Claim against Conisbrough Brick Manufacturers – Case Dismissed

July 1902

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 04 July 1902

Claim against Conisbrough Brick Manufacturers

Case Dismissed

Messrs. Walker and Crawshaw, Limited, brick manufacturers, of Conisbrough, were summoned by Frank Hardy, under the Employers and Workman’s Act.

Mr. W. Baddiley defended.

Complainant stated that up to three weeks ego he had been employed by the defendants as an experimenter to test their clays and see if they were suitable for brick-making. He made two experiments a large scale at a rate of 26s per 1,000 bricks.

The experiments were not successful, and he made further experiment on a small scale, and they were successful. The second experiment was made at the rate of 9d per hour.

Afterwards a large kiln of bricks was made at the rate of 25s per 1000, but when the time for payment came defendant deducted £4. The kiln in question held 4000 bricks. The contract between the parties were simply a trade arrangement, and was made verbally.

Cross – examined by Mr Baddeley, plaintiff admitted that since last September, Ian not been successful in respect of a single kiln of bricks.

On entering their employ he represented to the defendants he was proficient in the art of brickmaking. Firstly he experimented in a small kiln, containing about 4.000 bricks, in eider to discover a suitable glaze. The kilns were altered according to his request, but there was no agreement that he was to be paid according to results. vis:  20s if the experiment was unsuccessful and 25s if it was otherwise.

Godfrey Edward Crawshaw, one of the directors of Messrs. Walker and Crawshaw, Limited, deposed that when the plaintiff asked to be allowed to have the use of a ‘larger kiln, he stated that he was confident the experiment would be successful, and requested to be paid at the rate of 20s per 1,000 if it were unsuccessful, and 25s, the usual price, if it were successful. Witness thought that the price was too high, nothing 15s if it were unsuccessful, and 25s a successful.

A kiln of 10,000 bricks was made, out of which only 2.000 bricks turned out to be good ones. Complainant said the defendant’s clay was not suitable, but he (plaintiff) must abide by result. Complainant engaged by the firm not as an experimenter, but as a man experienced in the art of making bricks and sinks.

Herbert Robinson, clerk in the employ of the defendant company, stated that on Whit-Tuesday he had a conversation with the plaintiff, who remarked that the kiln in question was the worst he had ever had. Plaintiff also said he had never done anything of the kind before and if the experiment was unsuccessful he would have to forfeit £5. Witness had heard from Mr. Crawshaw the terms of the agreement between the firm and plaintiff, and the latter had never repudiated the agreement.

Walter Lister, burner, in the defendants’ employ, deposed that in the kiln mentioned there were not more than 2,000 good bricks.

Plaintiff: There were 4,000

.Mr. Godfrey Crawshaw: The bricks are still there, and can be seen.

The Chairman said the Bench had decided to dismiss the case.