Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Would you believe I was assaulted twice while cycling last week?

I’m slightly glad the weather deteriorated last week (unless you were a fish that like to go for a walk), since it meant I didn’t have to wonder if it was safe to go out cycling.

While my encounter with (yet another) angry old bike hating man of Glasgow didn’t constitute assault, two other incidents unfortunately did.

While the old geezer did shout at me, he didn’t make any sort of threat, or physical move towards me, so didn’t satisfy the general definition of assault, which does not actually require any contact to be made:

Assault is a relatively common charge in Scotland, arising from attack against another person with intent to cause harm or injury, or which puts the victim in a state of fear for their physical safety.

But the two others did.

The first was while waiting for the cycle path lights to change near Kelvingrove Park, when a male youth from a nearby school approached me and raised his hand towards the handle bars of my bike. When I stopped him, I was offered the option of being stabbed (by a schoolkid!).

As we exchanged words, he suddenly ran off – I was puzzled by this until I thought about what was happening when he took off.

I had reached down to adjust the bottom of my trousers while I was speaking and commenting on his stabbing offer, but it could have looked as if I was reaching into the edge of my boots (yes, I wear substantial boots when I cycle), and if we’ve watched enough TV, we all know what violent people carry stuck down the side of their boots.

The second was only a day later, as I headed home and had just entered Tollcross Park, as I’ve done on dozens, if not hundreds of times.

There was a group of youths on bikes coming the other way.

As I passed the group, the one at the front shouted “QUICK, SOMEBODY PUNCH HIM AFF THAT BIKE AN’ GRAB IT!”

I’ve no idea if this was a serious call or not, but I was past the group when it was made, and just carried on – and noted I wasn’t being chased or followed.

While there was another incident, it didn’t involve me, but did feature a piece of road/location I regularly use, AND at a time I’d be likely to be there.

Fortunately, the following happened on a day during which I wasn’t out and about.

Attempted murder in Shettleston – 33-year-old hit by car in broad daylight ‘targeted’ attack

Time for pic.

Lovely Pettigrew Street disappearing off to the left, with Amulree Street and the rear of Kingco (supermarket) on the right.

Even made the BBC: Car driven at man in Shettleston ‘attempted murder’

Pettigrew Street

Pettigrew Street

12/08/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Winter Garden nope

For a brief moment, I made the mistake of thinking somebody might have been doing something useful at Tollcross Winter Garden (other than perhaps demolishing it).

When I passed recently, there was a small ‘cherry picker’ parked alongside.

But, it looks as if someone was just using the roof overhang as a shelter to keep the rain of their ‘toy’ and keep it dry (not a very good idea, given the quiet nature of the spot, and the number of vandals that party there given that there is no lighting).

It was gone a few hours later, and I haven’t seen it again.

Mind you, given where it was left, the locals could easily have had it dismantled during the night, and sold all the parts as spares!

Tollcross Winter Garden nope

Tollcross Winter Garden nope

14/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, Lost, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

A little Glasgow park tour

Heading home last night, I started reflecting on the difference between parks in the west end, and parks in the east end.

I’d decided to make a detour through Kelvingrove Park, just to depress myself as it’s so much more fun there than in any of my local parks.

Just to be clear, apart from Tollcross, they don’t even rate a mention or a pic, since the only ‘interesting’ thing you’re likely to see in the parks on my doorstep is people with their hand in dog poo – at least they have that hand in a plastic bag as they pick it up, even if some of them think it’s acceptable to then chuck the back into the nearest garden, or hang from branches at the side of the path. My neighbour recently had to box off the rear of a street electrical box against the wall of his house, as the dog walkers just threw the bags of crap down the back rather than into the bin provided only 2 metres away.

When I arrived, I thought I might get the chance to shoot some rare (for me) video. The girl in black was giving a hula hoop performance, backed by some Turkish sounding music.

But, by the time I stopped and got back – she was done, and all I managed was a couple of stills.

Kelvingrove Park fun 1

Kelvingrove Park fun 1


Kelvingrove Park fun 2

Kelvingrove Park fun 2

While it’s always easy to get a crowded pic of the hill just behind the above, on a sunny day, I walked along a bit, and took a pic towards the fountain. Not so busy, but still pretty busy. You find out how busy as you cycle through, and avoid the cyclists who still try to speed through the place.

Kelvingrove Park

Kelvingrove Park

Next stop on the tour was Glasgow Green.

