Labour J.P. for Denaby – Mr. Arthur Roberts (picture)

October 1923

Mexborough & Swinton Times, October 13/10/1923

Labour J.P. for Denaby

Mr. Arthur Roberts

Mr. Arthur Roberts, of Denaby Main, one of the new West Riding J.P.´s has been prominent in the public life of the district for several years, and has earned the reputation of being one of the most statesmanlike members of the Labour group in the West Riding County Council.

He was born at Leeswood, in the Welsh county of Flint, 41 years ago, the son of a miner and the eldest of a large family of children. His early life was one of struggle and privation and his education is entirely gathered from the school of life and from private study, which with him has been unceasing.

He worked as a boy of 10 in a publisher´s shop at Wrexham and at 14 entered the service of the Great Central railway, a service which lasted nearly 20 years. He graduated in the sheds at Wrexham and came to Mexborough in 1912 as a driver.

He left the railway in 1915 for the fitting shop at the Denaby Main Colliery, and shortly afterwards went down the mine and worked at the coal face.

In trade union circles he really made his mark, and came to public notice through the Mexborough Trades and Labour Council, of which he was secretary for a short time.

At Denaby Main his ability was promptly recognised by the miners, who elected him president of the branch in 1916, and in the following year secretary, a position he still holds.

In 1917 he was co-opted on to the Mexborough Urban District Council to fill the vacancy caused by the death of Mr. Daniel Shirratt also a leader of the Denaby Main miners, and he sat on the Council for four years doing excellent administrative work throughout and resigning when he moved to Denaby in 1921.

In that year he was elected to Conisborough on the Doncaster Guardians and was re-elected in 1922 for the full term of three years. Also last year he was elected to the West Riding County Council for the Conisborough Division Labour representative for that area.

He was opposed by Mr. W. Appleyard, and the figures were: Roberts 1622, Appleyard 778.

When he was re-elected to the Board of Guardians he received the largest number of votes 1978 ever cast for a member of that authority.

By many other tokens his popularity in the district is manifest and by sound, sensible, and diligent public service he has earned a great deal of trust and respect in many quarters not commonly favourable to Labour policy.

At Wakefield he is regarded as a rising man, and it is more than likely that the miners, among whom his reputation is widespread, will shortly nominate him for a Parliamentary candidature.

The honour of the ministry which is sparingly and discriminately bestowed, has been well deserved in his case.

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