Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 27 March 1891
A Visit To The Denaby Main Mine.
Part 5 – My Return – Fine Dust, Cupolo shaft, Mid-Summer to Mid Winter
A Comical Spectacle
By this time I must have presented a comical spectacle, having tramped far and so long in the colliery dust, I could defy anybody recognising me. I think I must have been as black as a n—-r. I had time to think so while we were passing along a cutting, which was quite away from all noise and in contrast to what we had just left, seemed
As Silent as the Tomb
Mr Witty took further aerial measurements and presently we began to talk of returning. I was quite ready to go home I can assure you, for I was quite wearied by the tramp and by the constant supervision necessary in so strange a hole, lest I should have to occupy a bed at the Cottage Hospital !
The remarkable fine dust which accumulated in some parts was pointed out to me. It was as soft as velvet. “This is what causes explosions,” said the official, “and if an east wind was to come in contact with the current that brings this here there would be at once a fall of rain, for what you we is charged with considerable dampness.” Wonders never cease,’ thought I.
After again visiting the office which we first entered before making our perambulation, the electric bell rung and the engine driver on the top would know someone was ready for hauling up. Rather than wait for three-quarters-of an hour until the miners themselves were wound up, I agreed to accompany my friend up
The Cupolo Shaft
This is where the steam from the underground engine escapes. A good deal of it was “shut off,” so as not to be uncomfortably hot for me. The “cage” soon carried us into the midst of the mist. It was a pleasant sensation rather than otherwise. While thus enveloped. I heard a distant sound and recognised my own name and someone asking if I had enjoyed the trip. I remarked abort this to Mr. Witty and afterwards the same faint voice came, as though at the bottom of the shaft. “Why how silly of me,” said I. ” I forgot you were a ventriloquist, Mr. Witty.” But the chat in the steaming shaft was brief and we were once again in the open air. It was like a sudden transportation from
Midsummer to Midwinter
The flakes of mow were gently falling and it was a genuine old fashioned winter. Having been given a further view of the works above ground, I returned to the colliery offices, and removed the dust from my features. After cordially gripping the hand of my amiable and able guide, and wishing him a future of health and happiness, I returned safe and sound to the domestic hearth, where I could quietly ruminate over the strange experiences through which I had passed.