The Horseshoe Bar

Blantyre's Ain Website

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, ScotlandGlasgow Road South

The Horseshoe Bar

James Kelly

Back to Glasgow Road, and facing the corner of Rosendale and the Auchinraith Club was The Horseshoe Bar, also known as Kelly’s Corner Bar, after James Kelly of Glasgow Celtic F.C. fame, a former owner. The legendary James Kelly was blessed with the honour of being the first ever Captain of Celtic F.C.. He acquired the tenancies of pubs in Blantyre, Hamilton and Motherwell within a decade of joining the club as an amateur and an apprentice joiner. The success he enjoyed with running these three businesses ultimately smoothed his path into public life as a Justice of the Peace, County Councillor and School Board Trustee. He was Capped 6 times and was Captain of Scotland. At the end of his playing career, he became Director and Chairman of Celtic F.C. He started and ran what was known locally as Kelly’s Engineering but was actually called Blantyre Engineering in Forrest Street.

He lived at Thornhill Villa, Thornhill Avenue, down the entrance to the Dandy. The former 30 roomed mansion later became a Nunnery of the Poor Clare Order. I don’t know the circumstances of how the Poor Clare Order started using it as a Monastery. If anyone knows, please share it with us.

Henderson Building

This photo is from the Horseshoe Bar on the corner of the Henderson Building on Glasgow Road, looking West, which had Clark’s Funeral Parlour, a Solicitors office. Botterill’s Fish Restaurant, a Watch Repairer and Barbers the old post office is on the right at the telegraph pole, that was the road to Baird’s Rows. The Burleigh Church is on the left with the dyke around it, then it was Herbertson Street and the Co-op across the street was Black’s, the bakers and Angie’s ice cream shop and Forrest Street.

Thomas Dunsmuir Hartman remembers, “There was a barber shop for men. Very few of us boys went to the barbers; it was sit doon in the chair, bowl on your heed and all that stuck out from the bowl was chopped off.

There was a watch repairer, and he had this huge clock hanging outside his shop which a lot of people used as their own time piece, large enough that one could see it a block away, if you were sitting on a bus passing the shop, you could see the people just by habit take a glance at the clock. It was much used in those days.”



If you have any Photos… Send them to Bill

Blantyre, Lanarkshire, Scotland

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