Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

It’s all fun… until Murder Mittens arrives

Police cordoned off a house in Tollcross after evidence was found that ‘Murder Mittens’ had apparently gone mad around 3 am and devastated the house and it occupants.

Media reporters and photographers were banned from entry, with suggestions that scene was too terrible to be pictured, and pointed to the first piece of evidence removed from the scene, the remains of Mittens savaged scratching post.

Dead Scratching Post

Dead Scratching Post

Authorities warned that when not running around mad about 3 am, Mittens could appear perfectly normal.



But could be completely transformed at 3 am.

Wanted Cat Photofit

Wanted Cat Photofit


December 12, 2017 Posted by | photography | , , , | Leave a comment

Geri – missing in G32 since July 2017

I seem to have ‘collected’ quite a few missing cat (posters) recently, but I think most of them are a little old, and are either being spotted as I wander around places I haven’t managed to get to for a while or, like the one below, seem to be repeated appeals.

It’s only a couple of days since I used this gate at Tollcross Park, and I don’t think even I am dozy enough to have missed this one, and I saw it right away yesterday.

It’s fresh and clean. With the recent rain and wind, I doubt it would have been so clean when spotted, hence the assumption it’s a repeat.

The web site address is not too obvious (lots of mention for good old Facecrook though) so this is Animal Search UK which is associated with Cats Protection:

See also Cats Protection

I’ll need to dig through recent pics, and do posts for others.

Geri Missing Cat Tollcross

Geri Missing Cat Tollcross

October 9, 2017 Posted by | Appeal, Lost, 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

The Commonwealth Games didn’t ruin all of 2014

I’ve been looking through pics and articles I abandoned during 2014, shelved because I simply didn’t want to be associated in any with the downright nasty people who surfaced and were using the instance of that year’s Commonwealth Games being held in Glasgow.

While I’d started off with a few posts and comments dismissing this opportunity for a few handouts and fiddles, then learned the games don’t put their hands in their pockets to fund themselves, but give the host city the PRIVILEGE of funding all their costs for them, and also depending on mugs volunteers to do much of the staffing and organising on the ground, with no payment, and sometimes no expenses.

Seriously, cities and councils are off their heads going with on the promise of ‘Lasting Legacies’ and increased uptake of sporting activities – none of which are actually delivered. Check it analyses carried out in the wake of these cons, five or ten years after their end. Even the massively costly Olympics usually fail to deliver on all the promises made before they depart – but one thing you can be sure of… much will have been spent funding all these events, and no refunds are even given back to the cities when the promises fail to be delivered.

Just think of Tollcross Winter Gardens if you don’t believe this whole Games fiasco is corrupt. Over £300 million squandered, yet nobody could syphon off one or two to preserve a true gem in out midst. Says it all!

But after seeing some of the vitriolic attacks on the event, and its preparations (with bad mistakes made on both sides), I decided that while I might not make my feelings or opinions a secret, I was not going to add any sort of apparent support to people who were little more than thugs and/or liars.

So, I keep finding odd items of interest from the time.

Such as this planter (which can still be found at the corner of Braidfauld Street and Tollcross Road).

The story’s on the plaque, which I’ve zoomed into below.

Tollcross Housing 40 Years

Tollcross Housing 40 Years



September 24, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, 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

After posting the most useless shop, let’s try for the most useful

After ending July with the most useless shop ever, I thought I’d better make up for the black humour spawned by that sighting with something that’s actually potentially really just as likely to be tragic, but is generally more likely to raise a laugh.

Here’s the most useful shop (if you have insurance, and have an accident, and need a solicitor).

I guess I don’t need to go digging up past news about accident statistics for this one, unlike yesterday’s where I felt the need to throw in some memory jogging regarding how wealthy we are, here in the east end of Glasgow.

Heck, we probably need solicitors, just to help with the accident claim after we fall off our wallets, so fat because we are all so wealthy here.