I was surprised at how few people were there on such a nice day. I’ve seen it much busier on less sunny or warm days.

It seems you need an event there to bring the people out – on the other hand, it’s a lot better like this, rather than being like sardines.

Glasgow Green

Glasgow Green

Last mention goes to Tollcross Park, which was even quieter (but I should say was busier around lunchtime).

Most folk must have gone home for their tea!

Tollcross Park crowd

Tollcross Park crowd

Being Tollcross Park, I can’t miss a chance to mention the ever decaying winter garden.

Last time I mentioned the remains, I spotted the wooden shuttering had been burst through by the vandals, as well as the glass.

That had already been patched – but they’d just punched another hole in it, this time beside the visitor centre door.

I try to avoid looking – the slow destruction of this place in the shadow of the so-called ‘Lasting Legacy’ of the money squandered on the  Commonwealth Games is just too depressing.

Tollcross Park winter garden crowd

Tollcross Park winter garden crowd

On reflection, it’s a shame that nobody (apart from dog-wakers and the odd football team) uses any of the smaller, local parks.

There used to be the odd gala day or fete, but that’s long gone in the past.

The last gathering I can recall seeing was drunken yoofs in the only one that has seats – the one on my doorstep doesn’t even have seats.

Well, that’s not quite true – it has ONE bench,

Also, a few years ago I found that one park used to have two parts, one on either side of a road.

The smaller part had seats and a few sculptures.

Today, that part is overgrown and inaccessible, the paths are all but lost, and the sculptures were left to rot.

There was one very large piece in the larger part of the park.

It disappeared a few years back, The council even removed the plinth it sat on.

I always mean to enquire about what happened and why, but still haven’t got a Round Tuit.

Some might say Kelvingrove Park isn’t much better.

15/05/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Decay at Tollcross Winter Garden just goes on and on and…

I decided not to bother with a January 2019 ‘Annual pic of Shame’ of the derelict Winter Garden in Tollcross Park this year, for no other reason than that I could use ANY recent pic from the past few years to show how sad this once beautifully restored structure had become, despite the wondrous and magical promise of a ‘Lasting Legacy’ from the farcical and disruptive 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.

Who knows how much money was poured into the useless swimming pool lying only a few metres from some REAL Glasgow heritage (see below for the answer), or into yet more upgrades made there later.

However, when I stopped by the glasshouse a few days ago, I noticed that the rot was now REALLY beginning to set in.

It can only be a matter of time before it reached a state of decay which forces the city’s planner to order its demolition – it is now starting to FALL apart.

This is the pic I originally stopped to take, and you can see that the east ridge of the glasshouse has now started to collapse into the interior.

Click for a little bigger. Compare to pics from 2015.

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

Tollcross Winter Garden Glasshouse East Ridge Collapse

At the same time, I noticed that an assault by vandals, which I suggested was imminent in a recent post, on the glass doors and walls of the adjacent Visitor Centre, had probably taken place too, as the whole of the Visitor Centre was now clad in wood shuttering. Since there had only been a few sheets raised over the years, I can only assume these were added after the glass panels that make up the doors and walls were attacked.

Click for slightly bigger.

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

Tollcross Winter Garden Visitor Centre Wood Shuttering

There’s not really much to say.

I’ve seen poster asking people to attend meetings, but I only see these after the event, so have no idea if anything productive comes from this, or they are just ignored.

It’s such a shame that this building was both restored AND had the Visitor Centre added for less than £2 million.

That alone shows how little of the £340 million (probably more) that was squandered on the ‘Lasting Legacy’ would have been needed to save this feature, which could have been promoted as a 2014 tourist attraction, being so near to the swimming pool event.

I wonder how much WAS spent on that already supposedly world class swimming venue?

According to reports, “The Tollcross Swimming Center underwent a nearly-$20 million (£13.8 million) upgrade ahead of the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Would you also believe that back in 2014, the (clearly corrupt or moronic) Commonwealth Games promoters were actually using the ALREADY CLOSED AND DERELICT Winter Gardens ‘hothouse’ as part of the attraction they were ;selling to visitors in their advertising and promotional rubbish

Fast facts

Tollcross International Swimming Centre is located in Tollcross Park. The park covers 83 acres and the land was purchased for £29,000 in 1897. The park’s opening ceremony coincided with Queen Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Tollcross Park has many outstanding features, including a Children’s Farm, International Rose Garden and refurbished hothouses known as the Winter Gardens.

