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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Taylor's Vaults.

10 Stirling Street, Glasgow.


Four years after the battle of Culloden, and forty years before the great French Revolution, the epochal event in modern history, started the civilised world, a family of the name of Oswald established in Stirling Street, City, a wholesale and retail spirit business. There is not a particle of doubt as to the actual year in which this old licensed house was founded, but it was taken over by the well known firm of E & R Taylor in the early part of the 1840s. The old tavern soon had a reputation for it's good quality whisky.

The old tavern was licensed in 1750 and strangely enough, one of the men in Messrs. Taylor's employment in 1892 was the only living link which connects it with the Oswald's who established the concern. Mr John Rankin, who stood behind the bar and superintends the cellar, had worked in the tavern for fifty years. Mr Rankin is in the unique position of being the oldest employee in the spirit business in Glasgow. From boyhood he had worked here, and looked as if there was another thirty years work in him. Very little of the interior and exterior had altered, and at one time had a reputation of having the best malt liquors in the west.

In 1818 Andrew Oswald was licensee and traded as a rum merchant, two years later the firm was run by Henry and Andrew Oswald. Henry lived at Whitevale while Andrew lived at 39 Abbotsford Place. At this time Robert Taylor was employed firstly as a barman then to manager. Mr Taylor must have had a good business head as he became a partner in the firm in the middle of the 1840s. The Oswald's had left the business altogether and the property was run by Edward and Robert Taylor. Mr John Stevenson was licensee in 1886 until 1910, trading under the title of E & R Taylor Wine & Spirit Merchants. You may by now see two of the best well known figures in the Scottish Licensed Trade, Stevenson and Taylor, whoever Stevenson Taylor's branched off into another company trading as Stevenson Taylor & Co, having premises all over the city of Glasgow, including Govan Street now Ballater Street, South Wellington Street, Bridge Street now the Glaswegian, large premises at the corner of Parliamentary Road and Buchanan Street, St. Vincent Street, Green Street, Calton, Stevenson Street, Gallowgate, Marlborough Street and Great Eastern Road.

During the holiday times, particularly on Hogmany night, so great was the crown which invaded the establishment, that the police had always to be called in to regulate it. The fame of the tavern had been handed down unimpaired. The tavern's Lagavoulin blend is known wherever Scotsmen are to be found, in Canada, in the States and in far off Australia. The establishment was stocked full of whiskies from every distillery. The cellars were extensive with casks piled high and also on the gantry. The manager in 1892 was a Mr Thomas Logan was a thorough businessman and the traditions and reputation of this old landmark was in his safe hands.


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