Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Rutherglen’s Christmas tree – and a weirdo

I took a chance and grabbed a quick pic of Rutherglen’s Christmas tree, mainly because I should already have caught Baillieston’s, but as you see – it has yet to be caught. It is at least there, I’ve seen it, but could stop for a pic, or get back quickly. Soon.

I’m starting to develop a memory, goodness know what from though, as there were never any decent memory cells ‘up there’ in the past.

So I know this is much like last year, as are the lights in the Main Street.

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Yet again, I’m finding myself slightly surprised at the results, and wondering what I changed to almost ‘ready to use’ pics out of the compact. At this level, the only giveaway is the mushy detail it delivers where there is any fine detail in the scene, or subtle shadow detail, which just doesn’t register, or is also mushy.

I have tweaked it a little, but not anywhere near what I was doing last year.

Creepy Clown?

I have to admit that while I find circus clowns funny in their natural habitat, I’m also with the people who find clowns distinctly unfunny, and even creepy, outside that environment.

They don’t scare me, unlike some people I’ve come across who seem to have an irrational fear of them.

It’s more a feeling of unease about anyone dressed and made up like that where it’s not appropriate. Probably something to do with the modern archetype of the evil clown, popularized by Stephen King’s 1986 novel, ‘It’. The character can be seen as playing off the sense of unease felt by sufferers of coulrophobia, the fear of clowns.

Anyway, while I was photographing the tree, I happened to look behind me (and up), and saw this thing watching me…

Rutherglen Christmas Character

Rutherglen Christmas Character

I have to confess to never having looked closely at the lights mounted along the main street, concentrating more on getting the whole street captured.

I haven’t really noticed this sort of thing before.

Since I’ve photographed the same lights and views for a few years now (they don’t seem to change much year-on-year now, anywhere), maybe I should change ‘mode’, and take walks along these streets and their lights, and look for interesting details, such as this.

Guess I’ll need to run some tests first, to see which camera/lens does this best since it means moving to longer zooms, and away from wider angled shots (one of the tricks for taking decent low light pics).

11/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , | Leave a comment

Looks like my Rutherglen camera test find was for average speed cameras

I chanced across a sign for some sort of camera test as I crossed a busy Rutherglen road recently, but although there were signs highlighting the presence of a test, there didn’t seem to be any immediate reveal of what the test was for.

Rutherglen Test Camera

Rutherglen Test Camera

I wondered if the poles, or the symbol mounted at the top might have given a clue.

It might be that they do.

See this story which just appeared regarding the success of an average speed camera installation

Officials monitoring the camera system on Old Dalkeith Road in Edinburgh said there was now an average of two offences recorded per day.

Before the cameras were installed three in every five vehicles were speeding.

Between 2013-15 there were six crashes where someone was injured on that stretch of road, including three resulting in serious injury or death.

During the last year there have been no crashes resulting in injury reported on Old Dalkeith Road in the area covered by the average speed camera system.

Offences drop on Scotland’s first urban road with average speed cameras

Compare the mount and the

Old Dalkieth Road Safety Camera Scotland Pic

Old Dalkeith Road Safety Camera Scotland Pic

Here’s the corner detail, as it’s not clear in the full image.

Camera Pole Corner Detail

Camera Pole Corner Detail

05/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Missed this Rutherglen event

I’ve had these pics for a while, but never seem to find the opportunity (or good reason) to post them, but the odd find should be included.

I’d been wandering in Rutherglen for a while, when the rain sent me heading for cover as it turned from just a bit of rain, into a steady downpour that just decided not to let up.

I headed into a derelict industrial unit near the road, and found some unexpected goodies left there. Sure, it had very little roof, but even some roof is better than no roof at all when it’s absolutely chucking it down.

I don’t get there very often, but I’ve never seen anyone else around here when I have been here (even in much better weather.

Hopefully the pics are readable – I haven’t spent any time fettling them, just resized and corrected automatically to make them suit the blog, then dumped the set in here.

