Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 30 July 1910
Pedestrianism That Didn’t Pay
Denaby Miners in Trouble
“We are not paid for walking about the pit, and we won’t go back.” Thus did two Denaby miners, Henry Elliott and Martin Jennings, address the deputy, Mr Robert Ross, in the Cadeby pit, about 6 a.m. on June 7th.
About that time he saw them at the boxhole, or office, at the pit bottom. Subsequently they went along the travelling road towards the stall, which was a working place. Mr Ross proceeded in the same direction soon afterwards, and met the men returning. On enquiring why they were coming out, he was informed that there was a pack of dirt, and also a corner of pack down. He requested them to go back, stating that he would make arrangements for the removal of the dirt.
The men, however, refused to return to their working place.
The result was that a loss of 11/4 was sustained to the management of the pit, and defendants were proceeded against for this amount by the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Company Ltd, the action being brought under the employers and Workmen’s Act.
Mr WM Gichard prosecuted, and Mr W Baddiley defended.
Mr Gichard’s case briefly was that defendants left their work without permission, thereby causing this loss.
Robert Ross, the first witness for the company, denied, in cross examination, that defendants asking for a pass out order.
William Humphries said the men were “red marked,” and refused to pay the five shillings fine demanded of them as they alleged they were not in fault.
He told Mr Gichard that the half-crown fines were for the men coming out of the pit when they ought not to have done so.
Henry Booth, Mr S.J. Bridges (under manager) and Mr Hugh Ross were also examined.
Mr A.H.Barnard, agent to the plenty company, said the fines were inflicted on the men in the interests of discipline, because they had come out of the pit under false pretences. They came out, saying they could not work when they could have done so; they mix themselves up with the nightshift men, and in that they were able to get out without being questioned. Otherwise they would not have been allowed out of the pit without a note.
He considered the order of the deputy in this case to be a reasonable one.
For the defence, Mr Baddiley emphasised the fact that the men were not brought to court for breach of rules. The company thought that the best way to get at the defendants was by pressing the point about an alleged loss of money. Defendant resented the suggestion that they had left the pit under false pretences.
Defendants both gave evidence on oath, as also did George Hewitt.
After a hearing of close of four hours, the men were ordered to pay damages 11/4 and the costs.