1887 Denaby Main Great Fire – The Aftermath


The Proposed Relief Fund.

Letter from Mr. B. Pickard M.P.

Mr. Pickard writes to us in reference to the families which are deprived by the fire, of it´s means of earning a living. The Association which he represents will do it´s best to collect for them, he also hopes we shall open a relief fund

concerning which we refer our readers to our leading article.

Meeting of men.

Last night at a meeting of the Denaby Main branch of the Miners´ Association

held in the lodge room, Doncaster Road, Mexborough, at which Mr. B. Pickard M.P. was present, he having come down in response to a communication from Mr. John Dixon, the secretary of the Association. The men viewed with some considerable gratification the letter which Mr. Pickard had addressed to the four leading newspapers in Sheffield and Leeds, and believe that the appeal to the public will not be disregarded should the occasion arise.

At the meeting last night the principal topic of discussion was the disaster, and after it´s various bearings had been considered, it was decided that final arrangements would be made next week for the solicitation of assistance from the collieries in the district. The constitution of a relief committee was not practically agreed upon, but in the meantime any persons can forward any subscriptions by P.O.O. to Mr. John Dixon, Secretary to the Lodge, Hirstgate, Mexborough

The opinion was expressed that by the end of next week some of the families whose breadwinners were thrown out of employment would need assistance, more or less, and that then immediate relief would be necessary, we understand that the subject of forming a relief committee will be under consideration on Monday January 2nd 1888 at Barnsley.

Various rumours as to the cause of the fire are still flying about, but none of them can be substantiated by trustworthy evidence.

By the morning of Friday December 30th 1887, the ironwork, including the huge pulley wheels and burnt timber will be cleared from the pithead On close inspection it has been found that the engines which works the main shaft are not damaged beyond repair, although the engine which works the cupola shaft has received the worst treatment. It is a moot point whether the foundations have been disturbed, and upon this will depend whether the men will be able to work sooner or later.There is a large number of men working night and day, and it is only a question of six or seven weeks at the farthest before any more coal is turned out.

It ought to be understood that the Council meeting of the Miners´ Federation to be held at Barnsley on Monday January 2nd 1888, will only be able to take into consideration the lot of those men who belong to the Union, who are a small minority of those engaged at the colliery. There will therefore be a great need for sympathy and assistance from the public.

The Rev. J.T. Leslie, the Rev. H. Ellershaw M.A. (Vicar), and Mr. John Dixon will receive subscriptions, and we understand the Mr. J. Spencer Balfour has signified his willingness of subscribing to the fund if started, and also sitting on the committee.

We are requested to state that the telegram to the police and fire brigade bears the time of 3-27am received at Mexborough. It was not handed to the Inspector until 10 minutes to 4 o´clock, and with the greatest despatch he roused the town and dashed off, accompanied by the firemen, and reached the fire before half past four, or under three quarters of an hour from receipt of the telegram.

The Denaby Main Disaster.

To the Editor :-

Sir, seeing that the unlooked for disaster will throw hundreds of miners out of work for a few weeks, I venture, with every confidence to suggest that the Mexborough Local Board, let by contract to the above men the raising and putting down of that portion of the main sewer at Sparrow Barracks which has been damaged by subsidence, subject to each man getting a share of the work. There are many things in favour of the men doing this work, which could be commenced at a few hours notice.

1st — The springs are now low ; should the Board wait until Spring, the springs will get replenished and make work difficult, seeing that the pipes are at a great depth.

2nd — Compensation to a great measure would be now avoided ; whereas, if the work is done in the Spring of this year, the crops would be destroyed for the year and the Board would have to pay for the same.

3rd — By allowing the miners to do work, would in a great measure, save the traders and the miners getting into great debt.

4th — It would save the Union ; therefore the poor rates would not increase.

5th — The owners of the property would not suffer so much as if the men were out of work.

6th — It would save the Denaby Main miners asking for relief – for live they must one way or another ; it would also keep the men in condition.

I, therefore, wish it to be distinctly understood that the men won´t get any pay out of the Miners´ Union as though it were a strike.

