Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

If VW Polo’s could buy registration numbers

And not park wholly on the pavement, thereby giving ammunition to the nuts who are trying to get tougher parking laws introduced.

I’m sure those concrete bollards are there for a reason, and it’s not decorative.

Otherwise… cute.

VW Polo [P010 GDM]

VW Polo [PO10 GDM]

As an aside, for those not schooled in registration minutiae, the PO is made of the letters ‘P’ and ‘O’, while the 10 is numeric.


Sep 24, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , , | Leave a comment

Not a terrible crash – just a folding e-bike

This started out as a bit of light-hearted fun, a humourous post about a folding bike spotted at one of my local Lidl’s, but then became ‘interesting’.

This fairly standard, Chinese made, folding bike looks like a terrible accident when first seen folded, but cleverly turns into a handy adult carrier.

There just happened to be a standard bike behind, offering a comparison.

I was wondering why the owner bothered to fold it while just popping into the shop, but having tried the useless bike parking fixing offered by Tollcross’ Lidl, there’s no mystery. There’s a short row of ‘V’ loops, which a wheel can be shoved into and presumably secured by a locking loop or chain.

They’re a joke!

I tried one recently – utterly useless as it leaves the rest of the bike vulnerable. A thief only has to release the locked wheel and can leave it behind while departing with the rest of the bike.

To secure the bike, you need more chains and locks to secure the frame (and other wheel) to the one tied to the ‘V’. I almost ran out. Fortunately, I carry a few different types to cater for various options, but I did almost run out of… patience!

I also found that a bike in the ‘V’ sticks out into, and occupies half the width of, the footpath passing this ‘rack’.

Not trying that again, I’ll just have to carry on using anything nearby that suits.

Lidl EPlus City Folder

Lidl EPlus City Folder

Things got more interesting when I looked closer, and when I tried to find out more details about this offering online.

There doesn’t seem to be a maker’s web site, but I found this bike on sale on eBay for about £370 – 24 V with 20″ wheels, ‘Manufacturer refurbished’.

Interest continued to grow as there were no proper technical details given, but I noticed the bike on offer, although identical in appearance from it graphics, differed in its apparent system of electric drive.

Referring to retail item as the original, it looks as if the original bike has a conventional pedal/chain driven rear wheel with a few gears, and the electric drive assists this using a hub motor built into the front wheel.

As the front wheel is hidden in my pic, I’ve found an unfolded example.

First, note the front wheel – in the full size pic, wires and connectors can be seen leading to the hub motor.

Second, and more interesting – look at the rear wheel, then compare to the detail I’ve taken from my own pic taken at Lidl.

EPlus City Folder

EPlus City Folder

And rear detail as seen at Lidl.

City Folder DIY Rear Drive

City Folder DIY Rear Drive

I’m impressed!

I’ll hazard a guess and say that the front wheel hub motor failed, and a replacement is not readily available, or if it is, costs as much as the whole bike to have flown in (I found this out the hard way, when some electronic kit failed on me).

I don’t subscribe to the ‘Chinese rubbish’ theory (especially not today, as China is giving much of the rest of the world a wake-up call as it develops – helped by the Orange Moron of course, as it unravels many advances made in the US), but I did wonder the first time I zoomed into that rear motor, its perforated metal strip mounting, the wiring, the sticky tape, and the cable ties.

Then I realised what I was looking at.

I assume that friction drive works.

If I tried something like this, all that would happen would be that the motor would keep twisting out of its mounting, and never stayed in contact with the tyre.

I had a vintage dynamo powered lighting system that depended on a similar system driven by the rear wheel. It was fine while I had old-style rubber tyres mounted. Then I switched to modern synthetic tyres. Disaster! The tyre’s surface had insufficient friction to drive the dynamo against the load when in use. The friction wheel just slid over the tyre. Thank goodness I had already dumped it in favour of  LED lighting all round.

One point.

My OCD means I couldn’t sleep at night thinking of that open electric motor sitting in all the muck that gets thrown behind a bike, even when only ridden in dry weather, and getting water inside (esp those exposed windings, where it would never evaporate from in Scotland) would mean losing any sleep I might have had.

Time for a Blue Peter Moment. Even a washing-up liquid bottle cut to sit over it would help IMMENSELY!


Above, I mentioned the relatively useless bike rack at this Lidl.

Last time I was there, someone had been kind enough to ignore it completely, and do what I do – lock their bike FRAME to the fence around the trolley enclosure. A much more secure option, seen just behind the ‘V’ rack on the left, which only secures a wheel rim.

Great Lidl Bike Rack

Great Lidl Bike Rack

Sep 14, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography, Transport | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Datsun 2400 DELUXE 6 – optimism model

I spotted this a while ago, but it was a while before I could get some decent pics.

