143 Springburn Way, Glasgow. G21 1DT. Tel: 0141 558 8941.
The Bells. 1991.
The Bells a prominent local in Springburn has been here since 1886 and known then as The Stevenson. Owner John Ramsay Stevenson was the first proprietor. Born in Shettleston in a house in Old Shettleston Road which had belonged to the family for hundreds of years, their landlords being the Lords Douglas.
There were two prominent occupations in the district, weaving and coal mining, Johns father William was a weaver all his days and lived to the ripe old age of 70 which was regarded as a long life in those days.
Mr John Ramsay Stevenson.
When John came to the city at an early age he was employed as cellar boy by Mr Wyper a well known publican in Glasgow but was soon managing one of the firms pubs. He left for a short while and joined the staff at a confectionery shop in the Saltmarket, this job didn’t fulfil his needs therefore saved a little money and borrowed from his father and friends to secure his first public house at 84 Ingram Street.
He went on to purchase pubs in 125-27 Green Street, Calton, eight years later, the Rob Roy Tavern in Argyle Street and 481 Springburn. He was assisted in business by his son William Walker Stevenson.
Mr Stevenson was an ardent freemason of lodge St. John’s, Shettleston, the Kenmure, Springburn and was a Royal Arch Mason of the lodge Cathedral.
In his spare time he loved the horses and dogs and played many musical instruments, he belonged to St. Rollox and Springburn Bowling Clubs, he was a keen curler in the Sir Colin Campbell Curling Club. John was also a prize winner in the old Scotch game of Quoits. He was also a very good musician and played several musical instruments, an enthusiastic Freemason and belonged to three lodges, St. John’s, Shettleston, no. 128; the Kenmore, of Springburn and is a Royal Arch Mason of Lodge Cathedral; he is further, perhaps, the oldest Mason of his age in Scotland. Belonging to St. Rollox and Springburn Bowling greens, he was a curler in the rinks of the Sir Colin Campbell Curling Club. A rare judge of horses and dogs; a prize taker at the old Scotch game of quoits.
In this prize winners group photograph was taken at the dinner dance and presentation of prizes held by the Glasgow Vintners’ Golf Section in the Grosvenor Restaurant. Left to right… Mr G McEntee, vice-president, Express Bar, winner of the Coronation Cup, presented by Joseph Dunn; D Ferrie, secretary, Bells Bar, winner of the Younger Putter; Ian Kennedy, captain, Morven Bar, winner of the McCall and Pringle Cup; Peter Smith, holding the Calder Rose Bowl on behalf of the winner, Raymond Strain; A Hanlon jun., with the McEwan Shield, won by his father, A V Hanlon, licensed grocer, Govan; R Mahan, Lomond Lounge, Lambhill, winner of the White Horse Cup; B McLaughlin, Town Tavern, Rutherglen, winner of the Vintners’ Tankard. 1962.
Donald Ferrie licensee of the Bells Bar, Springburn Road and Mrs Peter Smith. 1964.
The Bells Bar. August 2005.
2 interior views of The Bells. August 2005.
This popular bar in Springburn is very well run and serves one of the best pints in Springburn. During my visit to Springburn 2006, I went into Bell’s Bar and was welcomed by manager Peter Blair who has served in the bar for 21 years. He was a gent and very helpful. He seemed to have a very controlled pub which had a warm calm feel to it. I think it was a Monday afternoon when I arrived and couldn’t believe how busy the bar was.
Many thanks to manager Peter Blair.
In 1899 Springburn Road had 18 public houses. This was not counting the Kelvin at the bottom of the Balgrayhill.
Do you know anything about The Bells bar? If so please leave a comment.