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Medal success of 1914 is still being toasted century on

By Linda Stewart

This is the bronze medal that Michael McGlade's grandfather won at the Balmoral Show — 100 years ago this week.

Frank McGlade and his brother Patrick won it for the trade turnout category in 1914 with the pony and trap they used to deliver alcohol to their pubs throughout Belfast city centre.

The McGlades ran a small empire of pubs, including one in Peter's Hill, another where Queen's Arcade now stands, and the Old Vic next door to the Belfast Telegraph, a popular drinking spot among journalists.

“Journalists from all over the world would have used it during the Troubles,” Michael said.

“If you wanted contact with the Press, you went to the Old Vic.”

The pony and trap would have been a familiar sight around turn-of-the-century Belfast and the turnout won Patrick and Frank a bronze medal at the Balmoral Show, a medal which is still prized by the family. This year, their descendants decided to make a family day of it at Balmoral, even wearing fleeces embroidered with ‘McGlade Memorial Centenary 2014'.

Michael and his brother brought a horse to this year's show, but sadly it didn't win anything.

“It only struck me last year about this,” Michael said.

“I thought next year will be 100 years since grandfather won that. Wouldn't it be nice to bring something to Balmoral and show it 100 years later? The whole family were here — it was a family day out to celebrate 100 years.

“This medal was awarded to Patrick and Frank, and then my father ran the business. He was Big Frank — everybody knew Da.

“They owned the Queen's Arcade pub (McGlades) and they owned the International in Donegall Street, where the park is for the Art College. It was destroyed in the Blitz, as was another pub they had, the Bambridge Bar in Sugarhouse entry in High Street.

“But none of us had any interest, and my dad sold the business in 1981.”

Even though Michael never got involved in the pub business, he did carry on the Balmoral tradition.

“I showed pedigree cattle here in the 1980s and won a cup for reserve champion for a Limousin bull,” he explained

 

 

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