Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

No more Shoplifters

While this could have been a happy little story about the restoration of the gallows on Glasgow Green, and the return of a once popular attraction there…

Before executions were held in Duke Street jail and later in Barlinnie, they were held at the entrance to Glasgow Green, in an area called Jocelyn Square facing what is now the High Court building in Saltmarket. The first executions there took place in 1814, and 67 men and four women were hanged there. It’s said they met their ends with their back to the court, facing the Green’s Nelson Monument.

An inscription in the flagstones there reads: “Jocelyn Gate. This area, formerly known as Jocelyn Square, was the site of both the famous Glasgow Fair and, until 1865 of public executions.”

Dr Edward Pritchard was the last to be hanged there in 1865, in an execution that was such a sensation it became one of the city’s greatest tourist attractions that year. Pritchard had been a respectable doctor established in Sauchiehall Street, but was convicted of murdering his wife and mother-in-law by poisoning.

Account of the day tell of thousands of people travelling to watch his execution on the gallows, filling the square and surrounding streets while drinking and celebrating his demise.

It’s not.

In fact, it’s just a sad little story about the loss of a shop sign I’ve enjoyed passing for a number of years.

The pic below was taken exactly one year ago.

But when I passed the same spot a few days ago – the sign was gone, and it looked as if the shop and its neighbours were undergoing a complete refit.

Must be one of the few ‘Shoplifters’ anyone will be sad to see gone.



May 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Electrical decay

No prizes for completing the word.

Just a detail I pass frequently – and a bit sad since it probably reflects a failed business as opposed to a relocate on.

Electrician sign derelict


March 30, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder


From my collection of shop shutter murals, evidence that (L.A.) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and that pink is the order of the day along this part of Shettleston Road.

In case you hadn’t noticed, this shop front is… PINK!

LA Beauty

LA Beauty

When I pass every day, I can’t help seeing…

Patrick Star

Patrick Star

I’m biased, but I preferred it when this shop was a butcher’s shop.

That was notable for the time a little black kitten was resident, which all the customers loved to visit.

All but one that is.

And the kitten had to go after someone registered an official complaint with the authorities about its presence in the shop.

March 25, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Define ‘ALL’

I won’t spoil other potential posts, but one of the fun things to do while out walking is to read the signs over shops, and those for various promotions or offers. These can be a source of wonder at some of the innocent mistakes made, or of sadness – if their precision regarding grammar and spelling is any indication of the state of out basic education.

Walking through Cambuslang recently, the darkness was pierced by one particularly bright shop, and it carried a ‘LUNCH OFFER’, this being ‘ALL SUPPERS £3.00’.

This was further defined in the small print as being ‘MONDAY TO SATURDAY TILL 2PM’.

(In this case, we’ll pretend not to see the use of ‘TILL’ rather than ‘TIL’).

However… ‘ALL’ in this case does not mean ‘ALL’. In this case, it does not include fish!

If you want a ‘FISH SUPPER’, then you’ll have to dig a little deeper and find another 80 p.

I’ve had to sit through some real fun in court, as the various lawyers and solicitors present argue about the meaning of words, and who has to honour intent, or reasonable meaning, where words are used carelessly. And there’s no escape clause that allows the accused to claim “Words mean what I mean them to mean“. In court, there is a legal rule applied that words mean what they mean as understood by the average person. If you do actually try to redefine words to suit yourself, the Sheriff will make mincemeat out of you, as trying that (and expecting to get away with it) is effectively calling him/her an idiot – and you can be sure that will not go well when it come to summing up, and issuing instructions to the jury.

On a more positive note:

Benny’s glowing shop signs sports a nicely placed and properly used apostrophe. Full marks for this.

Benny's offer

Benny’s offer

Experts may notice some odd geometry in this pic. It wasn’t possible to stand in front of the shop so the pic had to be taken off to one side at fairly steep angle. I recently found I had some software that would correct this automatically, and it does a pretty good job – unless you start to look at the relative geometry of adjacent items. Then, the view suddenly starts to show ‘impossible’ positions of items beside one another. See if you can spot this… place that you can see, but would not actually be able to see if you were standing in front of the shop.

January 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment


I’ve been looking at this shop sign for ages, but for various reasons, never been able to stop and catch a pic.

The shop itself is long gone (I assume, since I’ve never seen it open when I’ve been passing), and if business was better, probably another would have opened in the premises and I’d have lost the chance to catch the sign, but I managed it this week, even if the heavens did open and try to make it almost impossible to dare take out a camera that was guaranteed waterproof.

Shoplifters sign


February 22, 2014 Posted by | photography | , , | Leave a comment


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