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

Rutherglen Oddness

31/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Another ‘secret’ box spills its story for us

Not that long since we last saw inside one, this ‘secret’ box on the side of the road in Rutherglen decided to give us a look at that which is not normally seen.

Better than most, it came complete with labelled breakers and isolators, and even a complete circuit diagram.

What more could we ask for?

This one’s clearly had a bit of a refurb in its life, with a nice enclosure fitted to carry the stuff that we’ve seen just mounted directly inside the larger outside box in other examples – although they didn’t manage to get the fuses in the new area.

Still, it’s a lot better looking than any we’ve come across so far.

Rutherglen Road Secret Box

Rutherglen Road Secret Box

Interesting items on the breakers.

I’d be intrigued to see the actual difference between the ’24 HR’ circuit, and what the ‘BY-PASS’ option actually by-passes, although it’s probably obvious.

I wonder if there’s a thermostat on the ‘HTR’ (heater) circuit, or if it’s just a big power resistor or real heater element that just cooks the interior all the time.

‘PEC’ will be a photoelectric control circuit that should ensure the street lighting only activates during hours of darkness, unlike the old street lighting circuits, which had timers to switch them on during ‘Lighting Up’ hours.

The two switches above this are an ‘OVERRIDE’ on the left, and a ‘MAIN SWITCH’ on the right.



Nice (partial) diagram.

At least this one is photogenic – the first and last one I came across a while ago had actually faded thanks to the weather, so  couldn’t be pictured.

Interesting to see the test values recorded, also both the poles with lamps, and those with no lamps (‘REST POLES’ used to support the overhead cables on their routing) are identified individually.

Rutherglen Road Lighting Box Diagram

Rutherglen Road Lighting Box Diagram

17/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Funnier in reality than in pic – All that was left was his boots

It’s odd how some things don’t photograph well.

The current ‘standard’ Rolls Royce can be such a thing, and I often find the reality of meeting one of these cars is considerably more pleasing that looking at photographs of the car, which often seem to lose all sense of proportion, and don’t do the actual body shape any favours.

Then there’s scene seen below, which I came across outside an abandoned factory premises in Rutherglen.

As seen, it looked very funny, and mimicked one of those cartoon-type scenes where there’s an explosion, and all that’s left when the smoke clears are the boots of the guy who caused it.

But when I tried to photograph it, there just didn’t seem to be an angle that matched this vision.

Still, maybe it’s me and my (lack of) imagination, or the dull day and lack of colour, or lack of context, and it does look better than I think it does.

I don’t know – you decide.

All That Was Left Was His Boots

All That Was Left Was His Boots

04/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Camera test spotted in Rutherglen

Hard to miss this one.

Bright yellow poles holding cameras for test purposes on Rutherglen’s Glasgow Road.

Sadly, although we can see it’s a test – there’s nothing to tell us what is actually being tested.

I suppose being only a single camera looking in each direction limits the options, but it would still be nice to know. After all, others have been noted which do have notices or labels to indicate their purpose.

Video/image processing is becoming so complex these days, while it was once possible to make a guess based on the number of cameras, software is becoming so fast and clever now, making a guess just isn’t an option.

I tried having a very brief look online, but with nothing identifying the owner of these cameras, the search was really too general to come up with anything worthwhile.

I was intrigued by the artistic symbol formed by the reinforcement at the elbow formed at the top of the pole, where the camera is mounted. I don’t know if it is just a chance form, or if it is a logo of some sort. I don’t recognise it, but it seems to be a deliberate shape.

Rutherglen Test Camera

Rutherglen Test Camera

I almost missed the one across the road, only spotting it when I turned around to look back along the road after crossing.

Rutherglen Test Cameras

Rutherglen Test Cameras

17/07/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Surveillance, Transport | , | Leave a comment

What is this Rutherglen marker post for?

Rutherglen has thrown some interesting features, such as some fairly odd old benchmarks embedded in the pavement/footpath that don’t seem to match any listed on sites dedicated to such things, and even defied an enquiry to the museum service.

