Manager of Wyper’s Bar, 55 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow.
Mr George Thomson, Wyper’s Bar. 1893.
Mr George Thomson was born in Bellshill, where he first got a job as a grocer, to which trade he served his time. In 1878 he joined the staff of Mr John Waugh, Wine Merchant, 358 Argyle Street. Staying here for eighteen months, but born and bred in Bellshill, one of the finest mining districts in Scotland, he turned his attention to the study of mining engineering. He mastered this subject and found employment with Young’s Paraffin Light and Oil Company, where his practical knowledge of shale mining stood him in good stead. After being in less responsible situations, he finally undertook the management of Mr Wyper’s establishment, a position he held to the satisfaction of his employer and a credit he was.
Mr Thomson was a volunteer, a crack shot, found of dogs and was an excellent swimmer, he also took a keen interest in football and all out-door sports.
Wyper’s Bars was founded by John Wyper in the 1840s. His early public houses were in the east end of the city at Gallowgate, Wyper’s was a well known pub at 498 Gallowgate and 514 Gallowgate, many will still remember this old pub as the Market Bar or the Enterprise, he had another pub on the Gallowgate at no 588a, this old pub will be remembered as the Club Bar.
John Wyper went into partnership with his son James Wyper and traded under the name of John Wyper & Son. Between them they had some of the best run pubs in the city including 48 Dale Street at the corner of Reid Street, 39 Shuttle Street, 64 Main Street, Bridgeton, 104 Dalmarnock Road, 121 London Road, 514 Gallowgate at the corner of East Market Street, 588a Gallowgate at the corner of Henrietta Street and 55 Sauchiehall Street at the corner of Sauchiehall Lane, which he took over in 1886.
Mr Wyper also went into partnership with John Dawson wine and Spirit Merchants, having premises at 218 Duke Street, 653 Gallowgate (Bellfield Bar) and 50 Main Street, Calton. James Wyper’s son John Strang Wyper became a partner with his father when the founder John Wyper died.
John S Wyper became trustee of the late Mrs Elsbeth Dawson’s estate who owned the pubs as Wyper and Dawson, this was in 1920, between John and his father James they had interests in six public houses, 2 in Gallowgate, 1 in London Road, 1 in Market Street, 1 in Dale Street and 1 in Sauchiehall Street. They were partners in business from Military Service. In 1920 James Wyper gave his son increased responsibility and had three public house licence’s transfered in his name. James Wyper was devoted Glasgow Wine and Spirit Merchant, his interests in the trade were increased from Vice president to President of the Scottish Defence Association and Managing Committee and a director of the Glasgow Defence Association.
Two years later Mr James Wyper passed away, leaving his son John S Wyper to run the business on his own. Year after year the pubs were sold on, as some of the pubs were taken over by trustee’s, Mr Beddie was trustee of the Sauchiehall Street business. The manager of the Sauchiehall Street premises Mr William P Halliday bought this pub while other manager’s took over the other pubs. During the 1920s the business was totally transformed, this was not just because of the death of James Wyper, the First World War also had a part in these hard times, so much that in the 1930s, there was no Wyper’s left trading in Glasgow.
To read more on the pubs on the Gallowgate read up & Doon the Gallowgate by John Gorevan. A copy can be bought for a few pounds at the Hielan Jessie on the Gallowgate or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org