Mexborough and Swinton Times, September 19.
Miners Permanent Relief Fund.
Denaby Main Branch.
A meeting of the above was held in the Denaby Main School room last Tuesday evening, the chair being taken by John Warburton, Esq. The room was well filled, and the chairman in opening the meeting said what great pleasure it gave him take part in the meeting, and thought that the society ought to be in every way encourage and regretted that he did not receive the attention from those for whose benefit. It was solely intended. In conclusion, he said it was not necessary for him to say any more, and expressed his own belief in the permanency of the society.
Mr Wilcock next spoke on behalf of the society, and said he was pleased that he ever joined the society. He said the subject of providing relief in case of accidents to miners, have long occupied the minds of far superior men than those that were to be found amongst them, and he called the attention of his hearers to the surplus of the Mansion House funds which found their way into the funds of the society.
He next referred to the valued labours of Mr Day, who established the society, and to whose influence its existence was entirely due.
Accidents occur daily which do not move the sympathies of the country as when a large explosion occurred, and it was for the need of all injured in accidents, that the funds of the society was so much needed. He next 12 upon the income and expenditure of the society, remarking that a great deal of the former was paid in without the subscribers having any chance of receiving it back as recompense for accidents; for instance, the annual subscription of £100 by Earl Fitzwilliam, I was glad to be able to tell them that the society was worth more than £7000, and concluded by expressing the hope that all was not joined would do so at once.
The chairman here spoke of the large number of individual accidents which occurred almost daily, the combined suffering of which was as great as of almost any explosion, and for which no Mansion House funds provided.
He himself wrote a pamphlet some 18 years ago, drawing attention of the great necessity which existed for a society similar to this, which, in his opinion, was well worthy of assistance and encouragement.
Mr Watson (secondary) in speaking of the benefits the society bought, not only to the men themselves but to their wives and families; said he was pleased to see so many ladies present. There were some 450,000 men employed in about the collieries of the kingdom, and for the five years ended December 1878, 5854 men lost their lives through colliery accidents, which was an average of 1171 lives lost per year. Out of this number only about 1518 were provided for by the Mansion House funds, leaving 4336 totally unprovided for.
He did not think that Mr McDonald’s Employers Liability, Bill for compensation would meet the desired end for it would be creating a deal more discord and unpleasantness between Masters and men, and he pointed out that by small payments a man could provide himself by joining the above society against any accident that might occur. He concluded by giving some striking illustration. The great good which had resulted from the operations of the society, which could now muster some 6000 members with a real fund of £7200.
Mr J Farmer next addressed the meeting and said that when the custom as it was to public speaking. He was always pleased to help the working men because he was a working man himself. He thought it was their duty as fathers and husbands to provide against accidents, for those that will be left behind, and contacted the difference between the results of those to whom accidents happen that were insured, and to those that were not, and concluded by expressing a hope that none would shirk that duty, but join the society at once.
Mr John Schofield was happy to take part in the meeting, and he came principally to defend the society and uphold it against the many objections that had been put forward against it by several people, more especially the consider that the society ought to be upheld now that the Miners Union had discontinued to give relief for accidents.
As to providing against sickness, he thought that was more the duty of Friendly Societies, which so many existed in our midst. He thought it is scarcely possible for Masters to contribute to other workmen during sickness, and in conclusion express an opinion that as South Yorkshire was as dangerous a coalfield as any that existed, or miners in the district Court at once to join the society, and he would do all in his power to prevail them to do so.
The chairman here contrasted the difference between disease and accident, and said that lead to a certain extent, the former could be averted, but an accident but beyond the reach of all.
Mr Watson also said that if sickness was included. It would involve far more trouble and expense, and perhaps would eventually ruin the society, which was doing a large amount of good as it now stood.
Mr S. Evans was glad to hear what had been said, and was pleased to be able to report that during the past month, at Denaby alone, over 80 members had joined the society. He thought all at Denaby Colliery ought to join, and for instance the Monk Bretton and both the Oakes Collieries, most of the workmen were members.
A hearty vote of thanks was next accorded to the Chairman, who, in reply, said he would always be most happy to do whatever he could for the good of the society, after which the meeting dispersed