Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

A little bit of Wiltshire in Glasgow

If you happen to be on the Clyde Walkway or NCN75 section between the newish Clydeside Distillery and Riverside (transport museum), have a closer than normal look at what appears to be a cycle route marker on one of the wooden uprights supporting some billboards at the side of Stobcross Road, facing Kelvinhaugh and the SWG3 venue across the road.

Facing west along this path you’ll see a little cycle sign that appears to belong there.

It doesn’t!

Kelvinhaugh Wiltshire Cycleway

Kelvin haugh Wiltshire Cycleway

I’ve gone flying past this sign dozens of times without actually reading it, just seeing the little cycle on it.

Unless there’s some little-known area known as Wiltshire here (perhaps like Egypt in Tollcross), then this sign is definitely in the wrong place.

A little closer, just to be sure it’s not the tired old eyes playing tricks.

Wiltshire Cycleway sign

Wiltshire Cycleway sign

Either somebody’s having a laugh, and maybe found (or stole) this sign and ‘repurposed’ it (the screws don’t look ‘right’), or the supports for those billboards were made from reclaimed timber, and that sign just happened to be attached, and just happened to end up facing the right way on this Glasgow cycle route.


03/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

‘LYON’ ghost sign

Ghost signs are signs and notices relating to shops and businesses from years ago.

They can be painted on walls, and be barely visible today, or may be hidden behind current shop signs, only becoming visible if the shop gets a new sign installed, and the previous one is discarded.

I had been looking at a guy who popped up on a rooftop just along from the Beresford (he was supposed to be there, working on something), when I noticed an outline I hadn’t spotted before, looking like a vertical ‘LYON’ advert which was painted on a back wall years ago.

Sauchiehall Street LYON ghost sign

Sauchiehall Street LYON ghost sign

I’m guessing there may have been a Lyons tea shop somewhere in the street below this, but also wonder what happened to the ‘S’, since the proper name was “Lyons’ Tea”.

Maybe it would have been obscured by the roof line of the day, so they didn’t bother.

20/04/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Friendly Glasgow sign

One of those irritating pics as I can’t quite recall exactly where it is.

I’m pretty sure it’s a slightly obscure side or back street around Parkhead, where quite a few business are ever so slightly ticked off on match days at a nearby football ground, when ‘fans’ park their cars on any bit of ground not protected by yellow paint – and the wealthy ones just ignore that anyway.

Rather than try ‘polite’ requests to protect their ground and property, many owners have resorted to the simple expedient of earth barriers or mounds around the perimeter. A foot or two high (less than a metre, or enough to beach a 4×4 or SUV that might try to drive over) and these  blocks most vehicles, and makes it hard for anyone not invited onto the land to argue that they didn’t realise they were somewhere they were not invited to be.

Others, and property agents, have recently added metal fences and gates to secure what many may see simply as ‘spare ground’.

Private property towing sign

Private property towing sign

02/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Sad sign seen in Parkhead

I featured one of these signs a while ago, but that one was anonymous.

This one’s different, and carries branding for the Parkhead Development Company.

It’s one of those things that worries me, and makes me scared to get too close to anyone I might be walking next to in the street, if they’re as dumb as it implies.

Do people REALLY need a sign to be placed telling them…

May Be Damp Sign

May Be Damp Sign

I don’t know what things are like in tenements today, but in the old days there was a stair washing rota, and all those up a close had to wash the stairs in turn.

There were no signs – if you looked at the stairs and they were wet – they were wet!

If they were not wet – they were dry!

Sadly, it seems that today, people need a sign to inform them of this state.

Does this mean they are thick?

Or is it yet another sign of our keenly litigated times when anything that may be a nice little claim means a rush to the courts, so the company needs to put these signs on display as a defence against carelessness, to prevent some Buckfast soaked local from suing them if they arrive home and take a header down the stairs, or slip on the floor?

22/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Would you rather drown or be electrocuted?

I’ve passed this lifebelt quite a few times, and (as someone involved in electrical safety) can’t help having a little laugh.

I should probably say that this is NOT an official lifebelt post – they are marked by proper identifiers giving safety details, and proper identification of the location to help emergency services, if needed.

Someone has just hung the ring here – which, to be fair, is probably better than throwing it in the river, which some seem to think is fun.

But the real fun would be if there was a bit of (electrical) leakage around here, and the wet lifebelt and rope was thrown to aid some poor sod in the water.

132 kV (that’s 132,000 volts for the non-techs, a little more than the 240 volts found at home) is definitely going to make it along a wet rope and waken up anyone who grabs it.

There would be options – death by drowning, or death by electrocution.

I am kidding here, just because of the sign the ring is hanging from.

You’re not in any electrical danger from this.

