Stillman verse - Duncan McDougal, stillman at Glen Mhor
A recent addition to our Quotes section comes from the excellent Stillhouse Stories Tunroom Tales, published in 2013 by Gavin D. Smith. In this, Rodney Burtt recalls his time at Glen Mhor and provides this poem from Duncan McDougal, stillman at Glen Mhor.
I doubt we'll publish anything more poignant than this, where he summaries the impact of the news of both Glen Albyn and Glen Mhor closing. Lamenting what's been lost and the actions of the Distillers Co.
'The Distilleries are closing - that is sorry news,
As Birnie had predicted - there's a glut of booze.
The Workers at Glen Albyn and also at Glen Mhor
Really were dumbfounded - shocked right to the core.
Summoned to the Stillhouse to hear the Managers say,
'It's the end of the road for us - we close at the end of May'
No doubt there were some murmurs and questions coming fast.
There was substance in those rumours - they've come true at last.
So ends an era of forty years, no less.
When Glen Albyn was a suburb of the town of Inverness.
If these grey walls could speak, what a story they could tell.
Of the many varied incidents that happened in 'The Stell.'
The roaring of the boiler is a thing of the past,
And the mash going in on Tuesday has got to be the last.
'Can't give you a hand now lads - We're taking down a steep'
Everything is silent - the machinery is still.
No more loads of barley - no grist for the mill.
The Distillers Co may smile 'cos stocks are abundant'
But that is little comfort to folk who are redundant.'
It's likely this was written in 1983, just before the news of the closures went public on the 16th of February. Despite the predictions of William Birnie and the rumours that are referred to, the team still had hope that things might continue - Rodney touches upon this and we'll return to the book in greater detail soon.
If anyone has any information on Duncan or memories, please get in touch.