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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Star & Garter.

687 Garscube Road, Glasgow. G20 7JX. Tel: 01413324358.


Star & Garter

Star & Garter. 1991.

There has been a pub on this site since the 1860s occupied by tenant and licensee James Phillips. Ten years later publican William Melaugh was running this very popular hostelry. Mr Melaugh was born in Ireland and came to Glasgow to set up as a publican. William was very successful in this old pub and continued to do so, in fact he made enough money to secure the licence for the old Stag Inn on Springburn Road near the foot of the Balgrayhill.

William lived next door to the Stag Inn with his daughter Agnes, son John who was also a publican and a domestic servant Jane Sweeney.

In 1898 Andrew Jardine acquired a licence for the premises and continued to do so for over thirty years. The old pub was demolished and a new tenement with a public house on the ground floor was erected on the site.

Andrew Jardine

Mr Andrew Jardine.

Andrew Jardine was born in Applegarth, near Lockerbie, he came to Glasgow at an early age with his parents and received his education at Henderson Street Public School, afterwards at Larbert. On leaving school he entered the services of Duncan Walker, wine merchant on Hope Street, two years later he joined the staff of Mr Campbell, Cowcaddens. His next move was with well known and respected publican Thomas Reid, working in the firms Garscube Road premises, Jardine worked hard and secured the position of Manager for thirteen years only leaving to take over his own pub at 687 Garscube Road.

The name of his new pub was then The Thistle Bar, he installed all the best liquor including McEwan's draught 90s Edinburgh Ale, he also had his own whisky called "Captain's Blend." Jardine went on to own another pub at 360 Scotland Street. He was involved with the licensed trade and became secretary of the College and Maryhill Divisions of the Trade Defence Association.

In his spare time he would cycle to the country, he was also a football fan of the Jags and was fond of Scotch terriers, he was also a bird fancier, in 1896, with eight birds, he won eighteen prizes at one show, including the cup, the following year, although losing the cup by one point he carried off sixteen prizes with seven of his feathered friends.

His son John took over the pub after his death which stayed in the family until the 1930s.

Another well known publican to run the pub was Henry Brook, he was running the pub during the 50s and 60s. Mr Brook and customers collected vast's amounts of money over the years for various charities, in 1960 they collected over £30.00 for the Eastpark Home for Infirm Children, Maryhill Road. The money was collected in empty whisky bottles.

Star & Garter interior

Left to right Miss Sheila Morrison, matron of the Eastpark Home, Mr James Kerr and partner Alan Girvan. Mr Girvan is emptying a whisky bottle with money collected by customers of the Star & Garter. 1970.

During the 1970s partners James Kerr and Alan Girvan ran the Star & Garter, they also collected money for various charities.

Star & Garter interior1

Mr Henry Brook is watched by some of the customers of the Star & Garter while he empties the contents of a bottle of money. 1960.

Today the pub is still going strong however the pub has lost the lounge, an extension which was demolished a few years ago to make way for new houses.

In the News 1971...

James and Alec build their dream.

When James Kerr and Alec Girvan were children they lived just round the corner from each other. They went to the same school, and they both became taxi drivers. Then they each bought a taxi and went into business for themselves. They each had a dream of buying a wee pub somewhere.

But in all that time they never met. Eventually they came to share the same taxi rank, and that's when the dream really got off the ground. "We're both from Maryhill," James told me, "although we don't live there now." James lives with his wife and three children in Garscadden, and Alec and his family of wife and four children (one set of twins) live in Bishopbriggs.

Oldest Pub

"After we meat and discovered our ambitions were the same, we sold our taxis and managed to put up enough to buy a small pub in Garscube Road, which must be one of the oldest pubs in Glasgow, The Star and Garter, which former Licensee Henry Brooks had run for 26 Years."

That was only 15 months ago, but in that time the partners have built up the business to the point where real success begins, for today they open their new £18,000 lounge bar extension.

Star and Garter interior 1971

Customers at the Star and Garter lounge bar were helped to their pints by a very attractive blonde "barmaid." She's Sally Carr, from Muirhead, Chryston, the girl singing with the Middle of the Road pop group who topped charts with "Chirpy chirpy cheep cheep."

Modern lounge

The bright, very modern new lounge with its brown and orange decor will seat up to 206 people in an area roughly 1400 square feet. The whole area is open and spacious, with specially made ceiling beams of prestressed white pine in place of pillars.

The walls are plain orange and the thick pile carpet in shades of orange and brown. Round the walls are very comfortable upholstered bench seating in fawn, and the natural brick of the building has been left exposed behind the bar and the adjoining area as a special feature.

Star and Garter advert 1971

Jim and Alec want pubs to be the way they used to be. Places to be friendly, places where personal service means something. They do this more in the Star and Garter. The Star and Garter, a modern pub with traditional service. Alec Girvan and Jim Kerr proprietors of the Star and Garter. 1971.

Natural wood

Spotlights are hung from the ceiling in strategic places between the beams, finished in natural wood. "Most of the good ideas came from the builders," Alec told me. "They've been marvellous. From start to finish this completely new building has taken only 10 weeks to complete, but then they're like us, two partners who started their business about the same time." The firm is called Housing Improvement and Conversion Services, of the Hertz Building, 10 Tyndrum Street, and does general building work under the direction of partners Peter Watson and Alexander Wilson.

Best group

Alec and James are full of ideas for the future. "We've booked the best group in Glasgow to play in the lounge," They said enthusiastically. "That's Chuck Roberts and the Blind Alley, and they'll be here every Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. And we're looking for another group at the moment for the rest of the week." Until now the partners ran the Star and Garter themselves, with the part-time help of the former owner, but with the big new lounge opening they're busy taking on staff.

"We've got about three or four full-time staff now," they told me, "but we're still looking for part-time waitresses. We'll need about six and our personal preference is for mini skirts!"


This is only the start for Alec and James, who plan eventually to build a licensed restaurant on top of the lounge, and there's room for even further extension at the back. A car park at the rear holds 18 cars. The new lounge will be officially opened today by five Celtic players, Evan Williams, Davie Hay, Jimmy Johnstone, Dixie Deans, and Lou Macari, just to give it a good send-off." But it will be the hard work and enthusiasm of the hosts which will make the Star and Garter a landmark in Maryhill.

2012 update...

Michael Sanders took over the Star & Garter on Feb 2002. Thanks to B Gunning for the update.


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