Denaby Main Colliery Fire – Current Status

January 1888

Mexborough and Swinton Times January 6, 1888

A Sheffield contemporary contains the following:

An appeal made in our columns on Friday and repeated today is worthy of more than ordinary attention.

There was a Christmas visitor at Denaby Main by no means welcome, and is would seem as if this colliery village was ill-fated and that the evil genius which manifested itself in a short time back, when evictions followed on the heels of dispute, and-terrible suffering as rife throughout the district bad not yet deserted the spot of ground which lies between Mexborough and Conisborough.

The Denaby colliers have not yet been  able, even the most careful of them, to do more than repay the debts incurred during that terrible struggle—into the merits of which we need not enter here=—and provide furniture to replace that which had to be sacrificed to the exigencies of the situation.

And now just when’ the morn seemed to have dawned brightly upon many a little home by the roadside, the Fire Fiend has visited the, colliery, destroying in the early hours of Christmas morning the headgear and winding apparatus, and throwing the whole body of men out of employment for several weeks at least. Until the colliery is set in motion again the major portion of these men will be absolutely dependent upon the aid .of outsiders, for the necessities, of life, and unless help is given they will be compelled once more to break np their homes and sell their furniture to keep the wolf from the door.

The Council of the Yorkshire Miners’ Association met on Monday to decide what help can be given the Denaby men from: the collieries in the other parts of the district, and at the same time an appeal is made’ to the, public for aid in alleviating this distress, which, though severe is fortunately of a temporary nature. The case is a peculiar one, and comes with extra ‘force owing to an element which is not, generally prevalent when the public ale asked to subscribe to the relief of miners. In the present instance no question of dispute between, master and men enters into the calculation. The disaster is not connected either with overbearing employers, or inconsiderate workmen. There have been times when we have thought the men were foolishly holding out, and have reminded them that “half a loaf is better than no bread.”, lt is not so to-day, the men cannot possibly get work for the next three or four weeks at Denaby Main.

It would scarcely be wisdom can their part’ to Seek employment elsewhere when they are fully, conscious that the stoppage is only’ temporary. Yet whilst the grass grows. The: horse starves,” and whilst these repairs are being made the miners of Denaby will be reduced to great straits unless the appeal which the Mr. B. Pickard of Barnsley and the Reverend TJ Leslie of Mexborough have joined is responded to.

That it will meet with a generous answer we have little doubt and certainly! The public need have no fear as to the judicious expenditure of any money, committed to the care of the gentleman whose names we have mentioned.