159 Bridgegate, Glasgow. G1 5HZ. Tel: 01415526040.
Victoria Bar. 1991. (Vicky’s)
On the 13 April 1875 Thomas Neeson acquired a certificate to sell wines beers and spirits from these premises. The Neeson brothers Patrick and Thomas came from Ireland to set up business as publicans in the city of Glasgow. Patrick ran pubs in Rutherglen Road, Crown Street, Gallowgate, King Street and a small pub further along the Bridgegate at number 35. While Thomas ran establishments in High Street and Graeme Street.
To read more on the Neeson family of publican’s and P J Neeson, Allison Street, check back soon for our second book.
“Briggait” and Old House at the foot of Stockwell Street by William Simpson (1823-1899.) On the right of this wonderful water-colour is where the Victoria Bar (Scotch Corner) now sits.
Over the years many publicans have come and gone, serving the locals of this old established Bridgegate howff. Donald Cameron a well known publican in the city took over the pub before the First World War. The Cronies club used to meet each year on January 25th at Donald Cameron’s pub at 159 Bridgegate, Victoria Bar. The first Cronies night was held there in 1934, about eight people who wished to honour Burns night without all the formality and stuffed shirts, on a more formal gathering. The Cronies had the exclusive use of the room at the back of the pub. Amongst the company included a Lawyer, a Chartered Accountant and a Diamond Merchant, the musical programme was considerably brightened by a number of street singers, who were there by special invitation. Mr William Carie president of the Cronies club presided. The haggis was duly piped in and the Immortal memory proposed by Mr John Allison. C.A. other members were Mr Russal, Richardson, Hulton, Morris, Horn, Cameron, M Taylor and J Taylor. As a result of this gathering the pub is today one of the best folk bars in the city of Glasgow.
Another well known city publican to hold the licence was Alexander McCondach, he ran pubs in North Frederick Street and Thistle Street, Gorbals. In 1940 his pub on North Frederick Street was blown up during the blitz on the city, as a result of this unfortunate incident he acquired the licence for the Victoria Bar, Bridgegate. He ran the two pubs successfully for many years.
Gerald Davis sold the pub a few years ago the same buyer also bought the Clutha Vaults, this maybe a result of the two most famous pubs in the city ready for demolition as the ground that the pubs sit on is very valuable to developers. The only think that is stopping the developers is the wee Tryst shop that sells lavy pans and sinks.
The once famous folk singing pub in the Bridgegate the Victoria Bar (Vicky’s) has now got a name change. It is now called the Scotch Corner, however I have yet to hear anyone calling it by its new name, The pub will always be called Vicky’s.
Scotch Corner. 2007.
Various photograph of the Victoria Bar. 2005.
A typical night at the Victoria Bar.
One of the best if not thee best folk music pub in the city. Mr Davis the boss man is always at hand to make sure the standard of service and music lives up to its name.
In the NEWS 1978…
Pub Set On Fire In Raid…
Interior of the Victoria Bar after fire 1978.
Detectives investigating a blaze which destroyed the interior of one of Glasgow’s oldest pubs, the Victoria Bar in the Bridgegate, said today it was started deliberately.
Thieves broke through the rear of the premises shortly after midnight. After stealing cases of whisky and vodka worth over £100, the building was set alight.
Firemen managed to confine the fire. Police discovered a petrol can near where the blaze is believed to have started. A CID spokesman said, “We are treating the fire as an act of wilful fire-raising. We would like anyone who can help us to contact the police.
The Victoria Bar recently came under new management and was a centre for folk musicians and singers in Glasgow.
In the NEWS 1979…
John Perrins. 1979.
Gentleman John Looks After The Lonely Ones…
From eleven in the morning to eleven at night, six days a week, the Victoria Bar in Glasgow’s Bridgegate, next to the old Fish Market, is the sort of place where the unexpected becomes commonplace, and owner John Perrins wears the look of a man where every working night is a bit of an adventure.
A gleaming Victorian set-piece, with no concessions to comfort, it’s a bizarre mixture of traditional spit and sawdust and environmental protest, in the form of posters pleading “Save the Whale” or “Stop Atomic Testing” neatly pinned to the original wood slatted walls.
Its reputation lies in the incongruity of seeing the first violinist of the Scottish National Orchestra giving an impromptu recital one night, and and old fiddler scraping out a Highland tune another.
Its success comes from its atmosphere. For the Victoria is peopled with ghosts, Victorian whores and sailors bargaining by gaslight, the 7 a.m. drinking of the old fish porters, the tiny snug once a haven for the fat fishwives clutching their penny gins.
John Perrins, the small 37-year-old owner has the sort of look only ex-boxers usually have, and a rough growly concern for his customers. “My Pub has a heart that actually beats,” he says, defying you to deny it.
“It’s not a soulless plastic and formica palace with hired staff who think a fitted carpet and a juke-box are enough to keep a customer happy. Every person who comes through my door is no longer a stranger, they’re the people who feed me, my wife and two kids, and they’re very important.”
John casts a warm eye around the bar. “The welcome is the most important thing in a bar. Men, women on their own, I always look after. I believe in introducing customers to each other, getting in the drink they like, watching what they drink. No drunks gets through that door and no-one leaves here falling about.
“If I think a customer’s drinking too much, I tell them, I don’t serve them any more. And in nearly every case they accept it, shake my hand and say You’re right, John, you’re right.”
Tucked away beside the grim dead silence of the old Fish Market, the Victoria has the forbidding look of a pub that oozes male hostility, a sense that “good” women should be anywhere but near its glass and mahogany gantry. Yet, women, make up a rough 50 per cent of John’s customers, and can sit, unbothered, for hours, if they like, under his paternal glare.
“Women are on exactly equal terms here,” he says. “They’re always welcome and looked after. You see concern, real concern, for your customers is the most important thing in running a good bar.
“I’m a great believer in family pubs. A place shouldn’t be a place where they can’t take their children, it should be a decent place Kids should be watching their parents take a drink and learning how to handle it, it’s the only way.
1991 Gerald Davis.
1973 Grace Moffat.
1960 J Moffat.
1950-1940 Alexander McCondach.
1930-1919 Donald Cameron.
1910 J Dingwall.
1899-1890 Alexander Dingwall.
1885 C Howard.
1880-1875 Thomas Neeson.