Hastie’s Farm (Post WW2 Years)

From the illustrated social history book…

“Blantyre – Glasgow Road, The Real Story” by Paul Veverka (c) 2016 – 2018.

Hastie’s Farm (Post WW2 Years)

   At the end of 1945, with inheritors living in Hamilton, Stonefield Farm ceased operating as a contracting business and was sold to a new owner. Mr. Arthur Cunningham bought the farm from the Hastie family and operated a motor hire business from this location at 16 Victoria Street. His telephone number was Blantyre 50 and he hired out wedding cars for functions and weddings.

   In July 1950, Arthur Cunningham family put the property up for sale. He owned the building only a short time following two generations of Hastie family members before selling to John and Mary Cunningham who owned and farmed the land again for many years until 1963.

   Arthur had offered the premises to the County Council to use the outbuildings as storage for their scavenging vehicles, for repairs and to make use of the car pit and garage space. The annual rental of the extensive grounds was £95. It was then used as a National petrol station and service garage, the cobbled yard at the rear being useful for vehicles.

   In the early sixties the Royal Mail at Blantyre filled their vans with petrol there, which as you can imagine they were filled often! The garage however was not to last. The disused pumps and small glass office were still there years later. You had to drive through them into the back parking lot.

   Fortunes changed for the building, when in 1963, Mr. Bobby Brown bought Hastie’s Farm Buildings. Bobby Brown kept pigs, chickens and a donkey at the end of the yard. An elderly gentleman named Charlie tended to the animals and he and Bobby also kept a small greenhouse too. Bobby took the decision to lease out the farmhouse and an adjoining building to a taxi company in June 1964. He was a local building contractor and deployed his skills and manpower in going about renovating the front part of the building facing on to Victoria Street, as a small café which had the luxury of providing live music to his customers. The name? Why “Hastie’s Farm” of course!

   In 1967, seeing the success and potential of his café, and being forever the businessman, Bobby decided to cease the lease of the taxi company and convert the old farmhouse building, into a larger restaurant, complete with a bar, which would all be quaintly set amongst the old interior stone walls of the farm building. It was suitably decorated with oak beams and brassware on the walls, in keeping with its former farming heritage. How the crowds flocked. The taxi company would later resurface in Glasgow Road known as “Hasty Cars” not be confused by the contemporary Hastie Cars.

   The restaurant quickly became a popular venue for many people when it was first granted a food and drinks license in 1967. Bobby Brown fed the pigs with all the leftover food and beer slops from Hastie’s three kitchens and bars. The restaurant was a culture shock for Blantyre when it opened. Teachers, attracted by quality meals at discounted prices, ate well at lunchtimes, 1970’s favourites like chicken in a basket being popular. The hall was very popular for parties, functions and wedding receptions and was still being used for that purpose in the 1970’s. Blantyre couples had their reception there in the late 1960’s and throughout the 1970’s.

   When nearby Annfield Terrace was demolished in the early 1970’s, the field in front of Hastie’s became the property of the County Council who would host a Tuesday market at that location.

   Sunday afternoons were singalong afternoons at Hastie’s and it was known that some people hurried away from mass to ensure they got a good table. The hypnotist show was popular too. Mary and Elspeth Gilmour worked as waitresses as did Greer and Kathleen McGuigan. Mr. McNamee played piano. Thursdays and Saturdays were big singalong evenings, where bands like Jon Doc Trio played and singers like Bryce Sloan and Pete Bolton. Indeed much of Blantyre’s talent matured when first given an airing as the entertainment at Hasties. A Blantyre Project reader commented, “On the night of the 25th May 1967 I sat in Hasties Farm with my mates Joe Ayres, Jimmy McGuigan (Greer’s brother), Brian O’Hara and Jimmy McFaulds and watched Celtic win the European Cup. I woke up alone in the Blantyre Public Park at 3am the next morning.”

