Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Anybody left that remembers RME Surplus in Stockwell Street?

I took these pics some time ago, after spotting the shop at 143 Stockwell Street was empty.

Today (2017), it is once again occupied by some wedding-related business, as it seems to have been at various times over more recent years, and probably down the presence of other wedding related shops nearby.

But I’m thinking back to this shop’s past, when it was RME Surplus, or Radio Mechanical Electrical Surplus (and rather more interesting than wedding stuff).

I don’t have any pics of the place from its day, I was probably too ickle and it would have been before I was wandering around with cameras.

If anyone does have any pics of the shop in its prime, and they’re willing to share, it would be great to hear from you.

It was an Aladdin’s cave for anyone interested in electronics, and while it sold plenty of new goodies, for a time, it was stocked with a lot of surplus junk (in the complimentary sense) which came from old war stock, some of which was useful, while the rest was just… interesting. It’s a shame it not still there, as the goodies it had would be coveted by collectors today.

Oddly, I ended up working with one of the suppliers that (later) supplied new components for RME to re-sell. Later, I was away from Glasgow for some time, and it was only on my return I decided to wander down for a look – and was both shocked and surprised to see it had gone.

My favourite buy (while still at school) was a miniature Russian radio, handy for use in boring classes. It was smaller than a match box, and offered both long and medium wave operation. Sad to say it was lost many years ago – unfortunately the earphone was permanently attached (to save space), and when the lead eventually fractured internally, proved to be irreparable. I’m not sure what it was made of, or how it was connected to the hybrid LSI I found inside when I cracked the case, but it seemed to be made from conductive plastic and could not be joined, nor could I find any means of making contact with the substrate.

At least the shop building is still there, and I can look at it and remember it whenever I pass.

Glasgow’s other electronic emporium of the day, Bothwell Electric down Jamaica Street, not only moved (to Sauchiehall Street), but the original building was razed. My ever-lasting memory of this one (being on a pocket-money budget) was that it was damned expensive, with prices that made it worth buying most electronic components from down south, by mail order. Bothwell never really survived the move to Sauchiehall Street, and tried to survive by changing what it sold (disco and similar stuff as I recall, I may be wrong as I stopped looking), but it didn’t last.

I’d appeal for pics, but I’m pretty sure that the chances of turning up pics of that old place are even less likely than for RME.

Stockwell Street Former RME Shop

Stockwell Street Former RME Shop

Wider view.

Stockwell Street Former RME Shop

Stockwell Street Former RME Shop


October 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | 4 Comments

After posting the most useless shop, let’s try for the most useful

After ending July with the most useless shop ever, I thought I’d better make up for the black humour spawned by that sighting with something that’s actually potentially really just as likely to be tragic, but is generally more likely to raise a laugh.

Here’s the most useful shop (if you have insurance, and have an accident, and need a solicitor).

I guess I don’t need to go digging up past news about accident statistics for this one, unlike yesterday’s where I felt the need to throw in some memory jogging regarding how wealthy we are, here in the east end of Glasgow.

Heck, we probably need solicitors, just to help with the accident claim after we fall off our wallets, so fat because we are all so wealthy here.

Accidents Will Happen

Accidents Will Happen


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

Most useless shop ever

A little bit of fun to end the month with, I almost burst a gut laughing when I looked across the road and spotted this business/shop in Shettleston. I must have caught them on early closing day.

Wealth Management?

In Glasgow’s east end?

In Shettleston?

Who are they kidding?

Maxim Wealth Management

Maxim Wealth Management

If you believe what you read in the media, or what activists tell you, then this will give you an idea why my funny bone was enjoying itself…

Scotland’s Glasgow areas of Shettleston, Springburn, Maryhill and Baillieston have been named as being among the 10 most deprived spots in the UK.


Scotland’s poorest place located

Scotland’s poorest and richest areas revealed

430,000 Scots kids living on the poverty line shock

I don’t believe most of what I read (to be specific, I believe any FACTS quoted, but not any of the spin, claims, or political drivel attached), and the chances of me not collapsing to the ground in fits of hysterical laughter when an activist starts to speak are… well, ‘slim to nil’ would probably not be too far from the truth.

(Note: That’s a real business in Shettleston, but it’s NOT mentioned in, or the subject of this post!)

July 31, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Irony at the antique shop window

(Full disclosure: Sad to say, this is actually an old post that got lost in ‘Drafts’ years ago, but since I found it and it was almost complete, I’ve finished it since the content remains interesting. However, the shop mentioned is long gone these days, and has been upgraded and opened as something else.)

Irony: There are plenty of clever definitions of various flavours of irony to be found in dictionaries, so I’ll go with a plain language version that didn’t come from such a source, A simple way of putting it is that irony usually signals a difference between the appearance of things and reality.

It’s been some weeks since I visited Parkhead Cross, and even more since I walked along Westmuir Street to get there. Other needs generally see me going along Shettleston Road, or Tollcross Road, and missing this one. It’s kind of depressing, as quite a few of the shops have thrown up the shutters in recent times.

However, new ones do appear, and when I did get near the cross itself I noticed what appeared to be a ‘new’ antique shop. Some would just call it a junk, or second-hand, shop, but it doesn’t really fall into either of those categories either. The reason I say that is down to the eclectic selection of items that (visually at least) are genuine antiques and could be valuable to the right collector, and I could also see some items which would be classed as architectural salvage, and command a fairly hefty price tag.

Parkhead Shop

Parkhead Shop

(I’ve since been past again, but did not have time to stop and look closely, but spotted a pile of original B&W prints in card frames, which appeared to be 1950’s survey pics taken over Glasgow. By the time I get back there though, I expect they will be gone.)

One thing caught my eye, almost hidden in a wooden cabinet with glass doors – a ceramic Smudge.

Smudge, for non-Glaswegians, was the famous Glasgow cat that resided in the People’s Palace, and was immortalised by a short run of ceramic copies of her likeness, and once sold in the museum’s shop, later came to be known as ‘replicats’ by some. Sadly, I have no idea what they cost, which varied as they were produced in different sizes. I believe 50 were planned originally, but the number was increased to 500 due to their popularity.

Smudge Ceramic

Smudge Ceramic

(This image actually came from Pinterest, which I have no idea how to work. I don’t have details of the source, and Pinterest blocks access if you click on an image, unless you respond to their blackmail and register an account to gain further access – and I will NEVER register with such a site.)

All the Smudges were hand-finished, and I think the one I have looks better than the one above.


Where did the irony come from?

While I was standing at the window of this shop, trying to spy enough detail to work out if I was looking at collectibles or modern copies (not worth anything), I was repeatedly approached by a local elderly ‘character’, trying to ‘tap’ me for 2 p. While this made a nice change from the usual kids or neds that generally accost me here, and want me to go into the shop and buy alcohol or cigarettes for them, I still wasn’t contributing.

If I need 2 p, I can generally find such a coin in the street, and almost suggested he try the same – and that’s where the irony came in.

When I turned around from the window and walked away… the first thing I saw lying on the pavement was a tiny 5 p coin, just waiting to be rescued. So, if he’d taken my advice (which I’m sure he wouldn’t), he’d have been 3 p up on the deal he wanted. As it was, I got the whole 5 p!

May 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, 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


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