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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


John O'Hara.

45 Norfolk Street, Gorbals, Glasgow.


Mr John O'Hara

John O'Hara jun. 1895.


John O’Hara jun was one of the youngest licence holders in the city of Glasgow.
John was born in the Mile End, the east end of the city and was educated at St Mary’s Roman Catholic School; his teacher was Brother Dorothens a well respected and strict master of education and religion. Brother Dorothens went on to be headmaster of St Alphonsus School, Greendyke Street. On completing his education he was apprenticed by Messrs. N Adshead & Son to learn the bookkeeping trade, which he followed for six years. Young John then entered the spirit trade and assisted his father John O’Hara in his business at 140 London Street now (London Road) for whom he latterly managed. His father took over the premises in 1885, gutting the old pub and installing a new mahogany horse shoe bar, little snugs surrounding the counter were curtained off for privacy, when the customer needed a refill all he had to do was ring a bell which was in each snug and the barman or waiter as they were called would serve them. A speciality in O’Hara’s Bar was a whisky called of the “Royal Shield” blend.

After three years with his father young John secured a licence for premises at 45 Norfolk Street at the corner of Portugal Street, Gorbals. The pub had to be completely refurbished as it was old and in need of a bit of T L C, a new bar was installed with spirit rack and gantry, electric lighting was installed for the first time, the old pub was very small, seventeen man at the bar meant no elbow room, after alterations to the premises fifty customers had plenty of room for a refreshment.
Coffee and Tea was given out free of charge to customers during the hours of 8 till 9 o’clock an offer much appreciated by the in winter mornings. Mr O’Hara took over other pubs in the city including 72 Maitland Street, 275 Nuneaton Street the old Clyde Vaults.

In his spare time young John loved music and was fond of Horses. He suddenly died a very young man at which time Joseph Cosgrove took over the running of Nuneaton Street, Norfolk Street and Maitland Street premises, his fathers pub on London Road was taken over by his brother Charles who also ran a pub on Commercial Road.

The London Road premises were later on purchased by William Aird was well known and respected publican in Trade circles. The Maitland Street pub was formerly owned by Philip MacSorley another well known publican in his day, Nuneaton Street was taken over by James Fallon in the 1960s and Samuel Falconer took over the Norfolk Street pub.


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