A man’s ambition…

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Sandy Smith, Willie Durance and Gus McDonald, Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish, Kintyre. Photo courtesy of Willie Durance ©

Sandy Smith, who worked in the winding house at Argyll Colliery, was well known amongst the local miners for his humorous poetry. Willie Durance, a former electrician at the mine, wrote down this poem written by Sandy for me to share.

A man’s ambition must be small,
And great must be his need,
To creep in here when all is quiet,
To steal the wee birds’ feed.

Sandy Smith

Sandy looked after the 20 or so canaries that were kept on site and used to detect gas in the mine. Willie told me that Sandy wrote this poem when he discovered that someone was stealing the bird seed. He left the poem in the kist with the bird seed and the pilfering stopped!

Priceless!

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Detail of mining themed bunting made by the children at Drumlemble Primary School. When they heard about the role that the canaries played at the mine, the children were inspired to create images of them to put on their bunting. Photo: Jan Nimmo ©

Jan Nimmo

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One thought on “A man’s ambition…

  1. Pingback: An Angling Story from 1959 | The Road to Drumleman

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