Hasties 1975

1977 Photo of Hastie’s Farm (Hastie’s was renovated in 1975 following a fire)

   In 1975, Hastie’s Farm burned down. Bobby Brown, wishing his business up and running as quickly as possible diverted labour from his business to ensure the place was fully rebuilt, which allegedly was done in under 3 weeks.

   However, the rebuild was modern and the place lost much of its character and with it some of its older customers. The entire roof was rebuilt too. A younger crowd, intent on going out each and every weekend frequented the new place and the business continued to prosper, as did Bobby himself. Bobby was known to be a kind soul and on occasion even known to run workers home in his Rolls Royce, his pride and joy.

   By 1979, prompted by the extreme redevelopment of Glasgow Road and faced with his business looking out upon a forthcoming large Asda warehouse, Bobby decided to retire. It was the end of an era for him and wife Kathy and indeed the end of an era for Glasgow Road itself. He left on a high though, for in 1979, Hastie’s had achieved a reputation of being a showplace for amateur musical talent.

   Two gentlemen, now sadly passed on are well remembered for being on the door. Mr Terry White and Mr John Rodwell. Some memories people still talk about are the smell of the oak beams, the food, not to mention the big chunky pint tumblers with handles. Hasties Farm was also written in huge letters on the Glasgow Road frontage looking down upon Glasgow Road. The pubs closed at 10pm back then, but Hasties’ bars were open until 11pm, on account of it being a licensed restaurant. There was always a late rush of new customers for that last extra hour of drinking. Even after 11pm you could still get in if you were a friend of the various doormen, and Hasties was notorious for after-hours drinking.

1975 Bob Brown of Hasties and boxers

Bob Brown of Hastie’s as sponsor of Blantyre Boxing Club

Change in ownership

   So it came to pass, that on 1st July 1979, Bobby sold Hastie’s Farm and the successful business to new owners Sam Plotnikoff, an incomer from Glasgow and his business partner, Graham Gordon.

   Sam was then a young man and together with Graham, their vision for Hasties was destined to be incredibly respectful and ensure the business continued with high standards of excellence for food, drinks and entertainment.

   Putting a mark on things, the frontend café of Hastie’s Farm Restaurant was sectioned off and became ‘Bananas Disco’. It was incredibly popular and always very busy. In 1979, full of enthusiasm for Hastie’s future Sam told reporters, “The atmosphere we’re determined to create is casual, informal, and relaxed. It’s not a dinner dance, and we don’t have a cocktail bar,” he stressed.

Graham added: “When we took over, there was a long list of exotic drinks at the bar, some of which weren’t asked for more than once a year. We pruned that and, apart from the usual drinker, we only have six or seven “specials.” One of the first moves the new owners made was to approach John Doc, the well-known Lanarkshire musician, and lure him and his trio back to Hastie’s, a move that proved very popular. Doc and his Trio was the resident band at the time. They launched an EP called ‘John Doc At Hasties Farm’, logically enough. The tracks on it were ‘Everybody Knows’, ‘My Way’, ‘Nobody Wins’, and ‘Sweet Caroline’, suggesting that it was a standard Club / Cabaret record. The catalogue number was HF-101.

1974 Blantyre mothers at Hasties by Maureen Friery Moran

1974 Friends of Mauren Friery Moran wish her farewell at Hastie’s Farm, before emigrating

   During the early 1980’s, John Doc played at Hastie’s from Wednesday to Sundays, and on some of these evenings there was dancing. Monday was a quiet night down at the Farm, with the bar open for customers. Sam used his connections in the entertainment industry to bring some well-known names to Blantyre to his club.

   The late Blantyre historian Jimmy Cornfield once commented on this saying, “Some of the celebrities, actors and artists who came to Hastie’s at that time, not all to perform, but just to see and be seen were, Matt Munro, Ruby Murray, Frank Ifield, Vince Hill, Marty Wilde, Jiminy Cricket, Alistair McDonald, Russel Hunter, Neville Taylor, Brian Taylor, The Dutch College Swing Band, The Livingstones, Christian, John Cairney, Aker Bilk, Andy Cameron, Hector Nicol and Jock Stein. Many of the Celtic, Rangers and other Scottish Football teams players were seen from time to time.”

