2 Main Street, Bothwell, Glasgow. G71 8RD. Tel: 01698 850 888.
Mr Hugh Donald was trading from here since 1891. It was first licensed in 1848 as a wayside hostelry, it has always been a favourite resort for wayfarers and residents alike. When Mr Hugh Donald took over in 1891 he gutted the place and made alterations and improvements to take it to modern time. Hugh owned the premises and lived upstairs in one of the apartments. In 1891 the new interior was eye catching, the first to attract the eye was the beautiful spirit rack, with its fine carved work and many coloured crystals.
The old counter had been removed and a massive semi-circular one occupied its place. Beer pumps, cork drawers, and other modern fixtures and fittings have been added, while an ingenious arrangement for supplying hot and cold water continuously is fitted up behind the bar. The ceiling is lofty, and this, along with the walls, has been covered with anaglyptic paper, varnished of beautiful design. Taken as a whole, the bar is fitted up in a manner that would do credit to any capital towns, and at night, when the installation of incandescent light is in operation, the interior has an effective and almost dazzling appearance.
One of two windows advertising William Younger & Co. Pale Ales.
In addition to the parlour, stock-rooms, and Lavatory there are three commodious and well appointed sitting rooms, lofty and well lighted completely upholstered, and fitted with electric bells and a beautiful fireplaces. The floors were laid with linoleum and the walls tastefully hung with pictures and engravings. While the wines, special liqueurs, and bottled and bottled ales and stouts are mostly kept in the stock rooms, there is a splendid cool cellar underneath the premises from which the draught liquors are raised to the counter in perfect condition, the walls are dry and the floor is of concrete.
Mr Donald buys only from firms of guaranteed reputation, and among these names as Bass, Guinness, Raeburn, McEwan, Henry Thomson and McIntyre (“Era” blend) and Mr Donald’s own blend of Camphill Scotch whisky. A separate entrance has been provided for the family department (Off Sales) which has proved a success since Hugh opened it to the public.
Note the addition of two rooms in the attic.
This stained glass window is advertising Bell’s Perth Whisky with an established date of 1825.
The accepted practice in the 1830’s was to use young, immature whiskies for blending. Arthur Bell, however, was adamant that only mature whiskies be used in the blend of Bells Whisky, a decision that earned him a reputation not only as a specialist blender, but as a man of vision with the highest regard for quality.
In the early days Bell refused to put his name on a blend, believing that the quality should speak for itself.
After his sons joined the company, they convinced him that branding their product could only be good for business and in 1904 the first label appeared bearing the words “Arthur Bell & Sons Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky, Perth, Established 1825.”
It was only in 1925 that “Afore ye go” was registered as the official company slogan for Bells Whisky.
It’s story is as follows: During the First World War, the Bell family would have a few cases of Bell’s Extra Special Old Scotch Whisky sent down to the docks to be distributed among the troops going off to the Western Front. The idea being that they should have a wee dram, …”afore ye go”.
Do you have any memories of this old Public House? If so please leave a comment.