Pic-Nic Party to Dunaverty

From the Argyllshire Herald 12th June 1875:

Pic-Nic Party – On Saturday last the Argyle Coal and Cannel Company who recently purchased the Drumlemble Colliery, treated the miners working there to a pic-nic. The day was fine and the men, numbering 70, accompanied by Mr. Smellie, the recent manager and late lessee of the mine, left for southend in six wagonettes. A pleasant day was spent around Dunaverty, the colliers thoroughly enjoying a day above ground and the good things provided for them by the kindness of their new masters.

The Scottish Mining website states that J. Smellie and Son owned the mine in 1873 and the History of Coal mining in Kintyre, compiled by David Seaman, which we published, mentions the same company in 1872.

The language in the article is interesting… the reference to “their new masters” and their “kindness” seems just a touch patronising and reminds us that colliers were once bonded labour.

It is at this pit, in November the same year, that Charles Armour was killed in an underground accident.

With regard to colliers as bonded labour you may be interested in this article, Slavery in the Coal-mines of Scotland, by James Barrowman, Mining Engineer.

smellie_picnic1875

Article from the Argyllshire Herald from 12th June 1875. Photocopy of article provided of George McMillan, Campbeltown.

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