   Tuesday was disco night. Sam and Graham were worried that folks would think they’d turned the place into a disco joint, but that’s not the case at all. Although the bar had been done up and converted into a young people’s bar, the Disco was only held on Tuesday evenings in the restaurant. The disco evenings kicked off with Radio Clyde’s Dougie Donnelly and the Clyde Disco Road Show.

   On other nights of the week, Hastie’s provided a good three-course meal and coffee for £3.75. The catering was under the eye of Graham’s wife Irene who, like her husband and his partner, had entered the business with tremendous zest. Visitors come from far an wide and the visitor’s book showed entries from as far afield as Romania, Australia, Canada, U.S.A, Iraq, Thailand, and South Africa. Speaking shortly after opening, Sam said: “We’re quite a tourist attraction, People bring their friends and relatives to show them typical Scottish entertainment.”

   Saturday was just one evening when all the good amateur singers came to take their turn at the microphone. Sam said: “There is a core of regulars, but new talent appears all the time. Some are every bit as good as you would hear on the T.V.”

   Group outings were also welcome at Hastie’s Farm. They received parties of all sizes for every evening, with busloads of people even coming from Glasgow. By the early 1980’s, booking was strongly advised, although the restaurant could seat 180 people. Advance bookings for the following year were common. After all, there’s no local competition”, Graham said in 1979, “and we’re in a very handy location just 20 minutes from Glasgow. The bus loads come from all over, Ayrshire, Stirlingshire, and even further away.”

   Still concentrating on local amateur talent, a Sunday afternoon singalong was again started up. That began on August 5th 1979 and with some 25 singers taking the stage, which proved a great success. Snacks were on offer at the singalong with lunches in the other part of the complex. On other days lunches were also available. Although there was a waitress service, the idea was to provide a “Pub Grub” style of menu. Lunch at Hastie’s with a quiet drink was expected to increase still further in popularity when the giant new Asda store, adjacent to the complex opened that following year. All this was keeping the partners busy for 18 hours a day. But they didn’t mind and were determined to build Hastie’s back to its former glory, something which was always their intention.

   However, by the mid 1980’s, several nightclubs had opened up in Hamilton and in other nearby towns. Blantyre residents suddenly had more choice and were not limited to going out in just one small club in Blantyre with the same neighbours, friends and familiar faces. Stylish clubs like the Rococco in Hamilton attracted youngsters away from Blantyre at weekends, and by 1985 Sam was noticing a dip in trade. Trade was also further affected by the arrival of fast food chains like Wimpey, MacDonalds and more affordable eating out in pubs and restaurants in nearby towns and in Blantyre itself. Trade may also have been affected by the nightclub opening across the road, called Rascalz. Youngsters wanted bright neon lights, dark nightclubs with booth seating, state of the art lighting and larger dance floors. The appeal of the old farm building and its brass horse memorabilia hanging from the walls was fast waning.

   So, in 1985, Sam decided to focus on other business interests, chiefly his snooker clubs and put Hastie’s up for sale, creating quite the talking point in Blantyre. A company named Lanarkshire Holdings briefly took over the business but they were remote, and did not share the same enthusiasm as Sam or Bobby.

‘Zeigfield’s’ and the end

1986 Zeigfields advert

Newspaper clip I kept from 1986

   What was needed was the input of somebody who knew all about nightclubs. Somebody who knew what youngsters wanted. Nightclub owner James Mortimer (b1946) then in April 1985 changed the rear Hastie’s Restaurant into ‘Zeigfields Disco’ and the front, former Bananas Disco, into ‘Barnums’. Other facelifts included changing parts of the building to Panama Jacks and Happy Jacks.

