Old Largs top banner

Largs Historical Pub Crawl

Welcome to our Historical Largs Pub Crawl. We are writing this feature as we are in Level 3 Covid-19 lock down. This means that all pubs in Largs are closed right now. As the Old Largs team have more time on our hands we thought we would put together a feature on the drinking dens of Largs, current and old. So grab a gin or a cold beer from the fridge and sit back and enjoy our tour.

Ye Old Anchor Inn

The Anchor
The Anchor was first opened for business on the 16th June 1790 by William Glynn. From the original title deeds it would appear the Anchor was once bounded by a piggery and knackers yard

The business has handed down through several generations of Glynn's until 1888 when it was purchased by a Mr R Robertson. During this period it was alos ran by a John Fyfe and later a Margaret Houston.

In 1894 the Anchor was owned by a Henry Watson and Jessie Carsell. In their deaths in 1905 the business was passed to a H Waites. The business was sold again in 1923 to John Stirling, he then sold the business to Robert Snograss in 1935. Later D Haddow was the proprietor who was related the Haddow family which created the Haddows Off License business. J&R Tennants Ltd purchased the property in 1966.

The word inn had a different meaning in terms of the law in the 1700s and 1800s and therefore the owner was able to sell alcohol on the pier and the the prom plus any public function in particular the annual Colms Fair which was held in June each year. For a time the Anchor provided bed and breakfast facility for travellers and there was a direct access from the bar to the apartments above.

Later William Hogg Paterson , who worked for Tennants, aquired the license from Tennants in January 1983 and it became a Free House. After Williams retirment he passed on the license to his son Niven in 1996.

The current layout and decor of the Anchor dates from a 1978 refurbishment. Prior to that the bar extended a further 3 feet from where it is today with a second fireplace on the on the right hand side wall next to the bar. Where the rear of the bar is today was te cellar. The building to the rear of the Anchor which contains the toilets, cellar and the passageway to the Square was originally a separate build from the Inn. In the 1930s the two buildings were joined together.

Today the Anchor is one of Largs most popular pubs. Old and young, locals and town visitors can be found in thr Anchor most nights.

the anchor inn largs
the anchor inn largs
A smart bunch of Anchor bar men from the 1960s. The clock at the top right of the photo is still hanging at the bar today. Photo by kind permission of N Paterson.
The Anchor when owned and ran by D Haddow. Photo by kind permission of N Paterson
the anchor inn
the anchor inn
The orginal entrance sign for the Old Marnie & Curlinghall Hotel which was demolished in 1990.
Booze is the only answer. This poster was given to the Anchor as a gift in 1978.
The Anchor in the early 1900s. Not much different from todays building.
Another view taken in the early 1900s.

The Clachan and The Waterside

There has been a public house on the site of the Waterside Pub since 1855 when it was called the Star Inn.. More recent names for earlier pubs were the Suez Canal Bar and then the fondly remembered and popular Clachan Bar.

Prior to the new Largs Prom flood defences being built, the Suez Canal and the Clachan, along with most of Bath street, were flooded regularly during storms. The pub having a back door leading directly to the prom did not help matters. Many a customer were stranded in the pub during these floods which to be honest is not a bad place to be stranded in such an event. Ironically the bar decor of the old Suez Canal bar was shaped like the bow of a ship so never looked out of place during a pub flood.

The Clachan was a very popular Largs watering hole in its day. Ran by Mr & Mrs Hannah then Charlie Lyle in the 70s and 80s. During one memorable Bath Street flood Charlie Lyle collected customers from Robert F Duff [then The Bank of Scotland] with his yacht's dinghy and rowed then to the front door. Now that is what you call good customer service.

Today the Waterside is one of Largs most popular bars. With its regular live music, Karaoke and Sunday afternon folk sessions it is popular with Largs locals.

The Clachan.
The Waterside as it is today.