Glen Mhor Photograph Neil M. Gunn


This photograph shows Glen Mhor distillery courtyard and distinctive warehousing that backed onto the football ground.

It is taken from F.R. Hart & J.B. Pick's book entitled Neil M. Gunn, which is a biography of the famous Scottish writer. The biography includes his time being stationed at Glen Mhor Distillery as an exciseman in the 1920s and 1930s. 

Published in 1981, the sources for this work are primarily derived from 33 boxes of papers, letters, and photographs held by the National Library of Scotland. The letters are still archived and available upon request. They appear to relate mostly to friends and fellow writers, and the art of conversation by letter. It may be worthwhile to examine these in person, particularly those from the period when the author was stationed at the distillery. 

Neil was stationed at Glen Mhor from 1921 until the middle of 1937. His last entries can be seen in the distillery logbook, which we have explored page by page and put into context. 

This image may have been taken during the subject's time at the distillery, as there are no elements that suggest it belongs to a more recent era. Many distilleries from this period offer a unique experience, as visitors can feel as though they have stepped back in time. Dallas Dhu is a prime example, as it still stands today as a museum. However, the date of this image is much more recent. I recognised this even before seeking out the source, which is well hidden in a single paragraph just prior to the foreword. 

This is because I recognise the three distillery workers from a previous image that we have already discovered...

The image depicts the same trio, wearing clothes and hats, manipulating a cask. This image clearly comes from the same photo shoot and likely dates from the early 1970s when Distillers Company Limited (noted as the source in the book) became the new distillery owners. 

Why isn't this image available in the Diageo Archives? Are there any other images from this day?  It is possible that other images were taken during the same visit, as we have a photograph of the new sign on the distillery office from that time. It is unlikely that a photographer would only document an outer office wall and a couple of individuals rolling casks. This suggests that there are more images somewhere. 

During the COVID pandemic, I approached the team at the Diageo Archives for assistance. Their access was limited at the time. It is possible that there are further discoveries to be made within the facility. I will enquire about this possibility. 

For now, we have this great perspective of the warehouses that date back to the 1890s.