THE HISTORY OF BETTY NICOLS

Records and historical documentation on the property go back to 1741 when the property was sold to an Alexander Watson of Glentarkie for the principal sum of Ninety Eight Pounds and Ten Shillings. The property which was to be known as the Victoria Bar changed owners several times until it was purchased by the brewer George Younger & Son Ltd in 1936.

 

After the war years it was sold in 1947 and then in 1949 when another brewer William Murray & Sons bought the property.

 

William Murray & Sons then sold the property in 1955 only to buy it back one year later. Consolidation within the brewing industry caused the property to eventually fall under the ownership of Bass Ltd through their subsidiary company Tennent Caledonian Breweries  who bought it for the princely sum of £8500.

 

‘All and whole that tenement of land or lodging high and laigh,back and fore,garden, close, stable, well and the pertinence lying within the Burgh of Kirkcaldy on the north side of the High Street, which subject includes the six dwelling houses’

 

The pub was renamed the Victoriana Bar and remained under the ownership of Bass Brewers until it was sold to a private individual in 1988.The character of the pub changed completely at this time when the original features were covered to create an outlet known as the ‘Fun Pub’.

 

The pub was resold in 1991 to Malt Shovel Inns who transformed the outlet into its present traditional style.

 

The outlet was sold in 2002 and remains under private ownership, the current owners, John and Nan Wilson purchased Betty Nicols in July 2015.

 

BETTY NICOLS GHOST STORIES

Whisky and vodka aren't the only spirits that can be found at Betty Nicols this year. For the Kirkcaldy pub has it's very own ghost according to members of staff, who have witnessed some spooky goings on.

 

The pub, located on the east end of the High Street, has been in existence since the early 18th century and is no stranger to ghostly incidents.

 

But just before Christmas, cleaner Vikki Drysdale got the fright of her life when she arrived for work a little earlier than usual.

When she entered the back room as part of her daily routine she jumped out of her skin when she saw a tealight burning on one of the tables. CCTV footage also showed a flame flickering when previous images from throughout the night had shown nothing.

 

Vikki said: "I came in early, about 7 a.m. and went through to check the back room.

"When I opened the door it was pitch black but I noticed that one of the candles was burning.

''I got a fright and panicked – there's no way a tealight that size could have burned all night.

"I blew it out and quickly shut the door. I definitely think there is a ghost here. Every time I go into the back now I'm a bit edgy.

"I have never been back through that early since, and the barmaids don't like going down to the cellar for ice anymore."

Jo Dalton, barmaid at the pub, said: "I've not had a direct experience with the ghost but you certainly get a feeling of a presence down in the cellar as if someone is watching you."

 

The past owner Sandy Haxton added: "Our other barmaid Vicky maintains there is definitely a psychic presence in the pub.

She claims that she can see the ghostly figures of two men and a dog walking about.

"We've had other members of staff hearing bells and seeing figures in the mirror. 'I'm not really into any of this rubbish but after looking at the tape I'm beginning to believe it myself!"

 

It's bad enough trying to get staff just now without freaking them out with ghost stories."

Archibald Lawrie, author of the Psychic Investigators Casebook, visited Betty Nicols last June with a medium to give a talk on his new book.

 

He said that they detected spiritual movements during their visit.

"I'm called to various sites to get rid of spooky things. I chat to the spirits and they tell their story before moving on, and in Betty Nicols we definitely felt the 'presence of memories from the past.'

 

More information available at www.scottishparanormal.co.uk

 

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Nanjos Pub Co Limited Trading as Betty Nicols Bar & Bistro

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