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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan



3a-5 Blackfriar Street, Glasgow, G1 1PG. Tel: 01415523894.


Strathduie. 1991.

The Strathduie was built in 1893 for publicans J & J McWilliam, wine and spirit merchants, however there has been a tavern on this site since 1840. The old tavern was then occupied by John McNeil who only stayed here for a couple of years. Christopher Wishart then occupied the premises until 1845.

In 1851 James McWilliam of J & J McWilliam took over the old howff. Blackfriar Street was then called Stirling Street which had a total of six public houses.

James McWilliam was a prominent figure in the Scottish Licensed Trade he also owned another pub in West Street at the corner of 64 Clyde Place, and a licensed grocers business in Queen Street. Mr McWilliam was a member of the Parliamentary and Managing Committee of the Scottish Licensed Trade Defence Committee.

In 1899 the McWilliam family which included Alexander, Andrew, and James between them were in charge of 10 public houses., Alexander McWilliam was in charge of Samuel Dow's public houses at 54-58 Mitchell Street, 1157-59 Pollokshaws Road at Kilmarnock Road and 226 Great Western Road.

Andrew McWilliam was licensee at 570 Rutherglen Road, 4 Clyde Place, 12 Bridge Street, 16-18 Maxwell Street and 64 East Howard Street.

James and John McWilliam had pubs at 1 West Street 64 Clyde Place and 3a-5 Stirling Street. James and John traded under the title of J & J McWilliam.

In 1892 the old pub was demolished and a new tenement with a pub on the ground floor was erected for Mr McWilliam, he died in 1901 at his home in Montgomerie Drive, Kelvinside, leaving vast's amounts of money in his will. He also left in his estate £500 each to the Royal Western and the Victoria Infirmaries, £50 each to Lenzie Convalescent Home, Dunoon Homes, Glasgow Eye Infirmary, Asylum for the blind, Ophthalmic Institution, £210 to the Wine & Spirit and Beer Trade Benevolent Institution and £105 to the Session of St. John's Parish Church for the benefit of the poor.

Strathduie 1960s

The Strathduie Bar looking up Blackfriar Street in the 1960s.

It may be interesting to note that Mr McWilliams sister married Samuel Dow another well known Glasgow wine and spirit merchant, when his wife died Mr Dow presented a stained glass window in her memory to Bellahouston Parish Church of which they were members.

After James McWilliam's death Alexander McWilliam took control of the business which was sold a few years later to Samuel McKinnon. Another prominent Glasgow publican to take control of the licence was James Wilson who served the locals here from 1913, Mr Wilson was one of those unfortunate men who witnessed two world wars.

Today the pub is still going strong, for many years this pub has been known for it's great sing-a-longs, many a good chanter in this old pub.

Strathduie 2005

Strathduie. 2005.

Strathduie date

Date above the tenement building 1893.


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