Lost pubs of the past

Published: 6 Dec 2012 11:001 comment

MY recent story about social clubs that have disappeared since the 1970s prompted several readers to remark on the number of public houses that also are no more.

BEST BAR NONE: The former Oban Bar in Main Street, Greenock.

BEST BAR NONE: The former Oban Bar in Main Street, Greenock.

Port Glasgow, in particular, has lost more than half the pubs that existed 40 years ago.

The upper part of the town has been left with just members-only social clubs since the demolition of the Wallace Bar in Parkhill Avenue, the Clydeview Roadhouse in High Carnegie Road being converted into flats and the site of the Clune Brae Hotel being used to construct a care home.

The Glen Vaults and the West End Bar in Ardgowan Street closed their doors many years ago, and in more recent times Monty's in Bay Street was consumed by fire and only its shell stands today.

Port Glasgow now has only four pubs, all located within the town centre.

Moving west, the Ladyburn in Port Glasgow Road, Greenock, closed but the building remains while an earlier James Watt Bar, which stood on East Hamilton Street between MacDougall Street and Ratho Street, and the Para Handy on Main Street have gone.

The Charing Cross area of Greenock had several pubs which did a good trade while the yards were still on the go.

Nothing remains of the Oban Bar across from Scotts' main gates, the Cartsburn and the Cottage, which was run by former Morton and Rangers goalkeeper Erik Sorensen, while Flynn's in Crescent Street is now a restaurant and take-away.

Other Greenock bars to have closed since the 1970s include Cowan's in Ann Street, named after its owner Jimmy Cowan, the Morton and Scotland goalkeeper, the Glengoyne at the corner of Roxburgh Street and Mount Pleasant Street, which, like Cowan's, was demolished, and the Imperial in West Blackhall Street.

Gourock has seen several once-popular places to meet for a drink shut in the past 40 years, including the Bay Hotel, the Cloch Hotel, the Queen's Hotel, which became a care home, and the Gantock Hotel.

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  • UnkilGed
    179 posts
    Dec 10, 12:13
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    I would have liked if the time frame for this was to include the mid to late fifties as I grew up on High Street and can remember quite a few pubs that closed before the town centre was redesigned in the 60's with the flyover on High Street and the disappearance of Charles Street from the map.

    The Kings Arms, The Gordon, and a couple that are still there now but the names have changed like The Glencairn, The Rotunda and The Rob Roy and of course The Melrose.

    I served my time in Scotts and Lithgows and remember nipping in at dinner time for a pie and a pint at the above mentioned pubs on Port Glasgow road, Main Street and Charing Cross, not all in the same dinner hour of course, but through the course of my apprenticeship of 5 years.

    The Oban bar was a great pub of yesteryear and thinking of the characters that went into it brings back a certain nostalgia but hoping that maybe sometime they might return is a forlorn hope.

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