The Cross Key’s.
Mr Archibald Waker. 1893.
Archibald Walker took over the Cross Key’s in 1888, an old-fashioned and well-reputed tavern in Kirkintilloch. Archie got his thorough training in the wine and spirit business from his father Duncan Walker who had licensed premises in Hope Street, Glasgow. It was here that Archie acquired a thorough insight into the details of the trade.
The Cross Key’s was one of those quaint, old-fashioned country taverns now fast disappearing, but which, in the early part of the century, was looked upon as an edifice of no small importance. One of the parlour’s, there were five sitting-rooms in all, still retained its dated furniture, consisting of wooden chairs and tables, while the walls were covered with various ancient and modern manuscripts. It was in the same state when he took it over as it was in the days when Rob Roy used to make a footpath of the old Roman Wall close at hand. But now the times have changed! A railway station stands right in front of its door, and ships sail east and west a little further up the hill. What a surprise the sight would be to old Hadrian were he allowed to revisit his old wall!
Mr Archibald Walker. 1909.
Personally Mr Walker is what his friends would call a “dounce young man.” for he was yet a long way under thirty. Since 1890 he had been a Burgess of Glasgow, and also a member of the Bonnetmakers’ and Dyers’ Corporation. Quite recently he had been appointed secretary of the Kirkintilloch Wine, Spirit and Beer Trade Defence Association. Mr Walker was a member of the Royal Scottish Bicycling Club, and lifted two of their 10 mile championships in 1888 and 1891, and their 20 mile handicap last year from scratch. He has made his mark as a football player, having played with the Swifts, and second string of the Glasgow Rangers. With all this record Mr Walker looked as unassuming and innocent-like as a big school-boy. All his energies were now directed to business, and what began with so much promise cannot fail of success in the future.
He stocked good quality liquor including “Old Glen,” “Mountaineer,” and “Lake” Scotch and Irish whiskies. The Cross Key’s cellarage was extensive and well looked after. Fancy half a dozen pipes, each 90 odd feet long, underground, leading to “Ritchie’s” Edinburgh Brewing’s of ales and stouts, Mr Walker swears by Ritchie’s as a very cool and refreshing drink.