Dispute – July 17th – More New Hands – Men Return to Work

July 1885

More New Hands Expected – Men Return to Work

A few of the latest arrivals from Staffordshire left the colliery premises late on Monday night. The affair of Sunday is the prevailing topic of conversationin Mexborough and the neighbourhood, eclipsing in interest the shooting case of Saturday. Morris, who was severely handled on Sunday, and who is lying in the Doncaster Infirmary, is now progressing towards convalescence. Hutchinson, the Manvers Main miner, who was shot in the thigh on Saturday, is not so well as was to have been expected. Dr. Sykes having been unable to extract the bullet owing to the serious nature of the wound. It is not thought probable that he will be able to attend Doncaster Court to give evidence against his assailant next Saturday.

After the exciting events of the past few days, there is comparative calm, and on Tuesday none of the Denaby Main miners took up the position they had so frequently occupied of late near the colliery premises.

It is stated that one of the new arrivals has been crushed rather severely by one of the corves while he was employed in the pit.

On Monday night a large number of police-constables visited Mexborough under the orders of Superintendent Hammond, of Rotherham, Inspector Smith, of Mexborough, and Inspector Beilby, of Rawmarsh.

Every lane leading to and from Mexborough was closely watched in the event of any miners who were wanted attempting to elude their pursuers. A raid was made upon the houses in Swinton and Mexborough tenanted by the Denaby Main miners. A rumour gained currency during the day that there were other arrests to the number of thirty to follow, but the company are of opinion that the apprehension of the fourteen persons now in custody will prove a sufficient deterrent to the Denaby Main miners.

The latter are very bitter against the Staffordshire men, and a crowded meeting was held on Tuesday at the Mason´s Arms, lodge-room, Mexborough, to discuss the whole question. The following resolutions were passed :-

” That this meeting express surprise and regret at the action of the police in not apprehending the Staffordshire men who threw their hats in the road last Sunday, and who thus commenced the disturbance for which our fellow workmen are now awaiting their trial.”

” That an appeal be made to all the miners of the district for special help to assist us in finding counsel for their defence.”

” That this meeting of miners express it´s profound sympathy with the wives and families of the miners who are now detained in custody.”

The wages question was next discussed and the meeting passed the following resolution unanimously :-

” That we are still willing to accept the terms offered by Mr. Pope, viz., 5s. 6d. for colliers and 4s. per day for fillers until the question has been arbitrated upon.”

A man residing at Old Denaby was returning home on Tuesday when he was molested by several Staffordshire men, who were apparently under the impression that he was one of the late workmen. He was asked where he was going, and on his replying it was nothing to do with them he was knocked down. He rose and proceeded on his way without further molestation. It is stated that frequent battles have taken place of late among the Staffordshire men.

On Monday several workmen, who had left Denaby Main and ere proceeding by road to Barnsley, were severely handled on the road, after they had traversed a few miles.

On Tuesday a letter was received from the late chairman of the miners´ lodge which stated that the majority of new arrivals on Monday were furnace-men and potters from the Potteries and there were scarcely any colliers among them.

The women who accompanied the party did so, it is stated, for the purpose of waiting upon the Staffordshire men now at Denaby Main, for which they were to receive 2s. per day. Some of them expected, it is stated, to see their husband´s at Denaby Main and waved their handkerchiefs as the train steamed past the colliery premises. They were surprised on learning that the Denabyites were not cheering, but hooting them on their arrival. A little fellow about nine years of age accompanied the party, but on reaching the colliery, he discovered that his father, whom he wished to see, had departed from the colliery that morning for home. Much sympathy was expressed for the little traveller and enough money was collected by the bystanders to pay his fare back.

Mr. Edwards, the president of the Miners´ Conference recently held in Manchester, is doing all in his power, in conjunction with Messrs. Hatton and Birks, to prevent the arrival of any more colliers from Staffordshire.

Meetings are being held in the Potteries, and the case of the Denaby Main miners is being laid before the inhabitants of that district. Sixty men who were about to depart for Denaby Main on hearing the statements made by Mr. Edwards refused to proceed.

The leader of the Staffordshire men, Whitehurst, who left the colliery premises on Monday, has not yet left the neighbourhood of Mexborough.

The Denaby Main men are confident that they will be able to effect their object without any further strife, and, from what can be gathered they intend to abstain from further interference with the strangers.

The adherents of the company, on the other hand, state that their purpose is already accomplished.

An attempt is being made by several independent parties to obtain a settlement of the dispute, which has already entered on the twenty-ninth week. As the men have expressed a wish to resume their employment on the masters´ terms, the only matter at issue is the question as to whether the men are to be allowed to resume work in a body or not. There is a strong feeling of unionism yet existing among the men, who are of opinion that, having held firmly together up to the present time, they should still act in concert until the struggle is ended.

Several Denaby Main men who have gone to work are viewed with much disfavour, but no actual violence has been offered.

On Tuesday the Rev. T.J. Leslie distributed among the men a large quantity of bread.