In conclusion, the miners have done similar class of work, under my supervision, during that most unfortunate strike, and gave satisfaction and no doubt if they are allowed to do the above work they will give the same.

Yours Truly,George White, The Farm, Mexborough. December 28th 1887.

The Denaby Main Disaster.

To the Editor. :-

Sir, In virtue of the inevitable distress which already begins to show itself in consequence of the late fire, I beg to suggest that a Relief Fund be commenced through the medium of your newspaper. I forward five shillings as a commencement. Also there will be an entertainment of an interesting description on January 9th 1888, in the Infant school, Denaby Main, the proceeds from which are to go to the relief of the unemployed. Tickets to be had from myself and the teachers.


Rev. W.M. Probert.

1,500 Men and Boys Thrown out of Work.

To the Editor :-

Sir, We frequently hear of the pleadings of the working classes being ignored by the upper classes, on the grounds that their grievances are not real, but only exist in their own imagination , that the modes of reasoning among them are not sound. Now such being the idea, if the Mexborough Local Board would employ the men to raise Denaby´s road and do other work which is quite necessary, it would enable them to tide over the temporary difficulty.

I Remain Yours Truly,

George Newsome, December 29th 1887.

Denaby Main Disaster Relief Fund.

To the Editor :-

Sir, Will you kindly allow me to acknowledge the receipt of the following sums of money, through your paper, on behalf of the distressed families of the Denaby Main Miners :-

A.H.D. Ackland Esq. M.P. – £5.

Sir F.T. Mappin M.P. – £10.

J. Spencer Balfour Esq. – £20

Mr.W. Parrott – 5 shillings (25p)

The aforementioned subscriptions and any which may yet be sent to me, will be distributed through relief cheques, by a committee chosen by the men themselves. I have been strongly requested by the men to ask your readers not to give any relief to beggars, who are going about the country saying they are from Denaby Main. All will be helped by the committee to the extent of our ability. I am told that Mr. Chambers, the Manager of the colliery, will do all he can to reduce the distress by finding work for as many men as he can, until they are again able to work the pit. But I fear there will be a great amount of suffering during the next five or six weeks. Many families not having recovered from the sad effects of the late dispute, in which they suffered so much. Aid will be gratefully received by those in need

Thomas James Leslie, Mexborough, January 3rd 1888.

Aid for the Miners of Denaby Main.

To the Editor :-

Sir, Through the medium of your newspaper I should like to point out that the Denaby Main Branch of the Yorkshire Miners´ Association, has received through Mr. B. Pickhard M.P. a subscription of £5 from Mr. Milnes Gaskell M.P. for the Morley division, and Mr. Dixon has also received one of one guinea from Mr. Weston, of the Corn Exchange Stores, The Park, Sheffield,

To the relief fund for those miners who are not in the Miners´ Union, the rules of the union do not make provision in case men are thrown out of employment by such an occurrence as the Denaby Main Colliery fire ; and if anything is done at all by the council, it would be a voluntary act. At the Council meeting held on Monday, a requisition drawn up by Mr. Dixon, was presented on behalf of the Denaby Main members. The council could either pay the men a certain sum per week out of the funds, or the various pit heads could agree to a levy.

Substantial assistance will be required for those men who are not in the union and will not thus receive any aid.

Yours TrulyMr. John Dixon, Secretary.

Denaby Main Disaster Relief Fund.

To the Editor :-

Sir, I beg to acknowledge the receipt of the following sums on behalf of the Denaby Main Miners´ Relief Fund :-

Anon – £1.

Mrs. Scholes – £1.Mr. J. Cole Hamilton – £1.

Messrs. Craddock – £5.

Collection at Kilnhurst Church per the Vicar – £8.

Yours Sincereley.Rev. H. Ellershaw, Vicar of Mexborough.

The Denaby Main Relief Funds.