You could not make this sort of stuff up and expect to be believed, but thanks to the Internet and their web pages this can be quoted and referred to (until they are embarrassed, and delete the evidence one day).

Let’s not forget another £25 million just frittered away to attract YET ANOTHER sporting event.

Maybe somebody should suggest hosting 5-aside games, or ping-pong, or maybe just World Tiddlywinks in the glasshouse, and ask for funding!

28/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Daffodils – finally seen in Glasgow

I’ve been watching pics of daffodils taken on the Isle of Bute for almost two weeks, confirming that here in Glasgow it’s cold, since we’ve barely even got green shoots at the same time (our current ‘heatwave’ doesn’t count, as that’s just warm air wafting over us for a few days – recall we were enjoying the ‘Beast from the East‘ at this time last year), the ground etc is still cold, and plants aren’t fooled as easily as people.

I get to do this every year, and it merely confirms that the Isle of Bute enjoys a slightly higher ambient temperature (compared to Glasgow, far inland) as it is usually bathed in the warmth of the Gulf Stream. Not for nothing is the Clyde Cost referred to as the Scottish Madeira.

However, the ground here has finally caught up, and while I’m sad to say that I couldn’t take pics of the daffs in Kelvingrove Park earlier in the day (vandals, or lovely little kids, had ripped all the heads off those that had bloomed, and thrown them on the paths – not one was left to take a pic of), I did fare better later as I sped through Tollcross Park, when a flash of yellow caught my eye through one of the hedges along a main path.

A quick diversion confirmed the daffs deeper into the park were indeed just starting to bloom, so I did finally get an early pic.

Tollcross Park Daffodils

Tollcross Park Daffodils

It may be a simple pic, but I was glad to have actually caught it as it happened.

If not, I’d have been forced to go with the masses of snowdrops, and they’ve been around for ages.

Tollcross Park Snowdrops

Tollcross Park Snowdrops

Make the best of the view – according to the weatherfolk, this sunny spell is due to end in a day or so, and while we may not freeze, it will be back to colder, more seasonal weather, and of course… RAIN!

27/02/2019 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Getting to be glad I’m stuck indoors just now

Last week I was thinking it was just as well I wasn’t wandering around as usual, as I might have been in Baillieston.

Hairdressers threatened in salon Taser raid

This week, it was somewhere I might be found a lot more regularly, but again, was glad I’m still stuck indoors.rime

Tollcross Park cordoned off as man rushed to hospital following assault

Both were daytime too.

Lots of Buckfast to be found there.

Tollcross Park Buckfast

Tollcross Park Buckfast


16/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Chance night find in Tollcross Park

With our loony system of ‘Moving the Clocks’ (well, it would get dark early anyway), I get the chance to be in places I wouldn’t be if I had to wait until it was REALLY late in the day, and being there would ‘A Bad Idea”.

For example, I get to take a shortcut through Tollcross Park, which has no lighting in its central area.

Glancing off to one side, I noticed what appeared to be a few dim lights in the distance, and wondered if it was a reflection, or actual lights.

It was lights!

Installed under the modern take on the park’s former bandstand. A small representation of a once large feature.

Tollcross Park Bandstand Night

Tollcross Park Bandstand Night

There really isn’t much light spilling from those fittings under the canopy, and the compact tries its best with what little there is, bearing in mind I only do hand held, so no tripod or long exposure.

I was also keen to move – this was Saturday night in Tollcross, and I was there between two groups of shouting yobs approaching from either side, so I wasn’t hanging around. One quick pic, and gone!

By way of comparison, I stopped during my next shortcut, and collected a daytime pic.

Tollcross Park Bandstand Day

Tollcross Park Bandstand Day

The history of park shows the original bandstand was huge compared to this, and provided a stage that could easily contain a full band of the day, which attracted a large audience for its performances in the park.

Mental note made to make a deliberate evening trip/diversion to this spot, with the big camera, to collect a better night/low light shot.

NOT on a Saturday!

06/12/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, 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

The view from the park

Since I can no longer enjoy a wander into the Winter Gardens in Tollcross Park, I sometimes wander further around, and occasionally end up on top of a small hill which represents the top of the park.

I should go there more often, as it provides a reasonable panorama of some of the surrounding area – I say ‘some’ as the local trees restrict the view to the south and to the east, but some is better than none.

