Reconstruction of Callendar Road Tavern

for James Aitken & Co Ltd

In order to conform to modern regulations the Callendar Road Tavern on the gusset site between Callendar Road and East Bridge Street had to be largely gutted and the interior remodelled.  The local authority demanded larger rooms with higher ceilings.  It was therefore refurbished for James Aitken and Sons in 1923 to designs by J G Callander.

By 1936 the building was in a poor condition and so J G Callander was called in again.  It was completely demolished and built anew to a larger plan using ground acquired to the east.  It now included a large saloon bar, sitting room and other accommodation.  The site has a very acute angled corner and this was made into a feature by having a bowed end with a window and a sharply pitched green slate roof – giving the appearance of an upturned boat.  The external wall finish on Callendar Road stood out with its black polished granite plinth and broad band of white ceramic ashlar blocks between the windows and the plain parapet cope.  This was of a single storey, but the less ornate face against East Bridge Street was of two storeys due to the natural hill slop.  The doorways on Callendar Road were slightly advanced and the wallhead stepped up to emphasise their presence.

Illus: Callendar Arms in 2021.

Around 1990 the polished stone on the bow end was removed and replaced with wood.  This did not last long and now it is painted black.  The public house has changed its name several times in recent years – “Slick Chicks,” “The Rocket” and “The Cally” being just some.

G.B. Bailey, 2021