Past History of the Pit

December 1887

Mexborough and Swinton Times December 30, 1887

Past History of the Pit

“Denaby and disaster”are strong terms, but there is no doubt that Denaby has had more than its share of ill luck.

At the commencement in 1864-5, the amount of water, encountered in sinking the pit was enormous, and for a long time the sinking was not proceeded with.

When the place got fairly open a strike of 26 weeks took place and shortly after an underground fire originated, which caused no end of trouble, culminating in the stoppage of the greater portion of the pit about 10 years ago.

Since that time the colliery has had to be almost entirely reopened, but in such an energetic manner as to have recovered, if not exceeded, its dimension than at any previous period of its history.

During the past 10 years several strikes have taken place.

In 1878 the men came out on strike against several grievances, which lasted about 14 weeks; and in 1880 a short strike again took place

In 1885 the pit was laid off with a strike of about 28 weeks; but the leading features of that dispute are still fresh in the minds of many of our readers, and some of whom have good reason not to forget them. In the same year as the strike just referred to a bad fire also broke out underground, which cut off a portion of the workings; now with the close of 1887 a disastrous fire takes place at the surface, doing considerable damage to the permanent plant of the colliery.

It cannot be said that the past history of the place is very pleasant reading, but despite the fact, it is pleasant to be able to record the fact that none of these explosions have occurred here than has been the case most pits of similar age in South Yorkshire.

The colliery contributed largely to the growth of Mexborough, and has constantly found work and wages for from 1200 to 1500 men.

We trust that the disaster that has just happen will form the last link in the chain of disasters connected with the history of the place, and that neither employers are employed in the future experience any further mishap or anything that is not conducive to their joint interests