Poor Denaby Miner (picture)

April 1920

Mexborough Times, April 3rd, 1920

Poor Denaby Miner

After Mr Arthur Neil and Lady Mabel Smith, Denaby Main seems to be fair game for every apostle of hygiene. They use it as a text, as Mr Chadband used poor Jo and when they get on this fruitful theme, they invariably stray into exaggeration.

“I will show my learned friend,” said Mr Neil, “sights here which you will not see anywhere else in England.”

“I know too much of Denaby Main for my peace of mind,” said Lady Mabel Smith. “I dare not walk alone in its labyrinths,”and she proceeds to talk about it as if it were a clone of that fever ridden Eden of Martin Chuzzlewit’s

It is difficult to rebut reasonable and moderate criticism conditions such as exist in Denaby Main and in many another colliery village of the older pattern. Nobody desires to defend these conditions and under enlightened administration, with the cooperation of the people who dwell among them, they would be speedily amended.

Lady Mabel Smith

That is the point. After all, Denaby Main belongs to a date when sanitary science was absent.

New colliery villages are built on a better plan, and even they are subject to deterioration if the community is not in tune with the ideal set before it. No community need dwell among insanitary and debasing conditions, for communities can, in this country, create, destroy, improve and amend.

It is of course, an exaggeration to say that Denaby Main is without tree or garden, or that its worst features that cannot be met with elsewhere.

At its worst, Denaby Main, is no more insalubrious than many parts of Mr NealĀ“s own city of Sheffield, whose slums are truly shocking, and at its best, Denaby Main, has advantages and amenities which are coveted by neighbouring towns and villages.

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