Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

Lucky catch – Tollcross Road ghost sign

I hadn’t realised I’d managed a rare (for me) ‘Right Time, Right Place’ pics earlier this year.

I caught the original shop sign revealed when a new sign was installed over premises in Tollcross Road.

This was only obvious when I noted a newer pic which showed the old original had been lost once again.

Locals will appreciate how old that number is, after Glasgow changed its prefix from 041 to 0141.

Don’t quote me, but I think that change dated from 1995 (but seem to go on forever, due to endless pre-publicity in the years before the actual change – and similar whining from those who didn’t want the change for ‘their’ numbers).

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign

I suppose the only regret is not being there just a little bit sooner, when we might also have been able to see what this shop was in its day.

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign Detail

Tollcross Road Ghost Sign Detail

26/09/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Work after Simpson’s fire progresses

Just a quick catch from the bus as it passed Simpson’s burnt out premises recently.

I never realised how hard it was to take a pic like this (moving and panning to keep the subject framed and still) using a compact rather than a dSLR, it’s a whole new world of ‘hard’ using the smaller camera, even though it has a viewfinder so I’m not forced to hold the thing at arm’s length. Being stuck in a bus seat doesn’t help either.

They seem to have cleared away most of the loose debris.

Simpson Fire Progress

Simpson Fire Progress

12/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

Work has started after Simpson’s fire

I mentioned the fire that took place at my nearby accountant’s office, suspected to have been deliberate (but no other news articles noted).

There was  no activity for a while, then I was back along that way and noticed that things look as if there’s going to be a rebuild.

They’d hardly move in all that accommodation if the place was gone for good.

I’ll keep watching.

Simpson fire site

Simpson fire site

01/06/2019 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

My accountant’s office was torched

Reportedly, “Police are treating the blaze as deliberate“.

I saw this being reported at the time, but the first reports didn’t give the name of the business, and the media pics weren’t clear enough to show where the fairly fierce fire was, with some 20 firefighter said to have attended. Simpson’s came to mind, but I couldn’t tell, and only confirmed this when I saw a later story.

Accountants office goes up in flames in deliberate fire

I had to wander along for a look and few pics.

This is pretty sad, there can’t be anything left inside as accountants live off paper, and this building was packed with the stuff.

Simpson Fire 02

Simpson Fire

Ignore the green barriers. They are unrelated to the fire and belong to fibre laying operations in the road.

While I’ve nothing that needs the attentions of an accountant these days, I did consult them some years ago, and even started a little data management program for them (but never finished).

I always liked the building, obviously once a residence but, for as long as I can remember was occupied by this accountant’s business.

It was one of the few early buildings that survived here. Much of the land behind was occupied by the Tollcross Tube Works, closed and razed years ago, with only the offices that once stood at the entrance still surviving, as a row of shops. Most of the nearby land became a housing development.

He (Mr Simpson) must have retired some years ago, as it’s ages since I’ve seen his car there (with its distinctive registration), but we did meet in his office, the room on the left, which retained the original features of the house  – the rest of the place had been converted into office space for the staff, and storage for the files and paperwork.

The attic space had been converted too, and I spent some time working on a computer behind that small arched window that can just about still be seen above the front door.

I wonder if any MPs will try to blame this on the board of the Glasgow School of Art, as they progress with their ‘witch hunt’ and blame game?

I’ve no idea what sort of backups they had, but it’s pretty obvious that this blaze was fierce enough to destroy both paper records and computer records – lending credence to the advice to store backups off site (or in a decent fire safe), in readiness for such an event as this.

Some more views of the aftermath.


26/03/2019 Posted by | Civilian, Lost, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Oops – Tollcross Road again

That has to be at least three unhappy people after this little ‘Oops’ spotted in Tollcross Road.

I wonder how many collisions take place here?

I think I’ve seen more on this road than any other.

This spot at the park is an offset crossroad, or two T-junctions separated by a few metres.

