Glen Mhor 1962 from Muirtown Swing Bridge
Leave no stone unturned - that's what we're doing here.
One of the advantages that Glen Mhor offers us as a lost distillery, is that it was surrounded by landmarks and places of interest. Apart from the nearby distillery in Glen Albyn and the unique aspect of having 2 distilleries divided only by a road, you had a football ground behind the distillery and the Caledonian Canal on the other side.
In addition, the Muirtown basin, further along, offers more potential photographs from those taking in the view or loch gates without realising the distillery aspect. The Muirtown swing bridge is another area of interest, which has paid off today.
Built in 1938, by Sir William Arrol Contractors, who were responsible for the Forth Road Bridge, it was made of steel and for many years was the gateway to the north. It not only gives us another way to date various photographs but also offers the opportunity for more photographic discoveries. Like this one...
Recently, I was searching on eBay for various landmarks and Glen Mhor-related artefacts and this 1962 photograph from a magazine (unknown) turned up with this description:
'The traffic control barriers recently installed by British Waterways at Muirtown, near Inverness.'
Most of the auction item was blurred to protect the image from those that would rather save it than purchase the image themselves, which I can appreciate. But it seemed clear that the blurred building in the background was Glen Mhor and using existing images and the angle of view, it seemed a sure thing.
Contacting the seller, they never had considered the building in the distance, agreeing it looked like Glen Mhor and were happy to refund me if this wasn't the case. Deal done, I'm pleased to add another unseen photograph from the distillery to our Photograph section.
This image is important for several reasons:
- It's our first from 1962.
- The angle is unique amongst all of the photographs so far. It's from the road, looking back up the canal giving us a unique appreciation of the size of Glen Mhor on the waterfront and another side to the distillery buildings.
- It gives us a sense of scale with the nearby housing and the gap that existed between the residential buildings and the distillery.
- That gap would soon be filled by the rather ugly angular building that was added onto the original maltings in the late 60s or early 70s going from our existing imagery. It would stretch back halfway along the maltings.
- Potentially there is writing on the roof of the canal-facing building.
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