Mexborough & Swinton Times, December 9, 1939
Cash or Clothes?
Conisborough Comforts Fund Query
Soldier Votes for Cash
Members of the Conisborough Council Central Comforts Fund differed widely at their meeting on Wednesday as to whether it would be better to send each man from the area serving with the Forces half a crown (12 1/2p), or use the money the fund had in hand for purchasing wool and other materials for clothing.
Happily, one of the representatives at the meeting was wearing khaki and he said that while the men in the trenches needed good heavy woollen clothing in the bad weather, half a crown would be very much better. If the goods were sent they would be duty charged, while in France the half a crown would be worth about four shillings of British money.
“There is only one difficulty” he added, “and that is that the postal orders might arrive for Christmas at a time when many of the men would be on leave and the money would be `floating about´ for about fourteen days until they got it on their return to their units”.
The chairman (Mr. Ben Roberts) said that it was a case of either having wool for clothing or sending the men half a crown.
Mr. Spencer Baker (secretary of the fund) pointed out that the Conisborough Cliff Company had offered to supply a certain amount and it was decided that whatever the company offered should be made up from the Central Fund. Mr. R. W. Birch (treasurer) being given power to hand over the amount necessary.
It was also agreed that a greetings message from residents of the Conisborough Urban District should be sent with a postal order for half a crown to men of the area serving with the Forces and the work of posting and addressing the envelopes would be undertaken by Mr. H. Lapidge who mentioned that the most economical way would be by sending the messages in bulk to the commanding officer of the different regiments with a request that the officer should see that they were properly distributed.
Mr. Roberts reported that the Cadeby Main miners had agreed to a stoppage of threepence and sixpence being made from their wages, and if the colliery management agreed the stoppage would be made and the money devoted to the Fund. The stoppage, he said, would amount to about £40.
Mr. Tom Hill (chairman of the Miners Welfare Institute Trustees) said whatever the Fund undertook, it was always the miners and the working men who bore the brunt.
In reply to a query, Mrs. J. T. E. Collins, representing the Conisborough Urban District branch of the Woman´s Voluntary Service, said that the Service were knitting and making garments and supplies for the Forces as a whole. Their headquarters were Loversall Hall and all their finished garments were sent there.
“But” she added “all the wool sent from your Fund will be placed in a separate receptacle and will be used in making garments for men of this area”.
Miss G. Packwood mentioned that the teachers in the area were quite willing to form a knitting circle, providing they could get the wool, and a representative from the Denaby British Legion Women´s Section reported that the members from her branch were so busy that they were using supplies as fast as they got them.
The sum of £2 12s was handed to M. Birch as a donation from a number of local butchers and in all Mr. Birch reported, the Fund had about £30 in hand.
Mr Roberts appealed to residents in the area with men serving in the Forces to hand in the names of their men together with the addresses and regiment particulars to the Council Offices as soon as possible.