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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Matt M Duff.

81 Glassford Street, Glasgow.

Matt M Duff

Matthew Maxwell Duff took this pub over from John Howieson in 1916.

However there has been licensed premises on this site since 1844, John Aitchison & Co, Edinburgh Ale Brewers, traded from here, also having premises in Jamaica Street, Oxford Street, Saltmarket and Cowcaddens. From 1853 to 55 James Pagan an Ale Agent was licensee.

James Riddel took over the premises in 1856 and traded here for almost 50 years.

John T Howieson took over the licence in 1912, he work as a barman for Archibald Carruth, Queen Street, but Mr Carruth found it increasingly difficult with so many pub in the area. His barman John Howieson went into partnership with him trading under the title of Carruth & Howieson. Mr Carruth sold the business to partner Mr Howieson in 1900.

John Thomson Howieson was born in 1869, on leaving school he was sent to learn the trade as a plumber. On his first day he was requested to clean out the toilets, he decided this was not for him and never returned, instead he entered into the services of the licensed trade as barman in Queen Street with Mr Carruth.

John marry a Rutherglen lass on 25th February 1890, he married 19 year old Agnes Killin, a power loom weaver who was then, like John, living in Rutherglen. John took over the Queen Street business in 1900 and renamed the premises The Crammond Bar after his favourite place near Edinburgh - the village of Crammond. Mr Howieson was not simply a publican he was a spirit merchant which meant he blended his own whisky, John Howieson's special blend of old Scotch whisky was a favourite in the Crammond Bar for years.

Mr Howieson took over the private bar in the Trades House, Glassford Street. He kept his accounts as meticulously as he blended his whisky. Many years after his death, his granddaughter, Effie, began work in the Clydesdale Bank in Glasgow. There she was told about "this publican who kept the most perfect books". It was her grandfather they were talking about. John, with his waxed moustache, was said to be "crabbit" (bad-tempered) - due perhaps to stress. He had a breakdown with the worry of paying back the loan on the Trades house bar.

He started drinking, and died of gastric neoplasm at the age of 57, on 8th June, 1926, at 15 Dunard Road, Rutherglen. He left £6000, a considerable sum at that time, enough to buy 12 houses. His wife Agnes took over the pubs for a year, but she made no money, due perhaps to the dishonesty of employees.

The photograph above was taken in 1929, the pub closed shortly afterwards.


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