Scotia Bar, Glasgow

From the Scotia Bar wbsite:

“Always buzzing with stories and stirrings of common-folk, the two pubs became popular for that old Glasgow past time ‘wan singer wan song’. By the time The Scotia Theatre opened as Glasgow’s first popular music-hall in 1862, its neighbours The Scotia Bar and The Clutha Vaults were well used to theatrical characters. Although the ‘Clutha’ underwent numerous name changes, the two pubs had enjoyed an enduring period of bustling business when they were joined by The Victoria Bar opened in 1867 on the corner of the Briggait and Stockwell Street. Together the formed a strong triangle of good cheer which deserved to outlast all the others in the area; and did.
Throughout the rest of the 19th and late into the 20th century, the three pubs were well known landmarks, as colourful as Glaswegians themselves. Regulars came from all parts as well as the workshops and markets in the Briggait but the ‘Scotia’ was the most affected by the proximity of the theatre, which by now had changed it`s name to ‘The Metropole’.

For years the The Stockwell (triangle) provided the perfect fib for many a timorous intemperament. They could excuse themselves for going to the theatre while the only role they would see is when they met themselves coming backwards tumbling home full of the relaxed and forgetful. In 1961 The Metropole Theatre was destroyed by fire and but for the Folk-Revival and C.N.D. movement, the ‘Scotia’ would have extinguished along with it.

Impossible to find a howff in the Southside that could survive Glasgow`s systematic demolition programme, the Gorbals and Govan Young Socialists adopted The Scotia. At the same time folk-revivalists from the doomed Marland Bar in George Street were on the look-out for a new H.Q. The intrepid trio of Billy Connolly, Tam Harvey, and Mick Broderick set off in search of the barman who would tolerate their rantings and found him in The Scotia. The blend of humorous blethering, socialism, folk-music and downright violent pacifism that carried The Scotia into the 1970s became legend.”


Joe O'Brien, Billy Connolly, Geordie McGovern, Mick Broderick