A Mysterious Denaby Pit Boy

December 1890

Sheffield Evening Telegraph – Monday 01 December 1890

A Mysterious Denaby Pit Boy

At the Rotherham West Riding Police Court this morning, before Mr H Gill (in the chair), Colonel Hoole, and Mr S Camm, John Oldfield, 17, a clipper boy employed at Denaby Main, was summoned for having infringed special rule 35 of the colliery by improperly using a signal wire.

Mr Hickmott, who prosecuted, stated that in the mine there was a stationary engine working an endless rope which ran round the levels of the pit. The total length of the rope was something like 2 miles, and they were used for the purpose of drawing coal. The trains run through a good many districts where men were constantly passing and co-passing, therefore it was of the utmost importance that caution should be exercised with regard to the signalling. Having explained the method of electrical signalling, Mr Hickmott stated that for some time past some person, in a spirit of mischief, have been in the habit of giving unnecessary signals, with the result that inconvenience was caused, and several men had had narrow escapes from injury.

On 18 November Enoch Sheldon who was watching, saw the defendant rap once with a signal and the engine immediately stopped. He had no authority to do this, and his act entailed a stoppage of the pit for 15 minutes.

Enoch Sheldon bore out this statement.

Defendant, who pleaded not guilty, was fined 10s and costs.