To the Editor :-

Sir, My deepest sympathies go with Denaby Main Miners, when an appeal is made by our old friend Dixon and the Union Committee, for then we know that the real instinct of kindly benevolence has been aroused on behalf of the suffering. Considering the number of persons afflicted by this untimely calamity, the appeal for support calls loudly for a generous and prompt public consideration. This colliery has not done liberal justice to these funds, and when I saw the amount of twenty five shillings set down at our pit last week, I was ill tempered enough to write this letter as a protest against such meanness, 3 pennies each from the people working here would give over £13 10 shillings a week, but the miserable sum of 25 shillings, considering the narrow escape we had the week before. A few friends and myself saw Mr. Marshall, the colliery manager, and he kindly promised to find work for the Denaby Main men, while he could properly employ them. It is positively cruel and un-English to see honest men and virtuous women and innocent children suffer for the want bread, and the man that would not deny himself some trifling luxury to help those people, cares but little how the world groans around him many tribulations.

Yours Truly,

E.A. Rymer, Monk Bretton January 26th 1888.

Mass Meeting of the Unemployed Denaby Main Miners.

A crowded meeting of the unemployed Denaby Main workmen was held on Thursday afternoon January 5 th 1888, in the lodge-room, the chairman of the lodge presiding ; and he was supported by Mr. W. Parrott of Barnsley ; Mr. John Dixon, secretary of the Denaby Main branch of the Miners´ Association ; and the Rev. T.J. Leslie of Mexborough.

Mr. Parrott having expressed his sympathy with the men, referred to the action taken by the council meeting at Barnsley on Monday in reference to their case.

He was sorry to say that the rules of the association did not provide relief in case of fire ; all it did was exempt the men from paying their contributions. He (Mr. Parrott) had advocated for a length of time that something should be done by the association to meet such cases as theirs by a levy or the establishment of a special fund ; he hoped that out of this mishap at the colliery some good would be done by the Denaby men helping him forward in the scheme which he had pronounced.

A similar state of things had occurred at one of the Wharncliffe Silkstone Collieries, and he had addressed the men on the subject last night. He was sorry to see that after the association had been established so many years, when an accident occurred like the one at Denaby, they should have to ask the public for assistance. He would rather that the men should rely upon their own efforts, for it did not give the association much credit to have a lot of men out at Denaby and Wharncliffe Silkstone, and not to have a penny in the funds, to assist them. (Hear, hear). With the exception of their case at Denaby, the case at Wharncliffe Silkstone, and a small pit out Otley way, the miners were at peace throughout the whole district – (Hear, hear) – and for anything he knew everything was going on comfortably. He (Mr. Parrott) had made a suggestion at the council meeting that every pithead should call a meeting and appoint one of their own men to collect from Saturday to Saturday. If they were to do that the men from Denaby would receive as much as if they received strike money ; and he was glad to see Mr. Leslie had received subscriptions.

The Rev. J.T. Leslie, who was well received, deeply sympathised with the owners of the colliery and also with the workmen. His sympathy had ever been with the working men, and when he saw suffering or heard of distress, as a Christian minister and as a man, he was bound to give all the help he could (Hear, hear). After referring to the sums of money that he had received on behalf of the distress fund, the reverend gentleman said he attended that meeting for the purpose of asking the men to choose a committee to help him in the dis-

-bursement of the money he had received. £35 was not a very large sum, but every little helped. They might give away between the hours of one and four on Saturday, 600 tickets to the value of one shilling, which would be recognised by the tradesmen of the town. (Hear, hear).

A vote of thanks was passed to the Rev. T.J. Leslie, on the motion of Mr. Parrott, seconded by Mr. Dixon, and it was understood that tickets would be distributed to the more pressing cases on the Friday.

Mr. J. Dixon said, the question of providing employment had been considered the previous day, by the Mexborough Local Board, and that they had had an interview with him on the subject. The Chairman, Mr. Lowe had gone to Manchester to see the engineer of the M.S.&L. Railway Company and obtain his permission

to turn the sewerage into the canal, while the pipes in the neighbourhood of the Sparrow Barracks were lifted. Should permission be granted, a committee of the men would be asked to tender for the work ; they had done similar work before and he believed they could do it again. It would assist in keeping the wolf from the door, and the thanks of the meeting was due to the Board for offering it to them. (Cheers). Votes of thanks concluded the meeting.

