The Cross Bar.
1287 Gallowgate, Glasgow.
The Cross Bar. 1980s.
Opened in 1866 by Glasgow brewer George Dalrymple. Mr Dalrymple owned the Home Brewery on Great Eastern Road now called the Gallowgate. Afterwards he and his family went into the retail wine and spirit trade opening pubs on the Gallowgate, Great Eastern Road, Trongate, Stanley Street, Main Street, Pollokshaws, Langside Road, New Road now Duke Street.
Over the years the pub has had name changes, for over 70 years the pub was known locally as Dalrymple's, in the 1930s the pub became known as the Grove after the owner John Cosgrove and before it was demolished to make way for the new Parkhead Forge the name above the doorway was the Cross Bar.
In the NEWS 1978...
JUST OLD FIRM FRIENDS...
We're the best of pals, say members of the Helenvale Celtic and the Cross Rangers supporters' clubs in the Cross Bar, Parkhead.
Fans Support Charity...
This is an "Old Firm" pub. It's not just for Rangers fans or for Celtic supporters, but for both. The Cross Bar, Gallowgate, Glasgow, acts as the head-quarters for the two rival supporters' clubs.
Every year they work together to raise a considerable amount of money for the East Park Home for Infirm Children. The two sets of staunch fans support their teams in harmonious rivalry.
The friendship shared between the 56-strong Rangers supporters and the 82 Celts is best summed up by Rangers secretary Joe Hobbs (30).
He put it this way, "There's no bigotry in this pub at all. And there's no reason why Rangers and Celtic fans shouldn't share the same pub.
"Our pub belongs to both sets of fans. "We meet in here before the game tomorrow and leave in our separate buses to go to the match at about 12 noon. We'll be back at night to talk about the game.
"I'll be having a drink as I always do with George Jardine, secretary of the Celtic supporters' Club. George (45) said, "The violence at Rangers- Celtic matches is disgusting. I wish both sides would get together and share the pleasure of football.
"We all get on great with the Rangers fans. "There's only two types of people in the world. The ones you like and the ones you don't like. Religion doesn't come into it.
"It would be ideal if we could all go to the big game on the same bus. We used to go together and stand together. But that was a few years back.
"In today's atmosphere you couldn't do that. "There's no division here. I have visited Joe's home and he has been to mine. Yet we are both loyal supporters of the different teams."
George added, "I hope people will see that it is possible to have a drink with the opposite side and not degenerate into violence. "The violence must stop because it is definitely chasing supporters, the good ones, away from the game."
The rival groups agreed that the true friendship shared over a wee half and a pint meant that there has never been a fight in the Cross Bar over football. Sure, they admit, we'll argue about disputed penalties, refs decisions, and off-side decisions, but "It'll be a great night in our pub... win lose or draw."
The Cross Bar with the Reekie Linn in the background. 1970s.
The regulars in this Old Firm friendship pub regret that the big game has such a bad name. It's supposed to be a great sporting occasion. But as always there is the fear of hatred breaking out into violence.
The result is a bus strike by drivers in protest against violence and vandalism. The match of course, used to be played on New Years Day. That was changed to avoid the combination of celebration drinks and hatred.
And of course it's a 1 p.m. kick-off again to prevent too much alcohol being taken before the game. There will be extra police, boarded-up shops and sadly fear not friendship will stalk certain areas of the city.
There is however a message of friendship from the Cross Bar. "We drink together and we stay on the best of terms."
To read more on the pubs on the Gallowgate read up & Doon the Gallowgate by John Gorevan. A copy can be bought for a few pounds at the Hielan Jessie on the Gallowgate or contact me at email@example.com