The nation’s other favourite tipple is also well represented, they have a selection of (at the last count) 52 single malt whiskies, the largest selection you’ll find in the area. Their regulars have instituted the ‘Tap Whisky Appreciation & Tasting Society’, an informal whisky sampling club, and there’s always at least one of the ‘TWATS’ on hand to talk you through their offerings!
(Information taken from The Ferry Tap website, link at the end of this article).
‘The Forth Bridge Hotel’.
Later it was renamed ‘The Forth Bridges’ and with another later name change
it became ‘The Ferry Tap’.
There are gaps in the list of proprietors, but these will be added to later as more information unfolds. Information is taken from Census forms and Valuation forms.
From at least 1881 until 1885 – ‘Prince of Wales Hotel’, proprietor Charles Stevenson. ( Evidence shows he is in Tillicoultry at least until before 1875.).
1881 census - Charles Stevenson, aged 40, born in Cambuslang, Inn Keeper of ‘Prince of Wales Hotel', along with wife Jeannie aged 42, born in Paisley, and children, Nellie-c1870, John-c1872, Charles-c1874, all born in Milngavie, and Jeanie-c1875, born in Tillicoultry, while father an innkeeper.
From at least 1887 until 1891 – Now the ‘Forth Bridge Hotel’, proprietor listed as Alexander Russell.
1891 until approx. 1894 – ‘Forth Bridge Hotel’, proprietor John O’Neil, aged 39, born in Ireland, along with wife Mary Jane, aged 29 also born in England, and children Ethel-c1882, Ernest-c1885 and Blanche-c1887, all born in England.
1894 until 1904 – proprietor James Mackenzie (a former Sea Captain), born in England, died in 1904, aged 60, of Acute Nephritis (causing Kidney Failure) and delirium. He was listed as “Widower of Matilda Oversley” when he married Jessie Oliver, born in Peebleshire, in Edinburgh, in 1897.
1904 until 1926 -‘Forth Bridge Hotel’ (with 16 rooms) -proprietor Jessie Mackenzie, James’s Widow. She died in 1929, aged 67, of an Ovarian Tumour and Cardiac Arrest. 1911 census states Mrs Jessie Mackenzie aged 44, born in Peebles, is hotel keeper of Forth Bridge Hotel along with son Oliver aged 13 and son Henry aged 7 both born in Queensferry. Oliver was proprietor by the time of his Mother’s death.
A bit of Local History - Private Charles Stuart Watson (1898 – 1916) of 8th Battalion Royal Scots, resided with his Aunt Hilda Watson, a relative of proprietor Jessie McKenzie, in the ‘Forth Bridge Hotel’, Queensferry.
He died aged 18, of wounds received in action on 3rd September 1916, during the Battle of the Somme and is remembered on Queensferry and Kirkliston Memorials. Charles is buried in Abbeville Communal Cemetery, Somme, France.
1926 until 1936 – proprietor Oliver Mackenzie, (eldest son of James and Jessie, previous properietors), born 1897 in Forth Bridge Hotel. Oliver was called up for service in World War I aged 18, and enlisted in Queensferry, into the Seaforth Highlanders on 11th December 1915, for ‘Short Field Service at Home’. He is listed as ‘Hotel Manager’ residing in the Forth Bridge Hotel, Queensferry. No other war records can be traced.
Oliver was a well known magician who developed a trick known as “My Drink Trick”. It was released in the 1960’s by Harry Stanley, a London Magic dealer. Based on a drinking theme, it is still performed today by many ‘close up’ magicians. Oliver married a Margaret Rosalie Locke, from Swanage, in 1921 in Queensferry. Then married Edith Seaton in Edinburgh in 1935. His occupation on the certificates states 'Actor'. He died of Brochopneumonia and Broncho Carcinoma in Northern General Hospital, Edinburgh on 27th January 1983.
The telephone number for The Forth Bridge Hotel in the 1930's was -
South Queensferry 84.
1951 – proprietors are David and Edward Simpson
Around 1966, there was a function room upstairs.
1971 - Alan Harrower is listed as proprietor. Harrower a Turf Accountant, owned betting shops in Edinburgh. During this time locals knew it as ‘Harrowers’.
In 1977 it was taken over Neil Waterman, then Maurice McKernon (there is some discrepancy over whether his name was Maurice (or Morris) McKernon, Maurice McKinnon or Maurice Mckellar Watt) in the mid 80's and John Gorrie followed by Derek Anderson around 1987.
Brian Alexander Cowper Inglis, a past Director of Duddingston Golf Club, Edinburgh is also a past proprietor.
Brian sold to Caledonian Heritable and the present manager is Linda Gamble.
Thank you to local residents for the information which helped to make up this list.
firstname.lastname@example.org Thank you.
© Queensferry History Group 2017