Breach of Rules at Cadeby – Refusal to Obey Deputy

March 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 22.

Breach of Colliery Rules at Cadeby Colliery.

Albert Frost and Thomas James, miners, of Conisborough, were summoned by the Denaby Main Colliery Company for breach of colliery special rule 106

Mr W. M. Gichard appeared for the Colliery Company, and Mr Baddeley for the defendants.

Mr Gichard, opening the case for the prosecution, said that the two defendants were summoned under special rule 106, which states that they should obey the lawful commands of manager, under manager, deputy.

The two defendants were miners at the Cadeby mine working Stall number 14, and two other men worked in stall number 79, which was next to them. On the 20thult they were given certain orders, by a deputy, about eight o’clock in the morning. The deputy was Thomas William Mosby. There were four men altogether, the two defendants and two other men.

If they wanted to draw any timber away it was necessary to build three “packs”. The deputy told them that it was at last arranged among them that number 14 stall should build one pack, number 79 another packand the remaining one should be built between them. The deputy toldthem distinctly that the pack should be completed before any timber was drawn.It afterwards appeared that some timber was removed before the packs were finished, and a fall of roof occurred, altogether, about 600 tons.

As a result it was a loss to some of the men who worked in that district. After the roof hadfallen in Mosby enquired into the matter, and saw one of the defendants, James, and asked him how he accounted for it. James said they had nearly put one pack of being about 6 inches from the roof. Mosby did not see the other defendants, so could not get an explanation from them. They told the under manager, Mr Witty, that they had nearly got to the roof. Some of the results they would see from the fall. In the first place there was a risk to themselves, and then also to the men who had to remove it. The colliery company wanted them to know that these rules were framed as much for their own benefit as the companies.

Thomas William Mosby, a deputy at the Cadeby Colliery, said the two defendants were in number 14 stall and Jacob Crookes and James Whitehead were in number 79 stall. Witness examined the two stalls that morning. He gave instructions that they must build three packs before they took away any timber. He told them to build one behind the other. Thepacks were6 ft square.They should be built right up to the roof. He gave instructions to the four men. It was ultimatelyarranged thatnumber 14 should build one pack, number 17 another and the remaining one was to be built between them. He afterwards found that 600 tons had fallen and blocked the ventilation.

He had seen James, who said they had nearly finished theirs, and also stated that about 12 props had been drawn. Witness reported the matter to the manager. It was 7.30 in the morning when he gave instructions to the men. James told him that number 79, had drawn some timber. The roof could not have fallen if packs had been built.

In answer to Mr Baddeley, witness said sometimes they put a mark on the roof. He did not that time. He had put another mark in another part of the night, but nothing had been done to that; he could not say why. Continuing, witness said that all the men were together when he gave the order.

Mr Baddeley: how long would it take the men to do this work?

Witness: one day.

Mr Baddeley: it would take Frost a day to put this pack up.

In answer to Mr Gichard, witness said it would take a man two hours to draw 12 props.

Daniel Henry Wright, a deputy in the same mine, said he heard the orders given to the men.

James Whitehead, miner, stated that he worked with Jacob Crookes in stall number 79. He attended on a subpoena. He was present when Mosby gave the order between seven and eight for in the morning. The two defendants were there. He saw James draw timber. He did not see how many props . He heard some of the props cracking, and that was a sure indication that if something was not done the roof would come down. As soon as he heard it, he began setting props to try and stop it. He told the others to set some. James set three.

The roof fell about 11.30. They had been before Mr Chambers and James said he had pulled some out.

In answer to Mr Gichard, witness stated that they were not ordered to begin at once.

Jacob Crookes, miner, said he worked in stall number 79. He heard the place coming in; it would be about seven o’clock

Mr Baddeley said that Frost was a day man, and received his orders from James : he asked their worships to dismiss the case against Frost. James had admitted that he drew some props, and no doubt he would have to bear the punishment.

Thomas James the defendant said he worked in number 14 stall. Frost was framing the pack. The other men drew some timber. Frost did not pull any at all.

In answer to Mr Gichard, witness said he drew six or seven props, and he drew them in an hour. He had been a miner 22 years and knew the rules.He drewthe props to get some stone.

Albert Frost the other defendant stated that he did not draw any timber.

In answer to the chairman, Mr Gichard said the company wanted to press the case, but not for imprisonment.

The chairman said that in regard to that rule 106 he thought it was clear that James was guilty of disobedience. In regard to Frost, who was working in the same stall, they would give him the benefit of the doubt and dismissed the case against him.

James would be fined 20 shillings and costs £1 19 6d

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