January 13th 1888. The Denaby Main Miners.

In addition to the sums already received by the Rev. H. Ellershaw and the Rev

J.T. Leslie, Mr. John Dixon, secretary to the Denaby Main branch of the Miners´ Association, has received the following subscriptions in aid of the relief fund towards the men and their families who have been rendered almost destitute by the fire at Denaby Main Colliery :-

Offertories at Maltby Parish Church ( per the Rev.A.H.S. Bean ) – £5 – 10s – 5pennies.

Mr. R.E. Leader (Sheffield) – £1.

Mr. E.M. Mundy, Shipley Hall – £1.

Messrs. Nicholson Brothers, Conisbrough – £1.

Mr. R. Darwent – 5 shillings.

At the meeting of the committee appointed to distribute relief held on Wednesday night January 10th, the Rev. H. Ellershaw and the Rev. T.J. Leslie attended to consider the means to adopt with respect to sums received, and it was decided that subscriptions from all quarters should be handed over to the committee, and that they should take it upon themselves to distribute the tickets.

The work of raising the sewerage pipes at Sparrow Barracks is being proceeded with, but it does not find employment for many, and then only for a limited time, as a shift of two days is only allowed to each man, and then his place is taken by another. It was decided at the meeting on Wednesday that a fresh distribution of tickets would take place on Friday January 12th 1888.

The time announced for the distribution of the second lot of tickets to the unemployed Denaby miners and their families at the National School, Mexborough saw the place besieged by a large crowd which did not diminish until 3 hours afterwards, at eight o´clock. There were present besides the committee, the Rev. H. Ellershaw, the Rev. J.T. Leslie and Mr. J. Dixon, whilst valuable help was given by Mr. J.D. Perkins ( master of the school ), and Mr. Scholey, his assistant.

It was first resolved to give 500 tickets away, but the demand became so great that nearly 700 were disposed of before the committee terminated their labours. Each man receiving a ticket was entitled to 1 shilling 6 pennies, each woman 6 pennies, and each child 3 pennies. The poor people were profuse in their expressions of gratitude for even this little help.

The unemployed Denaby miners commenced raising the sewerage pipes in the vicinity of Sparrow Barracks on Friday January 12th 1888. The committee appointed by the colliers have obtained work from the Mexborough local board at 1 shilling and 3 pennies per cubic yard in some places and 10 ½ pennies per cubic yard in others.

The Hon. H.W. Fitzwilliam on Saturday 13th January 1888 sent a cheque for £25 to Mr. John Dixon, secretary to the Denaby Miners´ Relief Committee.

To The Editor.

Sir, Will you kindly allow me the use of your columns to bring before the public the case of the miners thrown out of employment by the serious fire which occurred at Denaby Main Colliery on Christmas Day, and to give information on one or two points which may be of interest to your readers.

1st – As to the subscriptions and their distribution. Donations have hitherto been sent to Mr. John Dixon, local secretary of the miners´ union, the Rev. T. Leslie, and myself. It having been found however, that separate action involved great individual labour and responsibility, and moreover, that many difficulties arose, as well as the possibility of inequitable dealing with the miners, it was deemed advisable to appoint a committee for the administration of all monies received for the relief fund. Such a committee has been formed, and consists of ten miners, together with Mr. Dixon, Mr. Leslie, and myself. Again it having got abroad that the miners had obtained employment on the sewerage works of the Mexborough Local Board, and consequently that there was no need for further public assistance, it is important that the public should know that the number of men employed on these works is only sufficient to give each miner one day´s work in a fortnight ; the assistance therefore, from this source is only small indeed.

Much distress prevails among these poor people, and their families are almost starving, the committee respectfully and earnestly appeal to the public to strengthen their hands and continue to subscribe to the relief fund.

Yours, Respectfully.

Rev. H. Ellershaw.

The Result of Begging for the Denaby Disaster.

