Colliery War Funds – Their Excellent Work – Care of the Belgians

January 1917

Mexborough and Swinton Times , Jan 6th 1917

Conisborough War Funds
Their Excellent Work
Some Striking Facts and Figures

Perhaps the most remarkable instance of what can be achieved by collective action has been furnished in this district by the organisation at the collieries and factories in the district, and especially at the former, of war relief funds for the assistance of dependents of the men who have left their work to join the colours.

The principal of the weekly levy has in most cases been adopted, and the aggregate amount to raise and distributed in this way are really remarkable. They have, moreover, had an important economic value, and have had a great deal to do with the almost entire absence from the district, thus far, of pecuniary distress amongst the classes from which His Majesty’s Forces have been most freely recruited, and which are most liable to suffer from economic disturbance. Some colliery schemes have contemplated a scale of supplementary allowances, while at the other collieries the allowance has been governed by the circumstances of the case.

Denaby and Cadeby

The Denaby and Cadeby relief Fund was inaugurated on 1 September 1914 and today the number of soldiers and sailors families assisted by this fund is 658. The number of men who, during the war, have left these two collieries in order to enlist is 1482.

The amount subscribe other workmen (up to recent date) is £5658, amount subscribed by the company (in cash) £2356. The total receipts today it are £12,170, and the expenditure is £11,320, leaving a credit balance of £850. In addition to cash contribution the company has allowed dependents living in the houses owned by the company at Denaby main, freedom of rent, a concession amounting in value to £7888 3s 9d and has also given more than 5000 tons of coal for the use of dependents.; A gift, calculated at the privileged rate, worth £1250, and at the market rate £4625.

The fund is administered by a Central committee, comprising the following gentleman, representative of the company and the work people: new paragraph chairman, Mr H Hulley; hon treasurers, Messrs H Hulley and H W Smith; committee messes J Kelsall, G Shacklock (Cadeby), L Worsley, A.Ackroyd (Denaby), J Engeldow, J H Dunk, N V Sinclair, G L Robinson, A Robinson, Mrs Trouton, Mrs Beckford, Miss Rose and Miss Richards; hon secretary, Mr R V Beckford, Conisbrough

Distribution is organised in three districts, which, with their headquarters and executive officer are as follows: Denaby and Mexborough:

Chairman Mr H Hawley; hon secretary, Mr J Engeldow; headquarters Girls School. New Conisborough:

Chairman Mr W.I.Gibbs; hon secretary, Mr JH Dunk; headquarters, Balby Street school


Hon secretary Mrs R.V.Bedford, headquarters, Conisborough Castle club.

Belgian Refugees

Not less remarkable has been the efforts made by the company and its work people to accommodate Belgian refugees. In October 1914 the Belgium Refugees committee in London were invited to send 50 Belgium refugees to Denaby Main, and the colliery company kindly placed at the disposal of the war relief committee 10 houses in Blythe Street.

The relief committee have distributed for the maintenance of the Belgians £817 6s 4d and £258 4s 9d was expended in the furnishing of the houses. The amount represented by the free rent allowance made by the company is £157.10s, in addition to which these people have always been supplied with free coal and light. The principal subscribers to the Belgium fund are : the Denaby and Cadeby Main collieries workmen, the Denaby and Main collieries Ltd, British Westfalight Ltd, British Westfalight employees, teachers of the Denaby Main schools, colliery clerical staff, E and G L Robinson brothers, and the Denaby Main Hotel employees. The whole of this fund has been distributed from the commencement quite free of management expenses.

One other war effort promoted at Denaby and Cadeby should be mentioned. A few months ago a fund was formed for the assistance of disabled soldiers and sailors, and largely by means of social efforts, in which Mr G L Robinson, Mr A Goodinson of the Empire and Mr F Kelsall, have born in part, this fund now stands at £100 2s 6d

It should also be mentioned that Mr J Cocks and Mr G Cook, former officials of the Cadeby colliery, rendered valuable assistance to the colliery’s war fund scheme before they left the district to take up new appointments.

The energy and organisation ability of the hon secretary Mr M V Bedford has been beyond praise