Census – Miner who Looked to the Future.

April 1911

Mexborough and Swinton Times April 8, 1911

Miner who Looked to the Future.

Census operations at Conisborough were in the hands of the following enumerators (who acted under instructions from Mr F.T. Stevens, registrar): Mr Arthur Wilson (clerk to the parish council), Mr G. Smout, Mr George Brocklesby, Mr R Troughton, and Mr Clement Sellers.

These gentlemen were busy collecting the schedules all day on Monday, each man having from three to four hundred houses , to collect from. One enumerator hit upon a novel idea to save time. When he came to a long street, he walked down the middle shouting, “Census papers.” That man finished in record time. The enumerators’ work was by no means complete when the papers were collected; certain clerical work had yet to be performed, and one enumerator, whom we saw on Tuesday afternoon, looked as if he had had a bad night. “Don’t talk to me about census,’ said the worried looking individual. ” Why man, if I had to go through yesterday’s rush again, I should have no senses left.” We sympathised with the poor man, and left him to his blue books.

Generally speaking the Conisboro’ schedules were all intelligently filled up, and there are no cases on record of anyone refusing to give the requisite particulars. The older schoolchildren, thanks to the special instruction received at school, had been able to render valuable assistance to muddled parents, and the enumerators had few corrections to make to the schedules filled by these young people. But there were many amusing blunders.

Many Conisboro’ men put their age down in the female column, and ladies, doubtless owing to a desire to be on terms of equality with ‘ the men, put their ages in the men’s column.

At several houses, discussions arose as to who was the head of the house, the lady in many cases using very convincing arguments to the patient enumerator, who in many cases, had to decide, the meek husband not daring to say a word.

A miner in the New Conisboro’ neighbourhood asked the enumerator if drinking was an infirmity; he was filling in particulars about his wife, who, he said, was not a teetotaller.

Another Miner and written several names on the schedule, and cross the lot out, writing instead over the first column: “Family, six; all alive on April 2, 1911; visitors, borders, foreigners, and servants, none; and no market is expected.”

A bachelor put his age in the column for “length of present marriage.”

One woman, who filled in the paper, totalled her age and the husband’s together and give the grand total of 120. She told the enumerator he did not separate what God had joined, etc. the tactful enumerator asked why she married a man so much older than she. “Bless you,” was the reply; “I was only four years between us when we married.” And the enumerator at the former problem in mental arithmetic.

One woman register her son, who it was subsequently discovered, was a soldier, at present stationed in the Far East