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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Inverness Vaults.

46 North Frederick Street, Glasgow.


The Inverness Vaults was a very old pub, dating back to the early part of the 18th century. An old man who had emigrated fifty years ago to Montreal, in Canada returned to the city in 1893. He pointed out to the proprietor Mr J Graham, the room in which he had been born, away back in 1820. The exterior of the building remains what it was originally, but the interior has undergone great alterations; yet traces of all old character of the tavern remain. This old Glasgow howff was popular for many old Glasgow cronies.

The liquor was good quality and Mr Graham who acquired the business in 1871, knows how to cater to his numerous patrons. His predecessor was Mr Charles Stewart, who had been licensee for many years. The Inverness Vaults not only from the historical interest that surrounds it, but also for the excellent blends of "Mountain Dew," "Long John," and "Dew of Ben Nevis." The old tavern was very busy as it was in the neighbourhood of George Square.

This old tavern was a famous landmark of North Frederick Street, from the 1830s to 1864 the old tavern was run between James and Colin McDonald. In 1865 the first of the Graham family Charles acquired the business, generations of the same family ran this landmark until it came to a devastating end. When Charles Graham passed away in 1871 his wife took control of the business for a year, she in turn gave Jason Graham the heavy load of running a successful family business. Jason continued as licensee until 1885 when another member of the family took over James Graham, he paid the North British Railway Company, that owned the property £70 rent per year.

In 1895 James was now licensee of the Inverness Vaults and a pub at 112 Houston Street at the corner of 18 Cathcart Street, and was living with his family at 84 North Frederick Street, a short walk to the Inverness Vaults. When the First World War broke-out James's wife Agnes Houston Graham took over the licence, this may have been due to, all the men in the family were away fighting for their country. Agnes continued to run both the Inverness Vaults and a pub at 21 Vermont Street at the corner of Marlow Street, Kinning Park, until the end of the war, when James Graham stepped back into the business. Things may have been devastating to the families of the Graham's, some of them possibly died in their fight to save their country, as there licensed trade connections soon ended, after nearly one hundred years as successful wine and spirit merchants, this was a great loss to the Scottish Licensed Trade.

During the 1930s Alexander McCondach was now the proprietor of the Inverness Vaults, he was a successful wine and spirit merchant, having premises at 207 Thistle Street at the corner of Cumberland Intersects, which he took over in 1926. The spirits of the Graham family were to haunt the Inverness Vaults for years, strange events were happening on the premises over the next few years until yet another war broke-out, the strangest thing happened that night on September 1940, when the Inverness Vaults was destroyed by a bomb during an air-raid by enemy Germany. This was devastating news to Mr McCondach, however he was soon reunited with another pubs at 159 Bridgegate, the famous Victoria Bar or "Vicky's," on the Briggait.

In 1965 Alexander McCondach took over the Maderia Bar, Torrisdale Street.


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