SCOTLAND and the Gothenberg Pubs,
locally known as GOTHS
The Gothenburg or Trust Public House system originated in the 1860s in Gothenburg, Sweden in an attempt to control the consumption of spirits. Earlier in the century, 34 litres annual per capita consumption of spirits was recorded in Sweden. In 1855 the country proscribed domestic distillation. The city of Gothenburg awarded its sole retail licence for spirits to a trust, with the aim of controlling consumption. The shareholders of the trust were to receive a maximum return of 5% annually and all other profits were to be used to benefit the local community. The town treasury was to control the income generated and use it to provide libraries, museums, parks and other community facilities. The success of the system led to its spread throughout Sweden and further afield.
There were more than twenty in Fife, where the system took its strongest hold. There were strong links between Fife and Sweden in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century due to the supply of coal to Swedish Railways by the Fife Coal Company.