Mexborough and Swinton Times, March 17, 1939
Criticised By Colliery Chief.
Denaby Group Games League Dinner
A large number of officials from the Denaby and Cadeby Main Collieries, and their wives and friends, were present at the seventh annual dinner of the Amalgamated Denaby Collieries Games League, at the Clifton Hall, Rotherham, on Saturday, when a record company of nearly 360 people attended under the chairmanship of Mr E.T.Hardy (Conisborough), chief engineer of the Denaby, Cadeby, and Maltby collieries. Officials were also present from Dinnington, Maltby, and Rossington collieries, the other pits in the group, and the dinner proved a jolly affair.
Among the Conisborough and Denaby guests were Mr J.H.Dunk (secretary of the Denaby, Cadeby, and Maltby collieries) Mr D.Cowburn (agent and manager of Cadeby colliery), Mr J Halford (under manager of Cadeby Colliery) and Messrs W Dean and CJ Pickett (of Denaby Main Colliery). The dinner has previously been held in Doncaster, but a change was made this year to Rotherham to suit the convenience of the officials for Maltby and Dinnington.
The principal source of the evening, “the Colliery Company” was proposed by Mr F.G.Glossop, agent of the Rossington and Dinnington collieries, who said that the directors of collieries had to contend with all sorts of difficulties, but the most recent was the fetish of amalgamation.
The idea was to make the whole of Great Britain into a large coal mining company with someone at the head, but that suggestion was not practicable and now they want to make each coal producing district into one company. He considered from experience and observation that amalgamation of that size would be unwieldy, impractical and an economic because there was no individual with the time to control such a vast organisation with anything like the detail it would require.
In addition to bad trade and the amalgamation difficulties the daily increasing legislation they were turning out new legislation orders each day, and like the newspapers, they would soon reach two additions a day.
Mr Glossop said that the object of the towels, “the Colliery Company,” affected a great many people in the room, but in different ways. The ordinary man in the street was apt to regard it as a group of shareholders under the leadership of directors with a very competent chairman at the end, but to himself and them the colliery company was something more.
The employees numbered, he presumed, about 10,000 or 11,000 and it was also very probable that each of those are two dependents, so that they had a total of more than 30,000 people who were directly indebted to the colliery company for their livelihood, not to mention the many thousands of other people who were indirectly affected.
Mr Glossop declared that the difficulties to be faced by the directors were colossal. The demand for coal was limited, and the consequence was that instead of being able to produce to their fullest capacity they could only produce approximately 3/4 of their capacity. If they got the other quarter the scale of profit would increase tremendously. The fact that they could not work to capacity was a great handicap on the directors from the start.
Major J.H.Leslie, responding for the company, said that it was the seventh annual dinner annual once again to seeing all the colliery officials together in a sociable spirit.
“We are spending at Denaby,” mentioned Major Leslie, “a great amount of money in renovating the houses, which are the homes of the miners at the collieries. It is only just and right that those older houses should be made as comfortable as possible for the men were giving us their services. We have a great program in front of us, but it is gradually being disposed of.”
Proposing “the Games League,” Mr F.A.Davies, manager of Dinnington colliery, thanked Mr Harry Lapidge (Denaby Colliery), secretary of the League, for the way in which he had admirably conducted the games during the past year. The league was formed in 1931, said Mr Davies, and the first annual dinner had an attendance of 131, the second 140, the third 182, the fourth 280, the faced 268, the sixth 301, and that night they had a record of 358.
Mr Davies said that the games formed an admirable excuse for weary husbands 12 nights out. (Laughter.) The objects of the league were to promote good Fellowship and to enable officials to discuss everyday interests in a very favourable atmosphere. Although their games could not be associated with National Fitness, they must agree that the games brought their officials together throughout the year.
Mr H.E.Collins, manager of Rossington colliery, responding, said that the Games League promoted mutual enjoyment amongst the officials and although he was not quite sure whether it could be placed on the asset side of a Balance Sheet, nevertheless, it was an intangible asset was there just the same. He was going to consider the Games League, not as something on paper, but as a collection of homely people.
Proposing the toast of “the ladies”, Mr Cowburn said that they were always reliant upon the willing to a certain extent for the success of their efforts and especially at dinners of the sort. They were enjoying that night, and Mrs T.Morgan, replying said that the women, no doubt, enjoyed a dinners just as much as the men and took an active interest in the proceedings at these social occasions.
Mr Hardy announced that Cadeby colliery had topped the league this year with a total of 55 points and added that it was a good omen for Cadeby. Dinnington Colliery, with 54 points, were runners-up, Denaby third with 53 points, Maltby fourth with 48 and Rossington fifth with 45.
Presenting the League Cup to Mr Cowburn on behalf of Cadeby Colliery, Mrs Ellis, wife of Mr P.W.Ellis, general manager of the Dinnington, and Rossington collieries, heartily congratulated Cadeby upon their performance. Mrs Ellis also presented the runners-up cup to Mr H. White, cashier of Dinnington Main Colliery.
During dinner light musical entertainment was provided by the New Clifton Orchestra, which also played for the dancing, which followed, and during the evening songs were sung by Mrs E.Fretwell (mezzosoprano), Miss Pansy Moore (soprano) and Mr Bernard Maxfield (baritone). Mr A.M.Carlin (Conisborough) was MC for the dancing.