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Sorn - The Greyhound Inn, now sadly gone. Sorn - The Greyhound Inn during the late 80s
Photo - Terry Harrison
Photo Sorn Community Council

Left: Taken in the days when Thomas Brodie and his wife ran the Greyhound. In the image, is Mrs Brodie, and daughter Jenny. This image dates back to the 1930s. The sign above the door on the right says "Sorn Constitutional Club, 1832". This hall was used as a meeting place and as a cinema, before the village hall was built in 1954.

Right: The Greyhound Inn around 1987, when the publicans were Hugh and Dorothy Moorhead. At this time Sorn boasted two public houses, but by 2005 there were none.

Hugh and Dorothy used to do a roaring trade at one time with the hot spicey chicken wings. The sauce used was something I probably haven't tasted since, and it was commonplace to see the "punters" chewing their way through a portion of chicken wings when in for a fill of the landlord's best beer.

Sadly a few short years after this image was taken, The Greyhound Inn closed it's doors for the last time, around 1992. Today the building is converted to two dwelling houses.


From the memory of myself and some other villagers, we have compiled a reasonable listing of publicans who served drinks in the Greyhound. Dates are more or less a wild guess, especially before 1980. Help with exact dates is required.


Early 1900's McKie

1930's?? - Bessie / Thomas Brodie

Danny Malcolm

Mrs Kirkland

50's? - - Andrew Bell. referred to as "The Captain"

1963 - xxxx - Jean and Ralph Findlay

1968 - 1980 - Davie Rogers Dates very approx

1980 - 1983 - Gordon Shand

1983 - 1985 - Mavis Urquart. (With brother Jim) Included name change to Urquart Arms!!

1985 - 1988 - Hugh and Dorothy Moorhead

1988 - 1990 - Roger and Jack (Surnames unknown)

1990 - 1992 - Jim Elder.


The pub never reopened after it closed in 1992.


Click here to see the Greyhound building in 1992, just after last orders was called for the final time.



The pub had it's own matches around 1982. This trend seems to have been lost. Notice the Shell sign in the picture, from the times when Sorn had two filling stations. Morton's Garage is still trading, though not in petrol. This was in Gordon Shand's day, and the pub was an unfortunate yellow at that time. The East facing small gable was coloured that yellow colour many years afterwards, and was not even repainted when the place was refurbished for housing. Click on the matchbox for a full view.


There is a similar match box for THE WEE TRAIN in Galston. I wonder what other pubs in the area had their own match boxes made.



This is the subject of many a discussion, even to this day, some 40 odd years after the machine was in Sorn. Impossible in the 60's say some. Never say others. But it was Davie Rogers who installed the chip machine at the gable end of the building in the late 60's I would estimate.

I remember as a very young boy being given a tanner (6d), to put into the machine one day, and a cardboard cup came down. I lifted this out, and there was nothing in it. The next thing the chips came out, and disappeared down through the grill thing to the waste!!!

One thing I have never found in my travels, is a photo of the said chip machine outside the pub!! If only!! Surely someone during their visits to Sorn took a snap of the Greyhound from the West, and wondered what the strange machine was outside. I am not sure I would remember it anyway, and it would be great to see it again.

I also wonder what they really tasted like after coming out the pub on a Saturday night. There were no grub shops in the village, so the chip machine may have been a good bet when coming out of the pub. And you didn't have to be out the pub before the shop closed!!!.


A photo of Ralph and Jean Findlay, taken in the early 1960's in the Greyhound Inn. Image supplied by a visitor to Sorn in 2010, who's name escapes me. The visitors were close friends of the Findlays at one time.

Photo - Jim Nisbet
Photo Cumnock Chronicle

Left: Sorn Constitutional Hall. The Greyhound Inn did not always extend to the size it was when it closed in 1992. The right half of the building used to be the Constitutional Hall. In the full image you can see what looks like rubble opposite the school, where the houses have been knocked down.

The sign above was taken from Terry's old image of the Greyhound, above left, and was above the door of the Constitutional Hall. Date 1832.

Right: A shot taken in May or June 1976, when Sorn Boasted two petrol stations, and two pubs, and two shops.


This painting of Sir Henry Farquhar of Gilmilscroft used to hang on the wall in the Constitutional Hall. It was rescued from the bin by Mr Somervell at one point in time, and the painting ended up at his house, Holly House in Montrose, where I photographed it, maybe about 1998. Mr Somervell's grandfather was the Laird of Sorn Castle in the 1800's.

The image on the right is taken from the Christie's catalogue, after Mr Somervell died. The sale of his paintings etc took place in 2002.

Click here for a few pages of the catalogue, including David Somervell's history. (1,301k pdf)

Photo - Jean McKay
Photo - Sorn Castle

Left: Two images taken from the same master but coloured and worded differently on the card. The black and white version is shown below on the right.


Photos - Library and Information service, East Ayrshire Council

Left: An old view from the Greyhound Inn corner, looking east. The back of the postcard with the old car clearly shows a postmark of 1904, see below.

Right: The same image as in the two hand tinted images above. Postcard 203/19. Notice that the coloured cards are from a different batch as well. And even the colouring looks quite different. I have a second scan of the left hand image from Billy Gibson, and this is very much identical in colour etc, and also without the 203/19 ref number.

Photo Billy Gibson
Photo - David Somervell

Left: This is the oldest of view of "The Greyhound Inn", immediate left, and is the only photograph with no dormer windows on the second low house up from the pub. Jim Alston's Hoose / Clebo's.

Right: An exceptionally clear old image, taken from a remarkably small print.


Photo K Baird, L Stewart
Photo Terry Harrison

The image on the left was taken in May 1998, (Early digital camera, so apologies for poor resolution), and right, a 1980's view from a slide from Terry. The Curries lorry is seen outside the Sorn Inn.

Sorn Main Street, looking East from 'The Greyhound', pre 1905
Image Jim Nisbet
Photo Calum Allan

Left: The original image which hung on the pub wall, loaned briefly from relatives of the publican, McKie. The dog was painted on a copper plate, and on the back is the artist and the date 1912. It is unknown when the Greyhound was taken away from the Greyhound......

Right: The old Greyhound building, on the left, and in the foreground part of the piece of green land called locally "Tinker's Acre", where apparantley travelling folks parked up from time to time. This image was dated 1905, therefore dating the photo before that time.


Photos Billy Girvan
A couple of old views from the 60's of the Greyhound Inn from old cine films, originally from Harry Girvan. The shadowy figure in the long coat is unknown. The paint job on the right is perhaps the paintwork that was uncovered during renovation in the early / mid 1990's. I saw this when driving past, and it slipped my mind until it was too late, and the wall had been roughcasted. So I don't have a photograph.

Click to view images of the Inn before it was converted into houses


Sorn Village photos 

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