March on Mexborough – Denaby “United Front” Proposal – Peaceful Demonstration

February 1935

Mexborough and Swinton Times February 15, 1935

March on Mexborough
Denaby “United Front” Proposal
Peaceful Demonstration

Mexborough will be object of the march of men and women from the Conisborough and Denaby area on Monday as a protest against the alleged injustices to the unemployed of the Conisborough Urban area by the relief “cuts”.

This decision was reached at a meeting on the joint auspices of the Denaby and college Labour Party and the Denaby and college branch of the National Unemployed workers movement in the Baths Hall, Denaby on Tuesday.

Councillor Ben Roberts presided and supporting speakers were Councillors Mrs E Leavis, C.Shepherd, R.J.Trouton and Dee Sheldon, pastor A.E.Gibby (Epworth Hall) and Messrs H Brownsword (Transport and General Workers Union), J.Wright (Chairman of the N.U.W.M.), J Leatherland and and J Mullin (of Mexborough).

Mr Roberts said the meeting and being called to object on a United Front against “the rotten methods that were being adopted on the working class through the Means Test.”
He suggested a deputation of six or eight people to place the troubles of the unemployed before the people administering the means test. The deputation could be composed of people well to administer the means test in the past and people who were in receipt of public assistance.

A Peaceful March
when he suggested that they should arrange a march, he did not do so with the idea of breaking the peace or creating a disturbance. They wanted a peaceful march to Mexborough and back, after which they could arrange meetings at Mexborough and Denaby.
Mr Roberts said they understood that the courts would be restored this week but you are sure that if they did not protest and follow their protest they would have what was been restored taken from the unemployed again.
“We are not out for trouble,” Mr Roberts declared, “we are out for fair play.” They were out to see part two and the means test abolished.

Example of Rhondda
Mr J Wright said that 12 months ago there was a nationwide agitation for increased children’s allowances, and a hunger march was organised to compel the Government to amend their scales. The march around national sympathy and the working class was shown to be solidly behind the unemployed. A similar position has arisen now. In the Rhondda Valley 100,000 people marched to demonstrate to the Unemployment Assisting Board. They wanted the same spirit in Denaby.

Mr Wright declared that the cuts had only been suspended, and the government had not retreated.
The Christian Attitude

Pastore Gibby said that part two had been an eye-opener to the employee. He was present at the meeting as a member of the Christian community, and they took their stand in registering a protest because they as Christians recognised the sacred right of everyone to live because the methods adopted today were breaking up and destroying home life.

A resolution, moved by Mr Brownsword and seconded by Mr Mullings was carried, protesting against the Colts, suggest that part to be withdrawn, and expressing approval of the proposal of the South World miners for a one-day strike as a protest.

The resolution was also carried approving the demands of which a local contingent of the N.U.W.M. will march to a mass demonstration at Sheffield on February 25.

It was decided that the march to Mexborough should commence from outside the Empire Cinema, Denaby, at 10 AM and that the speakers on the platform withCouncillor J.T.E.Collins and Messrs T.Ward, A.E. Senior, Ryder and J.H. Gillott form the deputation to interview the authorities.

A meeting was held on Tuesday morning at the Denaby Miners Welfare Institute, Mr Ben Roberts said that it appeared to him that the authorities did not realise the arch inflicted on the unemployed. There had been 750 application for boots in the area. About 200 pairs had come through, but is they had 2000 they would not have too many for the needs of the community.