In Darkest Denaby – Lady Mabel Smith’s Sweeping Denunciation.

March 1920

Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 26 March 1920

In Darkest Denaby.

Lady Mabel Smith’s Sweeping Denunciation.

” I know more about Denaby than I care to know for my peace of mind,” said Lady Mabel Smith, lecturing at Denaby last night. She went on to urge that they should not allow the new houses that are to be built to perpetuate the “horrors” they had now. She absolutely dare not walk about in Denaby by herself—not because she was afraid of the people, but because she could not find her way through the puzzles.

It was incredible that they went on under those conditions. It was very difficult, if not impossible, to bring their children up under proper moral conditions. She did not think that there was a tree in Denaby, and a garden was practically unknown.

Considerable objection was taken to the speaker’s sweeping criticisms by members of the audience, who asserted that Denaby was not so bad as it was painted, and Lady Mabel Smith, in reply, said she did not intend to be taken as criticising the colliery company but rather as blaming the inhabitants for their lack of vision.

The Rev. H. Lee, who presided, said that the rate of the increase of the population of Denaby was—he would not say appalling—but magnificent. He baptised twenty children in one week, and the average was forty a month. Something would have to be done in the near future to meet the needs of this increasing population.