Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Jas D Galloway sign spotted

One of the surviving relics I rather like in Glasgow is a painted gable-end sign that lives above Hunter Street, for Jas D Galloway Tyre Distributors. Long gone as a business of course, but the sign must have been painted using some pretty decent old-fashioned paint, which would no doubt fail all testing as regards detriment to human health.

Obviously, you can see it from Hunter Street, less obviously, you can catch sight of it from the train too, as the track breaks surface from the various tunnels and underground runs it makes in the area.

The view below is one I found from the Gallowgate, one I was unaware of until recently, brought to my attention when I saw a pic of the sign from an angle I didn’t recognise.

It’s not particularly obvious if you’re passing, as it lies quite far behind some spare/derelict land, and when I pass that way my attention is always focussed in the opposite direction (yup, careless).

It’s actually quite an interesting view, (click for biggie as it’s wide) including (left to right) Simpson Flats, Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Glasgow Cathedral, Jas D Galloway sign, The Necropolis, and even a little bit of Tennent’s Wellpark Brewery.

Jas D Galloway Sign

Jas D Galloway Sign (and friends)


January 17, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Jas D Galloway Tyre Distributor sign

I dug out this slightly older pic of the painted gable end sign of Jas D Galloway, once a tyre distributor in Glasgow’s Hunter Street.

Reason I dug it out was jut seeing it again recently.

It’s hard to be sure if it was the light on the day, or if this derelict sign is now weathering more rapidly, and fading.

Maybe it was just my poor old tired eyes on the day, but when I happened to see it, it looked considerably fainter and less well-defined than I recalled, and this pic, for me at least, seems to confirm the thought.

Or, maybe I’m just getting better at getting these things to ‘pop’ out of my pics.

JD Galloway Hunter Street

Jas D Galloway Hunter Street

Maybe I have to remember to divert here one day, and take another, newer pic for comparison.

January 3, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

Glasgow, the friendly city

While I may not be a professional photographer, I try to conduct myself professionally in places where there may be conflict, and am reasonably familiar with photographer’s rights and responsibilities, and  the difference between public and private places.

The latter can be amusing, as a landowner is fully within their rights to instruct someone not to take photographs while standing on their land (and can legitimately report them to the police for failing to comply), yet one can take what can effectively amount to what is the same photograph quite freely if standing on public land – and that may only require taking one step to make sure you are on the right side of the property line.

I made sure I was standing in the public street when I took the pic below, and was fully in compliance with the sign.

The location should be fairly obvious by now.

Billy Connolly Mural Photo Warning

Billy Connolly Mural Photo Warning

You can find a few articles to the relevant advice in the ‘Links‘ section to the right.

January 2, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Surprise college sign in the dark

I’ve passed what I thought was the new John Wheatley College at the junction of Duke Street and Carntyne Road for years, and had no idea I had been wrong… for some four years now.

The original John Wheatley College is a traditional sandstone building in Shettleston, which survived closure and avoided dereliction and demolition by becoming a small business centre when the facility moved to Haghill. It’s one of those places I pass so often I no longer ‘see’ it.

However, wandering into Duke Street in the dark, I saw the new college’s sign and wondered if it could be captured as a decent low-light effort, as it would need a long lens and a little timing, as it has to be shot across two sometimes busy roads with double-decker buses appearing at random. I could have gone closer, but then would have been looking up at the sign, and distorting its perspective. I wanted a nice clean almost square-on view.

It went quite well, thanks to a handy lamppost to lean against.

Glasgow Kelvin College Sign

Glasgow Kelvin College Sign

I would probably still be none the wiser about the various mergers and name change, but for the illuminated sign.

But we need a Tesla ‘something’ in Scotland, even A Town called Eureka has Tesla High School.

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

Scottish thrift at its best

Just spotted this afternoon.


Who asks for a discount in a CHARITY shop?

(I’m assuming the sign is not referring to some good-hearted haggling which is probably fair game for special, unique, or ambitiously priced rarities).

I’ve found it hard enough to get a deal on anything that doesn’t cost a fortune, and for stuff that costs only a few pounds, or even pennies, it seems to be a pretty pointless exercise.

It probably says more about the people ASKING than it does about anything else.

Probably another group I’d rather not share air with!

Dogs Trust Sign

Dogs Trust Sign

December 27, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , | Leave a comment

Shettleston church illuminated sign

This was originally just one of a series of low light or night shots, really taken just to gauge the potential of having a brightly illuminated area against a dark/unlit background. Chances of losing the background into darkness – quite high if not careful.

It came out better than expected, so it might as well get used, given the time of year.

Shettleston Annick St Lit Church Sign

Shettleston Annick St Lit Church Sign

December 24, 2017 Posted by | Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

The Dipstick – Rutherglen

I’m not sure when this old sign was revealed, but a check on Google Earth and Street View suggests it has not been seen for years, and probably only came into view in the past year or so. Google’s views don’t show it, but only go back to 2008.

