Castleson's, Largs, North Ayrshire

Mechanical copy with painted media on paper, c.1960-76
RCAHMS: Houston and Dunlop Collection presented in 1989 and 1995

The North Ayrshire town of Largs has long been a tourist destination.   Generations of Glaswegians throughout the twentieth century headed ‘doon the watter’ for seaside holidays, a walk along the prom, an ice cream at Nardini’s or perhaps a tasty fish supper.  

This 1950s/1960s drawing by James Houston and Son is for a new self-service eatery in the Castleson’s complex on the seafront.  It was intended for a building Houston designed in 1935 known to many as The Moorings.  The owner Leo Castelvecchi, like many Italian immigrants to the West of Scotland, ran a successful catering business. 

The Moorings, an Art Deco building shaped like an ocean liner, was sadly demolished in c.1991.  Some remember it not for the fish fry buffet but for its high-class restaurant on the first floor.  Dancers of a certain age may also recall stepping out in the Mooring’s very popular ballroom.