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Scotia Bar

One of the candidates for the disputed title of the oldest public house in Glasgow: the Scotia Bar in Stockwell Street, photographed in 2003.

The Scotia Inn dates from 1792. In its early years it was popular with workers and seamen from the docks and shipyards along the Clyde, and passengers on the busy ferries that stopped nearby. In 1862 it acquired a new neighbour when the Scotia Music Hall, later the Metropole, opened its doors, and the bar was frequented by both performers and audiences. Despite its popularity, the inn closed in 1906.

In 1929 the Scotia reopened under new management, refurbished in a mock-Tudor style similar to that of the photograph. The 1960s and early 1970s saw the Scotia become a haven for writers, folk singers and socialist political groups. But the association of the pub with a group of bikers, the Blue Angels, brought an increase in violent incidents and led to its closure in the mid-1970s.

The Scotia reopened once more in 1987 and re-established its reputation as a meeting place for those with an interest in music, literature and politics, as well as food and drink.

Reference: Illustrations vol 48, p 1

Reproduced with the permission of Glasgow City Council, Libraries Information and Learning

bars, bikers, Blue Angels, folk music, inns, Metropole Theatre, music halls, political activists, public houses, pubs, Scotia Bar, Scotia Inn, Scotia Music Hall, socialists, theatres, writers

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