To my shame, I’d passed it many times before noticing it, or that it was ‘interesting’.

What made me stop one day was the yellow flash of the steering wheel lock – probably worth more than the car it was protecting.

One word flashed into my head when I saw it – OPTIMISM, Class: Expert!

Note from the pics, the car has a flat tyre, so isn’t going to be stolen and driven away in a hurry, and as we’ll learn later, it also has a starting problem.

This was the view that really made me stop – note also the flat tyre, taped on door mirror, and stunningly accurate bonnet gap.

Datsun 2400 Steering Wheel Lock

Datsun 2400 Steering Wheel Lock

Incidentally, if you want to find out more about the Datsun 2400, which you will see is the DELUXE 6 according to the boot badges, I suggest not trying a standard online search – you’ll be disappointed.

Better to feed in the name then carry out a search for ONLINE IMAGES – then pick the closest similar car in the pics, and look at whatever pages the pics appeared on.

You can also look for details of the Nissan Cedric, a name not known in the UK, but which has survived overseas, and has become a rather nice car. One of those that few people know about, but those who do seem to like.

The rear end gives the model details.

Datsun 2400 Rear

Datsun 2400 Rear

This fettled crop shows the badges in readable form – click the image to make it bigger.

It also reveals that the car has a registration plate issued in Guateng, and that’s in South Africa, and that’s where the car came from. Something else we will confirm later.

Datsun 2400 Rear Badges

Datsun 2400 Rear Badges

From the front, that bonnet – shame about the grille badge.

The grille badge is interesting, and it’s hard to find any of those online images I referred to that look exactly this version.

I had to go back, for just one more general view – after all, I’m hardly likely to find another one.

Datsun 2400

Datsun 2400

How do I know this car has starting problems?


It was offered for sale, with some details (this is a quote – all the typos are original, not mine).

1971 Datsun 2400 Project car Import from sout africa. Nova and duties paid. Just needs the mot to then send on to the dvla to get it registered and issued a uk age related plate Have put money into this mechanically but still has a starting issue. From a dry climate so car body is in good condition. Uprated the front brakes to 4 pot disc brakes. Asking price includes delivery within the uk.

Via 1971 Datsun 2400 / Nissan Cedric 130 For Sale

The advert has been withdrawn, so whatever the asking price was is anybody’s guess.

Was it sold, or did Glasgow District Council slap one of its ‘Refuse Disposal’ orders on it, and take it away?

And just think…

I was walking past this an ignoring it for ages.

Jul 12, 2018 Posted by | photography, Transport | , | Leave a comment

Prison cat or Thoughtful cat?

When you’re behind bars, you get the gift of time to think.

The warmer weather is bringing a few cats out, and I’m getting luckier just by keeping away from them.

This one looked as if it was staring out of prison bars first time I passed.

Then it just seemed to look deep in thought (plotting world domination no doubt) when I went back.

Prison Cat Or Thoughtful Cat

Prison Cat Or Thoughtful Cat

But, it was business as usual after I took the pic and tried to walk past gate and say ‘Hello’.

As soon as I got close, it was ‘catbutt‘ as usual, and it had vanished without trace.

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

Patricia’s Paws

Just another from the shutter mural collection. This time seen in Tollcross.

This one’s worthy of mention since it has an apostrophe – sadly, often absent in such signs.

While I don’t think pink works in ANY outdoor sign, especially when dispensed in large areas, I think the rest of the art is much better than most, with recognisable caricatures and amusing rendering of the subjects, especially the face.

I wish whoever completed this one had been responsible for many others I’ve seen and collected, and I’d sleep better with fewer nightmares!

Patricias Paws Shutter Mural

Patricia’s Paws Shutter Mural

Jan 28, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , | 1 Comment

Take a chance

Sometimes it pays to take a chance, and even failed pics can come good.

Although this ended up looking like a reasonably well-lit street, in reality, the lighting is pretty poor and it looks quite dark, even to the eye – which is why I pointed a camera along it.

Apart from the exposure, autofocus laughed at me, and manual focus brought similar laughter – I just guessed and took a few shots.

Being handheld, most went in the bin, but one was reasonable and could be tidied, then a little processing brought up hidden detail, and lastly, a noise filter tool out the ‘snow’.

It’s funny, and so far I can’t see an obvious rule, but I no longer immediately ditch what appear to be failed low light or night shots.

Most of them are indeed total failures that can’t be recovered, but some of them deliver a half decent view and are worth a bit of effort, even if just for practice.

Dark Dalness Street

Dark Dalness Street

Jan 18, 2018 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

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

Dec 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

Oct 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.

Oct 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



Sep 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

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

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