Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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… 😀


Oct 5, 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

Sep 14, 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.

Aug 21, 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

Aug 2, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council, photography | , , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Park Winter Gardens just sliding into ruin

Cutting through Tollcross Park meant passing the derelict and now very ruined glasshouse of the winter gardens.

Somehow this looks even worse, as the undergrowth and weeds start to build up around the uncared for structure.

Looking at the roof, I noted the clips holding the glazing in place have started to show signs of rotting and failing.

Glass panes on the roof section are starting to come loose and slide down.

I wonder if anything helpful came out of the last meeting of the ‘Friends’ of the park?

It really is shameful that this has been allowed to happen, after all the money and effort which saw it restored, now a memory almost two decades in the past.

Tollcross Winter Garden Decay

Tollcross Winter Garden Decay

If it carries on at this rate, in a few years there won’t be any need to think about it being demolished – it will have done the job all by itself.

Good example of… a Building at Risk

May 16, 2018 Posted by | council, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

Friends of Tollcross Park 2018 AGM


I pass, even pass through quite often sometimes, but I’m past getting involved in stuff.

I’d almost make the effort, if I thought there was any chance of hearing something positive about the Winter Gardens disaster.

Tollcross Park Friends AGM

Tollcross Park Friends AGM

On my ever-expanding grammar fun quest, did you spot the error in this poster?

I haven’t seen it referred to by a name, but there seems to be a growing number of examples, especially with some modern items, such as GPS. While this acronym refers to the Global Position System, it’s not unusual to see references to the “GPS System”, which expands to the Global Position System System.

That can be improved a little by using “GPS navigation systems”.

Here we have the “AGM Meeting”, which expands in a similar manner, to become the Annual General Meeting Meeting.

May 5, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

It’s freezing in Scotland – so it must be Easter!

I haven’t managed a decent walk for weeks now, the surrounding weather is just too grim.

After looking at the forecast since I had to go out,  yesterday looked like the best bet for a while.

I was right! 24 hours later the temp has tumbled at least 5 deg C AND it has started to rain (weather forecast warned of potential for sleet/snow). At least I only had cold gusting wind yesterday, and some Sun (not seen today).

I managed around 13 miles, and made it to Glasgow Green, but on the way managed to pick up some pics of daring flowers that had taken a chance. We don’t even have daffodils showing around my own area, despite their showing in many other places nearby.

First sighting was in Tollcross Park, with some areas carpeted like this, unfortunately not the most dazzling colour, but at least showing.

Tollcross Park Blooms

Tollcross Park Blooms

More colourful, but I don’t know their name, these little yellow flowers I almost mistook for dandelions before I looked closed, and spotted the stems – which are interesting compared the smooth stem of a dandelion.

A few groups were spotted on the River Clyde at Hutchesontown, just behind the fence on the riverbank.

River Clyde Behind Richmond Park Riverbank Blooms

River Clyde Behind Richmond Park Riverbank Blooms

I wonder if the betting shops take bets on Easter weather?

I can recall enjoying sunny days in local parks some years, to ending up being frozen through when I made the mistake of using the holiday to work outside on my car, to the time I left home in a near blizzard – on my way to Manchester for work.

Mar 30, 2018 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

No chance of infection in Tollcross Park, just a spot of fungus

Funny how it’s possible to wander around a place and completely miss something in plain sight.

I’d never noticed this old drinking fountain before, yet it lies near at least one path within the park.

I understand most, if not all, of these fountains have been killed off for fear of their being a potential source of infection, and sharing nasty diseases between users. At one time, they were numerous.

As can be seen, it has not only been disabled, but also smashed. Whether the latter is down to the park, or vandals, is unclear. Regardless, nobody’s going to be using this one.

Then again, it may have been a cunning plan by the scurrilous vendors of one of today’s greatest scandals – BOTTLED WATER – as they systematically destroyed all free sources of water to boost their criminal sales. But, that’s another story.

Tollcross Drinking Fountain Wrecked

Tollcross Drinking Fountain Wrecked

A wander around the remains revealed a fortunate survivor of this particular wrecking effort, including discovery of full details of the manufacturer.

Tollcross Drinking Fountain Detail

Tollcross Drinking Fountain Detail

One day, I’ll not only ready up on the definition of the difference between mushrooms and toadstools… I’ll also REMEMBER it!

So just have this bonus pic taken nearby, and we’ll settle for ‘fungus’ to save time.

Tollcross Park Tree Fungus

Tollcross Park Tree Fungus


Let’s not miss a chance to embarrass those in charge of this mess…

Which didn’t get the benefit of a SINGLE PENNY from the sham fiasco of the LASTING LEGACY of the 2014 GLASGOW COMMONWEALTH SHAMES.

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Oct 19, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Increasing support reported for petition to save Tollcross Winter Gardens

I’ve been highlighting the shameful behaviour of Glasgow City Council, which squandered million on its vanity project – the 2014 Commonwealth Shames – spent a wad of cash on the leisure centre in Tollcross Park (which a local solicitor assured me is not used by locals, but by people who drive there from outside the area – and claimed that local kids are kept away by gangs, shocking if true).

