FRIENDS and family are mourning the passing of one of Edinburgh’s last “old school” pub landlords.
Paddy Crossan, who ran Paddy’s Bar and the Tilted Wig in the city centre, passed away at a city nursing home on Tuesday at the age of 85.
The Comely Bank grandfather ran his pubs “immaculately”, former patrons said, and drinkers were always made to feel welcome.
He had moved to a nursing home in October last year after the death of his wife Jean. Although his physical health was beginning to fail, he retained his sharp wit and appetite for humour.
Friend Brian Rafferty said: “He was a really great friend to me over the years, and I’ve been visiting him more or less every day up at the nursing home.
“He loved sharing memories and stories from the pubs, even incidents and people I could hardly remember. Unfortunately his lungs were getting very weak. Even the slightest thing would leave him exhausted.
“Sometimes we would laugh so much I would have to bring an end to it in case it did him some harm. But in his head he was still completely alert.
“He did crave peace and while I’m desperately sad he’s gone, I’m glad he has found that peace now.”
Always smartly dressed, he represented a publican from a bygone era before pouring his last pint in 1992.
Mr Rafferty said he would have found today’s pub scene a bewildering one.
“His bars were always immaculate and spotless, and so was he,” he said. “All the customers he knew and would talk to, he was in there every day. He made everyone so welcome.”
He had inherited Paddy’s Bar from his father, also Paddy, who opened the Rose Street watering hole in 1925. Paddy Snr played for Hearts during and after the First World War, and was enlisted in McCrae’s Battalion. Mr Crossan then left the traditional Rose Street venue to set up the Tilted Wig, now called the Cumberland Bar, on Cumberland Street.
His son Peter Crossan, 58, a medical sales representative, helped out in the bar over a 16-year period.
He said: “He was a tremendous character and was always a good listener. He helped people with problems and was a great counsellor.”
As well as three grandchildren, Mr Crossan also had a stepson, Bruce Strevens, who died in 1966.
His funeral will take place on Monday at Mortonhall from midday, then at the family plot at Mount Vernon Cemetery.