84 Ingram Street, Glasgow.
The Royal Oak, 1930s.
The history of this pub dates back to 1883 when John R Stevenson occupied the premises. He also ran a small pub in Green Street, Calton.
The pub was taken over by his son William in 1895.
In 1914 the pub had a new landlord Andrew Donaghey, he continued to serve the locals until around 1930.
John Ryan then took over, he wasn’t new to this area as he ran a pub at 68 Ingram Street since the beginning of the 1900s.
Mr Ryan then sold the pub to Malcolm MacDonald in 1932 for £1,200.
The rent for the premises then was £115 per annum.
Mr MacDonald got into difficulties paying the bills and keeping stock, the creditors moved in and made Mr MacDonald bankrupt.
The accountant Mr Frederick Furniss became trustee on the sequestrated estate and sold the business to Malcolm MacDonald’s son Austin Chamberlain MacDonald for £900.
Mr Furniss gave Austin just 7 days to come up with the money for the business.
The transaction went as planned and Austin Chamberlain MacDonald paid £800; the license was transfer over to Austin in 1936.
The weekly takings for the pub were between £23 and £32. Austin had a weekly wage of £3.00.
Business should have been very good as there where only three pubs on Ingram Street compared with George Street, which had seven.
Things didn’t improve at the pub, infact it got worse, on November 1936, Austin finished a weekends work at the pub, closed the doors and never returned to open them back up again on the Monday morning. When the staff arrived Mr MacDonald was nowhere to be found, his own mother and family didn’t’t even know where he was.
The creditors found that the stock in the pub was very low and a weeks takings from the business had disappeared along with Austin MacDonald, they immediately had to put in a new manager until Mr MacDonald returned.
It was found out later that Austin had infact taken a weeks takings from the business and fled off to London and returned at the end of January 1937 when the money he had taken was all gone.
Mr Austin Chamberlain MacDonald.
On his return he went back to the pub and asked to be replaced in the shop, the creditors dealt with Mr MacDonald very leniently, they did not wish him any harm and in spite of what he did they put him back in the pub.
Things never seemed to work out for Austin, apparently when Mr MacDonald was in London the new manager’s takings for the pub were double what Austin was taking.
Mr Furniss the trustee and accountant saw that the stock was low a weeks wages were not accounted for and so ejected Austin MacDonald from the premises and changed the locks on the doors to prevent Austin from ever returning.
Austin Chamberlain MacDonald was also made bankrupt.
The pub had a few managers afterwards but they too didn’t’t last long, until John McKichan took over in 1938.
Mr McKichan was 41 years of age and worked in Wilson’s bar in Blackfriar Street now known as the Strathduie for the long period of 24 years. His employer James Wilson sold the business and the new licence holder took on his own staff. Mr McKichan paid £1,200 for the Royal Oak and served the public until the middle of the 1950s. Gilbert Walker then took over and the pub closed for good in 1959.
Many thanks to Billy McLaren for the wonderful photographs.