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Latitude: 55.8517 / 55°51'6"N
Longitude: -4.1654 / 4°9'55"W
OS Eastings: 264538
OS Northings: 664180
OS Grid: NS645641
Mapcode National: GBR 3W.487G
Mapcode Global: WH4QF.Z5NT
Entry Name: 1169 Shettleston Road, Portland Arms Public House
Listing Date: 29 January 1990
Source: Historic Scotland
Source ID: 377472
Historic Scotland Designation Reference: LB33645
Building Class: Cultural
Electoral Ward: Shettleston
Traditional County: Lanarkshire
Thomson, Sandilands and MacLeod, 1937. Single storey, 5-bay, piend roofed, Art Deco public house with very fine surviving interior. Granite panels below windows and forming architrave of central 2-leaf timber panelled door; decoratively patterned red brick with parapet and central keystone-like detail. Raised lettering to main fascia; hatch to cellar below window to outer bay at left. Distinctive glazing with stylised sunbrusts in most windows to street.
Plate glass in fixed timber windows with two large panes at bottom and three smaller panes above. Slate roof with zinc ridges.
INTERIOR: Art Deco style interior. Vestibule with red and white tiles forming 'Y' shaped pattern; doors with chrome furniture, those to right and left leading to bar, central 2-leaf door to off-sales counter; sunburst-pattern glazing to panels above. Floor of main bar with grey and white tiles arranged geometrically. Decorative veneers to three quarter height wall panelling; timber veneered chimneypieces to right and left side walls. Ceiling with simple cornice and square roof lights with neon lights mounted at edge; lower oval section over bar with neon lights to interior edge. Oval island barrel-like bar with chrome band and varied veneers. Oval gantry with splayed column linked to ceiling feature. Bench seating with dividers with match strikers: fixed elongated oval tables (now covered with formica). Panelled and glazed rear wall screens private rooms, now stores; projecting lobby to lavatories probably circa 1940; screened and glazed private sitting area to left of main door, ladies room to right.
The Portland Arms is an excellent example of a working man's pub dating from the 1930s which remains almost completely unaltered and is thus a remarkable survival. Although a number of pubs dating from this period are extant, they are rare and generally do not have such a complete scheme. Charles McKean in 'The Scottish Thirties' draws attention to only one other example, The Thornwood in Patrick, Glasgow, by James Taylor, which was similarly stylish. It was notable for its use of brightly coloured vitriolite on the exterior but this pub is no longer extant.
The interior of the Portland is outstanding because of the careful attention to detail in the woodwork and veneers, the chrome trimmings as well as the arrangement of the lowered ceiling over the bar with subtle use of lighting. Lighting was an important element in many buildings of this period (significantly many architects'drawings at this time were night-time views) and the Portland is no exception.
The client for the pub was J Tindal who is described in contemporary sources as a wine and spirit merchant. At the time the Portland was built he had premises in Glassford Street where he remained until after World War II at which time his wife took over the business and continued there until the 1960s. It would appear that the Portland was run by a tenant landlord.
By the late 1930s Thomson Sandilands & MacLeod the firm who designed the pub was being operated by Alexander Hood MacLeod (1889-1941) as sole partner since Robert Douglas Sandilands had died prior to the First World War and John Thomson, the eldest surviving son of Alexander 'Greek' Thomson, died after a stroke in 1931. MacLeod had joined the office as a junior at a very young age but had been taken into partnership just prior to the First World War. The practice had been highly successful from the later 1880s until about 1912 with a great variety of commissions, a number of which were secured through competition wins. The practice contracted somewhat after World War I, the jobs undertaken generally being church work and commissions for private clients but in the 1930s they managed to secure a range of industrial work, with warehouses in the Glassford Street, Wilson Street and Candleriggs areas and other industrial premises elsewhere. It is possible that MacLeod was to some extent influenced in his bold Modernist approach by his experience in designing industrial buildings. The Portland is evidence that MacLeod was a talented designer with a good eye for detail.
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