Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

How do you lose…

So, ambling towards The Forge at Parkhead, and watching out for interesting finds lying in the street, I come across one…

But not a find I’ll be collecting or taking home – see the pic:

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

Shettleston Road Lost Bra

As always, I arrive just to late to catch the fun, or whatever.

On this occasion, I’m not even going to TRY and make up a narrative to go with this one.

I’m sure you can come up with own, and probably better than any I could come up with.

June 15, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , | Leave a comment

Bloody Kids!

Last time I found kids ‘Having Fun’ was when a bunch of them hid behind the wall of Janefield Cemetery (also the Eastern Necropolis or even Parkhead Cemetery on the Gallowgate, which has its entrance just across from The Forge shopping centre.

They’d found an old iron cooking pot and a length of rope, and were using it to launch the pot over the wall into the road – and passing traffic of course – then pull it back in for another go while staying hidden. Fortunately, realignment of the roads here has this section almost deserted, so they never hit anything (or anybody), and like little cowards usually do, eventually ran away over the graves after attracting the attention of a few pedestrians who had seen the pot come flying over the wall as they walked toward the spot where the kids were hiding.

This time, I was surprised when something (turned out to be a pen) landed next to me as I passed Enzo’s chip shop in Shettleston Road last night.

I tend not to react to such things (unless there’s a real need to find cover, or it’s the start of an earthquake or volcanic eruption) since that’s usually what they’re intended to evoke, and walked on until I could sneak a look without being seen. But I know this place well, and other than upper floor tenement windows, there’s little else.

But all the windows were closed – yet I could actually still hear stuff hitting the ground.

And people coming out of Enzo’s were jumping in surprise as ‘stuff’ was hitting the ground around them – yet I could not see an open window.

The answer came when I crossed the road and stood across from Enzo’s and looked up at the building above…

There’s a couple of attic windows in the roof, set back from the face of the building, and therefore invisible from the street below.

I geared up for some pics to catch whoever was at the window, but as you’ll see from the pic and enlargement below, as soon as the kid saw me point the camera at him he ducked out of view and pulled the window shut – never to re-appear. So only only one pic.

Above Enzo's

Above Enzo’s

Blue T-Shirt Kid

Blue T-Shirt Kid

You know who you are… that blue t-shirt probably wants burning now.

And I suspect some neighbours would like a wee word.

June 13, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 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 | , , , | Leave a comment

Shettleston Road fire surprise

This was a bit of a surprise the other day, and I almost missed it altogether.

I’d been here a few days before, and things looked normal, but when I glanced over again (on my way to the shops) thought the view looked ‘odd’.

Walking over for a closer look showed the roof had gone and I was looking at the tenement across the road, through blackened rafters which were all that remained of the roof over the takeaway.

It’s only a few weeks since the rest of this site was razed – conspiracy theorists would be having fun with the timing!

Shettleston Road Fire

Shettleston Road Fire

The sign from Cafe Shama and Pizza4u has gone, but Google’s handy Street View caught it for posterity. Those two shops in the centre were originally a single unit – as the remains of the roof, and rear view show.

A shame that one shop fire takes out two others – Eastbank Glass has been closed for years.

We actually used to have one of the flats seen through those rafters (but it was a long time ago), and I was there when another fire started nearby. The excitement came not from the fire, but the arrival of the fire engine. Although it didn’t actually crash, it arrived too fast and when the driver braked it lost grip, mounted the pavement and slid to a halt inches from the building and a bus stop.

Guess I’ll have to watch this spot and see if the businesses are reinstated, or the ‘conspiracy theorists’ are right, and the this site is now razed completely – and replaced by flats.

As an aside, that Turkish Barbers used to be a butcher’s shop.

I parked where the dark car is sitting on the right.

As I got out of the car, the butcher ran out of the shop telling me to “GET AWAY FROM THE FRONT OF HIS SHOP AS THAT SPACE WAS FOR HIS CUSTOMERS!”

Obviously a nutjob as the public road is for everyone’s use.

I wasn’t going to argue and just walked away from him as he continued to shout at me (I was only going to be there for a couple of minutes as I dropped a cheque off in a nearby broker’s office). I was actually at work, or I’d just have left the car there for a while, maybe even sat on it front of his window, just to wind him up. Or took a walk to the police station, just along the road.

But I was a nicer guy in those days.

May 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Finally got a pic of The Barn in Shettleston

The Barn Social Club Advert 1972

Sometime something simple and straightforward can elude you for years.

Like ‘The Barn’ in Shettleston Road, a former social club, and as I later learned, a cinema before that.

I always forget about this place as it is really little more than an anonymous brown door between a close and some shops, and while I have seen it open, that must have been years ago as it has lain behind a ‘For Sale’ sign for years. And I’ve never been in it.

I also had no idea what it was like behind, until I saw it described as “A small back-court cinema” and looked closer on Google Earth (903 Shettleston Road).

It’s nothing more than a single storey pitched-roof extension tacked on the back of the tenement building – yet it was a cinema more than a century ago: “Premier opened in 1912, and originally sat 432. It closed in 1948.

Via Premier, Shettleston

According to another source, it has also been a Catholic church, bingo hall, and dancing school.  Although the information is undated, it showed the advert to the right, and dated that publicity for the opening to 1972.

I’ve tried to grab a pic for some years, but have always been out of luck with either various vehicles blocking the view, or semi-comatose can/bottle-clutchers propping themselves up in the doorway. Then again, these days there’s also the equally irritating smoker, social outcasts banished outdoors with their stinking weed, and always skulking beneath any available shelter from the rain.

