Cathcart’s greatest treasure, the Old Smiddy on Old Castle Road in Glasgow, raised £500 for the charity ‘Glasgow The Caring City’ on the very night it reopened its doors after a refurbishment returns this greatly loved pub to its former glory, creating four new jobs.
Reverend Neil Galbraith of Cathcart Old Parish Church was there on Saturday, November 26 from 5pm to oversee the official proceedings and give thanks that once again the community has its favourite pub restored to them.
“There has been lots of buzz around the renovation work,” explains the Old Smiddy’s General Manager Kathleen Stewart. “People around here have been fearful that we were going to tear out the heart of this old, much-loved building. When I posted on Facebook that the rumours were true and that we were closing for refurbishment we got 1,600 hits and then some 200 shares! It really has been the source of great concern. But the good news is, the £100,000 work hasn’t been so much a face lift but more of a gentle awakening.”
The Old Smiddy, winner of several ‘heart of the community’ type pub awards, began life 300 years ago as a blacksmith’s, before becoming a restaurant in the 1970s and a pub in the 1980s. “It’s not a word of a lie to say that the place hasn’t been touched since 1984, and while we always kept it clean and lovely, it really did need a freshen up,” adds Kathleen.
When organising the VIP reopening night, Kathleen and her team were keen to use what was an unmissable event for the local community as an opportunity to raise money for ‘Glasgow the Caring City’. This Scottish charity was set up to support and provide care for the most fragile and destitute children in the global community, and is headed up by Reverend Galbraith.
Raffle tickets to win a dinner at the pub were sold on the reopening night to fundraise, and guests received a complimentary glass of fizz and the opportunity to sample the delicious pub food. VIP guests were invited along between 5pm-7pm, with the Old Smiddy open for all from 7pm.
St Mungo, the Patron Saint of Glasgow, was there too – but in the form of a craft lager from local West Brewing Company, and was joined on the bar by a range of cask ales. The menu fit for saints and kings too, with the ‘go bigger’ Kings Feast options available with a burger challenge, the steak platter, and big fish and chips.
“I really can’t wait,” says Kathleen. “We have always been a fabulous wee pub, but now we’re just going to be a lot better!”