Accidents Will Happen

Accidents Will Happen


August 1, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked XII – Dan Dan the parking man

It’s been a while since I saw a decent “If it’s stopped, it’s parked”, and the recent explosion of instant Internet fame, or media reuse as ‘clickbait’ fof a pic or video of a car tyre that has strayed as much as a millimetre outside of a marked bay in a deserted car park (where it matter not one jot), has put me off it.

But then the gems appear, and can re-awaken some interest.

Sure, it’s a quiet side street, but it’s neither abandoned nor derelict, and in use by the folk who live along it.

Could easily have parked against either kerb, and not just blocked it.

I wish I’d had the time to loiter nearby, and maybe got a pic of a car trying to use the junction, but had to move on.

Walking, rather than driving a Privileged Peugeot, means you don’t have time to waste.

Privileged Peugeot Parking

Privileged Peugeot Parking

It is empty and abandoned – I can’t run fast enough to stand in front of such driver and calmly take his pic!

June 16, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Mercedes is back (A1 GPM)

Victim of the long dark nights, I clearly failed to spot the return of this Mercedes (recently?) after it suffered an encounter with an impatient driver.

See the original spotting of the incident, when it was totalled as another car drove into the side as it was turning right:

Modified Mercedes

Mercedes Collision 01


I said it would be back, or to be more specific and accurate, that the registration A1 GPM would be back.

Looks like it was repairable, as it still looks like a grey 2013  Mercedes-Bens CLS250 CDI Blue Efficiency. I had suspected the floor pan/chassis might have suffered.

I guess I must have passed this a number of times recently, comfortably parked this time, in the street it was about to turn into in the pic above. But, it’s usually been dark when I pass here until recently, and the chilly weather means ‘Eyes Front!’, and only the recent light evenings and less windy/chilly days means I can look to the side once again.

I wonder how long I’ve been passing it, and never noticed?

The original was back in November of last year.

This is Ogilvie Street, off Tollcross Road.

Nice and shiny – insurance is a wonderful thing (until the no-claim bonus starts to go downhill)…

Mercedes 2 [A1 GPM]

Mercedes 2

May 2, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Interesting doorstep

It pays to keep your eyes open, there’s always something just a little bit interesting to see if you do, even on a humble Glasgow doorstep in the back streets of Tollcross.

If the colours and shadows look a little odd, they are, as this is a night shot, even if does look close to daylight. The nearby light was mostly white, but you can see the yellow tinge from the sodium street lighting (now you know to look).

Couple of points worth noting…

Trust – always helped by the odd length of chain and padlock. Still, I’d love to see how far some wee ned managed to carry it if he did try to make off with it.

Silver – this ‘Sword in the Stone’ (yes, I know it’s really and anvil) re-enactment has magically changed from white to silver since it was first photographed.

Sword in the stone... er... anvil

Sword in the stone… er… anvil

April 10, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , , | Leave a comment

A clock, and intriguing funeral care in Tollcross

Apologies for the missing corner in the pic below, but the original shot was just intended to capture the clock, then I realised the context was more interesting, but the necessary perspective correction for the clock face had not been allowed for in the bigger picture.

I’d originally wanted to catch this pic purely to record the clock over the door, which is quite real and fully operational, always showing the correct time – sadly, more than can be said of many clocks in public view these days.

The thing that really caught my eye (after noting its mere existence, something that is quite rare these days, since it is assumed everyone has some gadget or other that tells the time) was this clock’s unprotected face and proximity to the footpath. There is no glass or plastic protective covering over the face, and it would be relatively easy for some little scumbag to trash it by attacking the hands – but this has not happened over the years it has now been in place.

As for the context and reason for including the whole shopfront in the pic…

While it didn’t really occur to me at the time, the name of the service did come to strike me as significant, after seeing a documentary about funeral directors, and the relative rarity of such a business being established by someone other than a male member of the human race.

Janice Stevens Funeral Care clock

Janice Stevens Funeral Care clock


April 5, 2017 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , | 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

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