The “Bag Dirt” Strike – Slight Disturbances

August 1902

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 15 August 1902

Slight Disturbances

Our Denaby correspondent writes on Thursday night: Feeling amongst the men against those of their fellow men will continue to work has reached a very high pitch, but of the presence of violence on the part of the men has been notified. After the meeting on Wednesday, a vast crowd of men, women and children assemble near the bridge which crosses the G.C.railway, which way leads to the Cadeby Colliery, to watch the men return from work.

On the appearance of the men, with black faces, there was a considerable amount of hooting on the part of the women, but the men were allowed to pass unmolested.

On Thursday a somewhat larger crowd assembled near the bridge, and there was a strong body of police posted at short distances, and as the workers appeared the women surged as  close as the police would allow.

However one man who had been working, had not gone far when stones were thrown, but no damage was done. After being escorted through the thickest part of the crowd by the police he was allowed to walk on. When near the Denaby Main Hotel, it is stated that some women and children ran towards him in a threatening manner, and for refuge he ran into a house. A crowd of men, women and children soon gathered, but the man was wise enough to remain indoors whilst the police dispersed the crowd.

A large number of people remained close by, however – mostly women and boys – and his appearance was the signal for another rush, but he again took refuge in a house, and he finally had to be escorted home by bodyguard police.

The disturbance seems to be credited to the miners wives, the majority of whom speak bitterly against the so-called black legs, and but for the presence of strong body of police someone would most certainly have been injured. During the afternoon one house was surrounded, and the occupants whom, it is alleged, are amongst those who continued to work, were subjected to a good deal of hooting before the police interfered and disperse the crowd. The number of the men who continued to work in spite of the strike by the company’s existing work and are now idle.