Extracts from the Mexborough Times: The King and Queen at the pit head
A visit to the colliery offices
Her Majesty’s great grief
The visit of the king and queen to the Cadeby mine on Tuesday evening brought comfort to the bereaved widows and mothers grouped along the roadside and at the approaches to the colliery. The King went to Cadeby fresh from his experience at Elsecar, where he had descended the Elsecar pit.
Earlier in the day the King had addressed a gracious message of sympathy to those concerned in the disaster. In the evening their Majesty’s displayed in a practical manner the deep interest they are taking in the industrial life of their subjects by making a personal call at the offices of the of the Denaby and Cadeby colliery company, just before 7-30 o’clock. They drove to the front entrance of the officers in their motorcar, accompanied by Earl Fitzwilliam, Lord Stamfordham and Major Atcherley, Chief Constable of the West Riding. You
It had been rumoured earlier in the day that a visit from their Majesty’s might be expected, and when they arrived there was still a very large crowd present watching the sad operation of carrying out the dead bodies from the mine and quietly and reverently placing them in the temporary mortuary.
As the Royal cars approached, all heads were bared, and their Majesty’s alighted at the colliery entrance in absolute silence.
In the building the Royal party was received by Mr W.H.Chambers, the managing director of the company, and the Mr J.R.Wilson of Leeds, who was the only mines inspector to survive the second explosion, which entombed the rescue party. Both Mr Chambers and Mr Wilson were coal dust grimed and were wearing the clothes in which they had been down the pit.
There Majesty’s asked many pertinent questions about the disaster, and displayed a great interest in what the occurrence meant to the mining public. Plans showing the scene of the explosion were shown to their Majesty’s and described by Mr Chambers, who explained the force of the explosion and the manner in which it expended itself by killing all who were in its path.
After a stay of about a quarter of an hour their Majesty’s left the offices, their departure from Conisbrough being witnessed by the large crowd which had assembled.
The Kings features disclosed his great concern. It was as though he have suffered a great personal loss.
As a Queen emerged with bowed head tears still filled her eyes.
The presence of the king and queen at so you a moment and and their obvious sympathy with the sufferers had a remarkable effect on the regulators, many of whom, unable to restrain themselves by recollecting the terrible sights across the valley, involuntarily burst into cheers which, although somewhat misplaced, denoted their warm appreciation of their kindness which had prompted the King and Queen to visit the stricken village. Subsequently the following notice was issued from the colliery offices:
Their Majesties the King and Queen visited the Cadeby colliery today to ascertain personally on the spot all particulars of the sad calamity which has deprived many of those of those we love. They commanded me to express to all who have suffered loss of any who were dear to them, their deep sympathy with them in their grief and
The Queen and the Colliers widow
Gradually details leaking out of the visit of the King and Queen to the offices at Denaby on Tuesday night. It has been freelly rumoured that the King expressed a desire to go down the 9 to see the conditions existing there, but was persuaded by the colliery officials against the intention. No one however, attempts to confirm this, and at present it remains merely one of the best of legends rising on the lives of the imaginative.
But what is absolutely fact is that her Majesty the Queen betrayed the utmost concern at the grief of the widow of a collier who had come up to one of the enquiry offices to look at the list, and had found the name of her husband their. The poor woman was shrieking with distress when there Majesty’s were descending the stairs. The officials made a dart to escort her Majesty clear of actual contact with this physical pain, but her Majesty turned aside and made enquiries as to the particular cause of the woman’s lamentations.
When told of the cause she said the “Poor Poor thing! and was proceeding to make furthering enquiries when Mr W.H.Chambers approached to escort her to his room, where the king was already eagerly gleaming particulars of the disaster. When their Majesty returned from the consultation with Mr Chambers and Mr Wilson, the Queen looked in the enquiry room and with tears in their eyes, asked the whereabouts of the bereaved woman whom she wished to see. But the woman had gone and the Queen had to depart without extending to her the sympathy and solace which it had been their intentions to bestow.