Pit Pensions. – Denaby & Cadeby Men’s Annual Tea -Triumph of Co-Operation.

January 1931

Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 02 January 1931

Pit Pensions.

Denaby and Cadeby Men’s Christmas Social.

A Triumph Of Co-Operation.

On Monday in the Denaby Welfare Hall, the committee of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Mutual Help Fund entertained about 230 retired miners and their wives at the annual tea and concert.

Following the custom of the committee half a pound of tea was presented to each of the miners’ wives after the meal and the men received tobacco and clay pipes, the latter being supplied gratis by Mr. T. Graveson, of Mexborough.

Before the concert, Mr. Tom Williams, M.P., briefly addressed the company, and Major Peake (director) and members of the committee also spoke.

£5,000 a Year.

Mr. H. Hulley (agent) said in the first place he wanted to offer thanks on behalf of the committee to those who had come forward to the treat that night. It was pleasant to see so many smiling faces there., but at the same time he wanted them to remember one or two who had passed away during the year.

Speaking of the fund, Mr. Hulley said 150 workmen were beneficiaries and 40 wives, making a total of 190. The amount of money paid out in pensions that year came to about £5,000. This had been subscribed for by workmen and the colliery company, and no money had more willingly been given than to this fund. He had to apologise for the absence of their chairman and managing director, Major Leslie, and they had hoped they would be able to get Viscount Chelmsford and Mr. Herbert Smith there, but unfortunately they were not able to come.

Bound To Spread.

Mr. Tom Williams, who said he pleased the time for speakers had been limited to five minutes, because he had had a good meal and was content to sit back and listen, remarked that in comparing Parliamentary work with local government work, he very much preferred the latter.

“In local government work one does walk down to the council chamber with a well-defined scheme,” said Mr. Williams.” One moves one’s resolution and in a very short time one sees the results of one’s own creation, but in Parliamentary work one never sees the results of one’s own creation. The officials to-night can see the results of their own creation. You are economically sound. It must bring greater joy than any other thing one can think of to be economically secure. If there is one thing everyone strives for it is absolute security, and it gives me as much joy it does to those who produce the scheme. It is perhaps the prettiest sight I have cast eyes on in my lifetime. Personally I should prefer to see the nation stand on its hind legs and say to its veterans: “You have done forty-six years of work and you are entitled to sit down and enjoy the rest of your life.” Other collieries are noticing the success of the Denaby and Cadeby scheme, and it is bound to spread.”

He was convinced that Lord Chelmsford, though he could not be with them in person was there in spirit. Once an appeal was made to the Miners’ Welfare Committee for assistance for such a scheme the assistance’ would be obtained. He would like to say the promoters of the scheme were entitled to the best they could think of them. They had started a movement which would spread to all corners of the British Isles. He hoped they would live long to receive the benefits their children were working for. When they could sit back and enjoy the benefit they provided for earlier on it brought dual comfort; first to themselves and second to the younger ones. He hoped the pension scheme would extend till it was national in its application and be hoped the day would come when they would be able to say the germ of the idea began there.

Doncaster to Follow.

Mr. L. C. Hodges (general manager) said last year was the first time he was privileged to be with them. He was pleased Maltby had now a mutual help scheme in being and that a scheme would come into operation at Dinnington in February. He congratulated everybody who had a hand in starting the scheme, because it began before he came, though he had done what little he could to spread the scheme since he came. He understood the Doncaster collieries were looking into the matter and he believed they proposed to start a scheme on similar lines. Although they had lost six members that year, he felt that if the scheme had not been in operation they would have lost more. He thought they should all do their best to see these schemes were run on very sound lines because if any hitch occurred it would act detrimentally as to the extension of the schemes in other localities. He congratulated the committee both on the colliery company’s and the workmen’s side of the work they had done.

Triumph of Co-Operation.

Mr. 0. Dunnington (representing transport and general workers) pointed out that such efforts as this were efforts of co-operation. It was the effort on the part of workers and employers which made such schemes possible. When the younger workers had to contribute to pension schemes they did not do it with good grace because they did not think what was going to be their lot when they reached the retiring age. It was the young brain which was the salvation of the country and they had got to give way to that and they had not to cramp it. They must give the young brain its opportunity and such schemes as that made it possible for them to do so. He knew they had all been sensible and bricked up the scheme, and he hoped the scheme would continue not only in Denahy but all over the country.

“The Denaby Company is very proud of its scheme,” said Major H. Peaks (director), “because it could not have come into being without co-operation on the part of all members of the company and employees.” At the present time the industry of the country was going through a very difficult , time, but he thought they could overcome most of the difficulties if they found out the see of the troubles and really got together to overcome them. He felt they were all much indebted to the committee for the arrangements, which were extraordinarily good.

Looking After Both Ends.

This scheme looked after the two ends of humanity, said Mr. Robert Morley, of Halifax. It looked after the children who were too young look after themselves, and those who were too old to look after themselves. He was certain they were proud of their scheme and the committee, firm and contributors were all to be congratulated.

“I have enjoyed the evening because it is one of the few occasions in the life of a public man when he and the whole of his audience can agree,” said Mr. Arthur Roberts, C.C. The committee felt the present position was search that there was security for those already on the phone, and they were taking steps to give security to those who would eventually come under the fund. He did not think local government work compared so well with Parliamentary work as had been said. They took their schemes to the council and they did not come to fruition. On behalf of the beneficiaries the committee and the contributors he proposed a vote of thanks to the visitors.

Mr Tom Hill, seconding, said “I appreciate what has been said regarding the efficiency of the committee. I want to thank also the men of Denaby and Cadeby for what they have done to help the scheme.”