Meeting at Denaby – Mr Rymer’s Accident

May 1878

May 10th 1878.

Meeting of Miners At Denaby.

Mr Rymer´s Accident

On Tuesday evening last a meeting of the miners of the Denaby Main Colliery, was held in the Lodge room at the Mason´s Arms, Mexborough. A very small company was in attendance, owing to some mistake having been made as to announcing the same. Previous to the commencement of the meeting a some – what serious accident occurred to Mr. E. Rymer, who had come from Barnsley to address them ; on entering the Lodge room, this gentleman, who is nearsighted, went into a corner ( where a flight of stone stairs descends into a lower room ) for the purpose of placing his umbrella, and not noticing the opening, he fell headlong down this flight of twenty stairs, he appeared little worse for his singular misfortune, which happily did not end with more serious results.

Shortly before seven o´clock, Mr. Rymer stating that he was better, the meeting commenced. The Chairman opened the proceedings with a few remarks and then called upon Mr. E. Rymer, who addressed them at great length in an earnest manner, having, evidently, the cause of the miners at heart, and his remarks were highly appreciated by all present. He was frequently applauded in the course of his address.

At the commencement he remarked that he was sorry there was so small a company, which pained him very much when he knew it ought to have been otherwise. He was sorry that he had met with an accident, but he was, on the other hand, glad that it was of no serious nature. He asked them what remedy they should adopt to bring about a better state of things. Some great and united effort should be made to rouse up their failing vigour. The best remedy to adopt would be to have more meetings, stick closer together, study each others well being and interest, do the thinking part themselves and not let other people think for them, aim at things higher, be firm and resolute, and push onward. For the example of his hearers he gave a brief account of the various episodes during his lifetime which proved that he had suffered greatly for the cause of the union. The entry of a man into the union was an act of freewill, therefore no one had a right to complain or say that any compulsion was used in obtaining members for their cause. He said they were passing through a very critical period of history, and he thought a great calamity was hanging over their heads, to avert which would require all their united efforts, man to man. He instanced the plan found in the colliery managers pocket book as likely to become general, if not their duty to be on the look out, to be forewarned was to be forearmed.

He therefore warned them to take his advice, and stick closer to the union.

His object in addressing them was to persuade them to value their present advantages and not to allow them to slip through their fingers ; for the cause of the Union he had been `victimised´ and had not worked for a considerable number of weeks but rather than give way to his oppressors he would die. His concluding remarks were of a very exemplary character, he strenuously exhorting them to keep to the Union, also to put their thoughts in one focus and get them into action, and by one great act unite altogether, and thereby obtain all their wants. Keep out of the Public houses and got to the Mechanic´s Institute, read more and he was sure they would profit thereby. He hoped that his remarks would be acted upon and that good results would arise from his visit.

He then put the following resolutions to the meeting which were unanimously carried.

” That this meeting desires to make its united public protest against the Government bringing native troops from India, without first having the sanction of Parliament.” That this resolution be sent to Mr. Gladstone and signed by the Chairman.

” That this meeting sees no other possible means of checking the downward tendency of wages in mines and other evils now existing, but by a powerful union of coalminers throughout England. We therefore call upon every miner to join the union and help in securing justice and liberty for the Working classes of the country.”

After a cordial vote of thanks to Mr. Rymer the meeting concluded.