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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Waverley. (Stable Bar).

26 Lancefield Quay, Glasgow.



The Waverley. 1991.

This old pub was opened briefly for the Glasgow Garden Festival and closed down again when the flower show finished.

In 1880 William Scott owned this old pub, then known as the Anchor Vaults, Mr Scott sold the pub in 1905 to publican Alexander Reid. Alex owned two other well known pubs, one in Hill Street, Anderston and one on Castle Street, this pub may be remembered by some as Kearney's Bar.

The Reid family ran the Lancefield Quay premises for over 40 years, after the Second World War the pub was run by John Mitchell.

The Waverley was demolished to make way for luxurious flats on the Clyde Side along with Betty's Bar.

Peter Keenan well known sports personality and British and Empire bantam weight champion boxer took over this pub after William McDevitt, the pub was then called after the owner, Peter Keenan's Stable Bar.

Peter owned another pub in Glasgow the Sportsman.

Peter Keenan's Stable Bar

Peter Keenan's Stable Bar. 1978.

Peter Keenan

Young Peter Keenan hands over a festive dinner to John Paterson, winner of the dominoes competition at the Sportsman Bar, Keenan's public house. 1956.


In the NEWS 1976...

The Big Guys that try to "claim" wee Peter.

That's the trouble with being a famous ex-boxer.

"The trouble with being a boxer," said Peter keenan, "is that everybody thinks you're a mug and your brains are scrambled."

Peter Keenan doesn't look like a mug. He doesn't even look like a grandfather, although he has a grandson five years old. At the age of 48 he looks at least 10 years younger and as if he could go into the ring at any moment. And he is a successful dealer in property, with a flourishing pub on the side.

Talking of pubs, Peter suffers from the "fastest gun in the West" syndrome. "Every now and again," he said, "a big chap will come up to me and poke me in the chest and say, Think you're a fighter, eh? Like to prove it, eh? And ten to one he's about double my weight.

"It takes a bit of getting out of when a chap like that "claims" you, but I notice that they never do that to the big guys among boxers. Of course, this doesn't only happen in pubs. It happened to me in a posh Glasgow restaurant not long ago."

Peter Keenan pulling a pint in his bar. 1976

Peter Keenan pulling a pint in his bar. 1976.

How Peter Keeps Fit

Mind you, I wouldn't like to tangle with Peter myself. He looks fighting fit and keeps that way by hill-walking and horses, he has what he calls "a wee farm" at Aberfoyle and manages to spend three or four days a week there.

As for horse-riding, "I really wanted to be a jockey when I was wee, so it's great to be able to go riding now. "I left school at the age of 14 and my mother drew a dividend of £14 from the Co-op, she was a great one for the Co-op, and bought me a horse and cart and I started as a trader.

"What kind of a trader? Oh, anything I could make money out of, firewood, scrap metal, whatever was in season. I've been self employed ever since then.

" I've always been interested in money, especially after I became a boxer, because so many boxers have finished with a tragic end. "If you want some advice to pass on to young boys who are keen on boxing, tell them to get their fathers to look at every contract and make sure they're not being done.

"I had a manager, but I left him to manage myself. I got more money for a Scottish championship than I did for an Empire championship under a manager. You tell the boys to be careful or they'll end up getting toffee and balloons."

Mind you, money has caused trouble to Peter Keenan too. "What's the hardest fight I've ever had? Against a chap called Jake Tuli at Cathkin Park in the open air. I'd just come back from Australia and discovered that this fight might be put off because of shortage of money.

So I guaranteed the whole thing myself, daft! "Tickets weren't going well because the weather was bad, but two days before the fight the sun came out. I was worried stiff about losing a lot of money.

"Then on the day of the fight everybody wanted tickets. I was sitting in my dressing room when I got word that it was a sell-out. "When I got into the ring with Tuli, I wasn't really concentrating on the fight. I was counting heads in the crowd and trying to work out what my take would be. Oh, the money bug had got hold of me all right.

"Well, Jake knocked me down twice in the first round. He put me flat on my back again in the fourth. I stopped thinking about money, but I had a lot of leeway to make up. I knocked Jake out in the 14th round, thank goodness."

Fighting was just natural

Peter Keenan started boxing when he joined the Army Cadet Force at the age of 16, "It was great to get suits for nothing." The cadets were taught boxing and an officer entered Cadet Keenan for the Scottish Army Cadet Championship.

"I'd never been in a boxing ring before, but I won the fly-weight contest. I suppose it was just something natural in me, though my father had done some fighting when he was in the Navy."

Who is Keenan's favourite boxer? He has no doubts whatever that it's Sugar Ray Robinson. "A great man," he says simply. He also admires Jim Watt, the British light-weight champion who comes from Glasgow and KO'd world champion John H. Stracey in less than a minute when they were amateurs.

"If Jim Watt was a Londoner he'd be the world champion," says Peter. "Scottish boxers don't always get a fair crack of the whip."


In the NEWS 1978...

Keenan Wins Fight For All-Day Pub Licence...

Keenan's Stable Bar 1978

Cheers ... Peter Keenan last night in Lancefield Quay. 1978.

Peter Keenan, the former boxing champion, won his fight yesterday for his public house to become the first in Glasgow to be granted an all-day licence.

Originally there had been more than 50 applications for similar licences, but some were withdrawn and Mr Keenan sat and watched as Glasgow Licensing Board sitting in Govan Town Hall refused all the others by a single vote.

Mr Keenan spoke on his own behalf and won an 8-3 vote to grant the licence for his pub, the Stable Bar, in Lancefield Quay, Glasgow. The Pub is now licensed to open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and Keenan said he will start on Thursday.

"All the others were offering fancy menus, but we cater for working men, like long-distance lorry drivers," he said.

More on All-Day licences Click Here.


In the NEWS 1979...

Peter Keenan 1979

Peter Keenan. 1979.

Girls Barred From Peter's Marathon...

The irrepressible Peter Keenan has been telling me of a marvellous idea he has to help handicapped children.

At his pub, the Stable Bar at Lancefield Quay, the other evening a group of customers were arguing about who was the fittest man in Glasgow.

Keenan's assertion that he was caused an almighty argument and eventually a challenge, to run the 37 miles from Callander to Glasgow, on Sunday, October 14.

Peter, now 51, told me: "The thing has just snow balled and now we're going to make it a sponsored event to help the handicapped children.

"Any male over the age of 16 years can enter, provided he's got a sponsor. We'll hire buses to take everybody to Callander, and we'll try to get marshalls along the route to help people in trouble.

"We hope we can raise a few hundred quid for the kids." Ever the chauvinist, Peter added: "We don't want any women. It'll be too tough for them." That sounds to me like a challenge.


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