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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Pop Inn.

70 Cowcaddens, Glasgow.

Pop Inn

The Pop Inn sat at the corner of Cowcaddens Street and Dunblane Street.

In the 1870s William McLean owned this pub serving the locals of Cowcaddens for years.

John Watt acquired the licence in 1878, between him and his family, they occupied the premises for over fifty years. Mr Watt also owned the Forfarshire Bar, Parliamentary Road and a small pub in College Street.

In the 1930s the pub was taken over by local businessman John Edward Kelly. John was born and bred in Cowcaddens, he attended the local school in Milton Street and went to work when he was fourteen years of age. His first experience in the trade was when he entered a licensed grocer's shop owned by Mr Robertson in Stewart Street, that was when he left school. His next move was to join the staff of Messrs J & J Steel, wholesale firm in Cowcaddens, where he worked under Mr Alexander Smart, a well known figure in the trade.

His career was interupted just like every other person in Glasgow, when the First World War broke out, he joined the Royal Flying Corps, serving his country at home and abroad. On his return in 1920, he obtained a position as barman in McLachlan's Bar, 70 Maitland Street. After being in charge of this pub he finally acquired it for himself in the early 1930s.

All his life he had been interested in the affairs of Cowcaddens. He was a member of the Glasgow and District Licensed Trade Defence Association, the Benevolent Institution, the Glasgow Vintners and was a member of the Barman's Union.

Pop Inn

Another view of the Pop Inn. 1963.

He acquired the licence for the premises at 118 Bell Street, Glasgow, this old pub was formerly Robert Graham's. John changed the name of this old pub to The Pop Inn, many will still remember this old pub as the House of Lords.

He went into partnership with his brother Frank Diamond Kelly, he acquired a licence in 1922 in Elderslie and Paisley and also held the certificate for premises at 23 Crown Street, this old pub became known as Hurrell's bar.

In April 1936 he took over the business at 70 Cowcaddens and renamed then the Pop Inn. The brothers called all their establishments the Pop Inn. Frank disposed of the licence in Cowcaddens in 1943 which was then taken over by Thomas Foley, Tommy Foley's Pop Inn was one of the best known pubs in Cowcaddens.

Frank D Kelly acquired another licence at 93 MacLean Street in 1947. He was a member of the Glasgow Vintners a keen golfer but his chief interest was boxing. He was also a member of the Scottish Board of Control and was the Inspector for Scotland. He died in 1948 aged 56, he left his wife and three of a family.

John Kelly Wedding

Wedding photograph of John Kelly's daughter 1952. Elizabeth, eldest daughter of John was married to James Gallagher, they were married at the Church of Christ the King, King's Park. Bridesmaid was sister Margaret Kelly, train-bearer Miss Jaqueline McGuinness, best man Joseph T Gallagher.


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