Mining at Machrihanish

Machrihanish (Argyll) Colliery.
Argyll Colliery Sign
See the Railway page for a more information on the Mine, Canal and Railway.

A Pit is Reborn…*
This very short clip documents what turned out to be the short-lived revival of the 150-year-old Machrihanish colliery, on Scotland’s Argyll Coast. The mine had initially closed down in 1929, having suffered more than most from the labour disputes and coal strikes of the 1920s, since Machrihanish coal was not regarded as being particularly high quality. In the early 1930s, plans were devised to distil oil from Machrihanish coal, but they were never put into practice. The mine was reopened in 1946, and this Mining Review item describes plans for its renovation and expansion, with two drift mines (a method used when the seam is visible on the side of a hill or mountain, with the miners mining it directly) serviced by modern machinery. Fifty men worked at Machrihanish when the cameras went in, but this number was scheduled to rise tenfold. However, despite the narrator’s characteristic optimism, the mine had less than twenty years of life left in it, and it would close permanently in 1967.
* only available to registered UK Educational Institutions.


Click here to watch The Road to Drumleman: Memories of Argyll Colliery

Jan’s excellent blog for  The Road to Drumleman Community Exhibition.

Excellent film by Jan Nimmo, artist, designer and award winning filmmaker.

Jan’s film is named after the song by Willie Mitchell:

The original, as sung by Willie himself.