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A walk up the Main Street.

Hello Folks, Welcome to our second Old Largs guided walk through Largs. Starting from the Cydesdale Bank this walk will take us up the left hand side of the Main Street, via Tron Place, then continuing up to the bottom of Waterside Street. We will then double back and do the same for the right hand side of the street starting at the entrance to Bath Street and finishing at the Old Sheiling Pub.

We hope to point out the history and background of many of the buildings and businesses we will pass on our way.

So lets get started.

Clydesdale Bank Corner Building

Clydesdale Bank Largs
Old Largs Main street
The corner with today's Clydesdale Bank
Same building seen in the early 1900s
The corner building which houses the Clydesdale Bank is one of the oldest buildings on the Main Street dating back to between 1825 and 1837.

It is a Listed C Building. In the 1850s it was used by Bryce Barr Chemist and Tooth puller then J C Paton butcher and J H Malcolm gents outfitter. Other businesses occupying the building were A and B Anderson fruitier, in 1910 McPhayden Grocer and eventually in 1991 the Clydesdale Bank. Number 9 is currently used by the Outlet Store with Moorings Knitwear next door

Number 13-15 Mains Street is currently occuped by the Clearing Shop. From the early 1800s Robert H Reid publisher published the Largs Advertiser Newspaper from a printing shop in this building. The Advertiser was Largs first newspaper and stopped in 1876. Later in 1910 it was the home of Largs Taxis and in 1913 West Coast Motor Service, ran by John Mackay. Later it was the home of David Lennie-Jeweller.
Clearing Shop Largs
Clearing shop old
The Clearing Shop, home of the Largs Advertiser Newspaper.
Photo from the 1930s

The George

The George Pub Largs
The George Pub Largs
The popular George Pub today. Many people believe the building dates from 1719. That is actually the pubs address. 17 to 19 Main Street.
The Brisbane Arms. Photo taken sometime prior to 1910 before it was renamed the Brisbane Temperance Hotel.
On the site of today’s George Pub and Restaurant was the Brisbane Arms. In 1811 was owned by a John Paton, in 1821 by Thomas Strachan and by 1867 Jane Hunter. In the mid 1800s the Brisbane Arms Hotel was the leading social hub of the town with the local gentry and visitors regularly parking their carriages and horses outside or at the stables which was at the rear of the building. The two stone horse tethering posts are still there today although the metal rings are probably a modern addition.
By 1910 it had lost its license and became the Brisbane Temperance Hotel. The temperance movement in Scotland began in earnest around 1830 inspired by the prohibition movement of the United States. Originally it focussed on reducing consumption of strong spirits. Many Hotels like the Brisbane Arms and the Eglington Hotel on Gallowgate Street where known as a temperance hotels and did not sell alcohol. The hay day of the temperance movement in Largs was between 1850 and the early 1900s. Lets hope it never returns.

Later the hotel changed its name back to the George Hotel when its licence was again acquired. In 1925 it went up for sale for £1300 and after keen competition was sold at £1580. The layout was different in thoses days with the public bar on the right and on the left the lounge bar. For years many locals recall getting their photograph taken with a small monkey infront of the hotel and even stories of a bear being tied to the horse tethering posts which we assume may have been related to a visiting circus.

In 1998 the ground and first floor interior had a major upgrade and re-opened as the George Free House Pub. Since then the The George continues to be one of Largs most popular Pub Restaurants.

The George Pub Largs
The Brisbane Arms. Photo taken sometime prior to 1910 before it was renamed the Brisbane Temperance Hotel.
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