   However, despite special offer nights, (like Zeigfields 50/50 night on a Thursday where it was 50p to get in and 50p a drink), trade continued to decline, and even more so when a Celtic player opened up neighbouring Caspers in 1988. The whole complex including Zeigfield’s (Ziggy’s) closed for good in late 1989.

   A year later on 31st December 1990, just before the New Year Bells, a fire was discovered in the roof of the derelict Hastie’s Building. The courtyard was being used as a taxi pick up point for Caspers nightclub opposite and the taxi drivers phoned for the fire brigade. Despite arriving promptly, the main roof was damaged to such an extent that it was condemned in January 1991 as being unsafe and was demolished a few years later.

   Blantyre residents still fondly remember everything about their entertainment at ‘Hastie’s Farm’ and it remains one of the most powerful and popular memories for many people in this town.

Featuring Blantyre Project Social Media with permission. Strictly not for use by others on or offline, our visitors said,:

William Mullen mmm was in ziggys 90 mate !!!
Blantyre Project I had wondered if it was 1990 when researching this, but owners confirmed it closed at end of 89, lying vacant all of 1990 before burning down at end of the year. I suppose they could have remembered wrong? 1990 for me certainly was in Caspers every Thurs-Sunday.
Aileen Farrell I remember being in ziggys early 1990, reason I remember is cos I just found out was pregnant with my son, he was born September 1990. I was with my friend Julie, and got chatted up, and I was like sorry I’m pregnant lol.
Ann Hartman Worked a few nights a week in Hasties in mid to late 70s great group of people to work with had a great atmosphere loved
every minute even got used to the stripper nights as it was so busy you didn’t have time to watch or be embarrased those were the days Welsh rugby team were best crowd and great tippers
John Cornfield Worked doorman in Bananas and Hasties in the back Sunday singers then in Ziegfelds and Barnums worked in Bananas in 1982 and also filled in in Raskalz occasionally when regular doormen took holidays
In Bananas we wore red jackets and regularly the punters would shout out hi de hi to us
Davy Thomson Ex bro in law was on the door Doon the vics about the same time John
Jimbo McSkimming great place
Jim Donnelly Seen The Marmalade & Frank Ifield in Hastie’s before we moved out of Blantyre for a couple of years.
Blantyre Project Jim mega research. Need to run it past their family first as some of the details ive written about may be a little personal to them.
Blantyre Project The Nicolson family have been very kind to me, sending me some of their albums, snippets, photos etc
Sadie Dolan Loved going into Hastie’s farm always remember the big fireplace it was so homely, x
Sandy Powell Brilliant night out . John Doc. Was a big draw 🎼🎤🎹🎸🥁🎼🎤🍻🍽🍷
Marié Rodwell My dad . Mum worked in hasties .. I later worked in ziggies
Liz Smith Marie your mum was my mums cousin a worked in hasties to my sister in laws uncle owned it bobby brown x
Marié Rodwell Awww rite I didn’t know ..
Marié Rodwell I met booby brown lots of times .. he used to let me go to work with my mum lots of times
Lex Mc Neill Yes they did your dad was a true gentleman .
Margaret Liddle I had my hens night in Hasties in November 1975

Marié Rodwell My grandpa dad . and his bros at hasties

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Marié Rodwell Me and my brother. . With santa ( John doc ) at hasties

