Mexborough and Swinton Times, February 24, 1928
France, Fenwick And Co.
Prospects of the Denaby Coal Group
Sir George Higgins, C.B.E., chairman and managing director of William France, Fenwick and Co., Ltd., presided at the annual meeting of the Shareholders held in the Cannon Street Hotel, on Tuesday, William France, Fenwick and Co. have a controlling interest in, the Denaby, Cadeby and Maltby collieries. Apologising for the absence of the other managing director, Major J. Leslie (who is chairman and managing director of the Denaby, Cadeby and Maltby collieries), Sir George Higgins said that Major Leslie was attending an important meeting in Yorkshire in connection with the sale and marketing of coal.
Dealing generally with the Company’s colliery properties, Sir George Higgins said:—
“The depressed condition of the coal trade must be known to you, and we unfortunately have no income in the year -under review from dividends on the ordinary shares of’ our holdings in colliery properties. We do, however, derive other benefits from such holdings and we have the knowledge that the collieries in South Yorkshire in which we are interested are amongst the best mining properties in that district. We, therefore, feel that when an improvement in the coal trade takes place they should be the first to reap the benefit and resume payment of dividends.
“Being largely interested in coal production your directors are watching with interest the experiments which are taking place in the pulverization and low temperature carbonization of coal, which we cannot help feeling, if perfected, will materially assist and be of inestimable benefit to the coal trade. There are experiments now going on for the use of pulverized coal in steamers and this may lead to coal in its pulverized form regaining some of the trade lost to oil.
“It is claimed that pulverized coal can be produced in such a form as to make it safe to be carried in bulk. If it can be produced free from the risk of spontaneous combustion and can be stored at stations throughout the world, as is claimed for it, then there are surely many owners of ordinary cargo ships who would avail themselves of this cheaper form of bunkering.
There seems little doubt if this system can be brought to perfection, that the coal trade and the shipping trade of the country will be materially benefited.”