30 Stockwell Street, Glasgow.
Ronnie’s Bar. 1991.
This old established pub was better known in the 1980s as Kittys’ Bar. When I was a teenager my father drank in here with his many friend, he had a small shop in Brunswick Street next to the Mitre Bar, selling bedding and soft toys. I remember he gave me a massive lion soft toy to carry to Kittys’ Bar, I could hardly lift the feline it was that big, my father had to give me a hand in case I fell. On arriving at Kitty’s everyone gazed at the size of this toy as my father sat it on the bar and said this is Kittys’ bar.
There has been a pub on this site since at least the 1840s. One of the publicans to hold the licence was John White Crichton, born in 1866 in Langloan, he was educated in Thomson Street school, Dennistoun, where he passed through his classes without special distinction. But he seemed to have a taste for mechanical work, his greatest pleasure as a boy was watching the steam cranes at work. He entered into this trade when he left school and passed his apprenticeship with A & P Steven, Provanside Engine Works. He stop his engineering job to help out his father’s business in Townmill Road where he remained for 5 years. In 1890 he was given a transfer to Stockwell Street.
A very fine public house used to stand on the site of Kitties’ Bar and was known all over the city as the Balmoral.
However Mr Crichton was better known for his other profession as an engineer, he invented the “Emergency” beer raising engine, a simple idea and much smaller than the larger beer engines in cellars of that time. John W Crichton went bankrupt in 1897. The pub side of his business was taken over by Robert Black the pub was then known as the “Record Bar” then Robert Paterson took over the business in 1902. Mr Paterson also owned the Park Bar on Main Street, Tollcross which is now closed and called the Village.
During the 1930s the Stockwell Street premises were run by John Lloyd jun he also had a pub on Parliamentary Road at the corner of Black Street. The pub was sold to the West of Scotland Taverns Ltd in 1959, the licensee Joseph Smillie ran a successful business here for many years, he also ran Mill’s Bar in Duke Street, a pub on Morrison Street and Westmuir Street, now called O’Kane’s.
In the NEWS 1979…
Kitty’s Bar advert 1979.
Kitty’s Bar was owned by Ted Watters and his wife Kitty, the interior of Kitty’s Bar was panelled wall to wall with no particular featured decor. However the Watters and their staff were very friendly.
The couple were old friends of Glen and have been in the trade for a few years. They used to have a pub on London Road, Bridgeton, but when it was demolished they moved the Stockwell Street. It was a move they never regretted.
Darts was a favourite sport in Kitty’s Bar. Their Darts team were champions of the Independent League in 1978.