Glen Mhor Log Book 25th May 1939

A day after the silent season request was submitted in our previous logbook entry, a new application was made to replace components within the No.2 Low Wines Still. This is the newest of the stills at the Glen Mhor, installed in the 1920s and replaced the original low wines still, which we have confirmed sat idle thereafter.

While we know the dimensions of the new still and have unearthed photographs of it, the actual installation date varies, so it remains an ongoing mystery in some respects. But this entry is fascinating as it gives us some dimensions of the internal plates and one of several questions I'd have for Alan Winchester, is whether the erosion within 15-20 years was common in his opinion. 

We also have the mention of a sketch by the Exciseman, which is fantastic, but this was not entered into the log book itself. This seems a variable practice as we will have a sketch of a different component in a future page and also a failed attempted at the same sketch. This perhaps explains why the Exciseman didn't want to attempt such a technical drawing via counterfoil with no room for correction. A shame, however here's the original entry: 

'Glen Mhor Distillery


25th May 1939


I beg to forward an application from Messrs Mackinlay's & Birnie Ltd for permission to remove the defective (too thin) copper plates from the waste of the No.2 Low Wines Still at this distillery and to replace the same with new copper plates.

It is intended to replace that part of the still from the body joint immediately above the ??? plates, with plates 21" in breadth 2/3 round the waist of the still, and with plates 31" in breadth, round the remaining 1/3 of the waist (see sketch attached). The plates will be secured by copper rivets.

Neither the charging cock, air cock, anti collapse (automatic) air valve, man door, nor the return pipe from the purifier will be affected.

The capacity of the still will remain unaltered and the security of the still will not be affected.

Yours obediently

Gilbert W. Peterkin

The Collector


Margin Entry

Proposed repairs approved. Please report upon completion. (5gs) AC (assistant controller) 26/5/39.'

I'm forever thankful to Alan for his thoughts on each of these entries and here's what he had to say regarding this proposed repair:

That would have been the normal time to replace the copper, interesting that it was above the flue plates that's used to describe the bottom of the still i.e. it sat in the fire with the heat going around the flue.

The most corrosive parts of the stills is in the Low wines phase, i.e. the wash still head and the pot of the low wines and feints wear out quicker than the other parts, this would be quite normal wear, in the time period.  Pity he does not mention the thickness of the copper at that point.

So, an expected repair and maintenance expected during this era. Our next log book entry confirms the completion of the above work. What might be interesting is to see when (if at all) these plates are replaced in a subsequent entry. Only time will tell.

This Log Book comes from the Highland Archives Centre (HCA/D31/4/1/25) and is watermarked for its protection. As with any images on this website, please ask first before using and always give credit. My thanks to the Centre for their assistance.