On November 14th November George McMIllan, a former collier at Argyll Colliery, Machrihanish visited Dalintober Primary as part of SKDT‘s The Road to Drumleman project to talk to the children of Dalintober Primary School about Argyll Colliery, Kintyre’s last coal mine.
Of the 33 children we worked with from Primary 6, only one knew that there had once been a coal mine underneath what is now the Machrihanish Holiday Park. George talked to them about his life as a miner and we showed the children a slideshow of images related to Argyll Colliery and mining. The children were also able to handle mining artefacts, such as helmets and lamps, from Campbeltown Heritage Centre. The children were very attentive and had lots of questions for George. One interesting fact that came up was that coal from Argyll Colliery was once used to heat the school.
Afterwards I showed the class some images of tools and other objects associated with mining and the children and I worked along with the teachers to help the children draw some images which they then turned into fabric collages. These were applied to “Gala Day” bunting which will be a part of The Road to Drumleman Community Exhibition in April 2017.
The children did really well and produced 5 metres of bunting – each flag with a different mining image. I’d like to thank George for giving us all a first-hand insight into life at the colliery. Thanks also to teachers, Julie Brown and Pat Healey, as well as the other staff at Dalintober Primary School for all their help and for letting us bring the project to them – and of course, many thanks to the children who worked very hard to produce some lovely work!
(And it was very nice to be back in my old primary school!)