Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pubs of Layclerk #6

Most of the detail on the following post has been taken from my now-defunct website and transferred here for posterity.

Over the years I think it's fair to say I've had the odd drink or two in a fair old number of pubs, and this is a continuation of the occasional series of posts documenting all the pubs in which I've ever had a drink, where I'll try to list as many of them as I can remember together with the occasional "review" or story connected to them.  By nature it's going to be a work in progress for a long time and I'd guess it isn't ever going to be complete, since there's no possible way I'll remember them all, but I'll try to list at least all the ones I regularly drank in or indeed still drink in with various choirs etc.   Feel free to leave comments with any opinions, additions, corrections or extra detail. Important Caveat: Don't forget that sometimes it's been a LONG time and a lot of water's been passed since I've been in some of these places (some of which have had name/management changes, some of which are now closed down) so what I describe relates to how I remember they were back in the day.  All opinions expressed are my own so please feel free to try even the ones I warn against and see if you agree with me.

Eagle Inn, 180 Bellshill Rd, Motherwell

Eagle Inn, Motherwell
A LONG time ago this was owned, or at least managed, by an ex St Mirren, Glasgow Rangers and Scotland footballer called Willie Telfer and at that time my mum and dad worked there behind the bar.  This was probably round about 1966/67 or thereabouts and I can still remember going in there after finishing primary school for the day to wait on mum or dad to finish their shift and take me home, so I suppose technically this was probably the first pub I was ever a regular in!

The pub is situated right next to a main railway line and near to a shunting yard so was frequented by many rail workers and there's a story I remember (probably apocryphal but you never know, this was the 1960's) whereby a couple of them in uniform came into the pub and sat for a while while they had a couple of pints each.  Eventually they left and another rail worker sitting nearby said that it was about time they had gone, and when asked why he explained that the pair had left a train full of passengers on the line just behind the pub while they came in for a drink!

Eagle Inn, 155 King St, Broughty Ferry

Eagle Inn, Dundee

Old inn, first opened in 1597 apparently, in the middle of Broughty Ferry with some seats outside on the pavement.  Very low ceiling, even for a shortarse like me, I seem to remember.

Edwards Bar, 410 Sauchiehall Street, Glasgow

Big but quite reasonably nice pub at the busy Charing Cross end of Sauchiehall Street.  Used to be very busy on a Friday with the after work crowd, but then a new place opened up nearby and became the new fashion so Edwards is a lot quieter.  O Tempore, O Mores!  I had my stag night partly in here and partly in The Hengler's Circus across the road. Update: It's been renamed and is now something like The Sauchiehall

Egypt Cottage, 117 City Rd, Newcastle upon Tyne

For those of you of a certain vintage, this is right next door (and I mean RIGHT next door) to the Tyne Tees Studio where The Tube used to be filmed in the 1980's, so apparently some of the biggest names in the 1980's UK music industry have propped up the bar at one time or another.

Nice looking pub with, strangely enough, an Egyptian theme.  Decent Deuchars IPA.  And the Sallyport Sword Dancers sometimes practice here if they can't get into the Cumberland Arms.

Electric Bar, 291 Airbles Rd, Motherwell

Electric Bar
Happy memories of being in sixth year at Dalziel High School in Motherwell, and having various free periods during the week.  Often my mate Dougie Johnstone and I used to take advantage of the good weather and lack of supervision (we were old enough to be trusted - ha!) when our free periods coincided to take off our blazers and ties and leave them in the sixth year common room, and wander across the Duchess of Hamilton Park to the other side where lay ......... heaven!

We used to brazenly stroll into the Electric Bar and have a beer or two and a game of darts or pool, before casually sauntering back the way we came in time to get properly dressed for our next lessons.  We thought we were being completely covert by removing our blazers and ties, but this left us wearing black shoes, grey trousers and grey shirts and when I look back on it I cringe to realise we must have been so bloody obviously Dalziel pupils!  But they served us anyway!

The Electric is still the unofficial Dalziel Former Pupils pub and after a gap of many many years I briefly went there enroute to a 40th birthday party for a former school mate and when I walked in at least half a dozen people sitting at the bar were instantly recognisable as being contemporaries of mine at school who hadn't quite escaped the clutches of the Electric.  I swear they hadn't moved off the bar stools since 1980!  Since then over the past years I've been in a few times for various school reunions, and yes, it is as boring a building as the photo suggests!

On another note, when I read Margrave of the Marshes, the biography of John Peel, I discovered that apparently he visited here, took part in the music quiz, and got royally pissed when visiting a friend in Motherwell.  I have since mentioned this to people who still drink there and they knew nothing of it.  You'd think they'd have a plaque up or something!  Or at least use the connection as a bit of free publicity.

Exchequer, 59 Dumbarton Road, Glasgow

Former Sunday lunchtime venue of some members of the choir of St Mary's Cathedral, and Glasgow Chamber Choir also sometimes drank here when we rehearsed in the chapel of the Western Infirmary across the road.  Now too studenty by half, but I suppose that's OK if you're a student!

I drove past it quite a while back and it was actually called something like The Clinic, presumably because it's across from the Western Infirmary, but it was closed even though it was during normal drinking hours although it has since reopened as a night club called BoHo

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