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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Dean Park Hotel.

Renfrew, Glasgow (at Glasgow Airport.)

Dean Park Hotel, Kirkaldy, Fife

The Dean Park Hotel 1979.

The management of the Dean Park Hotel out in Renfrew have come up with a weekend deal which they hope people just can't refuse.

From now they are offering room, bed, and breakfast, at HALF their normal rates. All of which can't be bad for those who like to live it up at the weekends without having to take out a mortgage to cover the cost.

What Richard L. Castelow, general manager of the Dean Park, is offering on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays is a single room for £9 and a double for for £12. The normal rate is £18 and £23 a night.

The price includes a Scottish breakfast. Don't worry, porridge is not obligatory. To quality for the bargain basement rate you have to take a room on two successive nights, Friday and Saturday or Saturday and Sunday.

The attraction with this particular offer is that you have all the facilities of the hotel, but only pay for what you want to indulge in.


The hotel doesn't have a dinner dance, but you can have dinner, either table d'hôte or a la carte then wander into the cocktail lounge and have a dance to the music of the resident group the Meltones.

On a happy note, this is completely free, the dance not the dinner. The hotel has become notable on the musical scene, no pun intended, and their ceilidhs, on the first and third Wednesday of every month, are enormously popular.

Making things go with a Highland swing is Andy MacColl and his Ceilidh Band with Jack Munro as compare-singer. If that isn't enough to stir your Celtic blood, there is also Pipe Major Matt Kennedy doing his own thing on the pipes.

Over the Christmas period, the almost non-stop entertainment is hosted and compared by A1 French, a member of that showbiz fund-raising organisation the Grand Order of Water Rats.


The hotel was build in 1963 as the Glasgow Airport Hotel. In January this year it took the name of Dean Park, says Mr Castelow: "We changed the name to get away from the image of being an airport hotel. Initially we were a transit hotel, but now we are a tourist and family hotel.

"There was also a lot of confusion between us and the other hotel which is based at the airport. It was partly to clear this up that we changed the name. We think we have managed the change of image successfully."

Incidentally the hotel was one of the first in the country to have a private bathroom suite in every bedroom, something which is appreciated by our Continental cousins."

Although it is only eight minutes away from the city centre, the hotel is situated in its own wooded grounds. That makes it particularly attractive for wedding parties and gives a pleasing background for photographs.

They specialise in conferences and in this field reckon they offer very competitive prices. Their one-day conference rate, which included a suite, morning coffee and biscuits, a three-course lunch with coffee and afternoon tea and biscuits, works out at £6.25 a head, seven days a week.


Says Mr Castelow modestly: "Nowhere else in the area can you get such value for money."

The Dean Park Hotel is probably the only hotel in the Glasgow area which is completely full of residents for the four days of Christmas.

Their 130 rooms are booked solidly, with guests, mostly from south of the border. These same people have been coming to the hotel for the last six years, and wouldn't miss it.

One of the main reasons is the extensive entertainment which is laid on during the holiday period. bookings are well advanced for Christmas and New Year, so if you don't want to be disappointed, get your bookings in now.

An unusual touch in the dining room is that when you order cheese they don't bring you a cheese board, they bring you the whole cheese. Mind you, they don't expect you to eat it all.


Richard Castelow, the general manager of the Dean Park, spares his guests nothing at Christmas and the New Year by getting dressed up in full Highland costume.

The thing that makes it rather unusual is the fact that Mr Castelow is an ENGLISHMAN without a drop of Scots blood in his Sassenach veins. Not only that... one of his favourite musical instruments is the bagpipes.


Richard makes no apologies for wearing the kilt, and why should he? He says: "I wear it because it's a splendid garment to wear and as a compliment to your gastorial taste."

Richard reckons he is possibly the longers-serving general manager at the same hotel anywhere in the West of Scotland. He has been at the Dean Park for 12 years, the last 10 in charge,

Running the hotel the size of Dean Park is similar to being in charge of a small village. "You have the same problems, looking after people and providing for their needs 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.

He has been in the hotel and catering trade all of his working life. "Scots are difficult to please in the sense that they know what they ate looking for and if they don't get it they want to know why.

"They are particularly careful about checking their food bill, but seldom complain about the price of drink or accommodation.

I thoroughly enjoy living and working in Scotland, otherwise I wouldn't have stayed as long," he says.


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