1256-1260 Argyle Street, Glasgow. G3 8TJ. Tel: 0141 334 7774.
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, The Carousel, Fat’s O’Mally’s , Monty’s, The Inn, 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.
Mr Roderick Morrison was an old member of the Glasgow Trade Defence Association. He was one of the first members to join it and render its directors all the assistance within his power. He joined in 1863, and worked through stormy and peaceful times.
Mr Morrison was born in the Black Isle, Ross-shire. At an early stage in his life he came to Glasgow from the Highlands in mid 1800s to learn the trade. His first premises were situated in King Street at the corner of Princes Street. There he might have remained but for the Union Railway Company. To enable them to carry out their operations for the line running from Bellgrove, over the Gallowgate and Saltmarket Streets and across the Clyde, the new railway people required the property in King Street. He then bade goodbye to the centre of the city and removed westwards.
Matters prospered with him there, and in 1894 owned several places of business, with his headquarters at 350 Dumbarton Road. Roderick owned another public house at 130 Gloucester Street at the corner of Clarence Street which he rented out to Elizabeth Fraser. Mr Morrison was a member of the Glasgow Celtic Society, the Glasgow Northern Highland Society, which assisted natives of the northern counties who came to the city who were in need of a brotherly helping hand.
He was also a Mason and a member of Lodge Thistle (No. 87), Glasgow, while he had been arched by the Order in Partick. He was fond of all outdoor sports, he was good with a gun and a crack shot. He was also a member of the Partick Licensed Trade Association, in which he acted as Director and to the Glasgow Trade Benevolent Institution. Its a wonder he had time to run his businesses. Roderick Morrison gave up this public house in 1913.
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.
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.
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.
Do you have any memories of this popular West End pub? If so please leave a comment.