William White, collier, Denaby, was charged before the Mayor, Alderman Stockhill, E. Peniston, T. Turner, and S. Meacock Esq., at the Borough Police Court on Monday January 15th 1888, with being found on premises for an unlaswful purpose. – Miss Annie Martin, niece of the landlord, stated that on Saturday night, about seven o´clock, the prisoner and another man called at the Young Union Inn. She was alone in the bar, as her uncle and aunt were getting their tea in the kitchen at the time. The prisoner and his companion asked for relief in aid of the Denaby miners that were out of work in consequence of the late fire. Witness told the men they had had some men in before begging for the same cause, and that they could not relieve everybody, but she went into the kitchen to ask her aunt and uncle if they had anything to give the men. The prisoner followed her and detained her, her uncle and aunt talking, but on the witness returning to the bar, leaving the prisoner in the kitchen, she found the man just in the act of closing the till drawer. Witness said to the man, “What are you doing here?” and he replied “Nothing”, but before she could get to him he ran away. A short time before the till had been cleared, at the time there only being 2 shillings and 6 pennies in it, and 1 shilling and 6 pennies was taken. The prisoner was detained and a policeman sent for. Both men took part in the begging and both said they came from Denaby.

— P.C. Cobb said from what he heard he went to the Young Union Inn, and saw the prisoner in the charge of the landlord. After they told the witness what had occurred he took the prisoner into custody. Prisoner told witness that he did not know who the other man was, and added that he had met with him at the Saracens Head Inn. Prisoner told witness that he had been with another man collecting for the Denaby Main miners.

— Mr. Fisher ( magistrates´ clerk ) : Don´t you know that begging is illegal ?.

— Prisoner : I have been told so since.

— Mr. Fisher : Begging is lawful with clergy, ministers, priests, and ladies, but not with miners.

— Prisoner : I have six children, sir, and nothing to eat.

— Mr. Fisher : I am only telling you what the law is. — There was no defence to the charge, and the prisoner was sent to the House of Correction for 14 days.

January 20th 1888.

The Denaby Main Fire.

Yesterday, Friday January 19th 1888, the second distribution of food tickets took place at the National Schoolroom. The doors were opened at 4 – 30 pm, and at that time the yard was crowded with a line of men, women and boys, and so numerous became the applicants that the row extended out into the road for some distance. There were present in the schoolroom the Rev. H. Ellershaw, M.A. (vicar, and chairman of the relief committee), the Rev. J.T. Leslie

besides a numerous body of clerks and scrutinisers. To each man or head of a household was given a ticket to the value of 1 shilling and 6 pennies, to each woman or wife 6 pennies, and to each child 3 pennies. The distributors were kept busy until close on 8 o´clock, when it was estimated that quite £80 value in tickets had been given away, affording relief to over two thousand persons. The people express themselves deeply grateful for the help afforded, but the relief committee are still urgently in need of funds, and unless the public respond in a liberal fashion these weekly distributions will cease.

The expectations of the colliery company that work would resume in a fortnight are not likely to be realised. Yesterday the supports to the pulley wheels were put up at the pit head, and considerable progress has been made in other directions in repairing the damage done by the fire. A temporary engine house of tarpaulin has been erected inside the original engine house. The officials will not be able to determine the actual extent of the damage and the consequent length of time during which the men will be thrown idle, until the cage can be down the main shaft. It may be that damage then will be discovered, which will necessitate a further stoppage, for it will be remembered that a great amount of the burning material fell down the shaft, and there is no knowing what it may have damaged in it´s descent.

The Denaby Main Disaster Relief Fund.

Mr. John Dixon, secretary to the Denaby Main branch of the Miners´ Association and secretary to the relief committee, has received the following sums in addition to those already reported, amounting to £61 :-

The Denaby Main Colliery Company – £25.

Mr. Spedding Whitworth, Wath – £25.

Mr. R. Crossley, Halifax – £5.

Messrs. Nicholson Bros., Conisbrough – £1.

Total – £56.

The Denaby Main Colliery Company, in addition to the above subscription are now supplying their workmen with coal at the same price as usually paid by them at work, or as near cost price as possible. In the present severe weather the men are very grateful to the company for this and other help, and a better feeling of goodwill has sprung up among the miners to their employers than has existed for some time.