I’ve stitched together wider panoramic views in the past, but these don’t show a great deal of detail (unless you keep the large result), but this time was more interested in recognising building I could see, and how far away they were.

I grabbed a couple of pics, just to remind me of the view, not taken at max zoom, or intended to capture any distant details.

The three obvious features in this first view are the white flats to the front, Simpson Flats, the tall building behind is Glasgow College of Building and Printing (oops, sorry, habit, it’s now to be called ‘City of Glasgow College)’, and in the centre is the Livingstone Tower (where I definitely spent too much time playing Star Trek on early computers – talk about misspent youth!)

The college building is the furthest of interest here, at 4.3 km or 2.7 miles.

Distant Glasgow 1

Distant Glasgow 1

The only building I really recognise is the one left of centre, currently named Hilton Glasgow, at 5.6 km or 3.5 miles.

There’s also the tower of Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson’s Glasgow Free Church, seen in the gap between the two tall building on the right.

Distant Glasgow 2

Distant Glasgow 2


The above pics suffered from the weather on the day, with an obvious haze detracting from the view in the distance.

I wondered if this could be quickly edited out. I’m sure a certain photo-editing package has this on a button, but I can’t afford that, so I have to work for my improvements.

The first pic was the easiest, and isolating the hazy section made it fairly easy to clean up without introducing any obvious distortions.

I’ve become quite good at this over the years, as I often suffer from condensation on my lenses during our lovely cold, wet, damp, autumn, winter, and spring days.

Pic 1 Cleaned

Pic 1 Cleaned

Although it doesn’t look much different, the second pic was more severely affected by the haze, as the subjects were further away.

While the detail could be improved, much of the colour had been filtered out by the longer path through the haze, so couldn’t really be raised from the background.

Pic 2 Cleaning Test

Pic 2 Cleaning Test

While the sign for the ‘FORGE RETAIL PARK’ is an easy read, and not much more than a mile away, the Hilton in the background was of more interest, and despite not being zoomed into, could just about be read in the original view, 3.5 miles distant.

While looking at this, I realised I was looking at a recently noticed ‘friend’ in the city centre – the tower of the Central Hotel with its door-like features near the top. Spot on the right of the enhanced area.

Pic 2 detail

Pic 2 detail

14/09/2018 Posted by | photography | , | Leave a comment

Good riddance Glasgow 2018 – city access is slowly returning to the people

It’s taken a week, and some places are still suffering the effects, and even if unrelated (I just don’t know, and am not wasting more time checking), some are STILL fenced off and I, a citizen and resident of Glasgow, cannot access some public spaces.

Probably the worst inconvenience has been the weeks for which this gate to Tollcross Park has been locked, denying me access to a nice, safe route avoiding either busy roads or hilly routes.

During the madness, the nice wide main gates were open, but access to the public was barred.

Now only the two small side gates are open, and the big gates are chained shut.

Tollcross Park Gates

Tollcross Park Gates

Barriers now seem to be cleared from the streets, so there don’t seem to be any unexpected detours.

I didn’t fins any remaining interference to making progress across Glasgow city centre, or need to detour along streets I’d prefer not to.

George Square is open to all, once again,

Unless you try to access Glasgow Green, where it still seems something is going on, and the largest single area still seems to be bound by a closed perimeter fence.

21/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Winter Gardens vandalism goes on

Last time out, I highlighted the growing evidence of vandalism to the derelict Visitor Centre

This time, it’s the glasshouse which seems to have attracted some more attention.

This is the eastern end of the structure, not directly visible from the path that passes the buildings, and could be thought of the ‘back corner’ of the structure.

Unlike the earlier pics, where the glass damage is mostly down to neglect and lack of maintenance, as clips fail and panes slide, this is just sheer vandalism, caused by stone-throwing and the deliberate smashing of the panes.

Once again, not a penny has been found to rescue this structure, despite the disgusting ‘Glasgow 2018’ and hosting of the European Championships in the pool just a few metres away, where plenty of money has been found to cordon this off from local people, and apparently fund an army of workers to wander around the place, and even have plant and machinery brought in to repair the road surface in Wellshot Road.

No better than the sham we had for the stupid 2014 Commonwealth Games foist on the people of Glasgow four years ago.

Tollcross Winter Garden Vandalism Progress

Tollcross Winter Garden Vandalism Progress

02/08/2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

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