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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


The Masons' Arms.

143 King Street, Pollokshaws. later Shawbridge Street, Glasgow.

Mr William Reid Fleming proprietor of the Masons' Arms

Mr William Reid Fleming. Proprietor of the Masons' Arms, 143 King Street, Pollokshaws. 1899.

Mr William Reid Fleming was born in the adjacent village of Strathbungo in 1867. His father John Fleming was long connected with the spirit trade, but left it and became a surfaceman in the employment of the North British Railway Company.

When young William was still a boy he moved with his parents to Tollcross, where he received his education at Carmyle and latterly attended the Board School at Mount Vernon under Mr Young.

On leaving school he entered into the licensed grocery business, joining the staff of Mr Thomas Robertson, of Tollcross, with whom he remained for four years. This was a fortunate start in life for him as he gained the knowledge of the business in its every detail, being in charge of the van as well as inside the shop.

He then left for the big city of Glasgow and entered the employment of James Arthur and Company Ltd., Queen Street, the largest business of its kind in Scotland. He selected the umbrella department, where he served his apprenticeship as a cutter, and remained for the long period of fourteen years.

During this time he still kept up a close connection with the licensed trade, working on holidays, in the evenings and Saturdays. Again he entered the trade and went as second hand to Mrs Robertson, of Shettleston, and after a year was promoted to manager, where he spent three years in all.

He then went to Cumbernauld to take charge of his grand-mothers old established shop. Old Mr Fleming had died, and the business was offered and accepted to young William to carry on the business on behalf of the young children, a duty which he continued for three years.

William Reid Fleming then acquired the Masons' Arms in King Street, Pollokshaws around 1897. William was a keen Mason himself of Lodge 199, Cumbernauld, of which he was secretary for two years, and on coming to Pollokshaws he was affiliated to Lodge Royal Arch, 153, Pollokshaws, of which he held the office of Steward in 1898.

He was also a member of the Burns Club, he bowled with the Pollokshaws Bowling Club and curled with the Pollok Curling Club. He was also a member of the Shepherd's Friendly Society of Cumbernauld, sang a good song and was fond of outdoor amusements. In June 1897 he was fortunate in marrying Miss Calder, daughter of Robert Calder, wine and spirit merchant, Main Street, Cumbernauld.

William was a member of the Wine, Beer and Spirit Trade Defence Association. A very busy man in his time.

William sadly passed away in 1914, his wife then took over the running of the business. She paid an annul rent of £49.

Mr William Reid Fleming jun 1947

Mr William Reid Fleming. 1947.

In March 1947 Mr Fleming celebrated a unique occasion on fifty years that his late father William senior took over the Masons' Arms. He took over the business in 1930, he had business interests in Largs where he was proprietor of the Jubilee Bar, which he took over from Mr Sam Galbraith in 1941. He too like his father was a member of the Royalty Burns Club and regularly attended at the clubs bowling outings.

The last member of the family to run the business was Janet Fleming and continued until the pub was closed down in the 1960s.


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