Meeting at Mexbro’ – Mr. Pickard and His Detractors

November 1889

Sheffield Independent – Saturday 16 November 1889

Meeting at Mexbro’.

Mr. Pickard and His Detractors

A meeting of the Denaby Main and Manvers Main Miners was held in the Mexbro’ Primitive Methodist Schoolroom, last night, to hear addresses from Mr. B. Pickard, M.P., Mr. J. Murray, Mr. J. Dixon, and Mr. W. Annables.

Mr. F. CROFTS presided. He believed the advance would come — but not this year ; and they might have to lay their tools down first. He was in favour of deserting the non-union men as far as pos- sible—not drinking, or talking, or riding with them — and perhaps that would bring them to their senses. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. WM. ANNABLES (Manvers Main) moved a resolution in favour of the 10 per cent, advance, and also in favour of the eight hours proposal. He maintained that they ought to be asking for a 20 per cent, increase, considering the way in which trade had improved, for they were entitled to a fair proportion of the profits as well as the masters.

Mr. JOHN DIXON (Denaby Main) seconded the motion, and in doing so, spoke of the need for a price list at every colliery, so that the working men would know what to have a right to expect, and at Denaby Main and elsewhere they were trying to bring this about.

Mr. JAMES MTJBBAY (Barrow) supported the resolution, and said the owners might delay too long to see what was done elsewhere.

Mr. B. PICKARD, M.P., supported the resolution. He observed that the meeting of Denaby Main miners the previous night, regarding the question of un- skilled labour, was not held in the “lodge ” room as had been stated, and he remarked that the speaker (Mr. Appleford) was one who had been to Barnsley to see him (Mr. Pickard), and asked whether he would distribute a certain broadsheet, or see it distributed. Yet that same person gave a point blank denial in the Sheffield Telegraph as to what he had been to him to do. It was as well that the men in the Mexbro’ district should know of this. He told the man he would distribute 38,000 sheets, or see some one did so, if they were sent to Barnsley ; but these sheets had not yet been sent, and the man had not had the moral courage to make the statement. That really represented the facts. He had nothing more to say of a man of that moral fibre. (Hear, hear.)

Continuing, Mr. Pickard said he had given a challenge to a so-called “Geordy Close” — or any other man, who pretended he was a member of the association — to attend a meeting, and get up like a man and say what he wanted. (Hear, hear.) If the person had anything he could honestly put before the district officials, or at a branch room, let him do it honestly. (Hear, hear.) The sending of letters to the papers with a fictitious name might be all very well in its way ; but it was a very much more easy thing to write a lie in that way, than with a name under it. (Hear, hear.) It was for the men to judge for themselves as to libels and slanders uttered. (Hear, hear.)

Mr. Pickard then spoke in support of shorter hours and higher wages. As to the Newport Conference, if the owners did not meet the men satisfactorily, the result might be a battle royal. (Laughter, and hear, hear.) The owners could easily give the advance, and should do so without delay. He mentioned that the Denaby miners still stood A1 in connection with the association, and that at Manvers Main there were 1318 financial members, the number of votes possessed by the Denaby delegate being 20, and by the Manvers delegate 28. (Cheers.) He hoped the grievances at Manvers Main wonld soon be settled.

The resolution was carried unanimously and enthusiastically.