The hydrogen dioxide in the river though… that can kill you.

It’s been said that everyone who has drunk the stuff has died, without exception (that’s a joke – look it up).

HV Lifebelt

HV Lifebelt

The local dross has been sticking stickers on the sign, so you can’t see it properly.

Here’s a nice clean one.

Clyde HV Sign

Clyde HV Sign

04/12/2018 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Useful fun at Poundland

Just out of curiosity… Anybody missing Poundworld?

I’m not.

The thought came to mind as I was wandering through the BIG Poundland in Argyle Street, and looking critically at a lot of the stuff. This place even has a clothes department, but I have to admit I’ve not even looked at that side of the shop. I was looking at the tech stuff.

I had already noted that it’s a good idea to memorise food prices before assuming Poundland’s offerings are good value. It’s easy to pick stuff up without thinking, get caught up the £1 brainstorm, and get caught out. But knowing the prices of your favourites means you CAN spot the best buys.

Incidentally, I recently spotted some odd brand names (as stocked by Poundland) starting to appear in our local supermarkets. Are they trying to counter the ‘Pound Shops’ by having some of their products on their shelves? Might be playing ‘mind games’, but there is a little problem  –  the supermarkets are selling that stuff for more than £1!

Now that Poundworld has been gone for a while (and I seem to recall there was something in the media about the business being ‘suspect’, but can’t remember seeing any follow-up articles), I think it’s safe to say stuff in their tools and tech sections was junk, or just utter rubbish.

A couple of specifics included their LED torches, which were cheap knock-offs of Poundland items, visually similar, they had only three LEDs while the original may have had between three and six times that many over the same area. I also picked up a ratchet tie-down for an emergency – it was made of such thin metal, it was so thin as to cause the ratchet to fail to even operate. Instead of the ratchet teeth catching and rotating the webbing take-up spool, they just slipped past the pawl that should have caught and moved them. The whole this was so thin, it wasn’t even possible to guide the pawl/teeth together, they were just too thin to engage, and slipped off immediately, even if engaged by hand. First time you moved it, they just drifted apart. Most of their tool-type items were of similar quality, and I don’t think I ever bought anything else from that section.

Sorry – don’t know where that waffling came from, this was just supposed to be a one-liner funny!

After the crack backscratcher, I spotted another piece of fun next to, this time something MUCH more useful, and which would be good for use in work some days – you know the sort of day I mean, the one where the doors and windows have to be opened, and even evacuation may be under consideration to save people.

Yes, some days it would be really handy to have a few of these to line up across a corridor, or in front of a door.

Poundland Stink Bomb Sign

Poundland Stink Bomb Sign

25/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Purrple Cat Cafe sign 2

A few days ago I mentioned spotting a second sign attached to the Purrple Cat Cafe, but given it was dark and I was hurrying home, I had no chance of a closer look, or a daytime pic to see what it really looked like.

That situation has now been remedied.

First, a decent daytime pic to show what I’d missed earlier. As per the pics in the post mentioned above, it is almost invisible, being edge on as you cross the road towards the café. Then, when you are there, it’s above your head, so unlikely to be spotted, unless you’re watching for flying cats.

It’s obvious if you approach from the side – but that’s not my usual route.

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign 2

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign 2

A few hours later, it was dark – and the night shot was even better.

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign 2 Lit

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign 2 Lit

Interestingly, this shot was taken with the compact camera, not the dSLR (which was packed away and too hard to reach).

But it had the advantage of being set to compensate for the illumination, and somehow was shooting in the dark at ISO80, which I had not set.

Clearly, this has come out a LOT better than Purrple Cat Cafe sign – (problems!).

What’s that crowd for?

When I looked around the corner, I spotted a crowd gathered at one of the café window.

Fighting my way to the front, I found that the café kittens were putting on a show, as their enclosure had been placed on the window ledge.

They’re hard to get decent pics of, as the grids and stuff on the windows upset the autofocus, plus reflections of course, but one shot worked.

And, of course, by the time I get there, they’re tired out and having a rest.

Purrple Cat Cafe Kittens

Purrple Cat Cafe Kittens

20/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Purrple Cat Cafe sign – (problems!)

I did say I would arrange to take pics of the sign over the door of the Purrple Cat Cafe when it got dark, and I did.

But I didn’t anticipate the problems it would bring.

I make no apologies for having processed the image below within an inch (2.54 cm) of its life.

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign Lit

Purrple Cat Cafe Sign Lit

In reality, it comes out GREEN!

Having seen it in the half-light for so long, I just didn’t think of the combined effect of a dark night, a white sign, and purple background illumination.

Plus, the amazing human eye hides all those effects, and you see it as a white sign with purple highlights – then you get home, and the shock sets in when you review your catches.

