Denaby Notes – “Mammy where shall we go ?”

9 January 1903

DENABY NOTES

the ejectment orders of last been put into force, and Denaby, is now more destitute than every it was. More able pens the mine will describe the compliance with the lawful demand of the colliery company; but scenes were witness that were passed unnoticed by the keen eyes of Press representatives.

Feeling of almost every description was evidenced as the representatives of the law performed their gruesome and thankless tasks – and the sites that were witness will remain imprinted on the minds of those who saw it for all time.

Some people likened the evictions to those of 1885, but in 1885 the scenes were but mild to those we saw during this week, and contrary to the statements, there were plenty of the old hands who were evicted in 1885 that never budgedan inch, and faced the laws representatives with unflinching firmness right to the end of the proceedings, and finally assisted the police in the execution of their obnoxious duties.

I say obnoxious with a full sense of the meaning of the word, for one instance I saw some constables who, in one case did everything but shed tears; that was in a case in Edlington Street, where the family goes and be removed into the Street, and following them came a poor old man, whose earthly race is nearly run. The old fellow looked very weak, and seem bewildered as he toddled into the road, coat in hand, and when a Constable offered assistance with the coat the poor old fellow turned with such a grateful look, whilst in his eyes were tears bravely held in check, and it was plain to see a lump in the constables throat.

Trembling he shuffled on the coal with which the Constable kindly helped him, but he then took up his stick and toddled down the street followed by the pitying gaze of the constables nearby, who could only just managed to keep it dry eye.

And in another case, the family goods were ejected, and then out came the wife and children, who in all numbered 10; this poor woman when she was put into the street looked about her utterly bewildered and dazed. Her eyes were soon filled with tears, and the young children clung to each other around their mothers dress, and two burst into tears. The word quickly passed that she had nowhere to go, but the reverent, Jesse Wilson soon came to the rescue and she was led to the Primitive Method Chapel for temporary refuge.

This in another case a young child sobbed bitterly when, with its mother, it was placed in the Street, and it wailed. “Mammy, where shall we go?” To which the mother replied, “don’t know,” but there was no fear for these, and they were found shelter.

Another woman sang, “I have no home,” and all the time tears were welled up in their eyes, and only ordered relaxation of willpower to flow freely, but she pulled herself together, and assumed a defiant demeanour.

One could account many such scenes more or less touching, but on the whole, the men bore up heroically.

The colliery companyhave now played their last card, and forthwith the fight will be a vigourous one. The men are daily receiving offers of further financial assistance from different parts of Yorkshire, Lancashire, Derbyshire, and Notts.

The fire at Denaby Colliery is now subdued, and several of the men who have been employed in the work of extinguishing have expressed their willing miss to cease work, providing they can receive their strike pay, while on the run, only a few have signed the agreement to resume work on the old terms, although statements and got broadcast that hundreds have signed.

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