Fire at the Pit

April 1927

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 22, 1927

Fire at the Pit

The continual blowing of the fire sirens at the collieries last week was to many residents awe-inspiring, and many tell me that it made them feel “quite funny.” That something of great import was “on” was evident, for the alarms and excursions” continued over half an hour uninterruptedly.

Hundreds of persons were attracted to the vicinity of the pit, for the glare in the sky immediately told where the outbreak was. There was an anxious time at first, due to the uncertainty, but as news of the exact happenings leaked, though a feeling of thankfulness was apparent, and the speed with which the flames were extinguished was very reassuring to the assembled throng.

When the men from the “shift” appeared – having been told to get their clothes on and get out, there were many happy reunions. Most of the workers did not know what had happened until they reached the surface, and many of them had an anxious time on their way to the pit bottom, but their fears were soon eased.

But all’s well that ends well and there were many expressions of gratitude on Tuesday when the town crier went round to announce that the night shift would work at Cadeby. This was sooner than was at first anticipated, for various times from 3 to 7 weeks had been rumoured as the probable length of the stoppage. There is a great credit due to those who must have worked like Trojans to permit such a speedy resumption. It was Saturday when I was informed that the new cylinders were in, that the engine and drum had been found undamaged, and that when the new ropes came they could immediately be fitted.

On Monday morning I heard that a rope was fitted and later in the day cage tests were carried out and on Tuesday we got the news all be waiting for.

The holiday has for many been an anxious time, particularly for those affected by the fire, for I am informed that they will get neither “dole “or union pay, and for them the net result will be about one clear weeks loss of wages.