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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Rosses Bar.

24 Portugal Street, Gorbals, Glasgow.

exterior view of Rosses Bar 24 Portugal Street Gorbals

Rosses Bar, 24 Portugal Street, Gorbals. 1960s.

There has been licensed premises on this site since 1837. John Duncan acquired a licence to sell Wine, Porter and Spirits. Before 1877 the address of the pub was 12 Portugal Street, although the pub was on the same site. After 1877 the pubs address was 24 Portugal Street.

Over the years many Spirit Dealers have come and gone including Robert Morton, James Johnston, William Frame, he lived at 36 Cumberland Street, John Meikle, he resided at 21 Apsley Place, John Meikle jun, he also owned pubs at 255 Rutherglen Road, many will still remember this old pub as the Kick Off, 128 Paisley Road West, 103 McLean Street, John jun lived at 22 Abbotsford Place.

The Meikle family must have been very successful in this business as they owned a few public houses and lived in well to-do houses in Abbotsford Place.

John Meikle jun a well known and respected spirit merchant owned the pub from 1891, he took over from his father, John Meikle who started out in the licensed trade in 1874 in a small public house on Portugal Street. The family went on to owns other well known pubs in the city including J Meikle, Paisley Road West and Eglinton Street.

John Meikle senior was born in 1826 in Muiravonside Parish, Stirling. Mr Meikle met his wife Jane in Bothwell where they started a family, they soon moved to Glasgow and settled in South Apsley Place, Gorbals.

The happy couple had three other children there, the eldest was Agnes, John, Jane and Robert. John jun learned the trade as a commercial traveller with a silk firm while Robert was a commercial clerk for a grain business. The family then moved on to better accommodation in Abbotsford Place.

After the First World War John jun was running three pubs in the city which included Rutherglen Road, Paisley Road West and Eglinton Street all having the title J Meikle above the doorway. The family continued to run the Rutherglen establishment until the early 1950s.

image of Rosses Bar 24 Portugal Street taken from Dunmore Street

Rosses Bar, 24 Portugal Street taken from Dunmore Street. Thanks to Norrie McNamee for the image.

Another well-known wine and spirit merchant to own this old pub was Thomas Bennett jun., he took over this pub in 1896 until 1905. His father Thomas Bennet was also a well respected personality in the Licensed Trade in Scotland having premises at 467 Aikenhead Road at the corner of Polmadie Street now called the International Bar, and the Hampden Bar at 58 Albert Road at the corner of Langside Road.

image of group of people with Mrs Cornerlius Byrne 1966

Left to right Jack Baillie (from Guinness); John Hope (from MacKinlay -McPherson); Mrs J K Webster; Mrs John Hope; J K Webster and Cornelius Byrne, at the Gorbals Ward annual outing to Glendaruel, 1966.

In 1906 Peter Kernan took over the licence. Peter paid an annual rent of £48. He lived with his family at 9 Park Road, Pollokshaws. Mr Kernan survived the First World War and continued to run the bar just before the next World War.

In 1937 Hugh O'Neil was licensee. The O'Neil family continued to run this pub until the 1940s.

Another well-known publican to own this pub was James Culligan. Mr Culligan also owned the Norfolk Arms, 66-68 Norfolk Street.

From 1951 to the 1960s the Byrne family owned this pub, James Byrne followed by Cornelius Byrne, he was the last one to have the licence before it was demolished in the early 1960s.

group image of James Culligan, Miss P McGuire, Mrs Bertha Sendall and J K Webster 1963.

Left to right Mr J Culligan; Miss P McGuire; Mrs Bertha Sendall (Royal Restaurant); and J K Webster (Webster's Bar). 1963. This image was taken at the annual Gorbals Ward outing.

group image of Mr & Mrs J Hamilton, Mrs & Mr James Culligan 1962

Left to right Mr & Mrs John Hamilton, (The Tavern Bar, Glebe Street); Mrs and Mr James Culligan. 1962. This image was taken at a Gorbals Ward night out at the Glasgow Empire at the opening of the Andy Stewart Show then followed by a night out at the Ca'doro Restaurant.


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