Dispute – Opposition to Decision of Council.

January 1879

Mexborough, and Swinton Times January 10.

Denaby Main Dispute.

Determined Opposition to the Decision of the Council.

A large meeting of the miners of the above colliery, was held on Tuesday morning, at the Lodge room, Masons Arms, Mexborough, for the purpose of hearing the decision of the Council meeting held at Barnsley, in reference to the dispute about Mr Marsland, the check weighman. A considerable number of the miners were present, numbering about 300.

Mr Jarvis presided, but before he could call the proceedings he was on every hand greeted with the question,” What are we come here for?”

Mr Chappell answered, “We have come here as your friends.

This was followed by shouts of “bah! bosh! Rubbish! It is settled in the Sheffield Telegraph!”

Mr Chappell said he could not answer for what had appeared in the Sheffield Telegraph, he had not given the information and it did not appear in the Independent.

After some degree of order had been restored, the Chairman said the Denaby Main Dispute had been brought before the Council in an honourable manner and it had been treated in an honourable manner by the representatives of South Yorkshire. A letter was read from Mr B.Pope, one of the proprietors, stating that the pit would not again be open for Marsland.

Mr Warburton, the manager, reported to the deputation that it was understood by the proprietor that Denaby Main will never again be open for J.Marsland (A voice, we will stick to him).

The Council looked at these things, and discussed the merits of the case over an hour, and the question the Council asked was, “shall we be benefited by fighting, when there is no hope of winning?” After carefully considering the matter, they came to the conclusion they had better recommend the men to go in. (Here a great amount of uproar and disorder place.)

The Chairman continuing, said they belong to the Council and would have to be dealt with by the Council (interruption, which shouts of,” I’ll pay no more”, etc). To prolong the struggle would merely be the means of smashing them up. (A voice, “we are smashed up already.”) He had always stuck likea leech to Denaby Main, but he had only one voice, and they were obliged to be ruled by the Council. The files as he could see the Council had taken a proper and sensible view of the whole matter. The question was asked, “is there any money?” And the answer was “No.”

(A voice, “it has not been brought before the lodges.”) He begged to tell them plainly that the resolution of the Council was, that they go to work, and if they did not go, every farthing of support will be taken from them. (A voice, “we know that – they will have no more money of mine etc”).If they were determined not to take the advice given them by the Council, the pit would no doubt be opened, and three parts of them would be thrown out of employment.

Another official then addressed the men, urging them by all means to abide by the decision of the Council and go to work, or if they did not do so it will be the means of their destruction.

Mr Chappell then, with much interruption, told them that he had always fought honourably, and done his best for the men of Denaby Main. He had been the means of borrowing £100 for their assistance (a voice, “I would not trust thee £100.”) He had thought their case as hard and honourable as any man could do. He had done all he could. (A voice, “you have done your best to sell us”). It was not his disposition to sell them. (Here, there was again a considerable amount of disorder.) Mr Chappell then read to the men the decision of the Council, which was as follows:

“That this Council deeply regrets that they are not able to see their way to recommend the Denaby men further protract the present struggle, arising out of the dispute of the check weighman, and that the Council after taking into consideration the privation, and consequent suffering arising therefrom, to the men and their families, without any apparent possibility of gaining the better; strongly recommend and advise the Denaby Main men to resume work without further delay.”

Here one of the miners came forward and denounced the conduct of Mr Chappell, and all the others, who had been the means of passing such a resolution as that, saying they ought to be ashamed of themselves. He maintained that their disputehad not be brought before the lodges of the district before the Council meeting. They were flying in the face of the whole country, etc, etc

Mr Chappell: I would back you out, if I thought you would win.

The Chairman said the question was asked by Council. If there was anything else in dispute, but Marsland´s case at Denaby, and it was stated there was not. It was cruelto have to part with a man who had dealt so honourably with them as Marsland, but they were in the hands of the Council, and if they couldn’t get no money who would let them have anything?

Mr E.Jones, one of the delegates to the Council, then briefly addressed the men, stating that he had always honourably forught their battles etc

A miner : “People could tell us we were going to work on Thursday. Eliza Henshaw told me so.” (Laughter.)

After some further remark from Mr B Bailey, and others. It was proposed:

“that the miners of Denaby Main stand out until the district dispute is settled, on the 15th inst, and that if the district then goes in without a reduction, they (the Denaby miners) asked for the late 5% reduction back again.

The motion was seconded, and apparently carried unanimously