Mr. W. Sykes, who was lately employed by at the colliery, on behalf of John Smith, brewers of Tadcaster, has written to Mr. Dixon, informing him that Mr. Smith was prepared to forward five tons of potatoes for the distressed families of miners.

The Rev. T.J. Leslie has also received the following subscriptions :-

Mr. & Mrs. J.W. Wilson, Sheffield – £1.

Mrs. Alice Scatchard, Morley near Leeds – £1.

Anon – £5.

Mexborough Branch Globe Tea Co. – £2 – 2 s.

Mr. William Peace, Denaby – 4 shillings.

W.J.P. Rotherham – 2 shillings ; and a few other items

The Rev. H. Ellershaw, M.A., vicar, begs to acknowledge receipt of the following

contributions :-

Mr. James Peters, Mexborough – £1.

Rev. H.F. Sheppard, Thurnscoe – £2.

Mr. Dawes, Smethwick – £10.

Archdeacon Crosthwaite – £1 – 1 shilling.

A Widows Mite – 5 shillings.

Conisbrough Church collection – £4 – 12 s – 91/4 d.

Mrs. Woodyeare, Crookhill – £5.

Greasborough Church collection £2.

Mr. James Montagu – £5.

Swinton Church collection – £2.

Kilner Bros., Conisbrough – £5.

The men who have been sent out with collecting cards for funds for the relief of the distress brought about by the sudden cessation of work, report that they have experienced great difficulty in some quarters in obtaining subscriptions, owing to the report in the newspapers that two men who professed that they were on a similar errand were arrested on a charge of theft in a public house at Doncaster. It appears that neither of these men were engaged at Denaby Main at the time of the fire, and had no authority to collect in the name of the men

and the miners wish this to be known. Mr. C.L. Stanley of Wath, has forwarded to Mr. Dixon for distribution to the distressed families two tons of potatoes.

they are new, – one being put up in September 1887 and the other early in December. The engine house will have to be brought down to within 6 feet of the ground. It was a substantially built structure, the weigh house, the corfe repair shop, with the pick sharpening cabin was completely demolished.

January 13th 1888.

January 27th 1888.The Denaby Main Fire.

On Friday the members of the Denaby Main branch of the South Yorkshire Miners´ Association assembled in the lodge-room, Doncaster Road, Mexborough,

to receive relief in the shape of tickets, value 5 shillings, and so much for each child, which had been subscribed by the various pit-heads of the district and other sources, to be distributed solely to union men and their families. Last week about £70 value in tickets was given away, and Friday´s distribution made the sum up to £150.

The Denaby Main Disater Relief Fund

The Rev. H. Ellershaw has received the following contributions in addition to those already published :-

Mr. A. Montagu – £20. ( per Mr. Geo. White C.E. of Mexborough, his Agent ).Mr. John Dixon, the secretary to the Relief Committee has received the following items :-

Rev. W.S. Darby, North Wingfield – £1.

Mr. H.H. Smith, Langley Mill – 5 shillings.

Mr. G. Smith, Mexborough – 5 shillings.

Mr. A. Dale, Sheffield – £2 – 6 shillings – 8 pennies.

Nicholson Bros. Conisbrough – £1.

Mr. S. Hart, Mexborough – 10 shillings.

Miss Rose, Denaby ( proceeds of Denaby Infants

School concert ) – £2 – 2 shillings.

Denaby Main Co-operative Society – £2 – 2 shillings.

Mr. John Smith, brewer of Tadcaster who last week sent five tons of potatoes to be distributed has, has forwarded another ton.

On Saturday afternoon Mr. John Bingham, farmer, of Mexborough, conveyed from Mexborough Railway station five tons of potatoes, the gift of Mr. John Smith, brewer at Tadcaster. The welcome loads of vegetables were pitched in Mr. Bingham´s croft. Thither hundreds of the unemployed miners and their families repaired, so great was the demand that in a very short time the whole bulk disappeared, each family receiving about one peck. The Rev. H. Ellershaw was unable to be present at the distribution through indisposition, but the Rev. T.J. Leslie, Mr. John Dixon, and the members of the committee performed the task of apportioning the allotted amounts.

