Archibald Dunlop Armour was an original shareholder and Director of the Picture House. He was born into a family of plumbers who ran their business for several generations in Longrow, Campbeltown. Archibald’s Father, Robert Armour, was a coppersmith and tinsmith as well as a plumber. Archibald’s Grandfather (another Robert Armour) was also a coppersmith, tinsmith and plumber. However, Grandfather Armour was actually an illicit still maker, supplying Kintyre and beyond with whisky stills, and using his plumbing business as a front. He set up his business in 1811 and kept detailed records in his Still Books until 1817.
In 1885, work was carried out in Robert’s original shop premises and according to the Campbeltown Courier, “Workmen found a still vat buried pretty far in the ground.” and a secret vent leading up to the main chimney. “ It is supposed that at one time the ground beneath the floor of the shop has been a vault where secret distilling operations were carried on.”
There is no record that Archibald’s Grandfather was ever caught and prosecuted.
(Allanna Brough June 2017)