Lecture At Reigate – Denaby & Cadeby Collieries

April 1912

Dorking and Leatherhead Advertiser – Saturday 06 April 1912

Lecture At Reigate.

A very interesting lecture was by Mr. P. Jagger in the Men’s CJub Room, High-street, Reigate, last week, in which the audience was instructed as to the nature work in a coal mine.

Mr. Jagger, who is well acquainted with mining in Yorkshire, first gave a demonstration of the safety lamp, and then went on to speak of the Denaby Main Colliery.

The first shafts were sunk there in 1866, and the vast pile of machinery which has since risen in the parishes of Denaby, Cadeby and Conisbro has completely altered the countryside. In November, 1882, coal was turned out of the pit at the rate of 7,500 tons a week.

Some idea of the size of the company’s scale of operations may be gathered from the fact that a fence two square miles in extent drawn round the two collieries would not include all the enterprises, industrial and social, which the company either owns or controls, and the area of coal which it works stretches a distance of eight miles.

It was a great day in the history of the concern when the Cadeby mine was sunk in 1889. Over 5,000 men are employed in these pits, 3,400 at Cadeby and 1,600 at Denaby, and about 4,000 safety lamps are kept. There are 3,866 corves, or small wagons, in the Cadeby pit and 2,300 in the Denaby pit. At Cadeby 250 ponies and at Denaby 180.

The company owns 5,000 railway wagons; these are called upon to deal with an average weekly output of 29,000 tons of coal, upon which a royalty of 6d. a ton was paid. Last year the output was 3,000,000 tons.

Denahy and Cadeby always figured easily at the head of the monthly shipping returns from Hull.

The number of houses owned by the company is over 2,000. These houses range from the low-rented four-room cottage to the well-appointed semi-detached villa. The rents are stopped from the wages every week.

Building operations are going on almost continuously in the villages., and the estimated population of Denaby Main at the present time is 12,000.

The vastness of the mechanism at these collieries is almost appalling. The two winding engines at Cadeby are each 2,000 horse power standard and there is 17,000 horse power at Denaby.

Then there is a mighty electric generating plant installed, one of the finest in the kingdom. The company also owns small fleet of steamers used to carry coal to all the parts of the earth.

Mr. Jagger went on to speak of the wonderful machinery at these mines, and then showed that the company had looked to the social as well as the commercial side, and had built and equipped a large hall, one of the finest in the United Kingdom a large school, cricket ground, football ground, a men’s institute and library, a girls’ institute, two large hotels, gas works, water works, large co-operative stores (with house-purchasing scheme), open-air swimming baths, a hospital, two churches, four chapels. Salvation Barracks, also a cemetery.

Mr. Jagger then related his experiences in the Denaby district during the strike of 1885.