Denaby Main and the Miners’ Permanent Relief Fund.

September 1889

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Monday 16 September 1889

Denaby Main and the Miners’ Permanent Relief Fund.

On Saturday morning a meeting of the members the Denaby Main branch of the Miners’ Permanent Relief Fund was held at the School room, Denaby Main, take into consideration the proposal of the Board of Management to increase the contributions by a penny per week each full member and halfpenny per weak each half-member, so as to meat deficiency of over £10,000, reported by the actuary, Mr. Nelson, existing in the societies funds.

A meeting called at Denaby for the same purpose a fortnight ego, but the attendance was so meagre that was adjourned until Saturday morning, when there was a fair number present. The chair was occupied by Mr. S. Grontage and Messrs. Fearn, Ford, and Gee represented the Board of Management.

The Chairman regretted that there was not a better attendance. It appeared that the Permanent Relief Fund was unable to pay its way on the present contributions; either the fund most go down or they would have to pay more money. Before they decided against the increase they ought to consider the fund’s objects.

In the first place it benefited those among the mining community who were disabled and had to fall back either some such fund or else the parish. The Permanent Relief had already met the wants of , thousands, no society in South Yorkshire had done nobler work. (Hear, bear.)

Ha was firmly convinced that the Permanent Relief performed grand and noble work. It provided an income, in case anyone were disabled, of 6s, and, at the expiration of 26 weeks, instead of the pay being reduced it was raised 2s. per week (hear, hear)—and in case of death the widow and children would throw upon the fund. The fund helped the afflicted in the hour of need, and that was why he liked 1 it. (Hear, hear, and Voice: “That’s false.”)

He then compared the Permanent Relief Fund with other friendly societies. He would ask them to put the Id. per week alongside the good that the fund had done the past, and would also ask them to consider the widows and orphans at present on the fund, and the aged and infirm members (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Fearn said series of meetings had been held Derbyshire and Yorkshire recently, and ‘ the voting for and against the proposed increase was running pretty oven. (Hear, bear.)  He firmly believed  that unless thing were done, and done immediately, the society would certainly collapse. (Hear, hear.) Some men said, “How in the world could collapse when the society was saving money?” They were not seeing money. A man with £25,000 might easily become dually poorer, and that was how the society was. When looked at the widows and children and aged and infirm dependent upon the fund, he felt inclined to vote for the extra money for their sake (Hear, hear.)

When the men at Denaby saw what they had drawn from the general fund to meet their liabilities, be could not for the life of him see how they could rote against the resolution. (Hear hear.) He had been asked several times, “Can you explain to me how it is that men are opposed tothis resolution when they know very well that their contributions cannot meet their liabilities?” He had been forced to reply that he was thoroughly unable to answer the question.

A member asked the last speaker, who was once on the Yorkshire Miners Association Committee, Alec was that the widows and orphans fund in connection with the association brought down. He hoped held it then, would he uphold it now? He also complain of the expenses of management, which were very great, and pollsters were published. He contended that it was impossible for Mr Nelson. At the average of the duration of the life of a widow. Then again, what salary and Mr Watson for a secretary. (Hear, hear.) He thought they should elect a delegate who would force it from him at Barnsley.

Mr Fern reminded the speaker that balances came each quarter from Barnsley and the information will be on that. Not that he was in favour of anything being held back. He believed in a public society like this the members ought to know exactly how the money was disbursed. He had the same question about the Mines Union widows and orphans from put to him at Manvers Main. The all-new as well as the news that the widows and orphans fund in connection with the Miners Association went down. The money in that fun was borrowed to pay for the purposes, and he saidIt again that there was no security for any widows and orphans fund in connection with any trade union, because Labour was so uncertain, lockouts and strikes so frequent, and it was as an easy matter to draw money out with the intention of paying it back again, but which never was. The time never came.

Another miner reiterated? Mr Watson salary. A young man asked state when he was last delegate but they laughed at him.

Mr Ford: he gave it.

The Miner: no one knows it. The meeting had heard a little on the bright side; he would now give something on the other side. The Denaby branch have been grieved because old men had being swept off the formed at a minutes notice. It cost the men at Denaby scores and scores of pounds to get certain men’s pay, and he proceeded to mention one or two cases. For a phone such as this, so badly managed, were they going to pay a penny extra. (“No, no,” and a Voice: “I Sooner chuck out.”)

There had been cases, too, when a man had been receiving accident pay for a number of weeks, and then when he died his death claim was refused his relatives. He could quote more than one case of this sort.  He quite agreed with Mr Fearn that it was more pleasant to have something to fall back upon and they could rely upon as a right, rather than go before the Board of Guardians.

Mr Fearn said the last speaker make some serious statements if they could be proved. If what he said was he did not believe himself in secret societies; he thought the men ought to know everything. (Hear, hear.)

An Irishman in the room cried out: “Women are all right here; If a man gets killed there are 10 men for the woman.” (Laughter.)