This one seems to be the opposite, and is so new (in relative terms) that it doesn’t seem to have been listed or recorded anywhere (at least not that I’ve been able to find online).

I’ve passed it for a few years now, and think it appeared while the ‘new’ motorway works were being carried out nearby, and the roads were being altered to suit.

It is an unidentified stone (or concrete – to my shame I have never looked closely) marker with unexplained writing carved on its face.

As some of the carving is already a little indistinct, I’ll describe what is shown in the pic.

I’m not even sure what is written on it, having first interpreted a ‘/’ character as a slash, then began to wonder if it was a stylised number ‘1’.

The top line is easy, that’s an ‘R’

But the next could be taken to be ‘/85/’ or ‘1851’, so is ambiguous.

There is then a horizontal separator line.

The next could be taken to be ’20/8′ or ‘2018’ – but it’s worth remembering this was placed BEFORE 2018!

Next line is a stylised ‘RHS’.

At the bottom is what I interpret as a stylised thistle.

Rutherglen Marker Glasgow Road

Rutherglen Marker Glasgow Road and Quay Road

Given the thistle, I had thought this might have identified ‘Royal Horticultural Society Scotland’, but a look around their web site does not appear to mention the placing of any markers.

The ‘H’ could also be Historical, but that proved too vague to come up with anything.

And the /85/ over 20/8 doesn’t correspond to anything such as any co-ordinate system that I’m aware of.

I tried the date pair of 1851 and 2018, but again, too vague to find anything with no other clues.

Thank to Google, I can say there was nothing but industrial units on the ground before the motorway changes, and that the spot for this marker was not there back in 2010, was prepared in 2012, and the marker itself was in place by 2014, so the idea of ’20/8′ being 2018 seems unlikely, being at least four years after the thing was put in place, and six years before the spot was set aside.


Does anybody know what this is?

I find it odd that something so obvious should be placed so carefully yet have nothing nearby to explain it.

This is how it looks on Street View, showing its location.

Use ‘View on Google Maps’ to see what this spot looked like all the way back to 2007.

25/06/2018 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

The missing cat archive

All I know about this one is that it is old, which is a bit of a shame.

I mention this often, in the hope that people putting up lost/missing cat posters might see it, and take note of the problem of such posters if they are not waterproof, or get forgotten.

I saw a few of these around the same area of Rutherglen I was wandering around, but they were all weather-beaten and as unreadable as this example.

Sad to say, I’ve still only seen one case where a lucky owner went around and was able to replace the ‘Missing’ posters with ‘Thank you’.

Rutherglen Missing Cat

Rutherglen Missing Cat

19/01/2018 Posted by | Appeal | , , | Leave a comment

Rutherglen Christmas lights

I was too early when I passed through Rutherglen last week, with the hardware installed for Christmas, but still to be turned on.

Better luck this time.

Rutherglen West Christmas

Rutherglen West Christmas

(I chopped the bottom off this pic as all the drivers seemed unable to use their handbrakes, and the sea of red brake lights ruined the pic – and this junction never seemed to clear of vehicles).

It’s not that long since I had to resort to trickery to get this pic (taken from the Main Street, behind the sign, and then reversed to get the words round the right way).  I also couldn’t really have taken it from the viewpoint that gave this pic.

Wandering along the Main Street found the official Christmas tree, and this seems to be set to follow the practice of just hanging the lights from the top, rather than  wrapping them around the tree.

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

Rutherglen Christmas Tree

A little further along, and momentarily diverted by LOTS of Christmas trees and lights – at a guess, this shop probably sells them.

Rutherglen Christmas Trees

Rutherglen Christmas Trees

A look back as we leave, but still getting a welcome.

Rutherglen East Christmas

Rutherglen East Christmas

Maybe I should grab video – those light string across the road continuously fade in and out, but look as if they are static lights in still pics.

I’m never too happy with video, as it comes out OK, but eats time if you start fiddling with it.

