Scotland has had a reputation of being a heavy drinking nation for hundreds of years. The offence of ‘drunkenness’ is recorded as far back as 1436.
Did you know that in the 1830s there was 1 pub for every 130 people in Glasgow and Edinburgh?
Pubs could open when they liked for as long as they liked. Alcohol could be sold to anyone of any age. Because of this many men, women and children developed alcohol problems, so Scotland took action and now has the strictest licensing system in the UK.
The 1853 Forbes Mackenzie Act made it illegal for pubs to open past 10pm and stopped them opening on a Sunday. The only place people could buy alcohol legally on a Sunday in Glasgow was on the steam boats that cruised the River Clyde.
This is where the phrase ‘steaming’ came from to describe the feeling of being drunk!