Dispute Week 2 – Distress amongs Miners

9 January 1885

January 9th 1885.

The Strike At Denaby Main
Distress Amongst The Miners

There is no alteration in the position of affairs at this colliery. Upwards of thirty men have been engaged in filling the railway trucks and barges from the huge stack of coal lying in the pit yard. Some of the miners aver this stack contains even at the present time, no less than 40,000 tons of coal. It is stated that nearly 1,000 tons are being sent away every day from the colliery.

A rumour is being extensively circulated in Mexborough to the effect that the owners of the colliery are keeping the men out in order to give them an opportunity of putting down new machinery.

Distress is already being felt at Denaby Main, and on Tuesday, Mr. Lowe, the landlord of the George and Dragon Inn, Mexborough, generously distributed one hundred loaves of bread and the same number of quarts of soup to the more necessitous cases.

Mr. Wallace, pork butcher, Mexborough, also gave away many gallons of soup on Tuesday.

The trades-people of Mexborough already begin to feel the bad effects of the strike.

The men who reside in the company´s houses have not as yet, received any notice to quit.

A meeting of the men was held on Tuesday at the Miners´ Arms Inn, Mexborough, when it was stated that the funds of the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Association were in good condition, and that the union pay allowed to the men now locked-out at the pit, would be received on Thursday.

Some indignation was expressed at the action of datallers, who went to work until Saturday morning.

Great dissatisfaction exists among the men on account of the action which they allege, has been taken against some of their number by some of the other collieries in the neighbourhood. The men complain that on several occasions, when seeking employment it had been denied them solely on account of their being concerned in the lock-out at Denaby Main.

The men are quiet and orderly.

In addition to the gifts bestowed on the men by Messrs. Lowe and Wallace, the landlord of the Reresby Arms, Denaby Main, has supplied nearly a thousand persons with sandwiches and beer, and Mr. Dickenson, of Mexborough, kindly gave the miners and their wives refreshments.

From another quarter it is stated that on Tuesday no less than sixteen barges from Hull stood alongside the colliery awaiting cargoes. Some of them had been in the same position for several days, the few `banksmen´ employed being unable to fill them with the needful rapidity, now that the pit is virtually `standing´. Still the energetic movements of the score or so hands are making a very palpable diminution of the `stack´ of coal, and it considered that a continuation of these efforts will result in the entire removal of the 30,000 tons within a month.

The work of the labourers is being watched with peculiar interest by the miners who have been made idle, believing, as they do, that when the whole of the coal on the pit-bank has been cleared, there will be a resumption of work for all hands. It is generally acknowledged that, seeing how rapidly the accumulation on the stack developed, the miners must, in the course of a few more weeks, have had to put down their tools, as there would have been no more vacant land on the colliery premises for the placing of the mineral, and at the same time orders were declining.