Breaches of Colliery Rules


Sheffield Telegraph, January 11, 1876

Breaches of Colliery Rules at Denaby Main
Important to Colliers

At the Rotherham police court yesterday, before G.W Chambers, Esq, M Otter Esq, James Montague, Esq and H Jubb Esq, several important cases, in which Colliers had committed breaches of the bylaws, were heard, all of them being from Denaby main colliery. Mr S.Parker Rhodes prosecuted in all the cases.

The first case heard was that, in which George Abbott, was charged with allowing a lamp to stand on its bottom, instead of hanging it up, thereby violating rules 36, of the Coal Mines regulation act of 1872.

MrRhodes in opening the case, saidit might appear to be one of a trivial character, but when they became acquainted with the facts they will find it to be a very serious matter indeed. The men at the Denaby main colliery, use the “Clenny” lamp, which was a favourite with them, as it gave a better light than the other lamps and was better adapted for standing. It washowever a lamp which required to be used with the utmost care,for if itwas allowed to lean on one side the flame coming in contact with the glassmight cause it to break. Water falling upon the glass might cause the same result. It was the duty of the defendant to have driven the lamp, by means of a fastener at the top into a prop, where it would have been perfectly safe.

Mark Green, under viewer at the Denaby main colliery was then called, and deposed that on the 21st December, he went into the workings where the defendant was and noticed his lamp. It was placed on the floor, whilst he was engaged hauling the coal.

Mr Packwood, who appeared onbehalf ofthe defence, said he was instructed to admit his guilt. His client however, stated that it would have been impossible,if the lamp had beenhung2 feetfromhis pick, for him to have done any work. The company should have fixed proper post for him to havehis lamp upon. The bench stated that they would not give their decision until they had heard the other cases.

Lewis Callading was next charged with, on 21 December, violating rules 38, which reads as follows:

“when a safety lamp becomes unfit or unsafe for use by having oil spilled upon the gauze, or in any other way, the light must be put out by drawing down the wick, and the lamp taken to the lamp keeper.”

Mr Rhodes stated that Mr Green found the defendant’s lamp cracked; but as to how he became cracked he was unable to say. The lamp was given out on the day in question to the defendant without a flaw in the glass; and when Mr Green went into the workings he found the defendant with the lamp in his hand, and it was damaged. He spoke to the defendant about it, and he replied that he knew nothing about it.

Mark Green, the under viewer, was called to prove these statements.

For the defendant Frederick Watts was called, and deposed that the company had begun a system on leaving the slack at the bottom of the pit, which in many instances fell upon the line. The defendant, a few minutes before Mr Green came to the place where he was working, had helped him, lamp in hand, to shift the corve on to the line. He did not see anything wrong with the lamp then. The bench said they were inclined to believe the defendant in his statement that he was unaware of the crack in the glass, and would therefore dismiss this case.

Daniel Neil was then charged with not having had sufficient propsor sprags in his working. Defendant admitted not having spread the roof, but said there were no sprags. William Rosser was also charged with not having spragged the roof.

Abbott and Rosser were fined 10 shillings and costs and the case against Neil was dismissed.