I don’t know if a stand-alone shot can be tweaked, or photographed in full manual (or RAW) to stop the camera from being confused. Even processing such a shot might prove impractical, and take way too much time.

I might try this if there again under similar circumstances.

This wider shot better shows the appearance of this sign, balanced by surroundings.

Purrple Cat Cafe Night

Purrple Cat Cafe Night

There’s another (brighter) sign to the left, but I didn’t even try for that one.

Such signs burn out to peak white, unless you are prepared to play with compensation, or just go manual (or trick the auto).

Creepy neighbour wants in (or out)

Actually one of Glasgow’s lesser known murals, the girl trapped in the derelict shop next door looks as if she wants to leave her ‘home’ and visit the cat cafe.

Creepy Cat Cafe Neighbour

Creepy Cat Cafe Neighbour

Another view shows the occasional crowd that can gather at the window if any of the resident cats decide it’s nap time, settles down there, and get noticed by a passer-by.

A crowd gathers

A crowd gathers

19/11/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Park direction sign oopsie

It’s been some years since a rash of signs similar to the one shown below sprouted up around the east end of Glasgow (maybe elsewhere, but these are the only ones I usually get to see).

Being local, I don’t usually pay much attention to them, but after noticing they sometime point to places I don’t usually venture into, I did start looking.

The show walking and cycling times to the named destinations, and are surprisingly accurate. The reason I know that is down to the way I never walk anywhere without being diverted, so had thought their timings were optimistic. In fact, if you walk or cycle directly to any of the destinations, and don’t get delayed, then the times given are usually spot on.

Unless – you find one like this.

Tollcross Park Leisure Centre Timing Sign

Tollcross Park Leisure Centre Timing Sign

Looks OK.

Until – you look just behind it, and wonder where that gate leads to.

Tollcross Park Sign Location

Tollcross Park Sign Location

Let’s take a closer look at that gate in the background, and make the pic big enough to make the sign readable.

Tollcross Park Gate Sign

Tollcross Park Gate Sign

How can I put it kindly?


Sometimes you can’t see the wood for the trees.

I wouldn’t dare suggest anything, but… 😀

05/10/2018 Posted by | council, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Monday opening slips quietly back into Glasgow’s People’s Palace

Sad to say, I didn’t notice this change in opening times for the People’s Palace when it happened, so I have no idea how long the improved times have been in place.

I had to wipe Monday’s off my diary as an option for visits back in the days when it was closed on Mondays. I kept on going there on Mondays after failing to make it over the weekend – and kept forgetting it was closed.

I was sure I had posted in this blog about this museum (and maybe others, I can’t remember now) being closed on Mondays, but I can’t find either the post, or the pic of the sign which showed Monday as ‘Closed’.

Fortunately, I have the original pic (taken in 2015) so know I’m not losing ‘it’ (yet).

Glasgow Peoples Palace Monday Closing

Glasgow Peoples Palace Monday Closing

Odd, very odd, that both should appear to have gone missing. I distinctly recall writing about it after going there on yet another Monday only to find the doors locked. I KNOW I wrote about it SOMEWHERE, just to jog my memory and avoid another silly repeat.

It doesn’t really matter now, as I just noticed the sign showing the opening times had been altered, and when I looked closer, saw that Monday had been changed from showing ‘CLOSED’ to show the usual opening times.

Well THAT’s handy – for me at least, and I think I’ll be there later today.

Glasgow Peoples Palace Revised Opening Times

Glasgow Peoples Palace Revised Opening Times


04/06/2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Oh look… a rowing club

Wandering along the unfamiliar (to me) south bank of the River Clyde, I was slightly surprised to find the home of the Glasgow Rowing Club (established 1983) while somewhere near Polmadie.

That’s not to say I didn’t know there was a club building somewhere down there, noted when I’d been studying maps of the area for other locations, but it never really clicked with me, since I’m more local to the ‘other’ side, where there’s a bigger and presumably older/longer established rowing club building (actually home to the Clydesdale Amateur Rowing Club, this boathouse is B listed, a two-storey building completed in 1905), and I have often seen that one in use. I just didn’t know the one on the other side was active.

After all, there’s a matching club building a little to east of that larger one, notable for a Taggart scene involving firearms set on its landing stages. Identified as the University of Glasgow Boat House, this comprises a long, two storey brick building built in 1924..

There were rowers on the river at the time, but as this club house was bolted up tight, they must have come from the other one, but I wasn’t going that far.

Glasgow Rowing Club

Glasgow Rowing Club

Nice to see the graffiti cleaned off – would be even nicer to hear the vandals concerned made a big splash nearby 😉

02/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

%d bloggers like this: