Pit Lads to Pay – Sequel to Trouble at Denaby

July 1942

South Yorkshire Times – Saturday 11 July 1942

Pit Lads to Pay

Sequel to Trouble at Denaby

Amalgamated Denaby Collieries, Ltd. claimed damages for breach of contract against 21 haulage hands at Doncaster West Riding Police Court on Friday.

The Company claimed £3.The magistrates allowed £2 in each case.

For the Company, Mr. A. S. Furniss said the trouble occurred in Denaby Colliery on June 22nd. The lads came to the pit but a discussion over some dispute started, and they did not go down. The statutory winding time was extended, and the lads were eventually persuaded to go down. The dispute seemed to have arisen out of the absence of two haulage hands. There had been many complaints about the lads being short-handed and overworked. They were offensive all the time, and took their time going toward the cage.

A banksman, W. Lambert, said one of the lads spat on his hand as he put it on the lever to send the cage down.

Harry Millington, of Mexborough, overman, said that when the lads, after a delay, did come down the pit he asked one of them to make a start, as the men were waiting for them, but the front ones sat down and the rest did not move. He asked another lad if he was going to work, and the reply was, “No, I’ve only come to see if the pit is still here.” He told the boys there was work for every one, but they all left the pit.

Mr. Furniss said the men got tired of waiting at the “paddy” for the lads to come down, and decided to go back to the pit top.

Mr. N. Hulley, Agent for the Colliery said the manager, Mr J. Halford, had been approached by the men for some action to be taken against the boys. The tonnage lost through the action of the lads was 268.

Mr. D Dunn, defending, said he was acting on behalf of the boys on behalf of the local branch of the Y.M.A., not because they were in agreement with the absenteeism, but to show the lads that they were being given fair treatment. The branch’s aim was to get the fullest possible co-operation between lads, men and management, and they always strove to that end. Their object was to get the fullest production. He wanted to show that the Y.M.A. branch was doing all it could to help the war effort.

Mr. R. Collings, secretary of the ‘ branch, said a meeting had been called after the trouble, and It was resolved to work regularly and to be down the pit in reasonable time. Since then there had been no complaint. One of the defendants. Sidney Tanner, of Conisbrough, said the men were coming out when they got down the pit and therefore there would have been no work for them , and they did not stay.

No “Playing” In Libya.

The Chairman, Mr. Mark Nokes said “There seems to have been trouble over the shortage of lads. There always will be a shortage of lads while the war is on. These lads ought to think of the men fighting in Libya. They can’t say ‘There’s one short, so we’re going to play’.”