Clutha pub turn an awful story into a great one
The Evening Times, by Russell Leadbetter
If ever there was an example of a good story coming out of a bad one, Glasgow’s Clutha pub is surely it. One look at its website and Facebook page is all it takes to show that the venue has been taking on a new lease of life. It has long been one of the city’s favourite – and best-known – pubs.
And as it began to find its feet again after the helicopter tragedy that struck two-and-a-half years ago, it has become a regular source of charity nights, in addition to its live music and open-mic nights.
Alan Crossan owns the Clutha and is also founder of the Clutha Trust, which helps underprivileged young people to access music and the arts
"The pub really has become a real phenomenon," he says. "It seems to have grown into a place that Glasgow has adopted as its own.
"When I look back over the last year since we re-opened, people seem to gravitate towards it to run charity nights and fund raisers.
"Just the other day we had a visit from a fire chief, asking about staging a charity night here in October. They want to raise funds for some charities as well as the Clutha Trust. We already have another six charity nights lined up this summer.
"Different people come into the pub to hold a night to raise money for charities, or we do things to get money for the Trust."
Alan lists some of the many famous faces who have popped in: Paolo Nutini, David Hayman, Sandi Thom, the Bay City Rollers, Nicola Sturgeon and most of the River City cast. Coronation Street’s William Roache and David Neilson have been spotted here, too. Gavin Mitchell has dropped by to sharpen his role as Boaby the barman in TV’s Still Game.
Whenever fun-runners sprint past the Stockwell Street premises, many of them leave flowers outside. Tourists go out of their way to visit the pub, too. Says Alan: "It has just happened this way without plan or design. It isn’t down to anyone in particular."
The pub has helped with Spirit Aid’s Christmas appeal and raised funds for cancer charities as well as the campaign to build a statue in memory of Benny Lynch.