The Road to Drumleman: Memories of the Argyll Colliery

What ther Scotsman said - "Me and Mine" - an article by Bily Briggs

The Road to Drumleman – a lyrical documentary on brotherhood at Argyll Colliery - an article on For Argyll


view film on Vimeo

In January of 2007 Jan’s father Neil Nimmo died. Six months later his twin brother Ramsay also died. Both had left school at 11 to work on local farms and then as young men worked at the Argyll Colliery. The Nimmos and their mother’s family, the Browns, came from generations of miners. After the death of the twins Jan realised that time was running out to gather the testimonies of the men who had worked at the Colliery and record at first hand what had been an important social and economic part of South Kintyre’s popular history. The project stands as a tribute to Jan’s father, his family and also to the broader mining community in South Kintyre.

The Film

The Road to Drumleman takes its title from a song by local composer Willie Mitchell, father of Agnes Stewart who sings the song throughout the film. The film tells the story of Kintyre’s last mine, Argyll Colliery (1947–1967), through the personal narrative of ex-mineworkers – from the harsh vicissitudes of working life to the humour and camaraderie of the mineworkers and the importance of the miners to the wider community. The stories span the life of the mine and pay tribute to all of the men who worked invisibly beneath the wild and unspoilt shores of western Kintyre.

Photo courtesy of the late William McKinlay

The Road to Drumleman

Since 2007 Jan has devoted more time to this project than any other and has visited Campbeltown regularly to film some 22 interviews as well as filming all around south Kintyre. She has collected images from both local and national sources and has amassed 35 hours of her own documentary material, the distillation of which is this 50 minute film. Having single-handedly completed the bulk of the editing Jan worked with Basque artist and filmmaker, Iñigo Garrido, to complete the film.The premiere took place on the 30th July 2010 at The Picture House, Campbeltown there was a wonderful community screening evening at the Machrihanish Village Hall on the 6th November. Jan has obtained some support from theThe Laggan Community Council, NUM (Scotland), the Kintyre Art Club.

There was ascreening at Deep Fried Film Festival, Coatbridge on the 3rd August 2010.

The film was screened at Document 8 International Human Rights Documentary Festival in Glasgow on 31st Oct and will trave to On the Surface in Innsbruck. April 2011.

Photo courtesy of The Scottish Mining Muesum

Download poster for the premiere

DVDs available from July 30th 2010- order a copy

Crew and Music

Editor: Jan Nimmo

Co-Editor: Iñigo Garrido

Camera: Jan Nimmo

Additional Camera: Paul Barham

Audio Post Production: Leo Saidenough

Music performed by

Agnes Stewart, Rodger Gillespie and Iain Freer


© Jan Nimmo 2005