10/12/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment


I think there might be three businesses that have large outdoor displays (the same type as far as I can see) which show an alternating display of time and temperature.

They’ve been in place for a few years, and as far as I can tell are manually set – the time is not always correct, and come the days of adjustment to take account of BST (British Silly Time) or its equally Dopey cousin (DST), you’d better not be dependent on any them, at least not before somebody in any of the companies concerned remembers it’s THEIR job to set and check them.


Usually more reliable is their temperature display, generally as accurate as might be expected, probably because it has no dependence on regular human intervention.

However, heading into Rutherglen last night, I noticed that one of them was lying, or there was something terribly wrong with me, since I was thinking things had recently become rather cold.

Far from being 13°C last night, an optimistic 3°C for a sensor bolted to a box bolted to a building might have been possible, although the reading from a properly isolated outdoor sensor would have been somewhat closer to freezing.

This one has either failed completely and is indicating whatever it feels like, or has some fault in its display driver, and is illuminating the two segments for the decimal ‘1’, and appearing to add 10°C  to the correct reading.

Don’t believer it if you see it – It’s LYING!

Rutherglen Lies 3 Not 13

Rutherglen Lies 3 Not 13

FYI Although not legible in this long distance pic, the wording below the red-hot readout are for John Hillhouse Properties.

Oh! There’s a coincidence. The same details can be seen on the board to the right.

09/12/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Dunlop’s Auto Shop Rutherglen oopsie

I’ve been a little ‘Out of circulation’ for a few weeks, so didn’t manage a quick return to Dunlop’s new Auto Shop in Rutherglen to see how it looked after (or even if) had opened.

It’s all nicely ‘tarted up’ with some eye-catching shutter murals and graphics – which I would miss if I landed here early enough to catch the shop open, so being late can have advantages as most of this is hidden when the shutters are rolled up during the day.

I see the opportunity for fun is still a feature – if you drive a Proton and are looking for parts I invite you to test their offering of “Any Part For Any Car“. While there’s no mention of any compensation for their failure to meet that promise, you will at least (provided you are not in a hurry) know that a day or two’s effort was wasted behind the counter. Then there’s always the option of a hint to Trading Standards.

But there’s actually a bigger sin apparent in this pic, now that the signwriting has been completed.

And it’s NOT that lack of apostrophe on Dunlop’s, (Dunlops’?).. or Dunlops as they put it, even though that is a pretty big sin.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

Did you spot it?

It’s only repeated three times.

This, below the windows:

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Please Keep Clear Dunlops

Tut-tut Dunlops, a car shop should know road law better than most.

You have no more rights to the public road in front of your shop than anyone else – the clue is in the word ‘public’.

This is a personal bugbear of mine whenever and wherever I see it, like the supposed ‘Red flag to a bull’ (seems they are colour blind), ever since I parked in front of Cross’s butcher shop (now gone, and the building even burnt down a few weeks ago) in Shettleston, on my way to hand a cheque into the nearby insurance agent.

Given the ranting and raving of the butcher who came running out of his shop to shout at me to “MOVE YOUR CAR! THAT SPACE IS RESERVED FOR MY CUSTOMERS! MOVE!” you could have been forgiven for thinking I had just knocked down his prize bull, instead of just having to listen to it.

Or that he did actually own that piece of road since it lay directly in from of his shop.

Public roads are just that – PUBLIC!

For the use of everyone who paid for them with their taxes.

You are entitled to the bit you are using, and nobody else has any more entitlement, be that the road in front of their shop, or even their house. Can’t get parked in front of your own house because someone has parked on that piece of road. Sorry, you’ll have to walk a few metres.

I’ll be watching this inventive piece of signwriting in the future.

Maybe someone local will take the hump (don’t look at me, I don’t live there, I’m just an observer), and have a word with the council, roads department, or even police.

Or maybe someone thinks that little end piece of road is no longer classed as ‘public road’ since it’s been blocked off, and this is OK.

12/08/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: