Mexborough Times One of the hardest cases is that of the widow of James Beech, who was killed in the first explosion, and whose body was one of the earliest to be discovered. He leaves a widow and 12 children, the youngest of whom is two months old. The oldest is Dan Beech, a married man, who keeps goal for Crystal Palace, and formerly was goalkeeper for Mexborough Town. Letter to South Yorkshire Times:
Sir, I do hope you will be remembering the men from Denaby and Conisbrough who died in the Cadeby Colliery disaster in 1912.
My grandfather was 42 years of age and left a wife and 12 children – the youngest Albert Beach was two months old.
The widows received 5/- per week and the children 1/- per week until the age of 14. My granny had that 5/- until she died in 1938.
As the money in the fund reduced, the remaining widows were told in 1934 that they would have to go on Parish Relief and receive 4/- per week. My granny didn’t like the idea of going on what we call today Social Security and protested.
Eventually, after much discussion, the 16 widows were given the 5/- per week which cost the fund 4 per week given by the men who delivered the coal in the area. What would people think of that today?
We who were living in those days know the meaning of independence and hard work.
A book written by a Welsh miner entitled Call The Roll by Peter Navin tells the full story of the disaster, also Black Diamonds by Margaret Bailey.
I am 91 now and still remember those 1920/30/40 years.
42 Barnborough Street, Denaby