Dispute – May 22nd g – Probable Closing of the Colliery

May 1885

The Denaby Main Dispute
Probable Closing Of The Colliery

A meeting of the directors of the Denaby Main colliery was held on Wednesday, when a most momentous change in the position of affairs was decided upon.

After duly considering the question relative to the dispute, it was decided that unless a sufficient number of men gave in their names at once to resume work on the employers terms ( 5s. 6d. per day for the colliers and 4s. for the fillers ) the colliery will be closed for an indefinite period.

On Thursday ( yesterday ) a fortnight´s notice was given to the new hands to leave their employment, as well as to the deputies, enginemen and everyone who is employed at the colliery.

Mr. Chambers, the manager, has also received positive instructions to sell the horses and ponies belonging to the colliery company in the event of the men not returning in sufficient numbers to work the pit in the course of a fortnight. The ropes are to be taken off, and the colliery set down, in readiness for any prolonged stand. The colliery will take as much re-opening now as it will in six months time.

The Baltic ports, to which a great deal of the Denaby Main coal is shipped, are only just clear of ice, and it is estimated that if the colliery is closed it will not be opened for another twelve months.

The police at the colliery, immediately the decision of the directors was made known, received orders to depart, and twenty-two were drafted at once to their homes.

Some idea of the loss to the miners of Denaby Main and the trades-people of the neighbourhood may be formed when the fact is taken into consideration that in wages alone £29, 400 has been lost.

A rumour gained currency that Mr. Pope had withdrawn his offer of 5s. 6d. per day for colliers and 4s. for fillers. On enquiry it was found that the rumour was entirely destitute of foundation. It is understood that if the 10% reduction is made in the district it would not be taken off the aforementioned prices.

Five of the old hands at Denaby Main went to work on Wednesday at the employers terms, and several more were expected to sign.

A large number of the Denaby Main men made their way to the colliery on Wednesday night, in anticipation of the Cornishmen taking their nightly stroll, but the new arrivals did not make their appearance outside the colliery gates.