I’m guessing one of the cars involved had already been removed from the scene by the time I arrived, as there was no other one lying around to match the damage on this one. One T is just out of sight to the right, while the other is just behind the photographer.

What you can’t see is the car BEHIND this one, which was an ‘innocent bystander’ – which was extensively crumpled as the one in front was rammed into it. Possibly the downside of front crumple zones, which are designed to collapse progressively in a collision, to protect the passenger compartment, even a mild shunt can show a lot of body damage.

Tollcross Road Oops

Tollcross Road Oops

11/11/2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Tasty Treats are better than Disgusting Diablos in Tollcross

I hate to admit it, bu there are some things I’ll simply NEVER change my mind or opinion about.

I’m not sure if that’s sad (I’m sure some will think it is), or just marks me as ‘individual’ rather than ‘sheeple’.

In this case it’s ‘tramp stamps’, which I think is a much better name than tattoos, or the trendier kewl reference to ‘ink’.

I find the whole concept disgusting, and sad that people today find some need to find comfort in a degrading practice (think slavery, criminals, and those in concentration camps in World War II).

With this in mind, I was really pleased to see ‘Tasty Treats’ open in Tollcross recently.

Tollcross Tasty Treats

Tollcross Tasty Treats

Much better than ‘Disgusting Diablos’ (who didn’t even get the apostrophe correct in their own sign).

Disgusting Diablos

Disgusting Diablos

In case anyone wants to misrepresent me – I have no problem with body art, some is absolutely fantastic.

I love looking at the reports from some of the contests held around the world every year.

I just have a problem with the invasive and permanent nature of tattoos, the risks associated with them, and the pain and suffering so many people end up going through after getting what they wanted.

Places like Diablo’s win both ways, as they offered laser removal too.

Paid to put the stamp on.

Paid to take the stamp off too!

20/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | Leave a comment

Just to close that Tollcross flats story

(I had to revise this – the flats at the front AREN’T!)

I watched some old tenements disappear from Tollcross recently.

Not the real old sandstone type, but the slightly newer type which I think date from the 1930s, as opposed to the pre-1900 originals.

While the older ones apparently had their problems (would you believe there were rogue builders cashing in on the boom times even back then, and stuffing walls with newspaper as a filler), those newer types from the 30s seem to have been pretty poor, and many areas that had them have been cleared. I’ve read accounts of similar buildings where the doors and windows never fitted, and that were never dry, even after remedial work was completed in later years. While those in more densely populated areas remain, I still get a surprise looking at old maps of Glasgow and seeing entire housing estates of this type shown, but where there is little or no evidence of their existence to be seen today.

I wonder how long the new buildings will last?

This is the first time I’ve seen the streets clear of building works.

Now you can see not only the showcase flats in Tollcross Road, but the more mundane offerings in Dunira Street, behind.

Tollcross Road And Dunira Street Flats

Tollcross Road And Dunira Street Flats


While the little buildings at the right/rear of the pic are indeed flats.

I later noted that the more luxurious building in the foreground is actually the offices of the Tollcross Housing Association.

Exterior sign spotted later.

Tollcross Housing Association Outside

Tollcross Housing Association Outside

Inside too.

Tollcross Housing Association Inside

Tollcross Housing Association Inside

Good job I only walk around HALF asleep.

16/09/2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | Leave a comment

New Tollcross Road flats

I’ve been waiting for this new build to get to the stage where it becomes recognisable and worth a pic.

The site originally had what I refer to as ‘grey’ tenements running from Tollcross Road into Dunira Street, as opposed to Glasgow’s original style of sandstone tenement.

While the earlier sandstone tenements (c. 1900) were not without their build quality problems (apparently a number were built of ‘toffee’ once some builders of the day decided to cash in the boom – but you can’t tell which from outside thanks the sandstone cladding), those I refer to as ‘grey’ (simply because they are that colour, and I haven’t come across a generic name type for them) seem to suffer many problems, and date from the 1930s, when many were built, even forming entire housing schemes in some places.