Yet while throwing all that money around, the council couldn’t find a relatively small amount (compared to the amount wasted for a few days of games) to repair and re-open the winter gardens, which was somehow not seen as an attraction that the supposed thousands upon thousands of spectators coming to see the shames would have been drawn to, even though they would have been only a few metres away while attending events in the enlarged puddle (swimming pool and extension) that was added to the leisure centre so that a few privileged swimmers could splash around in it, and maybe get sponsors.

I’ve photographed and blogged about the shameful neglect and ongoing damage and vandalism the winter gardens (and the ‘new’ visitor centre that was tacked on when it was last rescued and restored.


Although a petition was raised over a year ago, and has attracted a number of signatures in support, it is only now, in September 2017, reaching the 5,000 needed to have it submitted to the council.

In fact, it’s only a few hundred away from that figure this morning.

Go and give it the final nudge, here:

Save the Tollcross Winter Gardens before It’s too late

See these past posts (I’m really just repeating myself time after time, so seldom write about this disaster, it’s too sad):

The sorry story of Tollcross Winter Gardens just goes from bad to worse


Tollcross Winter Gardens – Shame of the 2014 Commonwealth Games ‘Lasting Legacy’


Tollcross Winter Gardens – a ‘Lasting Legacy’ to betrayal


Tollcross Winter Gardens refurbishment 2013

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Sep 3, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian | , , , , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Park fire (NOT)

This really frustrates me time after time.

There I am, virtually on the spot as the sirens scream and the blue light flash…

And NOTHING happens.

Tollcross Park Fire Engine

Tollcross Park Fire Engine

Once again, I watched this fire engine crawl along the road at walking pace as it hurried to some potential emergency.

Why was it crawling?

Wellshot Road is densely populated with ‘Sleeping Policemen’ – raised areas of road intended to make things ‘safer’ by preventing speeding, but they don’t discriminate, so a fully laden fire engine (ambulance, or other emergency vehicle) has no option but to creep over these obstructions to avoid damage/danger.

Sadly, they are largely ineffective against their intended victims these days (that’s cars) as chassis/suspension/engine/brakes have advanced to the stage where there is no problem in zipping BETWEEN these supposed obstacles at speed, and braking sharply to pass over them.

But, back to the actual fire engine and its arrival…

As usual (for me at least) by the time I got there, all I got to see was the team jumping back in a driving away, and nothing happened.

Same old story, and probably an automated false alarm.

BETTER than the consequences of a real shout just along the road, where we lost Shettleston Halls.

Can’t lay hands quickly on pics, so see this one here (building actually demolished as a result, leaving only façade):

Shettleston Halls – Building at Risk



Apr 29, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

The sorry story of Tollcross Winter Gardens just goes from bad to worse

While poking around for anything online about Tollcross House yesterday, I happened across some more background regarding the disgraceful treatment of Tollcross Winter Gardens.

I always forget to mention that things were going reasonably well for the glasshouse until it was damaged during storms that hit in December 2010 and January 2011, and it was closed for reasons of safety. Of itself, nothing wrong with that – nobody wants to be standing beneath a pane of glass when it decides it’s time to part company with roof it was once an integral part of, and the closure for such repairs is a fairly regular occurrence that the People’s Palace Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green.

But 7 years have now passed in Tollcross, and all we have is a decaying glasshouse and derelict visitor centre attached.

I can’t be bothered shooting video, so the clip below was a handy find yesterday.

Reading into the notes indicates that someone complained about it, and tried to have it taken down.

Glasgow City Council comes in for a fair amount of stick at times, not always justified either as politics plays a large part.

But, it’s hard to see how any other source (or to be fair, a rogue employee just trying to win Brownie Points with their boss or supervisor) would have reason to try to suppress this video.

The comments after the video also note “A group did petition the Scottish Parliament however it was stated that they have no powers to force the council into making repairs.”

There was also criticism of the Visitor Centre appended to the glasshouse as seen today.

Sad to say, I have no idea what the site looked like, or the state of the remains of the glasshouse, although it seem it lay derelict for some 14 years prior to the restoration work carried out before it was reopened in November 2000.

However, I did just come across some old postcards showing Tollcross Park many years ago, and the they show the glasshouse was much larger, with another hall extending to the rear, on the ground occupied by the Visitor Centre today.

It’s hard to recall what was said about it back in the days when the structure was being recovered from that phase of its dereliction, and the Visitor Centre may have been constructed to replace that part of the structure which had, by then, been lost to the preceding years of neglect.

Tollcross glasshouse when complete

Tollcross glasshouse when complete

The Tollcross conservatories were originally erected in 1870 at Redholm in Ardrossan, North Ayrshire. Baillie A.G. MacDonald, of Redholm gifted, them to the Glasgow Corporation in 1898 as a gesture to commemorate his links with the area.

Try searching for ‘Mark Fiddy’ online for information regarding plans to raise more than £800 k to rescue the winter gardens and make it a self-sustaining resource.

Apr 3, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , | Leave a comment

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