Day 3 – Considerable progress with the Work – Array of Empty Houses

January 1903

The Third Day.

Considerable progress with the Work.

144 more warrants dealt with. Yesterday the work of eviction was rapidly proceeded with, and so admirablewere the arrangements that by 11 o’clock the last eviction on the day’s list had been disposed of.

The police paraded as usual at nine o’clock, and marched off with their respective offices, superintendent Blake taking one section to Loversall Street and superintendent McDonald the other to Adwick Street.

As of the previous days everything was in readiness and the drays were soon piled with furniture and driven away, others immediately taking up removal operations. The same quite characteristics, marked the behaviour of the people, but it was noticeable that there were far more men about than at any time during the week, probably owing to many of them homeless, and this was a distinct reminder that a working community was out on strike.

The morning was fine overhead, a sharp frost and a keen wind making topcoats useful, although the miners themselves, as a rule, wearing ordinary work clothes, and seemingly quite indifferent to the weather.

Passing through the village, the extreme quietness that prevailed was extraordinary considering that one of the biggest eviction operations known in England for a long time past was in progress. Indeed, save for the actual streets where the police were carrying out their duties, normal conditions prevailed, but the desolate and still increasing


spoke eloquently on the situation.

Early morning enquiries elicited the information that about 20 men in all passed the previous night in the various tents erected, and in no single case and a woman or child to undergo such uncomfortable accommodation, for all those who had not found a shelter of private houses and welcome places placed at their disposal.

All the Primitive Methodist schoolroom, Mexborough, no less than 143 men, women and children passed the night, and most of them yesterday stated they were quite contented and happy. At the little sister Chapel at Denaby several families were accommodated, as well as others at the places before mentioned, but the situation would certainly have presented a different aspect, had these public buildings not been thrown open; for the completeness of camping accommodation would, if found necessary to be used so early, how spent hardship such as women and children could ill afford to bear.

The evictions of the day took place in Balby Street, Loversall Street, Wadworth Street, Adwick Street, Barnborough Street, Maltby Street, and Thrybergh Terrace, the total number of houses marked off the eviction list at the close of the third day amounted to 380, all of which have been carried out in a most amicable and friendly spirit.

It was stated that the list will be completed early this morning, and all that suggested there was not a large number remaining, it is reasonable to suppose that a good number of the 750 miners served with the ejectment notices


had agreed to work again rather than submit their wives and children to the cares and worries of being turned out and compelled to live problematical, for those who had penned their signatures to the Colliery Cos agreement forms kept it strictly to themselves, fearing that their action might lead to serious friction with the strikers.

Superintendent Blake’s promise not to turn families out the previous day with small children was not necessary, the weather continuing fine, the schedule list was followed out in correct order.

During yesterday, the chairman of the Denaby Branch informed us that the Mexborough Urban District Council have placed their temporary smallpox hospital on the, and for the reception or a few deserving cases, and this can offer was promptly taken advantage of. The Spiritualist Room, the Arcade, Mexborough, has also been thrown open, and a large barn adjacent, and belonging to the Parish Church received both families and furniture whilst the Strike Committee sent several families to private houses, offers of which came from time to time, and it was evident that strenuous efforts were being made all along the line to see that the women and children, at any rate, should not be called upon to bear the hardships of


So far these efforts have been successful, but it remains to be seen at the conclusion of today’s work – the last of the evictions – whether the voluntary accommodation will be sufficient to meet all needs.

From day-to-day rumours have been freely circulated that the Colliery Company intended full and empty houses with imported workmen, and that the work would be almost immediately resumed at the pit, and escape course of much discussion, the general opinion being that the incoming of “black sheep” would add another and yet more serious face to the situation, for it is well-known and what like these men are held by Union miners.

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