46 North Frederick Street, Glasgow.
The Inverness Vaults was a very old pub, dating back to the early part of the 18th century. An old man who had emigrated fifty years ago to Montreal, in Canada returned to the city in 1893. He pointed out to the proprietor Mr J Graham, the room in which he had been born, away back in 1820. The exterior of the building remains what it was originally, but the interior has undergone great alterations; yet traces of all old character of the tavern remain. This old Glasgow howff was popular for many old Glasgow cronies.
The liquor was good quality and Mr Graham who acquired the business in 1871, knows how to cater to his numerous patrons. His predecessor was Mr Charles Stewart, who had been licensee for many years. The Inverness Vaults not only from the historical interest that surrounds it, but also for the excellent blends of “Mountain Dew,” “Long John,” and “Dew of Ben Nevis.” The old tavern was very busy as it was in the neighbourhood of George Square.
This old tavern was a famous landmark of North Frederick Street, from the 1830s to 1864 the old tavern was run between James and Colin McDonald. In 1865 the first of the Graham family Charles acquired the business, generations of the same family ran this landmark until it came to a devastating end. When Charles Graham passed away in 1871 his wife took control of the business for a year, she in turn gave Jason Graham the heavy load of running a successful family business. Jason continued as licensee until 1885 when another member of the family took over James Graham, he paid the North British Railway Company, that owned the property £70 rent per year.
In 1895 James was now licensee of the Inverness Vaults and a pub at 112 Houston Street at the corner of 18 Cathcart Street, and was living with his family at 84 North Frederick Street, a short walk to the Inverness Vaults. When the First World War broke-out James’s wife Agnes Houston Graham took over the licence, this may have been due to, all the men in the family were away fighting for their country. Agnes continued to run both the Inverness Vaults and a pub at 21 Vermont Street at the corner of Marlow Street, Kinning Park, until the end of the war, when James Graham stepped back into the business. Things may have been devastating to the families of the Graham’s, some of them possibly died in their fight to save their country, as there licensed trade connections soon ended, after nearly one hundred years as successful wine and spirit merchants, this was a great loss to the Scottish Licensed Trade.
During the 1930s Alexander McCondach was now the proprietor of the Inverness Vaults, he was a successful wine and spirit merchant, having premises at 207 Thistle Street at the corner of Cumberland Intersects, which he took over in 1926. The spirits of the Graham family were to haunt the Inverness Vaults for years, strange events were happening on the premises over the next few years until yet another war broke-out, the strangest thing happened that night on September 1940, when the Inverness Vaults was destroyed by a bomb during an air-raid by enemy Germany. This was devastating news to Mr McCondach, however he was soon reunited with another pubs at 159 Bridgegate, the famous Victoria Bar or “Vicky’s,” on the Briggait.
In 1965 Alexander McCondach took over the Maderia Bar, Torrisdale Street.
North Frederick Street had two other pubs, the George Bar , 41 North Frederick Street, and the Queen’s Bar, 27-29 North Frederick Street.
51 King Street, Glasgow.
Mr Campbell. 1893.
Mr Campbell was a native of Armagh and came to Scotland in 1863, finding work where ever he could. For eighteen years he was in the employment of Thomas Ellis, Coatbridge, of the British Iron Works, as a contractor. He had been twelve years associated with the spirit trade, but left the management of the business almost entirely to Mrs Campbell. The Institution was conducted by Mrs Campbell with an assistant barman.
The Institution was situated in King Street, city centre, it was a favourite haunt of the old societies in Glasgow. The building of which it forms the ground floor, was old and time-worn. The tavern had two entrances, one from Kind Street through a narrow close, the other from the lane which bounds the western side of the Britannia Music Hall. On both sides the locality was insalubrious and inhabited by the rougher element of Glasgow’s population and when a stranger visited, he was surprised by the appearance of the place and the persons who patronised it, so out of harmony were they with the external surroundings.
