Destructive Fire at Denaby Main Colliery – The Distress Fund.

December 1887

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 30 December 1887

The Fire At Denaby Main.
The Distress Fund.

The enforced idleness of the 1,500 men and boys who have been thrown out all employment by the destructive fire at Denaby Main Colliery, will cause a great amount of distress.

A movement is now on for the purpose of starting a relief fund for the families, who it is feared, will shortly be in want of the necessities of life, and Mr. B. Pickard, M.P. who had been written to on the subject by Mr. John Dixon, secretary to the Denaby Main Branch of the Miners’ who has communicated with the principal Yorkshire newspapers on the subject.

A meeting and the Denaby Main Committee was held last night in the Lodge room, ‘Mexborough, Mr. Pickard being present.

The question of relief was discussed, alter the extent of the’ damage, so far as can be seen had been ascertained bad been ascertained and the final arrangements will made early next week for the solicitation of assistance, and to consider the best means of collecting for the relief fund from the different collieries in Yorkshire. The constitution of the relief committee was not practically decided upon.

It was stated there was no doubt that the end of next week some of the families would be more less destitute, and in that case immediate relief will necessary, The men expressed their satisfaction that the action taken by the newspaper proprieties in publishing the appeal for help. A number of men are working night and day at the colliery, and the debris be will cleared  away by this morning. It is not expected that the men will be out longer than six weeks, but this depends upon the state in which the engines and foundations are found.

The statement of correspondent that the Mexborough Fire Brigade were tardy in their arrival the scene of the fire was contradicted. The Mexborough fire engine, it is said, acted with all possible celerity and despatch. The fire was first discovered at ten minutes to one. A telegram was dispatched from the Denaby signal box and reached the Mexborough signal box at exactly 3.27, two hours and ½ after the outbreak. It delivered to Inspector Barrett at exactly ten minutes to four, and before 4:30 the Mexborough fire engine was playing on the flames. Letters of sympathy with the men have been written the Rev. H. Ellershaw, M.A., Vicar of Mexborough, and the Rev. W. M. Probert, his curate, and they signify their willingness to receive subscriptions their behalf; also by the Rev. T. J. Leslie.

Suggestion have been made that the Mexborough Local Board should provide work for the miners who are out work. There are several public works in the district, which might be commenced now, and there is a probability this done.

The miner’s council meeting, which held on Monday at Barnsley, will only refer to those men at Denaby who are in the union. There will be great need for help to those who are without any support at all.