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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Barrowland Bar.

6-8 Kent Street, Calton, Glasgow.

Barrowland Bar 1970s

Barrowland Bar 1970s.

The Barrowland Bar was one of my early memories of a public house as my father frequented it, he was John Gorevan (Johnny Cash) who for many years was a trader at the famous Glasgow Barras. He worked for Dick Lee (Cockney Jock) selling dolls and toys at Christmas time, He also sold towels and bedding from Kent Street, many will still remember him as he gathered one of the largest crowds on Kent Street with his funny jokes and gags.

My father was killed in Rhyl, North Wales while visiting the Unicorn Bar in the Main Street. Two brothers were charged with man slaughter and received a few months in prison, where is the justice in this ever growing violent country.

Back to the Barrowland Bar, there has been licensed premises on the site since 1845 when James Gilfillan traded as a spirit dealer at number 6 Kent Street. Two years later Gavin Wilson was trading from the same address then nothing until 1866. Before 1845 John Crawford was trading at no6 as a Rag and Paper Merchant.

In 1866 there was a new licensee, Daniel Mathieson who traded at no 8 Kent Street, Daniel lived nearby at 5 South Mungo Street. Still in the same family two years later was Mr & Mrs William Mathieson, both lived at no2 Kent Street.

The longest licensee's were the Orr family, John Orr wine and spirit merchant traded at no8 from 1871 until the late 1890s. Mr Orr was living at 25 Bellgrove Street. When John passed away a family member,r probably his brother took over in 1899 paying an annul rent of £85.

In 1900 Miss Margaret King Orr took over the licence, she continued to hold the licence until the 1940s.

Other owners of the pub were Patrick McDaid 1960's and when Tennent Caledonian Breweries took over the pub they put James H Ballantyne as licensee. The pub was taken over by well-known Glasgow Cash & Carry Carpet Millionaire Peter Ferguson in the 1970s, he let the Barrowland Bar out to another well-known Glasgow character Jan Douglas (Singer) who lasted a few years in the 80s before Peter Ferguson demolished the pub which was not taking much money. Turning the old historic Kent Street pub into stalls would be more feasible was Mr Ferguson's words.

Barrowland Bar interior 1979

Customers of the Barrowland Bar enjoy a pint with a breakfast. 1979.

In the NEWS 1979...

Beer and a Bite at the breakfast bar...

Topper the morning : : : and the toast is, bacon, egg, and sausage. This happy picture was taken today in a Glasgow pub at 8 a.m.

It illustrates just how much Scotland's drinking habits have changed in the 70s. Not only are our pubs open all day and open until 11 p.m., they're available on Sundays, and that now includes carry-outs.

A chap can now have brekkers with his pint, although Birdie Gilmour, one of the lads at the Barrowland Bar, didn't really have to wear evening headgear to dine out. But his verdict was: "It's about time we got in line with the Continentals, especially if we've got to stay in the Common Market."


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