Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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.

March 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

October 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

September 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



April 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.

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

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

I used to enjoy cutting through Tollcross Park, and the opportunity to drop into the Tollcross Winter Gardens.

But, thanks to the ‘Lasting Legacy’ of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, this has been denied me since at least February 2013 (I cannot be exact as I stopped walking around the area before this date, as the preparation for the ‘Shames’ was trashing the area, making it anything but a pleasure to walk through), and was the first time I saw how the Winter Gardens had themselves been trashed, while the existing sports centre nearby was having countless thousands poured into it for no good reason, and big red shed was being built along the road, at Parkhead. Seriously, all that money poured down the drain for a few spoilt runners and jumpers, while a real gem like the Winter Gardens was trashed, and no money spent on it as part of the so-called ‘Legacy’.

Things were no better in 2015: Tollcross Winter Gardens – a ‘Lasting Legacy’ to betrayal

Another 2 years, its 2017, and I’m basically just repeating the same sorry story.

I got there too late for this, or even to give it a little publicity, and since I will not tough the toxic f a c e b o o k, I can’t tell if there is any progress (can’t find any more online), but this sign was up at various places around the park and derelict glasshouse:

Friend of Tollcross Park first meet sign

Friend of Tollcross Park first meeting sign

It will be interesting to see if any interest can be raised after what is clearly a blatant betrayal of those who once cared and put in the effort – I wouldn’t be in the least surprised if even those who care choose not to be made fools of again.

Over 17 years ago, this happened:

The Winter Garden in Tollcross Park were last refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to rot at best.

However, funding to the value of £1.7 million rescued the glasshouse then, and it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

I have my doubts if it will be repeated, unless grants and Lottery funding can be found, and maybe more importantly, some way of taking it out of the hands of those who allowed the damage to be done.

It’s really hard to believe I was able to walk into these gardens prior to 2013, give thanks to the good folk who had been able to have them restored AND add a visitor centre (there are also play area which have been lost within the grounds), only to see it all ruined, derelict, and abandoned.


According to the Building at Risk Register for Scotland:

The glasshouses are understood to have been damaged during storms in Dec 2010/ Jan 2011 and have been closed since.

Tollcross Conservatory, Tollcross Park, Tollcross

I had no idea the closure went that far back. Smells like a make-believe excuse to me, after all, why close the Visitor Centre too? It was the part that sold stuff and made money, and was usually full of parents and screaming kids. I guess it operated at a loss, so when the glasshouse closed, its days were numbered.


Can’t see why money was not made available and throw at for the 2014 Shames, as a tourist attraction, or was considered to be an attraction only for the ‘wrong sort’ of tourist, and not those who were wanted for the Shames?

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens January 2017


Tollcross Winter Gardens Side January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens Side January 2017


Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre January 2017

Tollcross Winter Gardens Visitor Centre January 2017


February 11, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Civilian, council, photography | , , , , | 2 Comments

Glasgow’s Commonwealth Games shame – Tollcross Winter Gardens wrecked in 2013

I had no idea that more than a year had passed since I last posted about Tollcross Winter Gardens refurbishment 2013.

Nor did I realise the Winter Gardens had been wrecked and abandoned by Glasgow City Council, caught in the glare of the headlights of the 2014 Commonwealth Games, for which everything must be sacrificed in expectation of some non-existent “Lasting Legacy” which is unlikely to ever be delivered

Sad to say, one year on and in the year the Commonwealth Games is due to take place, both the glasshouse (an exquisite B-listed 19th century, curvilinear iron structure) and the much newer visitor centre, which was attached it in 2000, look like abandoned derelicts.

In fact, they ARE abandoned derelicts, since Glasgow City Council claims it is unable to fund the £800,000 repair bill for the them.

Thank goodness the People’s Palace and Winter Gardens on Glasgow Green are more well known and loved by the people of Glasgow, otherwise the council might have had a problem funding upgrades there as well. But they scraped through, and were closed during October 2014 while the work was carried out

After lying derelict for over ten years, the Winter Gardens at Tollcross Park enjoyed a refurbishment which was completed in November 2000 at a cost of  £1.7 million.

Only 12 years later, this investment looks set to be squandered, with the building lying open to the elements – as can be seen from the pics, glazing has been removed, and left lying around the site – and a no sign of the promised plastic wrap which should be protecting it.

What plastic wrap?

