One of the reasons I’ve heard for why the University moved from its Old College campus on High Street in Glasgow’s East End to its current location on Gilmorehill in the West End was the emergence of a significant number of licensed premises that were popping up around the Old College, which the University saw as a “distraction” to the students.
Now, if you know anything about the West End, you know that it’s a hub for bars, restaurants and cafes, nothing to speak of the student unions on campus, of which the Glasgow University Union is one of the largest licensed premises in Scotland and the UK.
On this day, May 3rd, 1887, the University of Glasgow presented the Lanarkshire Licensing Court with a petition opposing the granting of a public house license to the Hugh Tennent, in regards to a premise on Byres Road. The reason given was that the University’s gym “faced Ashton Terrace, and Ashton Terrace was in direct line with the public house. The College authorities were apprehensive that it might be a temptation to the students when going home fatigued in the evening after their exercise in the gymnasium.” [University Story]
Yep, just like billiards was considered a distraction to students in the late 1600s, a pub near the University was considered a distraction in the late 1800s. Far cry from today I guess.
As you can tell by the fact that the Tennent’s Bar is still at the corner of Byres Road and Highburgh Road, where it has stood for over 120 years, the license was granted.
More “On This Day” entries can be found on Glasgow University Story website at universitystory.gla.ac.uk, maintained by the Archive Services. Information also from University Story site.
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