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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 January 2007, 19:02 GMT
'A pie and a pint is a tradition'
By Alex Robertson
BBC Scotland's news website

Horse Shoe bar
Jim Gilchrist bought his first Horse Shoe pie in 1966
Jim Gilchrist has been a regular in The Horse Shoe in Glasgow's city centre for 40 years.

The 57-year-old bought his first pie, as a teenager, with a two-bob luncheon voucher in August 1966.

He had started work as a structural engineer in a firm based in Drury Street, perilously close to his new local.

"You could get a pie and beans for one and thrupence and you got change," he said.

"The Horse Shoe had been doing pie and beans or peas for years."

'Fast food'

Then, he recalled, city businessmen occupied one half of the bar, the other half was occupied by working men.

The working men had pie and beans with their pint while the businessmen enjoyed a three-course meal.

It was, said Jim, a tradition. Since then he has had countless pies, up to 500 he guesses, perhaps conservatively.

"They stuck two dozen pies on a heater on the bar, it was easy and it was cheap.

"A pie and a pint has always been a tradition in my lifetime."

It is another erosion of a life that we once knew
Jim Gilchrist
Horse Shoe regular

He added: "It was working men, going for a beer. We thought we might as well get something to eat.

"It was ready in two minutes, it was fast food."

Jim describes the decision by The Horse Shoe owners Mitchells and Butlers to end decades of tradition as "a scandal, an absolute scandal".

"It is another erosion of a life that we once knew," he said.

Mitchells and Butlers want to appeal to a wider customer base.

As we sit in The Horse Shoe on its first day as a pie-free zone, in front of a new menu, the crowd is diverse.

Groups of women mingle among men, young and old drink together.

We quietly surveyed the scene around us. The heater that used to attract working men to the bar was gone.

And the new menu adorned the tables.

"There is room for tradition alongside modernity," said Jim.


SEE ALSO
Punters fight pie with pint ban
04 Jan 07 |  Glasgow and West

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