Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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


July 17, 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.

June 25, 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

January 19, 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.

December 10, 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.

December 9, 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.

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

Metal or stone – Rutherglen offers a selection of crash alternatives

When it’s on one of my regular walks I tend to lest these under the title of ‘Missed me’, but Rutherglen is not seen that often, only if I feel like a longer walk than usual.

Given the number of bashed barriers and broken bollards I see, it’s a surprise I don’t also see them happen, but then again, most culprits are probably drunks and speeding criminals, so the action happens in the wee small hours, when even I am tucked up in bed.  By the time I get there, the evidence has usually been cleared away (done very quickly these days to avoid traffic disruption) and all I get to see is bits of car – and the fun is then to guess the make and model.

I thought this was mildly amusing as Rutherglen has gone to the bother of installing decorative polished stone bollards on the main street to deter rogue pavement parking, and matched these with decorative metal fencing for pedestrian control.

In the case noted below, it’s interesting to note that the driver concerned elected to go with the nice soft metal barrier, and avoid the nasty lump of granite (I think that’s what is, but don’t quote me) as a handy ‘stopper’ for their car.

The degree of bending is mild, at least compared to sort of mangling and uprooting which tends to be seen when cars go careering into similar barriers in Shettleston. While I’d quite like to get pics of the actual event, given the extent of the loss of control and speed indicated by the damage, I’m also relatively happy not to be anywhere near one of these useless articles when they lose control.

Driver’s choice… stone:

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

Rutherglen parking control (stone)

(Sorry about the taxi, it pulled up as the pic was being taken, but it’s  not too bad, since it counts as an ‘interesting’ registration).

Or metal:

Rutherglen bent barrier

Rutherglen bent barrier

These are actually adjacent, and the two pics were taken from the same place, one looking to the left, and one to the right.

Not sure about the bending. After getting home and looking at the pic, can’t decide if it is low/manoeuvring speed incident (like a lorry reversing), or something a bit faster with a car, which would also have been moving against the flow of traffic here to do that.

January 21, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

PH Components becomes Dunlop’s Auto Shop

Expanding the empire from its (kind of) recent move to larger premises in Shettleston, I spotted my local car shop had taken over the derelict PH Components shop between Cambuslang and Rutherglen a while ago, and is due to open this year.

Funny how the colours of the sign came up so much more vividly in the first floodlit shot, possibly thanks to the many new LED floodlights they have.

It was quite a surprise to see this shining in the night, as the original black fronted shop had lain empty for some time after that business closed.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

The later daylight pic is much more drab and dull – and also odd, as it looks as if someone has broken all the floodlights from their mountings since I was last there, and every single one is hanging from its wires in front of the sign. Yet they were all tidily mounted in the first pic.

Rutherglen Dunlop's Auto Store

Rutherglen Dunlop’s Auto Store

Sad to say, the offer of “Any part For Any Car” (apart from being an excuse to call for public flogging of the sign-maker for dreadful use of capitalisation AND lack of apostrophe in the name – an error carried over from their Shettleston signs) has to be taken with care. Since I was passing the door on the way home one day (a few years ago), and had just had the privilege of having had one of Scotland’s finest ‘dumb deer’ try to end its life by piling itself into the SIDE of my car, I needed a new headlight, so thought I’d rather give Dunlop’s the money than the dealer. While they tried for two days, they eventually had to admit defeat, and tell me they couldn’t get Proton parts.

Things got worse after that.

As per Murphy’s Law, the deer had trashed the GOOD side of my car, meaning I had lost a perfectly good headlight unit.

Just after that, a new MOT tester started working in my local station. Since he clearly wanted to make a name for himself, he decided that the crack in the OTHER headlight unit (which had not been a problem for the past 5 or more MOTs) was a fail point, and I had to go buy a new one for THAT side too. No argument. No discussion.

I hate deer.

Did I mention that before? I hate them, I really do.

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

Familiar face seen in Rutherglen

I don’t know if anybody else spends any time looking at cats on the Internet, but I can recommend it as a way of triggering the phrase “HOW LONG???

I thought I was safe while out for a walk, but while passing the Mecca Bingo Hall in Rutherglen I found myself face-to-face with a familiar cat, as seen below:

Mecca Bingo Internet cat

Mecca Bingo Internet cat

The poster is/was on the entrance to a former 1930s cinema in Rutherglen Main Street, The Vogue, now one of the lucky ones to have survived even as a bingo hall, as even these were beginning to fall out of favour at one point, leading to still more of these marvellous buildings being razed, something that is still happening to those which have failed to find new uses or owners.

As for the cat…

Find it here:

Stock Photo – Portrait of gray shorthair British cat with bright yellow eyes on a white background

Since this is on a site that wants its ‘palm crossed with silver‘ for using that image, I’m not going to risk any hassle, so that’s why there’s just a text link.

I wonder if Mecca… Nah, they wouldn’t do that, would they?

January 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian | , , , | Leave a comment

Christmas lights 2016 – Rutherglen

It was amusing to look at this year’s pic of Rutherglen’s Christmas tree – by chance (or more likely because I happen to like the framing) it looked almost exactly the same as that from 2015 as I had unintentionally stood in almost exactly the same spot when I took it. That the lights in the street and on the tree were also almost exactly the same helped too.

I probably couldn’t have duplicated it had I tried.

Rutherglen Christmas tree 2016

Rutherglen Christmas tree 2016

Rutherglen is a little more inviting that most, having added ‘Welcome’ signs at each end of the main street.

Looking west:

Rutherglen Christmas lights west

Rutherglen Christmas lights west

And looking east:

Rutherglen Christmas lights east

Rutherglen Christmas lights east

The east view is interesting – you can’t just cross the road (if at the shops in the main street) and take it.

You have to wander through the underpass below the junction (or walk even further away to find a road crossing) and then come back onto a grassy area, as there is no pavement or footpath there.

Last year, I was not familiar with the layout and could not see how to get there in the dark, so…

Solved the apparent lack of access problem by taking the pic from behind the ‘Welcome to Rutherglen’ sign – and them flipping the pic horizontally. While the sign looks fine, the pic is not accurate… it does not show the lights in the main street, which should appear behind the sign.

It also turns the street American!

(The traffic is on the ‘wrong’ side).

Rutherglen Christmas lights east 2015

Rutherglen Christmas lights east 2015

December 22, 2016 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment


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