Archive for For information past, present & future on the city of Glasgow, Scotland, UK
  Forum Index -> Glasgow Development & Demolition

Dismay at bid to close Glasgow's 'oldest pub'

Dismay at bid to close Glasgow's 'oldest pub' ( Evening Times)

A bid has been made to demolish Glasgow's 'oldest' pub, despite a council report
claiming it is structurally sound.

Last orders could be called on the Old College Bar, High Street, which is thought to
be the oldest in Glasgow because it has been serving drink since around 1812.
Glasgow-based Bishop Loch (Greyfriars) Limited has submitted a planning application
to demolish the bar. The company also wants to demolish the adjoining buildings at
223, 225 and 227 High Street, as well as numbers 15 and 19-23 George Street. The
properties include F W Holroyd Art Gallery and food outlets China Express, Street Cafe
and Hot Peppers.

But today regulars at the famous pub spoke of the "family" atmosphere within its
centuries-old walls. The building which houses the bar was built as far back as 1515,
according a plaque above the door which reads: "Glasgow's oldest public house. Ancient
staging post and hostelry." The bar takes its name from the days when Glasgow University
was based in the High Street.

Bar regulars Margaret Bilsland, 67, and her husband Kenneth, 68, were celebrating their
48th wedding anniversary yesterday. But it was a bittersweet day for the couple. Margaret,
who also works as a cleaner at the pub, said: "We come here every day and everyone is
very friendly. There's never any bother and we all love the landlady, Angela. It would be
very sad if it was to be pulled down."

Patrick Whiteside, 86, said: "I've been coming here for more than five years and I'd be
heart- broken if it was to be demolished. The staff are good and we're all like brothers
and sisters in here. We're family."

Joe Stewart, 64, said: "It's the people that make it what it is. It would be very sad if they
were to pull it down. I've heard rumours, as far back as last year, that they are going to
pull it down but now it seems like that could happen sooner rather than later."

Sloans and The Scotia Bar also claim to be Glasgow's oldest pub, but it is thought the
Old College Bar has traded under the same name since 1812 the longest of the three
venues. Bishop Loch has asked the council's Planning Committee for permission to
demolish the pub, although the application gives no indication what, if anything, would
likely be built in its place. The plot lies at the edge of the Merchant City, next to
Strathclyde University's Technology and Innovation Centre which is currently being built.

Bishop Loch's application is supported by a letter from David Irvine, of Odin Consulting
Engineers, in which he says that the condition of the Old College Bar is so bad that he
advises "the client considers carefully the ongoing use of this premises." Last year, adjoining
buildings in George Street were deemed to be in a dangerous condition and were demolished.

However, Glasgow City Council refuted any suggestion the building housing the bar and
its immediate neighbours was in any way dangerous. A council spokesman said: "The
Old College Bar building is structurally sound, it's not a dangerous building. The building
that was demolished adjacent to this site was a former tenement. It was demolished as a
dangerous building."

The application will be considered at a future meeting of the Planning Committee.

The landlady at the Old College Bar is 42-year-old Angela Gibson. She said: "I used to run
the Lampost Bar in Duke Street, just over the road. But that was demolished in September
2011 and I took over in here the following month. All of my regulars from the Lampost came
here with me and they are my family. I would be very upset if the same thing was to
happen to this pub. It's not like other, modern bars where there is no atmosphere and no
sense of community. If this is demolished I couldn't take on another bar, I'd just go back to
my old job in retail. We were told that when they took down the other buildings at the back,
it made this building dangerous. But if the council say that's not the case, then maybe that's
good news."

James H

It's disgusting to see capitalism at work. The shop fronts, funnily enough at the rear of Nicholas Street, were deemed to be the oldest surviving in Glasgow, before the C-listed George Street tenements were demolished. I'll be stabbing someone if the old Linen Bank next door gets demolished for some non-descript flats or offices.  

Lets face it they are not in keeping with the plush new Collegelands development. Your own home was "eventually" saved from dereliction and demolition when it looked destined for the great brick yard in the sky and it looks proper grand now but will forever be etched in a generations mind as the doss hoose. I would actually like to see a builder take something like the College bar keep it intact and perhaps surround it with their glass and steelwork as a preservation thing protected from the elements but it would never happen as that kind of vision costs money not makes it.

i was in it last year with my wife and the locals made us feel very welcome.not many in on a sunday tea time but they wished us well and said to us that we would be welcome to visit my first time in since 1980 when i was doing a bit of work in the goods yard opposite.might pop in on saturday after the march to george square.

cybers wrote:
Your own home was "eventually" saved from dereliction and demolition when it looked destined for the great brick yard in the sky...

Too right. I'm all about preservation, unless there is good reason to demolish something.   ...said I from a former urbexing hotspot...  

Forget all the bumph in the press about dangerous buildings, and all that tripe.....
This is just another step by the Glasgow City Council to remove what the consider as 'eyesores to good publicity', and is yet another step to 'sanitise' the whole that press people and invited guests will not be offended by old and dirty buildings.
There is very little safe until the Commonwealth Games are finally over, and the removal of places like 'Paddy's market', just reinforces the view that a more photo-genic Glasgow is the plans by those in the City Chambers.
Expect a concerted effort to close the Barras soon, so that that area will also become more 'acceptable'
Places like Blochairn Car Boot Sale, and Polmedie Car Boot Sale are so far, safe from attention, as the wandering 'traveller' is unlikely to come across them by accident.
After all, you cannot have visiting athletes and officials viewing people rummaging through stalls of second-hand clothing, and giving the impression that we might be just as poor as them....

im with you brother.

I heard  about about this pub closing, on Friday night, from what I am told the old bank next door will become the College Bar and the old site will be developed
According to my source, the person who owns the site, also owns several  well known pubs in Glasgow, cant remember if my source said he owned the Old College Bar
Time will tell whats the truth

Was still open yesterday


Ican't believe they are going to knock down this pub. It and the surrounding buildings give the area atmosphere and its something new buildings will not do.

This just shows you all the torture that 2nd millennium buildings are getting these days.  Besides since it is the oldest of something then the pub/bar/whatever must stay for as long as possible.  There should be a petition to save the building from unnecessary demolition. Forum Index -> Glasgow Development & Demolition
Page 1 of 1
Create your own free forum | Buy a domain to use with your forum
The early bird catches the worm (proverb) | The second mouse gets the cheese (fact)