Many of those estates, and those ‘grey’ tenements, seem to have lasted for only a few decades, before vanishing completely, and you have to look at old maps to find them. I’ve seen description of these homes from some residents, who claim they were simply never even wind, let alone water, tight from the day they were built.

This was Dunira Street back in 2014 while being demolished – I’m guessing the outer wall is built of concrete blocks, with some textured to look like stone.

Dunira Street Demolition

Dunira Street Demolition

In 2015 it looked like this.

Dunira Street Cleared

Dunira Street Cleared

And by 2018 the replacement finally took shape and became recognisable.

Tollcross Road New Build Flats With Balcony

Tollcross Road New Build Flats With Balcony

No, that’s not a new Lidl (it’s still just off the right).

I love the way the developer has stuck with t he tradition of making the top floor a more ‘exclusive’ penthouse type (so it costs more), but have to wonder about the view from the generously sized balcony/balcony area, and how nice it will be up there, as Glasgow’s diesel double (and single) decker buses chug past.

Be nicer when the hybrid and electric buses arrive. Then they’ll only have to worry about the artics swarming to and from McVitie’s biscuit factory just along the road. Actually, being serious for a moment, the latest lorries in this class are stunningly quiet, even under load, and unlike stinky diesel cars, I haven’t seen a cloud of black smoke pouring out of (a new one) one for years.

But I can remember trying to get to sleep in my grandparents tenement flat in London Road, and can STILL hear the sound of the traffic to this day.


I din’t know this at the time, and only found out a few weeks later that this building was NOT flats, but the new headquarters for Tollcross Housing Association!

Well, there you have it.

Yet ANOTHER example of an assumption making an ASS of U or ME.










19/05/2018 Posted by | Civilian, 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.

01/10/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , | Leave a comment

He’s behind me, isn’t he?

So, there I was, quietly eyeing up the next potential shot (just a photograph… this time), and that creepy “Somebody’s watching me” feeling arrives. Yet there’s almost nobody else around.

I look around, with a little more care, and sure enough, sitting at a window behind me, and watching carefully – one of feline overlords.

I grabbed a quick pic as I knew this character would disappear the moment it knew I was returning the favour, and watching back.

It’s not a good pic and doesn’t do this rather nice tortie justice, but the quick shot meant the camera focus locked on the nearest feature, in this case the left edge of the window, and refused to budge no matter what buttons I poked.

Tollcross Road Cat Watch

Tollcross Road Cat Watch

But what about the spooky hooded skull reflection?

I wonder if really was the cat that was watching me though.

Look just above its head and right ear – is that a hooded spectre?

Some would say it’s just a reflection (of a car wheel).

But it looks so much like a hooded skull – and that would better explain my feeling of unease.

I could have turned around and had a look…

If I had, I’d probably have seen him – and his pal:

Masked Camo Warriors

Masked Camo Warriors

Glad I didn’t turn around, and just kept on walking.

27/07/2017 Posted by | photography, Surveillance | , , , | Leave a comment

Salvation Army building in Tollcross Road

When I collect pics of interesting buildings I can usually find some sort of reference in archives to their history, and get an idea of when they were built and who was responsible for them.

This one is in Tollcross Road, not far from Parkhead Cross, but other than what can be seen on the façade, that’s about as much as I’ve ever come across, or can say about it.

As far as I can tell, apart from the façade, the rest of the building appears to fairly utilitarian, and is really just a hall with a decorative front.

The ‘doo’ (Glaswegian for pigeon) eyeing up the door looks just about as mystified as me about this building’s past.

It doesn’t even have some sort of date stone, so the best indications of its age are the Art Deco style letters carved above the entrance, and the pair of Art Nouveau stained-glass windows above that. Windows and doors below are modern refurbishments.

So, guess broadly around the first third of the 20th century, and this is no surprise, given the age of similar building in the area.

Tollcross Road Salvation Army Building

Tollcross Road Salvation Army Building

07/07/2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment


%d bloggers like this: