Old Glasgow Pubs.co.uk

[ skip to navigation ]
Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Argyll Arms.

62 Paisley Road West, Glasgow.

Argyle Arms

The Argyll Arms. 1980s.

The Argyll Arms sat at the corner of Paisley Road West and Rutland Crescent.

This was originally owned by spirit merchant William Bennett, a prominent figure in the area in the 1870s. Mr Bennett employed a young barman called Robert Sloan who purchased the premises in 1881. To read more on the history of Robert Sloan click here.

The Argyll Arms was named by the McNiven family who owned the premises in the 1930s, he also owned pubs at 122 Glebe Street at the corner of Kennedy Street and 100 Glebe Street in the city of Glasgow called the Argyll Arms.

The founder of the business was Archibald McNiven, he born in the glens of Taynuilt, on the borders of Argyll shire, maybe this is where he got the name for the pubs.

His father was a builder and young Archie assisted him for a short while in the construction of the shepherds cottages. Young McNiven spoke Gaelic and it wasn't until he left school that he started to speak English. When he came to Glasgow in 1882 found employment in William Teacher's pub in St. George's Road, Teacher's liked to employ highlanders as barmen as they were often trustworthy and very big men. Work was very hard in those days, young McNiven worked from eight in the morning till eleven at night with no stack time.

Six years later Archie joined the staff at David Hutchison's bar at 109 Kennedy Street, Townhead to manage his public houses, his other pub was on Parliamentary Road. Five years later Mr Hutchison retired and Archibald secured the licence for Kennedy Street. This old pub was renamed the Argyll Arms.

In 1931 he acquired another licence for premises at 168 Kelvinhaugh Street, a business that the family ran for many years.

From his early days as a licence holder Archibald had taken a continuous and close interest in the administrative side of Trade Defence work. In those days Kennedy Street was included in the old St. Rollox division of the city, and in that area the Trade had the most live orginisation in Glasgow. Practically every licensee was a member and Mr McNiven almost at once became a member of the Executive Committee.

In 1920 the city was divided differently and Kennedy Street by some peculiar planning, became part of Cowcaddens Ward, The old city division associations were dissolved and by a new constitution the Glasgow Association became fully representive of the whole city with a directorate comprised of a delegate from each ward orginisation. Mr McNiven, who then had an interest in a business in Shawlands, became the representative of the Campbell Ward to the board, but subsequently transferred to Cowcaddens which he had represented for many years. The business interest he had in Shawlands was the Bay Horse and traded under the name of McNiven & Co with James Finlay as manager.

In 1929 Archibald was elected a vice-president of the Glasgow Association and about the same time became a member of the Managing Committee of the Scottish Association.

During the Local Veto years of 1920 and 1923, Mr McNiven had a strenuous time in the Cowcaddens fights and succeeded in proving that the campaigner's had not the slightest hope of victory in that part of Glasgow.

His chief interest outside his business and his Trade work had been in the Glasgow Oban and Lorne Association. He was a member for over 40 years and was a president for six years. He was an active Freemason in Lodge the Gael and gained the office of Deputy and Substitute Master. The war, however, intervened, and Mr McNiven could not find the time to go further. He was also a member of the St. Rollox and Campbell bowling clubs but was never an enthusiastic bowler.

Archibald had four sons three of whom were in the trade, between them they had premises in Paisley Road West, Kelvinhaugh Street, Parliamentary Road, Shawbridge Street, Kennedy Street, St. James Road.

group photo bowling championship

The annual inter-ward bowling competition for the J & R Tennent Cup, held under the auspices of the Glasgow Licensed Trade Defence Association took place in June 1935, at Queen's Park green. Included in this photograph are some of the members R Faichney, John Lawson, Archibald McNiven, D Menzies, J Macrae, J Canning, G McCartney, J Denholm, Alexander Graham, J Learmouth, J Douglas, W Craig.

days outing with Mr McNiven

Glasgow Licensed Trade outing May 1936. Included in this photograph are Archibald McNiven, P B Jackson, Lawrence Brady, Peter Wharry, Alexander Graham, Kenneth McLean, William Jamieson, Alexander Lawson, Robert Moodie, D Stewart, John Holmes, George McCartney, Douglas A Wood, Jock Mills, Murdock MacRae, James Paterson, William Cosgrove.

Group photo with Mr McNiven

Cowcaddens Licensee at the Grand Hotel 1929. Included in this photograph are Mr & Mrs Archibald McNiven, Mr & Mrs R Sanderson, James Denholm, J C O'Reilly, Mr & Mrs George Thomson, Hugh McLaughlan, John Tully, J Ramsay, Frank Jeans, Miss Finnie, Mrs McCartney and Miss Mamie Jeans.

D McNiven

At the Royalty Burns Club 1966, the gents left to right Mr John Young, Wee Mans, Gallowgate, Mr J Walker, Star Bar, Stirling, Mr Donald McNiven, Argyll Arms.

Cowcaddens Ward 1962

Here are some principal personalities who attended the smoker dinner held at Belmont House, Glasgow, by the Cowcaddens Ward of the Glasgow Association in 1962. Left to right: Mr G Ramster, Glasgow Association Office; Mr H Doherty, Symposium Bar, Cowcaddens Street; Mr N Jones, Cross Keys, St. Peter's Street; Mr J Dougan, Dougan's Bar, Springburn Road; Mr R Lemon, Lemon Tree, Parliamentary Road (Ward Convener); Mr W J Bennet, Port Dundas Road; Mr W B Gow, Bristol Bar, Cowcaddens; Mr J Lanagan, Maitland Street; Mr T F Flynn who succeeded Mr Gow as president of the Glasgow Association; Mr D McNiven, Argyle Arms, Kennedy Street; and Mr W J McDowall, Secretary, Glasgow Association.


Go to top of page