It’s to the right of the auto shop

Interestingly, this smaller shop was once PH Components (visible in the older Street View images).

You can get an idea of the vintage of the old dipstick sign from the phone number, which uses the original 041 Glasgow code, rather than the later 0141 version, introduced when the numbers were revised in the late 1990s to early 2000s.

Yes, that first ‘I’ IS as dipstick.

I might add that this is another late-night low-light shot, despite looking like daylight at first glance, and the bright light casting a shadow from the left is actually coming from the many floodlights Dunlop’s have running next door.

The Dipstick Rutherglen

The Dipstick Rutherglen

December 18, 2017 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Barrowland’s barra man doesn’t light up (confirmed)

While it’s no great surprise, it’s still a little sad to confirm that Barrowland’s ‘Barra Man’ doesn’t light up.

Spotted in daylight some weeks ago, I’d been waiting for a return trip in the dark to confirm that the derelict nature of this sign on the side of the Barrowland ballroom was indeed ‘dead’.

A pity, since a closer look at the structure shows it once had enough lights (now lost) to have made an animated display, with the character appearing to be walking and pushing his barra.

But, while the structure remains hanging on the wall, much of wiring and light fitting have fallen away.

Maybe someone will start an online campaign to have him restored now!

As spotted:

Barrowland Barra Sign

Barrowland Barra Sign

As seen recently in the dark – the outline can just be seen to the top right of the white border over the entrance canopy:

Barrowland Lights

Barrowland Lights

December 4, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Sad Snow Globe is… Sad

Since I’m just an observer and it is not my intent to upset anyone, I’m not giving this location away, whether or not it is obvious.

After my previous post about a chance snow globe find in the street, this one could hardly fail to catch my attention the other day.

Two things were notable while I stood at my observation point.

The stand was busy, with a steady stream of folk engaging in discussion, but I didn’t see a single ‘little darling’ get shoved into the globe.

And the snow never filled the globe (or was even seen being blown more than a few flakes a few centimetres above the air outlets around the edge).

While I was there, the globe was deflated as a young lady bravely entered with a brush and shovel, fluffing up and redistributing the white stuff lying on the floor, but even after her dedicated efforts… it still just lay there, apparently unconcerned and undisturbed by the howling gale whipping around the interior as the globe reinflated and stabilised.

I may not be the sharpest tool in the box – but I think this idea needs to be revised, lest Trading Standards arrives and matches what is being supplied against what is being offered in these globes.

So Sad Snow Globe

So Sad Snow Globe

Hysterically comical

As per last year’s find, I had to fight the fits of laughter (or was it tears) as I spotted the ‘NO PHOTOGRAPHY’ sign – on a feature dedicated to photography!

No Photography

Strictly No Photography

For legal purposes, it should be noted this is a small clip found in another pic I took, from at least 20 m away, and I was nowhere near this, or intending to photograph the sign concerned, which was, of course, caught purely be chance.

November 22, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | 1 Comment

Did they really pinch the lemons from the trees in the People’s Palace Winter Gardens?

Found this pic tucked away in a dusty corner after some wandering.

Although the sign is amusing at first, it’s really rather sad and pathetic.

It’s a shame that visitors to somewhere like the Winter Gardens at the People’s Palace actually NEEDS a sign pleading with them NOT TO REMOVE FRUIT FROM TREES.

The fruit in question was lemons, and as you can see, there were none to be seen.

Like all such actions, the selfish actions of a few ruin things for many.

Speaking personally, it’s not even the theft of the fruit that offend me in this case, but having to look at that otherwise quite unnecessary and depressing sign planted in the middle of the display.

Peoples Palace Lemons

Peoples Palace Lemons

November 17, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

McVitie’s factory entrance (the sign at least)

It must be fun for strangers trying to find the entrance to the McVitie’s biscuit factory in Tollcross.

A wander around the factory perimeter reveals the extent of the original site, with the original building and entrances still extant down some narrow back streets. They may have been an acceptable route in the early days of the factory, but are all but unusable for the larger articulated lorries which have come to be the norm today.

They were all closed off some years ago, and there are signs in those streets warning anyone trying to take a lorry down them that there is No Access and that all the gates have been closed.

The real entrance is located in Tollcross Road, with a reasonably large sign for approaching lorries.

More interesting is the tenement that was split to make way for this access road, still standing, and with the exposed wall giving a good view of what a tenement apartment fireplace looked like.

McVitie's Tollcross Factory Entrance Sign

McVitie’s Tollcross Factory Entrance Sign

There was a time when we were doing some work in the factory. Although I don’t think I managed to get down there, it lasted for quite a while and we were able to enjoy cheap bags of ‘Broken Biscuits’ sold there.

There’s another piece of fun to be had when the wind and weather are just right…

The glorious smell of freshly baked biscuits can cover the area at time, and is both delicious AND free.

October 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

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