Dispute – June 19th – Colliery still recruiting – Ponies out to Grass

June 1885

June 19 th 1885

The Denaby Main Dispute

On Friday last two men were sent into Staffordshire by the Denaby Main miners for the purpose of collecting money. On their arrival at one of the pits they learned that an agent of the Denaby Main company had engaged a number of workmen to be employed at the Denaby Main colliery.

Mr. Benj. Pickard, the secretary to the Yorkshire Miners´ Association, received a letter subsequently from Mr. Edwards, miners´ agent, informing that the name of the agent of the Denaby Main colliery was Mr. Nicholas.

A similar communication was made to the officials of the Denaby Main lodge on Monday morning.

Mr. Pickard visited Mexborough on Monday, and conferred with the officials of the local miners´ lodge on the subject, and a telegram was despatched to Staffordshire in order to stop the men who had been engaged from paying a visit to Yorkshire.

The Denaby Main men who were sent to Staffordshire stated in a letter to one of their friends that they had arrived just in time to stop a fresh incursion of strangers.

The blacksmiths, enginemen, and a few other men were sent for to resume work on Monday afternoon.

In anticipation of the arrival of about a hundred Staffordshire men, many miners recently employed at Denaby Main visited the colliery on Monday afternoon, and much excitement prevailed.

It is rumoured that a number of boats are waiting at Denaby Main for orders, and that the captains have received instructions to wait for their cargoes until the colliery starts work.

The men express themselves confident that the pit will be thrown open in a few days.

Miners´ Meeting At Mexborough.
A largely attended meeting of Denaby Main miners was held at the Lodge-room, the Mason´s Arms, Mexborough, on Wednesday evening, Mr. Hatton was in the chair.

The Chairman, in opening the proceedings, referred to the circumstance that some of the men had been working at the colliery and helping to extinguish the fire in a portion of the colliery which had broken out afresh. He asked what was the use of resolutions being passed if they were continually broken. It had been decided that the men resume work in a body and not one here and one there, if anyone went back to work he would be a `black-sheep´ as much as those who came from Staffordshire or Cornwall.

It was stated that the manager did not consider the men´s position when he turned them from their homes, although the men had done their best to help him in the case of emergency which occurred when the fire broke out.

Some of the miners were of opinion that when the company found themselves in the dilemma they should have kept away from the colliery.

A communication was received stating that a mining engineer of Derby was attempting to obtain men in North Staffordshire to work at a new colliery near Doncaster. A number of men had been engaged, but these, as soon as the knew their destination was Denaby Main, expressed their determination not to proceed to Yorkshire, and promised to prevent others from going.

One of the lodge officials then made a statement as to the reported efforts, on behalf of the company, to engage men from Staffordshire. On Monday he said, information came from certain parties in North Staffordshire, that certain parties belonging to the colliery company were at Hanley, and in the neighbourhood of the Potteries seeking men to come and take the place of the old hands at Denaby Main.

Only a day or two before the company pretended to sell the ponies and horses, at the fall of the hammer and at `no reserve´ ; but many of the ponies had gone to Loversall Hall and other places `to grass´ until such times as they could see their way clear to open the pit. It was only a `blind´ to try and make the public believe it was the men´s fault that the colliery was not at work.

A telegram, which had been received by Mr. Pickard, stated that Mr. Nicholas was trying to engage men `for a colliery near Doncaster.´

A letter, which had been sent them at Denaby Main, said Mr. Nicholas had been at Longton “trying to get men, offering them anything if they would come ; but they said they would sooner die in the streets than do anything of the sort,” now they knew all about the dispute. ( Hear, hear and cheers )

A mining engineer at Derby was trying to engage men, and was giving them to understand that they were wanted `for a new colliery.´

The Chairman : Another dodge !!

After Mr. Pickard received the telegram he arranged for certain bills to be printed, warning men to keep away from Denaby Main, as the dispute was not over.

The Chairman ; There is this, we want to be understood. We are willing to go back to work, to put the fire out or to do anything else, providing we are paid that which is right.

And I hope it will go into the press, that every man is willing to go back to work today, to oblige Mr. Chambers, if he will let us go back at the same rate as the district. ( Hear, hear, and a Voice : ” That´s the way to put it.”)

One man in the room said he had found work at Manvers Main, and the chairman said he hoped many of the men would be able to find work, and that they would think of their mates out of work, and contribute what they could. ( Hear, hear )

Other maters of detail were discussed, and the meeting then broke up.

Relief Of The Needy.

On Friday the Rev. T.J. Leslie received :-

from ” Unity,” Derbyshire – £1 8s.

“E” and “G.M” , Melbourn , Cambridgeshire – 2s. 6d.
Mr. Jacob Uttley, Firsthill Road, Pittsmoor, Sheffield – another 100 loaves.
Rev. John Scruton, of Mexborough – 30s. worth of bread.
Bread was on Friday given to 359 families, containing 1842 persons.
The Rev. T.J. Leslie on Monday received from :-
Mr. E.H. Garbutt, Hull – 10s.
Mr. & Mrs. W. Stebbings, East Dereham – 10s.
Miss Lamb, London – 2s. 6d.
Miss Priestman, Bristol – 7s. 6d.
`Finedon´ – 1s.
” A Workingman, ” Hull – 2s. 6d.
” W.M.W.,” Finedon – 2s.
” A Workingman,” Bristol – 2s. 6d.

Bread was given out on Monday only to cases of extreme distress.

The Rev. T.J. Leslie gave bread on Friday to 359 families containing 1842 people, towards which Mr. Jacob Uttley, Pittsmoor, Sheffield, gave 100 loaves of bread, and the Rev. John Scruton gave 30s. worth of bread. Relief has been given during the week to many cases of extreme distress.

Special help has also been given by the Rev. Leslie in some cases of sickness and articles of clothing have been distributed to some families who have great need of them.

Letters have been received from various parts of the country expressive of approval and sympathy with the Rev. Leslie in his good work. One or two letters from anonymous writers of a vile character, and containing language unheard in respectable society, have also been sent to him. The handwriting of one of these letters is well known.

Bread was given on Thursday to 352 families, containing 1729 persons.

The following donations, in addition to those mentioned above, have been received by the Rev. T.J. Leslie :-

” J.G.,” Hull – 5s.
” Sympathy,” Derbyshire – £1 1s.
” I.O.B,” Sheffield – 6s.
The employees ” Sheffield Independent,” – 7s. 6d.
” Three Friends,” Mexborough – £1.
” H.W.M.” – 10s.
” Unity,” Derbyshire – 19s. 4d.
” J.T.,” Bodmin – 5s.
” J. Dixon ” – £1.
” Hastings ” – £1.
” Mrs. E. Thornton,” Batley – 5s.
” W.H.H.”, Blackburn – 2s.
” Derbyshire Miners´ Association ” – £1 6s. 4d.

The Denaby Main miners collected last week the sum of £98 17s. 2d.