Inside the Institution was a model of neatness, everything suggestive of comfort, the sitting-rooms cosy with a fire blazing in the grates and it was nothing unusual to find even a Glasgow Bailie or a Glasgow Minister enjoying a pipe, sipping stout or ale out of silver tankards, or consuming a snack of scallops or brandered steak.
Mrs Anderson was a most genial host, full of lore about the place and a link that connects Glasgow with that of two hundred years. Her father Mr Fisken, was the proprietor of the White Hart Hotel and the carrier quarters, situated where the Bazzar was located. The White Hart and carriers quarters were historical places; here, too, the old Glasgow Radicals met, and on one occasion Thomas Muir, the brilliant Glasgow advocate and one of the pioneers and martyrs of Scottish democracy, addressed a meeting of sympathisers of the great French Revolution. Mr Fisken ran coaches from Glasgow to Balfron and had the cleansing of the city before Drummond was entrusted with that duty.
Mrs Anderson still had in 1891, nine silver tankards presented by the students of the Old College to Anderston, one of the proprietors of the place, in recognition of the generous hospitality extended to the boisterous graduates who frequented the tavern. At that time the professors and students met regularly here, and here nightly story followed story and the roof rang with merriment.
On of the most interesting things about the Institution was a ring in a hugh stone at the King Street entrance, to which Sir Walter Scott was in the habit of fixing his horse while refreshing himself in the tavern. Sir Walter Scott, as it was said, when he visited Glasgow on legal business patronised The Institution, where he usually met other congenial cronies connected with his profession. Another feature in the Institution is what is known as the “Wishing Stone,” near the bar. The story goes that persons sitting underneath this stone, which projects slightly from the wall, were usually awarded with what they desired. The custom has fallen into disuse, but sometimes it is still resorted to by the more youthful of patrons.
There has always been a dispute as to the oldest tavern in Glasgow, the Institution in King Street and the Waverley in the Old Wynd were just two of them.
King Street had some interesting old taverns, in the 1840s there was the Boar’s Head and the Peacock at no47, the Glasgow Arms at no10, the Polka no20 and the Hatter’s Arms at no27.
1893 Mr Campbell.
96 West Nile Street, Glasgow.
The building of which the Imperial Cafe started it’s life as James Baird & Company, City Auctioneers and Valuaters. In 1890 David Adams opened it as the Imperial Cafe, Mr Adams was very successful and operated other licensed premises at 151 Queen Street and 80 Stobcross Street. The dinning area was very spacious, a large buxom woman, splendidly proportioned, and a picture of health, stands behind the bar. Artistic ability is shown in every corner of the cafe bar, a large crystal display was a feature of the Imperial. The bar stretched from the entrance right along the full length of the room. From the bar the visitor moves easily into the dinning-hall. The bill of fare was carefully selected, a full dinner to a quick snack could be got here at any time of the day. Mr Adams continued as licensee until 1890.
Mr John Craig then took over from David Adams. Mr Craig was also very successful here, he conducted a pub at 614 Eglinton Street in the south side of the city for many years. One of the last proprietors was a gentleman called James Greenless, the place closed down in 1910.
1256 Argyle Street, Glasgow. G51 1LF. Tel: 01413348907.
Islay Inn. 2005.
There’s been a pub on this site since 1871 occupied then by Roderick Morrison. It closed down around 1913, however in January 1967 there was a bar here called the Carousel owned by Thomas Blue. Over the years it has been known as the Outside Inn, Fat’s O’Mally’s and the Islay Inn. It has had an Irish, a Welsh and a Scottish theme. The pub is situated at the corner of Argyle Street and Radnor Street.
Over the years this public house has had many names over the door including the Carousel, Monty’s, Islay Inn, The Inn.
The Carousel on the left hand side with an old bus heading toward the Art Galleries.
IN THE NEWS 1969…
WITH A SONG IN HIS HEART…
A lifetime in the licensed trade, broken only by war service with the 8th Battalion on the Argylls, is behind mine host of the Carousel, Glasgow’s newest drinking rendezvous which opened in January 1969.
Mr Thomas Blue. 1969.
