By MICK ROBERTS.
THREATENED with demolition in 1994 and described by the hopeful developer at the time as worthless of preservation, the ‘Fountain on the Mountain’ – the Balgownie Hotel – celebrated a centenary of trade on Monday December 20 2004.
Balgownie Hotel was designed by architect Alex Elphinstone and built for Francis Caldwell early last century providing a social and sporting home to many of the village’s coal miners.
Balgownie was typical of mining settlements of the time. The miners loved their beer and quickly made the pub their base.
Pubs were usually one of the first places of business in mining villages, but Balgownie’s hotel was obstructed by the establishment of a workmen’s club.
The Balgownie Workmen’s Club satisfied the thirst and social needs of the miners during the 1890s until 32 year old Edward Percy Clout was granted the first license of the newly completed Balgownie Hotel on Monday December 19 1904.
The pub was opened the following day. Born in Camden, Perce Clout had at least two brothers in the hotel trade. He knew the game and knew tradition required him to provide free beer on opening day. That opening day was clearly remembered a half century after by residents.
Read the full story at the Looking Back website.