Sheffield Daily Telegraph – Friday 06 January 1888
Mass Meeting of Denaby Miners
Mr. W. Parrott and Miners’ Organisations.
A crowded meeting of the unemployed Denabv Main workmen was held yesterday afternoon in the Lodge room, Doncaster road, Mexborough, the chairman of the lodge presiding.
There were also present Mr. W. Parrott, Barnsley; Mr. John Dixon, secretary to (the branch the Miners’ Association; and the Rev.T. J. Leslie, of Mexborough.
Mr. Parrott having expressed his sympathy with the men referred to the action taken the council meeting at Barnsley Monday, reference to their case. He was sorry say that the rules of the association did not provide for relief in case of a fire; all it did was to exempt the men from payment of their contributions. He had advocated for a length of time that something should done by the association to meet such cases theirs by the levy or the establishment of a separate fund, and he hoped that out of this mishap Denaby some permanent good would be done by the men helping him forward in the scheme to which he had alluded. A similar state things had occurred at one of the Wharncliffe Silkstoue Collieries, and a small pit out Otley way, the miners were at peace throughout the old district. – (Hear, hear) and for anything he knew everything thing was going on comfortably.
He was sorry see that after the association had been established so many years, when accident like the one at Denaby occurred, they should have to ask the public for assistance. He would much rather that the men should rely upon their own efforts, for it was not much credit to the association to have lot of men out Denaby and Wharncliffe Silkstone, and not have a penny in the funds to assist them. (Hear, hear.)
With the exception their own case at Denaby, the case at Wharncliffe Silkstone, and small pit out Otley wav, the miners were at peace throughout the whole district —(hear, hear)—and for anything he knew everything was going on comfortably. He had made a suggestion the council meeting on Monday, that every pits head should call meeting and appoint one of their own men to collect money in aid of the distress fund every Saturday until they went work.
They had doubtless seen a lot of criticism in the with respect to the proposals of the Edinburgh Conference, and lie only wished that some of those editors who wanted to know why colliers could not work 10 or 11 hours day like agricultural labourers could have bit of practical experience of life down the pit. If they would only do that they would see some beautiful leading articles. (Hear, hear, and laughter.)
But there were also men in their own ranks who thought that there should no check on the days or hours they felt inclined work, but he proceeded to point out the fallacy of this reasoning. No class of men on earth worked hard as a collier. (Hear, hear.) There were food and clothing sufficient for them happy. (Hear, hear.) It was only the distribution that needed arranging, and that was what some of them had been aiming for some time. (Hear, bear.) There was not class of men under the sun who had greater power to put themseives in better position than the miners.
Mr. Parrott advocated an increase of Is. in the price of coal per ton, the miner have, say, one-fourth of the increase, their wages were correspondingly lowered when coal fell. The secretaries to the two Coalowners’ Associations in Yorkshire had only merely acknowledged Mr. Pickard’s letter asking for 10 per cent, advance, but lie was now going to write to the presidents as well, and he hoped and trusted that the answer would be favourable. (Hear, hear.)
What the miners wanted wasa more powerful organisation. There was a time when the owners were glad to meet them, but now they knew their position, knew that they were not a strong or powerful organisation, and not so much in earnest as they used to be.
The Rev. T. J. Leslie said he attended the meeting for the purpose of asking the men to choose committee to help him in the disbursement of the money lie had received.
A vote thanks was proposed to the Rev. T. J. Leslie, and also to the Mexborough Local Board, who were making speedy arrangements so that the unemployed miners might proceed at once with the work of raising certain sewage pipes at the low end of the town. It was decided that more urgent cases of relief be attended to to-day (Friday).