125 John Knox Street, Glasgow.
Interior view of the Molendinar Bar with barman and owner Mrs Isabel McAllister. Thanks to William and Irene Downie.
The history of the Molendinar Bar in John Knox Street started in 1878 when Nathaniel Motherwell acquired a licence to sell wine and spirits at 125 John Knox Street. Nathaniel was not new to the trade as he traded as a spirit merchant at nearby 43 Drygate since 1872.
Mr Motherwell lived with his family at 65 Drygate a short distance from John Knox Street. He served the locals here until 1884.
John Reid then took over the licence for a few years. John Baynes then took over in 1885.
John Baynes lived with his wife and family at 83 Taylor Street, Townhead. When John passed away his wife Elizabeth took over the running of the business and took over as licensee.
Mrs Baynes gave up the trade in 1907 and sold the pub to Patrick Colgan. Mr Colgan was a wine and spirit merchant and his next-door neighbour James Grant lived in a cottage called the Molendinar.
Pat Colgan passes away in 1922, his wife Margaret then took over until 1939.
In 1941 William McAllister took over the licence. William built up a good clientele. This must have been a very prosperous business as there were only seven licence holders throughout its history.
When William passed away his wife Isabel took over the pub, along with the running of the pub she also kept the book. Due to ill health Isabel sold the pub to the brewers in 1971. She passed away in 1974.
Elizabeth Walker was then the licensee. She was the last to run the pub which was closed for the last time in the late 1970s.
A ledger from the Molendinar Bar in 1945.
Expenses for the week ending 8th September 1945.
Shop washing 5 shillings.
Shop Refreshment Etc £1-15-0.
Shop Cat Food 4 shillings.
2 Health & Unemploy £6-8-0.
1 Health & Unemploy £2-0-0.
Wages charge hand £6-0-0.
Wages self £8-0-0.
Wages wife £1-10-0.
Wages 2 weekend men £3-0-0.
The Drawings for the same date…
Thursday closed due to no beer.
Less wages and expenses £21-2-8.
To Bank £100-0-0.
Jean Lomas says
Used to live in 103 John Knox Street in the 1960s until they moved us.
My dad used to drink in this pub.
Bill Rayner says
Thank you for posting this information about the Molendinar Bar and creating the website ‘Old Glasgow Pubs’.
Please would you tell me where your information about Pat Colgan’s death is from? It is different from the death register entries (Scotland’s People) that I have to hand.
Are you also aware that Patrick’s younger brother was Thomas Henry Colgan (1869-1947), who was also a ‘Spirit Merchant’ at ‘The Old Govan Arms’ (1899-1919) and a Director of Glasgow Celtic football club?
Good health, Bill