18-30 London Road, Glasgow.
Johnny Scobie’s. 1991.
Over the years this pub has had many name changes. It was originally Robert Graham & Son’s main office then he acquired a licence to sell wines beers and spirits. The name above the doorway would have been Robert Graham & Son’s. Other names were the Public House Trust, Dirty Dick’s, the Mecca Bar and Barnum’s and The Spirit.
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The Mecca Bar. 1970s.
Johnny Scobie’s interior.
The Spirit. 2005.
In the NEWS 1979…
Special agent Barton in case of Dirty Dick’s…
Man with a Dick Barton points to the pub sign that has sparked off the what’s – in -a – name riddle.
Publican Dick Barton has a special assignment which will take him through the streets of Glasgow. The mission which he has already accepted is to determine once and for all what’s in a name.
The intrigue began four months ago when Dick Barton, not to be confused with the fictitious television character, bought the P.H.T.,( Public House Trust) which stands in London Road in the shadow of one of the city’s most famous land-marks the Tolbooth.
The dilapicated property underwent a facelift to the tune of £4500 in a bid to rid the pub of it’s unenviable reputation for attracting the wrong sort of drinkers.
Now the mock Tudor style pub stands out amid the surrounding decaying properties of Calton. And by way of a final touch Dick decided to rename the pub “Dirty Dick’s.”
However, it would seem that neighbour shopkeepers are unhappy with the name. Dick said, “I was astonished to here some of my customers say that local shopkeepers had objected to the name, saying it lowered the tone of Calton.
“That seems to me more than a little strange because the area is recognised to be one of the most rundown and socially deprived areas not just in Britain but in Europe.”
Dick was informed by his lawyer that he was under no obligation to change the name, so Dirty Dick’s it will remain. He chose the name because he thought it was true to life. Dick owns a fireplace manufacturers business nearby and is always dressed in dirty jeans with “dirty under my finger nails.”
Now Dick wants to find out who the complaining shopkeepers are so that he can personally invite them into his comfortable lounge to partake of a dream or two. He feels sure the shopkeepers who are annoyed have never stepped over the door of his premises and points out that a London pub has an identical name.
“It’s been called Dirty Dick’s for over 150 years and in fact the name was given to it by a royal duke. “It seems strange that in this day and age a few narrow-minded Calton shopkeepers should start objecting.”
This old Pub is not to be confused with Dirty Dick’s which stood half-way down Finnieston Street.