South Yorkshire Times December 8, 1951
Keymen in Pits
Denaby Manager Stresses Function of Officials
What is the matter with Denaby?” That was the question asked by Mr. J. Burton, manager of Denaby Main Colliery, when he was speaking at, the annual dinner of the Denaby and Cadeby branch of the National Association of Colliery Overmen, Deputies and Shotfirers, at Swinton.
Mr. Burton had just agreed with the president of the branch, Mr. R. Marson, who had expressed disapointment at the attendance at the dinner. With 230 branch membership it seemed reasonable Mr. Marson had pointed out, to expect a 230 attendance.
“I feel sure it is Denaby who are at fault,” said Mr. Burton, “and not Cadeby.”We all know Denaby has not enjoyed, a very good name as a pit. That is not the fault of the officials, and I am quite certain that, it is being altered.” He took the opportunity, of thanking his officials for the extra hard work they had put in over the past twelve months.
“I believe the sooner people realise who are the key-men of this industry, the sooner will utmost output be achieved,” he said. “There is only one set of keymen—the deputies, overmen and under managers who work six days a week and a full day’s work every day.”
“Under private enterprise, we all used to get the results. We can do it now, but there is just one difficulty. I don’t think that the officials enjoy the same prestige as they did under private enterprise, and it is difficult to see how we are going to regain that prestige.
“It is the duty of this branch to do all in their power to raise that prestige back to where it was before. It is not .nearly as easy now to handle men as it used to be, but we have got to accept that. The officials can do -a lot about it.”