Situated on the corner of Argyle Street and Radnor Street, close to the Kelvin Hall, it’s a pleasant little place which has been transformed from an ice-cream factory. One of its many good points from the trade point of view, according to genial Tommy Blue, who bought the place in 1968, is the former ice-cream cellar, which is also ideal for storing his drinks.
There are five large flats above The Carousel and the proprietor’s son and his wife and a guard dog stay in the one immediately above the pub. “It’s very handy having him on the spot,” said Mr Blue. “I shall be around throughout the day but I like to have someone handy at night too.”
It has always been Mr Blue’s ambition to have his own place , and he’s always intended calling it The Carousel “That’s my favourite musical,” he explained. “And whenever we have a licensed trade “do” I usually get up and give them a party-piece always something from “Carousel”!
A perfectionist in every sense, Mr Blue endeavors to see that his staff reach his own extremely high standards. And that’s a tall order for he admits to being “One of the old school,” trained in the days when lads went into the trade at early age and worked their way up, learning every little detail about every aspect of the business.
In his first pub the staff had to be on the premises at 8am in order to get the place spotless and ready for the first customer at 11am. “Those days you have a job getting your staff in by 10.45,” he said. I get terribly critical when I go into other pubs and see bad service, but those days managers are put into places after about three months training, and that’s no substitute for experience gained over the years.
The Carousel will be the sort of pub, there’s a public bar and a lounge bar, where every single customer will get quick, cheerful attention, and where you can eat as well as drink.
“I intend providing soups and salads and so on to begin with, at least that’s what I shall do when I can find a chef or a cook,” At first I want to provide these snacks at lunch time, and between 5 and 7.30pm., but if there’s a demand I’ll extend the hours.”
A note for the decor, dominant colours in the lounge are red and black, while the public bar is resplendent in knotted pine panelling, red and black check paper on one wall and the remainder left white. Right now there’s a staff of four which is expected to increase to six very shortly.
The Outside Inn advert 1979.
This was the opening of the Outside Inn in May 1979. The pub was selling Real Ale, 60/-, 70/-, 80/- on hand pumps.
Belhaven, Old fashioned Strong Ale served from the Barrel.
Malt Whisky quarter gill, Over 180 Malt Whisky on their gantry.
Malt Whisky By the Bottle, We carry a huge range of Premier Malts in our cellar.
A “Traditional” Bar with comfortable surroundings. Traditionally served Beers and Quality Whiskies.
467 Aikenhead Road, Glasgow. G42 0PR.Tel: 01414230744.
To read the history of this popular bar click here.
In the News 1971…
Man Charged with Pub death.
A 31 year old Glasgow man, Edward Burns, appeared at Glasgow Sheriff Court today on a culpable homicide charge alleging that he killed 50 year old Michael Mooney, of 104 Myrtle Park, Govanhill, Glasgow, on Saturday. The charge states that the accused struck Mr Mooney with his fist, knocked him to the ground whereby the victim sustained injuries from which he died.
The alleged offence is said to have taken place in the International Bar, Aikenhead Road, Polmadie, Glasgow. An assault charge alleged that Burns punched and kicked Alexander Mooney, of 45 Jamieson Street, Govanhill, Glasgow, in the same place, on Saturday.
Solicitor Raymond Bainbridge made no plea or declaration and the case was continued. The accused was remanded in custody for further inquiry.
Other Pubs on Aikenhead Road…
Broon’s Bar. 437
22 Renfrew Street, Glasgow. G2 3BW. Tel: 01413326288.
Intermezzo Bar. 1991.
735 Balmore Road, Lambhill, Glasgow. G20.
The Inn. 1991.
This was once owned by Raymond McCrudden well known and respected member of the Scottish Licensed Trade. It was opened by publican James Deery in the 60s.
The photograph above was taken at the Glasgow Vintners function in the Bellahouston Hotel 1974. Left to right Mr & Mrs Harry Dougan, the Glen Bar, Mrs & Mr James Deery, the Inn, Lambhill, Mrs Byrne, the New Hawthorn Bar, Mr W Lochead, United Rum Merchants.