I must try to remember to wander around the back one day, to see if there is any view of the extension/building itself.

The Barn Social Club

The Barn Social Club

I don’t know if anyone actually uses any of the directories or listing services published online, but when I tried to find details of the sale of these premises (and failed) I found that all those sort of listings still show The Barn Social Club complete with telephone number, address, and other details as if it was still open and in business.

I find these listing useless, never look at them, and would wipe them all off the Internet as all they do is clog up the first page of most business searches with out-of-date ‘information’ that is often wrong anyway, and has probably never been checked since the day it was first copied and pasted into these worthless parasitic web sites.

April 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Vaguely Soviet Shettleston mural

Not that noticeable as it is not located near the road, this mural on a wall behind a church always strikes me as being reminiscent of the old Soviet murals often seen Russian settlements.

That said, the characters and colours are too ‘soft’ and not as stylised or perhaps aggressive as they would be if they had actually been created in that era. The feeling would have to be a little more Art Deco too, so I’d say that despite the subject, this is just too modern in appearance.

Shettleston Wellshot Road mural

Shettleston Wellshot Road mural

April 11, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

It’s like demolition is following me nowadays

It’s beginning to feel as if I should be eyeballing everywhere I look at these days, and pick the ones that are not going to be there the next time I look.

The most recent surprise was an old Cash & Carry on ground between Shettleston Road and Old Shettleston Road. When it was open, I think it was The State Cash & Carry, notable to me years ago as my grandfather managed to convince them to sell him his pipe tobacco at cost. This came in uncut chunks that muggins was given the ‘privilege’ of cutting up and turning into something that could be crammed into his pipe. This was no mean feat as he liked the black stuff, and this was more like a lump of black gum or tar than tobacco leaves.

Anyway, the place was gone when passed recently, at night, and I only managed to pass again in daylight and grab a pic of the razed site. Watch this space for some houses/flats?

While there was only a scabby old brick wall to be seen, I’d at least liked to have had a ‘before’ pic.

Shettleston Rd Fennella St Demolition

Shettleston Rd Fennella St Demolition

We might be in for a small flurry of new builds here.

There used to be Halfords just along the road, and it vanished while I wasn’t looking too, which is to say I had no reason to go in for ages, then it closed, and after lying shuttered for some years, was also razed recently.

I can’t lay hands on a pic of the place when it was open, so this one of the dead and shuttered remains will have to do.

This was classed as ‘Slightly Irritating’ since they do have a decent range of cycling spares, something I find myself in occasional need of recently, but now have to make my way to Rutherglen for.

While there are some nearby shops dealing in cycle parts, 9 times out of 10 they don’t have what I want, or when I hear their price I need an ambulance to help recover from the shock. Cycling seems to be very expensive if you don’t shop around, or go online.

Halfords Closed

Halfords closed

Then, a few weeks ago my next wander down that way showed it to have been removed without a trace too.

Halfords Demolished

Halfords demolished

March 9, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 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

Christmas 2016 makes it to end of January 2017 in Shettleston

Since the chances of the lights being disconnected over the weekend, it looks as if the 2016 Christmas lights I spotted still lit in Shettleston have made it to the end of January 2017.

I passed them tonight and they were still on.

Guess I get to watch out for them if I’m there during February’s dark evenings too, and see if/when they go out.

Shettleston 2016 Christmas lights Jan 2017

Shettleston 2016 Christmas lights Jan 2017

January 28, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Shettleston Christmas in January

I had to go into Glasgow yesterday, and given it was 18 January 2017, I was fairly impressed by the near complete clearance of all the Christmas lights and decorations, recalling how large and complex some had been.

The only remains I could see were a few of the elevated decorations in George Square, and even these were removal ‘work in progress’, and understandable considering the other extensive work currently taking place there, to restore the square to its one greener appearance as the grassed areas are being reinstated to replace the more recent expanse of assorted tarmac which were laid in more recent times.

I was late back, so had the pleasure of walking through Shettleston…

And seeing that two of the three lighting installations were still shining brightly in the night:

Shettleston Christmas in January

Shettleston Christmas in January

A few years back I saw a house in Baillieston with a lit Christmas tree on show until April – although I don’t think it would have been deliberate, but never found out the reason behind.

Wonder if these will still be up and lit the next time I’m passing in the night?

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

Street convenience

Sometimes you come across things that beg all sorts of imaginative explanations.

On the pavement in Shettleston – a complete toilet street and a brown glass medicine bottle (no label).

I don’t know about anyone else, but this immediately sparked off memories of one of Billy Connolly’s sketches, when he told of how he passed the age of 50 and was treated to a colon examination by his doctor.

As he said, this involved the consumption of a laxative to clean out the system and leave things ‘clear’ for the examination.

His description of the effect was ‘WHOOOOSH’ as what was once inside left, and shot down the toilet, to be followed by another build-up and another ‘WHOOOOSH’ as what was left joined it down there.

He’d hoped that was if over, ‘job’ done.

Nope – there was, it seems, still at least one more ‘WHOOOOSH’ to come…

And I imagine this pic could have been the result (at least it looks nice and clean):

Toilet seat and medicine bottle

Toilet seat and medicine bottle

Not sure if related (hope not), but this was lying in the adjacent gutter – no barefoot rambling in Shettleston!

Raw nail board

Raw nail board

Guess whoever was working here was never taught to hammer exposed nails flat before littering the streets with their debris.

January 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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