Stormy Meeting Of Denaby Main Miners
Decision To Join The Barnsley Association
The miners held an open air meeting on Wednesday morning near to their lodge room, which had been utilised as a sleeping room for several of the evicted families.
The chair was taken by Mr. P. Hatton, who opened the proceedings by recounting his experiences at the Barnsley conference. He stated that he had been informed that the other association could not take Denaby Main men over without a formal resolution from the latter to the effect that they went back to Barnsley altogether. He asked the men whether he alone wished to go to Barnsley. ( Several Voices : ” It´s all of us.”)
Was Mr. Chappell´s action that of a trades union leader ?
The mention of Mr. Chappell´s name acted on the meeting in the light of a red rag to an infuriated bull.
The Chairman then asked the meeting for a resolution that the men returned to the Barnsley Association, and that someone be instructed to inform the leaders of that body of the action that they intended to take. If the men had kept with the Barnsley association they would have been much better treated than they had been by Mr. Chappell.
Eventually a resolution was carried without a dissentient to the effect that Mr. Hatton inform the Barnsley Association through it´s officials of the desire of the Denaby Main men to be enrolled in it´s ranks.
The Chairman then read to the meeting the following circular which had been extensively circulated among the men :-
To the Denaby Main men and the general public – ” Mr. Cowey said to me on Monday, ” I tell thee before thy face, as well as saying it behind thy back, that no man living could have fought the Denaby Main battle than thou hast fought it. Let Peter Hatton give to the Denaby Main men a faithful account of what was said at the conference as to how far other officials would have gone in providing food for the Denaby Main men. Let the men demand it.
Mr. Pickard says that he never said that they would takeover the Denaby Main men, as reported by Henry Gething to them on Monday, the 6 th inst. That no letter had been sent to say that unless they sacked me they would not support the Denaby Main men any longer. The resolution contained nothing which had not been sanctioned by the general body of men and the Council and has been on record three months. Although we were not at the scene of the ejectments we were doing our best for them. But we were officially ordered to stay away and we must be officially ordered to return.
Hatton´s Terms v. Chappell´s
Hatton´s Terms : 100 tons at 17s.6d. old rate
Round Coal 60 tons at 1s 7 ¾ d. . . . . . . £4 18 9d.
Small Coal 40 tons at 1s. 1 1/4d. . . . . . .£2 4 2d
£7 2 11d. New Rate
Difference in favour of Chappell´s terms, 5s 5d. in the hundred tons, and equal to an average of 21% on the owners terms, which added to the 7 ½ % the value of packing, makes 28 ½ % better than the original terms.
Chief reason for the men´s treatment :- Because I could not see my way to further liabilities.”
With reference to the portion of the circular in which Mr. Pickard was represented to have denied that he said the association would take over the Denaby Main men, Mr. Hatton said he did not believe Mr. Pickard had said anything of the kind. He had no power to say such a thing as his Council would not allow him to do so unless he had been authorized. The Council distinctly informed him
( the speaker ) that if the Denaby Main men went over to Barnsley they would be treated the same as other lodges under the circumstances
Mr. Pickard was prepared to address a meeting of the Denaby Main miners.
Respecting what was called in the circular ” Hatton´s terms ” were they ” Hatton´s terms ” or their own ?
Several miners excitedly shouted they were responsible for them.
Had Mr. Chappell ever offered 60 tons at 1s. 7 ¾ d ?
Had he ever submitted that ?
( Cries of No! )
What had Mr. Chappell submitted ?
Why did he have such statements as that printed and sent up and down the country ?
Mr. Chappell had sold them once before, but he ( the chairman ) had watched him carefully this time and therefore Mr. Chappell did not like him. They were aware that he had `done´ them once. Mr. Chappell had asked him to sell them over the packing, and he had informed him that he would not have anything to do with the `selling game,´ that he had all the men to meet during his lifetime and no one should say he sold them.
Great uproar here arose. One miner asked with a contemptuous gesture ” Where´s your Chappell now ? and another from the centre of the crowd shouted ” Oh it´s coming out now is it ? Yet another individual, probably considering that there was something more to come, asked ” Peter, to let them have all that there was,” but the Chairman informed this inquisitive individual that that was all he had to tell them. It was not the first time, he said, that men had been led to sell them.
A Miner expressed an opinion that ” boiling ” was too good for the secretary to the Association.
Several lodges of miners, the chairman went on to remark, would meet at the Brampton Bull´s Head and he wanted them all to attend.
A gaunt half-starved individual hungrily remarked that if `old Chappell´ attended that meeting every Denaby Main man would bite a piece out of him.
This cannibalistic remark, however, found little favour with the audience.
The Chairman then went on to remark that if they took the resolution they had passed to Barnsley there was not the least doubt that Mr. Pickard and Mr. Parrott would attend the meeting and address them.
A man interposed that sentence, saying that the Denaby Main men would have no `hand-picking´ and the Chairman said the Barnsley Association would not allow them to have it, if they would join it.
A Miner said Mr. Chambers `ought to hand-pick `em´ himself, and another thought he would soon want to `be shoot of the job.´
After some discussion on which some more hard nocks were dealt to Mr. Chappell, it was decided to attend the meeting at Brampton, and march out with colours flying.
The Chairman advised the men to bring their `cans´ with them, as they would get some money at Lundhill and along the route.
Thanks were tendered to the Revs. T. Horsfall and T.J. Leslie, for their kindness in distributing bread among the starving families, and Mr. Stanley of Wath, and other friends, especially the miners of Lundhill and Wombwell, were thanked for contributing to the bread fund.
The secretary was ordered to take the names of every man on strike at Denaby Main, for the purpose of submitting them to the Association at Barnsley.
All men, the Chairman remarked, who had been standing out at Denaby Main would be relieved, independently of their being unionist or non-unionist.
A Miner asked derisively ” Shall Chappell come and lead us this afternoon?” but his companion turned upon him threateningly and he subsided.
The meeting then adjourned.
On Tuesday, Mr. C. Scorah, butcher of Mexborough, forwarded a quantity of meat for distribution to the starving families by the Rev. T.J. Leslie.
Mr. Sargentson, of Doncaster, sent a supply of pork pies, buns etc.
” W.H.S ” Sheffield – 10s. : H. Jane Jackson – 5s. : The men of Wombwell Main – 13s. 8d. : and Mr. W.E. Clegg of Sheffield – £5.
It was found that the contributions forwarded have not been sufficiently large to keep pace with the demand for bread.
Numbers of families are in utter destitution, and but for the great generosity shown by the poor to their poorer brethren it is certain than an unparalleled amount of suffering would have been the result.