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Arlene McWilliam Green ziegfields opening night was April 1985, I was there! Dawn McCallum, Susan Paterson, Helen Williamson, Alison Marshall, Laura Burgess, Elaine Burns we were all setting that dance floor on fire on Christmas night 1985 😬😬👏.
Margaret Berry Adams Went there with my mum n dad in the 70s
Elaine Speirs I remember going to Hasties for Christmas dinner. I think it was 1973. My pappa Jock Wilman and the manager were running up and down outside with a gird and cleeck. I thought it was wonderful.
Ann Clifford Many a good works night there
Eileen Briody Quinn I work with John Docs son Mark and will let him know these photos are on here.
Frank Kelly Plastic pint “glasses” were used …..any comments on those ??
Nan Burrows Good history
Ann Hartman Also remember running Bob Brown’s sister (think her name was Isa) home after my shift sometimes into early hours Sam had kept her on in cloakroom.she was a lovely wee soul and I would sit outside till she got in and put light on made her feel safe
John Cornfield The dj happy days Starky
Julie Tabor Great family Xmas dinners , going to see my grandad who worked there “CHARLIE BROWN” and watch him and Mr young bet on the races
Anne Mosley We had our small Wedding reception in Hasties farm was a Great wee night 40 years ago it was ice cold outside and snowing ! XX
Maree Cathcart I worked the bar in Hastie’s, Barnums, bananas and ziggies
Ellen Crilly Went for night out with nurses from Monklands Hospital drinking Blue. Lagoons boy was I ill next day on vitamin c drink next day on Ward xx
Blantyre Project Thanks everybody! This has been a great set of comments. Much appreciated and loads of supportive info for the book….cheers.
Liz Smith My brothers wedding reception was in hasties my sister in laws uncle owned it at the time bobby brown
Pat-sheila Dempsey My maw was the cook there for years Mary dempsey.
Liz Smith She sure was pattick a worked way my auntie mary in kitchen xx

Joan Anderson John and Mary Cunningham were my grandparents on Mum’s side of the family.
Liz Allan Charlie’s name was Brown as well although they weren’t related
Julie Tabor Charlie Brown was my grandfather We still have the photo that used to hang up in hasties
Blantyre Project Sounds like Charlie was quite the character Julie, and well respected.
Jim Conway Need to get a copy of that Julie, good to hear the memories of our grandad
Florence Thomson I have the pic in beside loads of others. The 1 taken of our papy in hasties farm .
Julie Tabor Get hasties 1 on
Florence Thomson Need to look it out. X

Florence Thomson Pic of Charlie with Michael Chung. Bartender at Hasties

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Julie Tabor Oops I thought it was Michael young
Florence Thomson No Chung. I used to babysit young Michael .

Florence Thomson Here is a pic of Charlie Brown with Michael Chung who was the bartender around the 70s

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Blantyre Project Is this in Hasties Florence? Great photo. So many comments of people remembering Charlie.
Florence Thomson Not sure if taken in Hasties. He was a gentleman and well liked. He helped out in Hasties till he was 76 yrs old .
Theresa Thomson Was he your mum’s dad Flo xx
Florence Thomson Yes he was Theresa. Xx
Theresa Thomson Your mum looked so much like him xx
Florence Thomson You think so. 🤔
Nan Burrows Lovely piece of history

John Bulloch We had our wedding lunch in Hastie’s in September 1978
Sheena Thomson I had my wedding reception in Haties, a month later Bob rented out his back room in the house to us till we moved to 86 Glasgow road that was 1969.
Karen Forbes Murphy Could that lot look any more miserable 😂😂😂
Liz Allan Toby Dixon boxing coach passed away this year
Caroline Moore Does anyone know the name of the boy on the right? It looks very like my dad but cant be sure
Sadie Dolan Mary gilmour was my mums Aunty and Greer and Elspeth and jimmy mcquigan were my mums cousins, x
Jim Donnelly Did you not see Matt McGuigan on the Tv 📺 show a place on the sun last week Sadie,Jimmy Greer n Matt stayed straight across the street from us in Millands.
Sadie Dolan No Jim didn’t see it that’s right they stayed there sorry I missed it lol xx
Laurie Allan Crothers Mum and dad went to it on Thursdays and Saturday nights. Both were great singers Mum was often compared to Blantyre’s own Ella Fitzgerald. I made my own singing debut in 1971 on my 12th birthday with the John Doc Trio.
Laurie Allan Crothers My dad helped build Hasties as he used to work for Bobby Brown before he branched out on his own as a builder.
Linda Halpin Did a few cabaret spots at Hastie’s and I even supported Allan Stewart x
Elaine Bartlett Omg I got engaged there 😂



 

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