrete), and partially destroyed by fire in 1921)

No pics of those pillars since I didn’t know what they were (and they didn’t look ‘interesting’), and there wasn’t a chance to go back for them later.

I also read that the bridge was to be replaced, and by the time I wandered back (walking direct, as opposed to following the river is LOT shorter and quicker), work had started on the new footbridge, as per this sign.

Polmadie Footbridge Reconstruction Sign

Polmadie Footbridge Reconstruction Sign

These views are taken from the south bank. I usually don’t see this view as I  live on the north side.

Although I didn’t collect pics of the supporting pillars, I think I have made up for that now, as the muck and weathering seen below suggests they are the originals, and are being reused for the new bridge, so I didn’t miss out completely.

New Bridge

New Bridge


New Bridge

New Bridge


New Bridge

New Bridge

24 weeks?

Who knows – that might be long enough for me to get back for another pic.

Bonus fact – Diving Boards!

By chance, when reading up on the bridge’s history, I spotted a real oddity.

Nothing is now visible of four spring boards strung out over a distance of 94m along the north bank of the River Clyde which are depicted on the 1st edition of the OS 25-inch map (Lanark 1865, Sheet VI.15 (City of Glasgow)). They appear to have been removed by the 1890s and they are not shown on the 2nd edition of the 25-inch map (Lanarkshire 1895, Sheet 006.15).


April 13, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

When the River Clyde collapsed

One of the great irritations I enjoyed recently(ish) was not being able to get out and visit the Clyde Tidal Weir when it suffered a control gate failure, meaning the level of the river could no longer be regulated in response to its flow.

The best I could manage was a later visit, for a pic just to mark the event.

However, what I found more irritating after that was seeing pics of the riverbank, or more accurately, the footpath along the river. This had suffered damage and subsided after the lower water levels led to loss of ground support, allowing the ground to collapse.

While I saw some fuzzy pics, and some news coverage, I’d really wanted to get along there, but it was a tad too far at the time.

I thought I’d missed my chance after reading that some remedial work had been carried out, but it seems this was only partial, and I recently discovered areas of subsided pathway still existed.

This is where Ballater Street meets Kings Bridge over the river – specifically the short stretch between McNeil Gardens and the main road. It becomes Adelphi Street once it crosses the road, and carries on into the city centre.

I found this section was still closed and barricaded by fixed fencing and diversion signs.

Arriving from the east, it doesn’t look too severe – until you look at the detail, for example, the section between the two closest lampposts. Looking at the bottom of the third post between those two shows how deep the subsidence goes.

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

Viewing the same stretch from the other end, from the fence at the back of the above pic.

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

A closer look at the subsidence in the distance seems to look even more severe.

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

Clyde Riverbank Collapse Kings Bridge

I carried on along to the suspension bridge, but there were no further damaged areas seen, and I already knew there were none on the other bank, which I’d been along previously.

April 11, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Clyde Walkway Stepway

Just to make the break from Glasgow and the High Street area, a little further along towards Parkhead.

I’m not sure why I grabbed this view, but I do seem to have a vague memory that on the day I was there I was sure the handrail on these steps leading down to the Clyde Walkway (also cycle route 75) had been changed. But I don’t think I’ve got an earlier pic to prove it.

You don’t have to bump up and down if you do decide to exit or enter the cycle route here, as they’ve included a nice sloping path just out of sight, to the left.

It’s nice and quiet here, now that much of the assorted works and developments that were underway here a few years ago have finally come to an end. Across the river you’ll find the now not so new park opened on Cunningar Loop, made easier to access thanks to the new footbridge they eventually completed to provide access from this side of the river – instead of having to go most of the way to Rutherglen, through Dalmarnock, to get there.

Clyde Walkway Stepway

Clyde Walkway Stepway

April 7, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

It’s freezing in Scotland – so it must be Easter!

I haven’t managed a decent walk for weeks now, the surrounding weather is just too grim.

After looking at the forecast since I had to go out,  yesterday looked like the best bet for a while.

I was right! 24 hours later the temp has tumbled at least 5 deg C AND it has started to rain (weather forecast warned of potential for sleet/snow). At least I only had cold gusting wind yesterday, and some Sun (not seen today).

I managed around 13 miles, and made it to Glasgow Green, but on the way managed to pick up some pics of daring flowers that had taken a chance. We don’t even have daffodils showing around my own area, despite their showing in many other places nearby.

First sighting was in Tollcross Park, with some areas carpeted like this, unfortunately not the most dazzling colour, but at least showing.

Tollcross Park Blooms

Tollcross Park Blooms

More colourful, but I don’t know their name, these little yellow flowers I almost mistook for dandelions before I looked closed, and spotted the stems – which are interesting compared the smooth stem of a dandelion.

A few groups were spotted on the River Clyde at Hutchesontown, just behind the fence on the riverbank.

River Clyde Behind Richmond Park Riverbank Blooms

River Clyde Behind Richmond Park Riverbank Blooms

I wonder if the betting shops take bets on Easter weather?

I can recall enjoying sunny days in local parks some years, to ending up being frozen through when I made the mistake of using the holiday to work outside on my car, to the time I left home in a near blizzard – on my way to Manchester for work.

March 30, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Wandering along the Clyde

If you’ve ever wondered about what you might find if you wander along the untamed sections of the banks of the River Clyde, then I can probably tell you – not much.

I’m discounting things such as historic or built features, or more likely their remains, since they can be found in references or other documents, and hunted down, or referred to in various guides.

I’m thinking more of oddities that don’t rate inclusion in such esteemed sources, or stuff that may just have ended up down there, for whatever reason.

Some of the walking there is not too bad, with little more than loose debris and undergrowth underfoot, but there are sections where running water has dug out deep ruts in the ground, some is just muddy and sloppy, and some areas are just impassable where trees, roots, and branches have gathered to form a wall.

The only way past is to climb back inland and go around, before returning to the riverbank – progress can be slow.

This view (click for bigger) looks passable from here, but once you reach the tree in the background, the tangle of debris on the ground behind is just too deep to gain footing, and your leg just goes through it and progress is all but halted.

Clyde Riverbank

Clyde Riverbank

There are some oddities, such as the scene below, where a row of pipes and metal posts has been hammered into the ground – but there’s no obvious reason or purpose.

Unless you know better.

Clyde Riverbank Odd Poles

Clyde Riverbank Odd Poles

The round grey poles are old scaffolding poles with threaded ends, similar to some I have in my own garden, driven into the ground to act as tall fence supports.

The rusty flat sections are similar to fence supports in my garden, but for a low metal fence that marked the border of the field that used to lie on the other side.

These examples appear to be stuck into the ground upside down.

The flat plates are normally buried about a foot (30 cm) deep, to provide a ground anchor for the metal post they are attached to, since the thin post would be easily dislodged on its own. The large area of the plate means the fence can’t just be pushed over easily, and provides a solid foundation once earth has been packed around it.

January 19, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

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