Sunday, 10 October 2010

A haven in a sea of madness : Does anybody have memories of McGlades pub in Belfast NI?

  • I remember, having just got in from SA accidentally meeting Valerie Taggart who had just returned back from Canada on holidays.
  • I remember Bernadette Devlin being ejected by the barman big John Harte when she was only about 18. I also remember drinking with Gerry Fitt, as he was then and being extra careful as we left because of our (correct) fear of snipers.
Shot courtesy of Valerie Taggart (Poole) in Canada

  • I remember Frank McGlade giving me and Alan Scott a treble Irish to drink just before my wedding to Sylvia Stanford - one of the tele ad girls at the BT.
  • I remember dancing behind the famous curtain in the upstairs bar with Frank Bannon - and I went out with his daughter Carmel Bannon for quite a while
  • I remember the chicken rolls they did in the downstairs bar
  • I remember the BT Girls
  • The BT Girls - Beautiful and Talented
  • I remember the display team (Albert Rea, Ken Hamilton, Peter Montgomery, Ed Dunning, Ken Robb, Jimmy Gaw, Brian Lowry, Ivan Tinman, Ernie Shannon, Will Dunlop etc.) from the BT of which I was a member drank upstairs and the classified crew of Billy Gillespie's (including the tele-ad girls ) were banished to the downstairs bar. Bad mistake that!
  • I remember being introduced to a very quiet 18 year old footballer called George Best in the other pub - the one across the road. It was at the reopening of The Brown Horse
McGlades Bar

This looks like the Old Vic lounge.  Wasn't the downstairs back lounge called the Theatre lounge?

Gerry Fitt, later Lord Fitt of Dock was a regular. That could be him with his back to the camera. One journalist recaslled  :  I remember going to the mens' room to make room for some more Cork gin and tonic one night and there was Gerry Fitt holding his todger in one hand and a pistol in the other.

Does anyone remember McGlades Bar in Donegall Street?

It was a great place - big favourite with Journalists and students/staff from the Art College. Local Politicians, the Unemployed, Civil Servants, Schoolteachers and "Horsey Men".

It was one of the few places during the Troubles that could be considered a true "melting pot". Rich and poor, Protestant and Catholic all mingled in harmony. A haven in a sea of madness.

It had a Penny Farthing bicycle mounted on the wall in the upstairs back lounge, boasted the longest bar counter in Ireland in the downstairs public bar and Mr Frank McGlade, the owner, sported a fresh flower in his buttonhole every day.

Was unfortunately burnt down in a fire caused by an electrical fault in 1983. Ironic and tragic considering so many other Bars in town where destroyed in much less innocent circumstances.

Enough to jog a few memories? Post in any pictures or stories.?

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