The Central Bar was not always a pub. When it was originally built in the early 1870’s on Glasgow Road, the two storey tenemental stone property was part of a series of buildings called Hart’s Laun or Land (although may have adopted the local dialect, Herts Laun). Harts’ Laun was not only the tenements on Glasgow Road, leading westwards out from Greenside Place, but was also smaller terraced homes behind them. The location of the Central Bar, if superimposed on today’s landscape would be exactly on the small grassed area in front of the circular hard landscaping at the entrance to Stonefield Park (just to the left hand side of the traffic lights).
Between 1898 and 1910, the property, due to growing commercialism in Glasgow Road, opened as a Bar, called “The Central Bar”. At the time across the road was another pub known as “The Ale House”. Unlike the other pub (Cosy Corner) at the opposite end of Harts Laun tenement which was subdivided and split into a shop too, the Central Bar retained its original size, making it the largest pub at Hart’s Laun. The Central Bar was run by Bernards the Brewers. The pub was situated at the end of Harts Laun, but it did not have an exposed gable, as other businesses sat to the west of it. In latter 1970’s photos however ,the building appears to have an end gable, due to the demolition of properties to the west of it prior to its own demolition.
In the 1920s, The Central Bar was run and owned by Mr Samuel J Weir. On 23rd April 1926, it was reported his license was renewed.
The pub had a strong connection with Celtic Football Club and Blantyre Celtic. Others names for this pub in later 20th Century decades were Sullivans, named after a former football manager and of course a more well known Blantyre name, when on 28th October 1969, Mr John Fallon, of Celtic goalkeeping fame bought the property and shortly after re-opened it under its final name, “Fallon’s Bar.” Other Glasgow Road businesses in Hart’s Laun tenement building included Jimmy Cleary’s Barber shop (before Station Road’s shop!) The address of the Central Bar was 220 Glasgow Road. John’s condition on acquiring the property, was strictly on the condition that the license was approved first. Upon granting of the license that day, John Fallon, then living at 1 Farm Road commented, “This is my first pub, and it has a sort of Celtic atmosphere, already with it’s own supporters club. I intend to be there as much as possible and I have a very competent manager”. Whilst many families lived upstairs in Harts Laun, by the 1970’s much of the upper storey was being used as storerooms for the businesses below and the 1st storey windows, for security started to become boarded or blocked off.
The Demise of the pub
Despite security measures, a break in occurred. The Bar was hit by a fire just a couple of years before it closed. In 1976, fire struck John Fallon’s Bar and was intentionally started by vandals. The Hamilton Advertiser reported, “Strathclyde CID were today probing a blaze which badly damaged a pub owned by ex-Celtic goalkeeper John Fallon. Police called in the fire brigade early today after an explosion blew out a window at Fallon’s Bar in Glasgow Road, Blantyre. A fire tender had to be sent from Motherwell because the Hamilton brigade was fighting blazes in Uddingston and Hamilton. Several fires had been started throughout the pub. Just before opening time today Mr Fallon, who left Parkhead in 1971, went through the charred lounge with his staff, collecting Celtic pennants which decorated the walls. As he cleaned up a mirror (pictured), which marked his days when Celtic won the European Cup, Mr Fallon owner of the pub for the last seven years said “I couldn’t believe it. We have suffered a number of broken windows in the past, and when they told me there had been an explosion I immediately thought that one of the gas cylinders had gone up. “It appears that the premises have been broken into and several fires started, but there is no sign of a robbery. The money I left in the till is still there. “It will be several days before we get the place opened again.” However, the pub was repaired and workmen ensured that it opened again shortly after.
However, like many properties in Glasgow Road, Fallon’s Bar succumbed to redevelopment and was subsequently demolished in 1978.
References & Photos. Glasgow Herald, Changing Places, Old Glasgow Pubs.co.uk and The Hamilton Advertiser.
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