Colliery Offences – Failing to Fix Drag – Building a “Pack” using Coal- Leaving Station

March 1917

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 3, 1917

Colliery Offences at Denaby and Cadeby

The Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Ltd prosecute several of their employees for breaches of the regulation.

Failing to Fix Drag

A young Denaby haulage hand named Ephraim Potts (18) was charged with failing to fix a drag behind a train of empty tubs.

He was caught in the act, said Mr Frank Allen, who prosecuted, by Mr H.W Smith, the manager.

The run consisted of 12 empty tubs which have been drawn up an incline of one in eight.

As they run back a serious smash might have occurred, involving possible personal injury.

A fine of 30 shillings was imposed.

Building a “Pack” using Coal

A Conisborough miner named James Leatherland was defended by Mr W Baddiley. Mr Allen explained that the defendant was engaged in building a “pack,” and built into the wall of it several pieces of coal. The building of coal into “pack” was a very serious business and contrary to all mining practice. It was a very great source of danger because it was liable to create “gob” fires. Once a gob fire was started there was no end practically to the danger.

Evidence was given by Mr George Brough, charge deputy at Cadeby. On February 12 he saw defendant building a “pack,” and he saw a quantity of coal in it. Altogether there was 2 ½ hundredweight. Men were paid for building the “pack” as well as for coal getting.

Mr H Hulley, the manager of the pit, also gave evidence. The defendant offered to pay 10/-to the Fullerton Hospital rather than be summoned. There was nothing more dangerous than “gob” fires, and he had considerable experience.

For the defence Mr Baddiley said Leatherland was a skilled miner of 24 years experience, during which time he had never had a single complaint made against him, and never been in court before in his life. In this case, what was done was done quite openly and not with any desire to break any rule or regulation. The only thing he had done was to have made an error of judgement. When he was told about it he drew the deputy attention to the “bags,” which he said were left in the “goaf,” and he thought he was doing no harm in doing what he did.

The defendant said it was almost impossible to put these “packs” on without putting some coal in this one. He had run out of stone.

The Chairman said the case was not made any better by the defendants admission that he was a skilled miner with 24 years experience. It was a rule that call should not be built in packs, and if in this instance there was no storm by, it could have been obtained easily. The defendant admitted he had been cautioned before, and, after all, the management were the best judges of the value of rules. It was a great nuisance to the management to have to keep on summoning men because of their failure to observe the rules.

The defendant would be fined 40 shillings.

A Mexborough haulage hand named Ernest Parkes was summoned for a breach of the regulations at the Denaby pit. Mr Allen said he was summoned under the same rule as in the last case.

Leaving Station

He was in charge of the unloading end of the pit bottom endless rope at the Montagu plain. For some reason or other the defendant, whose duty it was to detach the tubs when they got to the wheel, left his station, going off on some silly errand. The consequence was that a run of full tubs came along, and when they got to the wheel ran back to the pit bottom. It was a very lucky thing somebody was not killed.

Mr Smith said he made enquiries, and defendant admitted leaving his station. The pit was stopped an hour in consequence of the accident.

The Chairman commented on the absence of the defendant, and said the presumption was that he was too thoroughly ashamed of himself. Those who helped at infirmary’s new other terrible sufferings of patients, innocent people possibly have been injured through someone’s carelessness.

A fine of 40 shillings was imposed.