Back in February 2013, the media reported that while Glasgow City Council could supply the £800,000 to repair the buildings, they could come up with £60,00 to wrap it in plastic film and protect it from the elements. This never appeared, and the building is protected only by a loose security fence erected around the perimeter, which vandals can easily walk around. I could easily do this, but unlike vandals, who would get a slap on the wrist and told not to be naughty boys, I’d probably find a fleet of police cars and council workers dragging me off to the cells, and charged with breaking and entering, and damaging property, since I’m a quiet law-abiding type, with no’ brief’ or social worker on hand to look after me and organise legal aid.

The tragedy of this destruction is that we recently saw weeks of work at the Tollcross Pool and Leisure Centre, so it would be up to the standard demanded for the useless games.

April 30, 2014 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , | Leave a comment

Tollcross Winter Gardens refurbishment 2013

When I dragged myself up the hill towards the Winter Gardens in Tollcross Park a few weeks ago, I was both surprised and disappointed to find it was closed and a state of serious disarray.

Surrounded by fencing and scaffolding, the glasshouse was devoid of plants, and a number of glass panes were missing or damaged.

I’m not usually taken by surprise by such things, there’s usually some sort of mention in the local free papers, or I chance across advance notice of such pending works somewhere in the council’s web site. But this time, I hadn’t noticed anything.

The Winter Garden in Tollcross Park were last refurbished in the period 1999/2000, having lain derelict for at least a decade, and at risk of being lost at worst, or left to rot at best.

However, funding to the value of £1.7 million rescued the glasshouse then, and it also gained an adjacent Visitor Centre, café, and play area.

I have had another hunt around the various council web sites that covers refurbishment to the park features, but other than mentioning the fact that the Winter Gardens are currently closed for refurbishment, there seems to little detail, and no mention of time-scale, so I can’t pass on any likely dates for re-opening.

As you can see from the photograph below, while the glasshouse is not likely to open in the next few days, it would not take many months to complete the work needed, and have this attraction open for summer – which I hope is the plan.

Tollcross Winter Gardens February 2013

I’ve had to dip into geograph for something earlier, as I have a problem getting hands on my own digital pics at the moment, and this can’t wait.

The Visitor Centre was, as I recall, the source of some controversy when it opened, due its tent-like design, but it seems to work, and I think everyone has grown used to it:

The two building are connected through a short connecting passage which opens into the area under the dome.

bigbobski on tripadvisor may be advised to stay anonymous in Glasgow

While checking on the status of the renovation works, my searches came across an entry for Tollcross Park from one “bigbobski”, claiming to be a “50-64 year old male hailing from Buckie”. According to him:

Nice to visit during the day. Has a Public Swimming Pool and Health Centre in one corner. Unfortunately bordered by Tollcross, and other rough areas making it unsafe at night.

Via Plenty for the family – Tollcross Park, Glasgow Traveller Reviews – TripAdvisor

It should be noted that the park officially closes at dusk, so you shouldn’t really be in there at night anyway.

And Tollcross Park isn’t “Unfortunately bordered by Tollcross”… it’s IN Tollcross!

While he might find the area unsafe at night if he lets the locals know who he is, I walk the roads here year round, and apart from the common-sense approach of not going alone into dark areas which one would be wise to employ anywhere in the land, have not even come across any “bother”.

The area used to (and may still) be a favourite of TV documentaries which spread mis-information about the level of violence to suit the programme makers’ pre-conceived ideas based on Glasgow’s past, and I recall discussing the subject in another forum a few years back, where one of our number claimed to have come across a documentary team that got bored while waiting for a gang fight to spontaneously erupt in this very park. After a few hopeless nights, it seems they got fed up, and eventually paid some kids to noise one another up in front of the cameras, so they could go back to London with the footage they wanted.

The only gang fights I’ve seen are on a TV documentaries – but I’m not saying they don’t happen, just not in built-up areas where police and others can attend quickly and deal with them.

While I cannot personally vouch for the veracity of the park story, I can recount a similar tale which I do know is true, from a mile along the road in Shettleston – another “rough area” bigbobski might want to steer clear of now.

A builder friend of mine was trying to land work in an estate agents’ office, to refit and modernise the office. When they could not agree a suitable time-scale to complete the work without disrupting the business, he offered to do the work after hours, after the office closed for the day. This offer was declined, as the owner (who lived in the west end, as did the staff) would not stay in Shettleston, or allow the staff to be in the office after 6 pm… “Due to the danger they faced from the gangs fighting in the streets once the shops shut.”

He probably doesn’t even know the Co-op a few doors along opens until 10 pm every night, and there’s a 24-hour Tesco a few streets away. He and his massive Range-Rover are always off home well before 6 pm.

No problems, and I use them both… in the dark!

February 28, 2013 Posted by | Civilian, council | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment


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