Newsletter No.36

The National Guardian:


The National Guardian is one of the best reference periodicals of the Scottish Licensed Trade.

It includes the well known Glasgow and Edinburgh wine & spirit merchants, brewers and members of the Scottish Licensed Trade Association and the Scottish Benevolent Institution (The Ben). It also contains drawings and photographs of brewery companies, wine & spirit merchants and group images of the main bodies of the Scottish Licensed Trade.

The Mitchell Library in Glasgow decided to copy the early editions of the National Guardian from 1889 -1913 on microfilm before donating the hard copies to the Scottish Brewing Archive held by the University of Glasgow Archive Services.

It was John Gorevan and his son who contacted me last year to seek my help as he wished to digitally copy the National Guardian of the 1889-1913 period.

John created the web site Old Glasgow Pubs,

which contains the history of pubs and the people who ran them with more than 8000 images of pubs and publicans. It also contains some information on pubs in other towns and cities throughout Scotland. 

Well worth a visit to the website, as John said “Glasgow pubs are more than just drinking establishments, they are historic landmarks, the focal points for special occasions and in the past, the meeting places for the city’s merchants, tobacco lords and many Glasgow societies.” 

John Gorevan is also the author of Glasgow Pubs & Publicans and Up & Doon the Gallowgate, and both can be ordered from his web site.

John Gorevan gave me a folder which contains the digitally copies of the National Guardian (1889-1913) and is fully searchable, to which I am fully grateful.

Many thanks also goes to the University of Glasgow Archive and Special Collections to allow John access to the copies of the National Guardian

Once I have fully examined the contents, I will hand in the folder to the Scottish Brewing Archive for other people to enjoy.  This work could allow interesting stories to be unearthed, you never know.

John Martin

Curious Edinburgh:

Over a year ago I first met Niki Vermeulen and Bill Jenkins, both lecturers at Edinburgh University during the Breweries of the Canongate walking tour.

Thereafter we kept in touch and had several meetings to discuss some of the details of brewing history that was talked about during the Canongate tour.

It was later that Niki and Bill explained that they were working on a new virtual walking tour app for mobile phones that covered science, geology, medicine and of course brewing, all relating to Edinburgh. This app was called Curious Edinburgh.

Earlier this year Curious Edinburgh was awarded the Tam Dalyell prize of Excellence in Engaging the Public with Science. 

Please access the brewing section that gives a walking tour that tells you a little about the history of brewing in or near the Canongate area of Edinburgh, with 12 stopping off points giving you the opportunity to read the notes.

John Martin


Desert Island Beer

I am sure you have heard of Desert Island Discs on the radio, where the guest is asked to choose their favourite music.

With Scotland basking in good weather for a change, this gave me the idea to ask you for your choice of favourite beers that you would select on your Desert Island.

Please send me an e-mail of your top three beers and I will announce the result in the next Newsletter.

With the wide choice of beers available today, it will be interesting to see what beer comes out as the most popular.


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