Continued from Commercial Bar (Priory Inn History Part 3)
In June 2008, the building on Stonefield Road was undergoing repairs and renovation. It was a move away from the familiar Commercial Bar that had existed in name for 50 years beforehand.
Renovations included a revised façade. Previous to this date, facing the Commercial Bar and looking from left to right it had 3 windows, a door then a window. Mr William Stoddart who took over the building changed the alignment of the door making it wider and more central, leaving 2 windows either side, in the configuration we know today.
In 2009 Liz and Jim Ward took over the running of the premises leasing from Billy Stoddart (who had previously ran the Parkville on Glasgow Road).
The popular pub was well run and had many regulars attracting more female punters and becoming a good place for a night out. It lost its former associations with one football club. The Priory Inn had an active prescence on social media most days and immersed itself in activities for locals like fundraising, lottery syndicates, outings and charitable donations. Many punters enjoyed watching the football and it was always busy at weekends.
Live music was often put on by popular acts like Joe Gallagher, DJ Derek, Tommy Mac, Gary Bennet or John McQuiston and not forgetting the many successful karaoke sessions. The license holder during this time was Isobel Stoddart.
At 11am on Sunday 29th January 2017 following a briefing with their loyal staff, Liz and Jim announced on social media their intention to give up the pub and close the doors for good for reasons outwith their control. Local man Peter Bolton summed it up well, “We came down to the priory for football, Monday club and to visit our friends, sneaky Pete (wee Campbell!) Michael Cain (Peter Murray, not a lot of people know that! Lol! ) and other occasions. We came down because the drink was 1st class, it was very reasonably priced, the atmosphere was very convivial, we were made to feel very welcome and the service, staff and everything about the pub was absolutely brilliant!!”
We wish the Stoddart and Ward families all the very best for the future and their next ventures.
Photos: Renovation photos courtesy Gordon Cook
From “Blantyre Explained” by Paul Veverka (c) 2017
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