Secret Scotland

If it's secret, and in Scotland…

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

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

Nativity scenes – compare and contrast

Hurrying along Tollcross Road, I almost missed the fact that a Christmas Nativity scene had appeared in one of the windows of the Salvation Army hall just along from Parkhead Cross.

What really caught my eye was the flash of white fur in the relative darkness of the evening, and I stopped to see what it was, then realised I was looking at a Nativity scene. It was a moment before I realised the white fur was actually a solitary sheep, possibly a character I should recognise, and at that time was the only character there, apart from the occupant of the manger.

I wanted to catch a pic, but was frustrated by all the reflections in the glass, and the limited choice of places to stand to try to avoid them, and eventually had to settle for the best compromise, but I just couldn’t get a clear view, so this was very much a ‘best effort’.

Tollcross Salvation Army nativity

Tollcross Salvation Army nativity

I have a few polarisers for my ‘old’ film kit, but the sizes don’t suit my ‘new’ digital collection. One is part of a ‘universal’ system I used to use, but it is just too bulky to use these days. I may have to treat myself as I have come up against a number of reflection problems recently, which have wrecked many otherwise desirable shots

I think the solitary sheep deserves special mention for holding the scene almost on its own:

Salvation Army nativity sheep

Salvation Army nativity sheep

I also dropped in on the nativity scene on show in George Square – I can’t help but think of the time some worthless character thought it would be ‘clever’ to steal the baby figure from this scene a few years ago.

Now, the scene and its characters live inside a substantial glass enclosure.

George Square nativity

George Square nativity

I’m NOT making any sort of point (George Square is a major civic display for/by the city), just noting the range of creativity.

A little imagination and goodwill goes a long way.

November 23, 2016 Posted by | Civilian, photography | , , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked X

It’s been another quiet period for any decent examples of ‘expert’ parking, so it was nice to almost bump into this van while ambling home recently.

If the space isn’t long enough for your van – then just use the road AND the footpath.

So long as it it’s not sticking out into the road and traffic, it’s got to be okay, hasn’t it?

This is just an observation, as there’s plenty of space here, and the telephone box behind is at least as much of a ‘hazard’. Although it’s not needed, the road planners could also have cut the road into the pavement hear, forming a parking area outside the shops, and still left wider footpath than found in most streets.

See also Barrachnie parking.

Tollcross parking

Tollcross parking

October 23, 2015 Posted by | Transport | , | Leave a comment

A little demolition in Tollcross

Although there’s been quite a lot of demolition around the east recently, even though I tramp around the street quite a lot (since I have to walk to fetch all my shopping) I seldom come across any actual demolition work in progress. It’s rather like the parks, maintained by the council, I seldom see anyone actually carrying out the work, just the piles of cuttings they leave behind for collection.

I’m not sure of the build dates of the housing shown below.

My best guess is that it postdates the more widely publicised sandstone Victorian tenement, which came to an end some time after the turn of the century (c. 1900), which can be seen in many of the date stones these older buildings.

The newer houses, which I’m guessing (but have never seen such a claim) are supposed to be a sort of pretend granite look-a-like or similar, seem to pre-date the 1930s, which I can say because I have seen them under construction in aerial photographs of other features in the city, when they and there estates were caught in the same pics, and where those pics carry accurate dates as to their origin.

However, unlike the sandstone tenement, I’ve never come across any specific history or description regarding the background our history of these later grey building.

But I have seen comments from people who lived in them, usually in forums and discussion groups, and most them are less than memorable – in other words, they didn’t like them, and thought they were rubbish.

We’ve had many books and articles on the sandstone tenement – maybe someone who knows more about these grey building should write a book (or point me at it, if I’ve missed it so far.)

I’ve watched these former homes slip into dereliction over the past months, being abandoned, then boarded up, then having the glass removed from the windows. It looks as if these are being taken, rather than just stoned/broken.

I didn’t see the start of this work, as I wasn’t along this way for a while, so I went round the corner for the second pic, which shows the building just prior to this work.

Interesting to note that it’s the newer buildings to the right that are being razed, while the older sandstone examples to the left are staying in place.

Tollcross Demolition 2014

Tollcross Demolition 2014

Tollcross Derelict 2014

Tollcross Derelict 2014

May 20, 2014 Posted by | Civilian | , , | Leave a comment

If it’s stopped, it’s parked VII

Haven’t seen any ‘fun’ parking on the streets for a while, so the opportunity to catch something in a local car park wasn’t to be missed, even if it was only ‘slight’.

It also comes with a photography lesson, as it was an opportunity shot, grabbed while carrying two bags filled with shopping – the original framing was terrible, but salvageable.

It also appears to show a difference between here, and the US – I follow quite a few car-related blogs originating in the US (where it seems you can still enjoy cars as a hobby and not be stigmatised by Green Loonies). Over there, although not parking between the lines in a car park is frowned on and seems to attract people who will photograph it and place the pics online… everybody seems to do it all the time. It looks as if many drivers consider the lines to be something their car is to be centred on, taking up two spaces, rather than parking between the lines.

Our example’s much more gentle (and between the lines, so our American cousins should be happy), and just shows somebody that stopped a bit early, or doesn’t know how long their car is… and stopped a bit early.

Well, it protects the front – but that rear end looks a bit vulnerable if things get busy.

Mercedes parking Lidl

Car park parking

May 1, 2014 Posted by | Transport | , , , | Leave a comment

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