Dispute – The Relief Fund – How Matters now Stand

February 1881


February 4th

The Relief Fund.

On Saturday relief was given to those miners who are in the Union, viz., four shillings for each man and sixpence for each child, this being the balance of the sum paid them on the previous Saturday.

Many of the families are in great need of assistance and, owing to the privation gone through, there is much sickness in the homes. Notwithstanding that the men are sadly in want of work, it is quite obvious that they do not intend to return to the colliery unless different terms are offered by the Manager.

How Matters Now Stand.

On Monday morning the miners assembled in large numbers at the Mason´s Arms, and the proceedings were of a very lively description.

The Chairman said the circular which had been forwarded to each Lodge in the district would be read to them.

The circular referred to was then read :-

It stated the various propositions which had been made on the question of `packing´ and concluded thus – ” The following is an illustration of how our agreements were made : A `bank´ with five men have, say 35s. worth of `packing´ 25s. of which is for `gate packing´ and 10s. for `waste packs´. The arrangement faithfully carried out means a man out of the `bank´, but 10s. more money for the remaining four men. But the `waste pack´ they would have to build and it may be a question whether the same quantity of coal could be sent at the same, because the `packing´ would be extra to the four men.”

The above I (Mr. Chappell) think a fair report of how matters stand. The men refuse the offer.

A Miner : According as our case has been sent before the district it is made to look as though it would be an advance instead of a reduction, and I think we ought to send some representatives to each Lodge, so that they can properly explain how matters stand. Our support will be entirely cut off if this is not done. (Hear, hear)

A Miner : I make a proposition that two men be sent to each Lodge.

Another Miner : I will second that.

The proposition was carried unanimously that two men should be sent to : Thrybergh Hall ( one Lodge ), Manvers Main ( Two Lodges ), and The Holmes (Two Lodges), to fairly lay matters before them.

One of the deputation appointed to go to Rotherham on Friday in order to try and get some support from Mr. Chappell. He said the reply that they had received from him was that he could not give

them any support, except the Chairman of the Council sanctioned it. They went in search of the Chairman and after a good deal of running about they found him. He told them he had seen a party that day and they had said to him that the `packing´ would be no detriment to the colliers – only those who wanted to work eight and nine days a week. The told him they did not think that men had worked that number of `shifts´ at Denaby Main.

A Miner : It´s preposterous. – It was resolved that the deputation

who waited upon Mr. Chappell on Friday should attend the Council Meeting to be held on the following day at Rotherham.

A Miner : What about the men at work ?

The Chairman : They want Stopping.

A Miner : And chucking into t´cut. (Hear, hear)

The Chairman : No one should go back till we all go. ( Cheers ) Those who are there had better be asked to keep away and told that if they do not they must suffer the consequences. That is the only remedy.

A Miner : It´s no use driving it from day to another. It had better be stopped at once.

Another Miner : I asked one of the men who was working if he thought he was doing right and he said, ” What the b_____ h____ is that to do with you. I shall work for any such b_____ as you.” I told him we should see about that.

A Miner : I propose we go to the pit today.

Another Miner : Yes. Let´s go together and tell `em straight.

It was decided to carry out the recommendation of the Chairman