Dispute – April 3rd – Miners Meeting – Dispute with Mr Chappell

1 April 1885

Miners Meeting

A meeting of the men was held on Tuesday in the Mexborough lodge room. The proceedings were very stormy, a section of the men being dissatisfied with Mr. Chappell´s action at the demonstration held on Monday.

A Communication from Mr. Chappell was read to the meeting, which states that he would have nothing to do with the Denaby Main case until he was in receipt of instructions from the Council meeting at Rotherham. He asked that a deputation be appointed to attend the Council meeting.

It was decided to ascertain by means of a deputation, the feeling of the district concerning Mr. Chappell´s action in proposing the resolution at Monday´s meeting without consulting the lodge in the matter.

A Miner said if everyone would join the South Yorkshire Association they would be accepted as members of that body.

A proposition was made to the effect that Mr. Chappell be asked to attend a meeting to be held next Tuesday. It was, However, decided on second consideration to await the decision of other lodges. Another speaker strongly condemned the proposition to unite with the South Yorkshire Association, and stated that many times when their money had gone to Barnsley they had been six or eight weeks a never received a halfpenny.

A resolution to the effect that the men submit to no reduction was carried.

In view of the ejectment notices being likely to be enforced this week, the arrangements for the supply of tents were ordered to be pushed forward at once, a great deal of dissatisfaction being expressed on account of the delay in the negotiations.

Council Meeting Of The S.Y. and N.D. Association.

A council meeting of the South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire Association was held on Tuesday, delegates from all parts of the district attended.

It was decided that the men of Denaby Main resume work on the old terms, and that if the company wish for a reduction, they state their case publicly, as at present the men do not know exactly what is required of them.

It was stated that no definite offer had been made, and that the men hardly knew in what direction a reduction is demanded.

At Mexborough great dissatisfaction was expressed among the majority of the miners at the excitability shown at the meeting on Monday morning.

Important Statement From Mr. Chappell.

Dear Sir,

Let every Denaby Main man read carefully the following items of business on their question, and they will be able to see that the recommendations submitted by the secretary were not out of order with the resolution of council on the subject.

On 29th December 1884, a deputation consisting of Messrs. Hatton, Cooper, Davis, Evans, Beardsley, Crowcroft, and others, waited on the manager, and left the following propositions with the company :-

1st ” The men´s deputation are prepared to recommend that the work be continued at 1s. 6 ½ d. per ton for round coal, and 10 ½ d. per ton for small coal.”

2nd ” The deputation are also prepared to recommend 1s. 6d. for round coal and 1s. per ton for small.” ( The above terms do not include the district 10%. )

3rd ” They are also prepared to settle the points in dispute by setting aside three or four stalls with a view to ascertaining the quantity of small and round coal ; that two men on behalf of the workmen shall be appointed to watch the proceedings, and the rate to be fixed according to the results found by the parties herein referred to.”

The committee met at the Denaby Main Lodge by special arrangement, by order of the council meeting on December 27th , when it was resolved :-

” That this committee, along with the deputation which waited upon the manager of the colliery, regard the suggestions which have been made by the deputation and reported to the committee as showing a strong disposition on the part of the workmen to avoid a rupture between the owners and workers of the Denaby Main Colliery.”


” That this committee is of opinion that there is no way by which the question at issue can be settled so equably as the suggesting that the differences should be put to a reference of four men, two to act on each side, and the rates for round and small coal to be fixed by the results found by the parties herein referred to.”

At a meeting of the whole body of the men the same night, December 29th , in Mr. Slater´s room, it was resolved :-

” That this meeting highly approves of the action of the deputation and endorses the suggestions left with the manager.”

At a district meeting, held January 12th , the following minute was passed :-

” That this committee, having now had fuller opportunity for considering the nature and consequent bearing of the terms offered by the Denaby Main Co. is of strong and unbiased belief that there is no way so equitable and so likely to produce reliable information on which to proceed to the adjusting of the rates of payment for the changes with the Denaby Main Company seek to introduce as arbitration.”

The Denaby Main deputation to council meeting, April 7th 1885, were astonished to find three resolutions still in existence.

The council fully confirmed all resolutions, and cannot be held responsible for the business not being laid before the Denaby Main lodge. No doubt everybody have had plenty on their hands.

Now, I ask, where is the recommendation of Monday out of order with the above business ?

The council fully maintains also, that we cannot dictate how a pit shall be worked, and it is upon this point of not having the hand-picked system at all we got into collision on Monday.

A deputation gave authority that the following resolution be sent to the manager :-

” That the workmen of the Denaby Main are willing to resume work on the old system and price for one month, and that the stalls be set apart in each district, to test the hand-picked system, and the price to be fixed as not to cause a reduction on wages paid formerly.”

The Denaby Main delegate has been chairman of the council since January.

Yours Truly,

W. Chappell.