There appears to be some dissatisfaction among the men employed on raising the sewerage pipes at the low end of Mexborough, with regard to their rate of payment. They contend that the remuneration is the reverse of excessive, and that their work entitles them to more.

An Entertainment in Aid of the Relief Fund.

On the evening of Friday January 26th 1888, an entertainment in aid of the relief fund for the distressed miners and their families, was held in the National Schoolrooms, Mexborough. Mr. Bedford proprietor of the Three Cranes Inn at Barnsley, with commendable spirit determined to attempt by this, to raise some money for the relief fund, and in his enterprise was joined by Mr. Fred Alberto, the proprietor of the Surrey Music Hall, Barnsley, these gentlemen being responsible for the talent foreign to the town. In addition, Mr. T. Weston, of the Bull´s Head Mexborough, very kindly allowed Miss Florrie Noad, pianist, and Mr. W. Taylor,

English concertina, to swell the list of artistes, and the other local talent consisted of Professor Blondin ( Mr. J. Shaw ), who gave songs and dances, and amused and interested the audience with his performing dog, Prince ; Mr. Hughes and Mr. Beardsley.

It was a capital performance and received due recognition, The manipulation of the hand bells by little Master Smith was really wonderful, and an encore was demanded. Mr. Hughes, of Denaby, favoured the audience with a song `Four Jolly Smiths´, and an encore was acceded to. Mr. Fred Alberto sang three comic songs in his clever fashion, each attempt receiving a loud demand for it´s repetition.

Some very delicate and mystifying conjuring tricks were next placed before the company by Professor Oliver of Barnsley, and Mr. Bedford created many roars of laughter by his stump speech, in which he was accompanied by his wonderful goose `Ikey´, which has acquired the reputation of talking. It certainly appeared to understand the questions of it´s master in a fairly intelligent manner, and left no one in doubt as to it´s opinions on the subjects submitted to it´s judgement.

Mr. Bedford gave a bone solo. Mr. Moses Soar delighted the audience with a finely rendered violin solo entitled ` The Last Rose Of Summer `, with variations

and Mr. W.P. Madison ( also of the Surrey Music Hall, Barnsley ), by the kind permission of Mr. Alberto, favoured the company with several of his unique Tyrolese songs. Miss Florrie Noad and Mr. Taylor acquitted themselves most creditably in the difficult task of accompanying, and Mr. J. Beardsley of Denaby acted very efficiently in the same capacity to Mr. Hughes songs.

The Mexborough 51st Lancers, in whom the public recognised the Mexborough United Brass Band, under the leadership of Mr. John Dawson, played some fine selections of music, and their kindness in attending the entertainment was highly appreciated.

It was far from encouraging, however, that the general public should have failed to respond in anything like large numbers to the efforts of the promoters of the concert, but perhaps inadequate advertising may account for this drawback. At any rate the audience accorded a hearty vote of thanks at the close to all who had taken part in the entertainment. The chair was occupied by Mr. W.H. Chambers, who stated that he was pleased to do anything to help the men. He referred to the circumstances of the disaster on Christmas Day. He could assure them that there would be no effort wanting on the part of himself or the officials to get everything in readiness for work again as soon as possible, and he hoped that before the end of next week that work would be resumed ( Cheers ). If there was any incentive to the officials to get on as fast as possible, it was because of the distress which existed around them. ( Cheers ).

February 10th 1888The Denaby Main Fire.

An official intimation appeared on the gates of Denaby Main Colliery on Wednesday February 8th, to the effect that work would be resumed at the colliery on Thursday February 9th 1988. The news was received with much satisfaction by the men, who have been out of employment since Christmas, owing to the extensive fire in the engine house, and on Wednesday the pulley wheels were finally arranged, ready to ascend the cage. The families have felt the `pinch´ particularly during the past week, owing to the falling off in subscriptions.

Shortly after operations had commenced on Thursday morning, the cage guides became displaced, causing drawing operations to be suspended for the greater part of the day. The men were unable to be drawn out of the pit for some time causing a little anxiety.

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