Queen Mary’s Gift to Pit Disaster Fund – Drive Through Denaby & Conisborough

September 1938

Mexborough and Swinton Times September 23, 1938

Queen Mary’s Gift to Pit Disaster Fund
Cadeby Widows Remembered
Sequel to Last Week’s Visit
Drive Through Denaby and Conisborough

Following the Inquiries which Her Majesty Queen Mary recently caused to be made about the welfare of the dependants of the Cadeby Disaster Fund, it will give the greatest satisfaction, not only to the dependants, but to all who remember the visit of Queen Mary and King George to Cadeby Colliery, following the explosion, to hear that Her Majesty has sent a cheque for £50 to Mr. John Bryars, secretary of the fund; to be used for the assistance of the dependants.

“Queen Mary’s Year.”

It is proposed that each of the dependants shall receive an additional one shilling per week upon their Weekly payments for twelve months from the date of Her Majesty’s passage through Conisborough and Denaby last week, to commemorate what will always be regarded by the dependants as “Queen Mary’s Year.”

It is also proposed that each dependant shall receive, a special donation of 10s. about Christmas time. The gratitude and appreciation of the dependants has been suitably conveyed to Her Majesty.

Fifteen widows, aged from 52 to 81, are still dependent upon the disaster fund.

Royal Visit.

Keen disappointment turned to pleasure last Tuesday when, after the visit had apparently been abandoned, Queen Mary drove through Conisborough and Denaby on her way from Sandbeck House, the seat of the Earl of Scarbrough, to Harewood House, where she was staying with the Princess Royal and the Earl of Harewood.

Photographs, and a comprehensive report of the visit had been prepared for publication in this paper, but at the last moment these were withheld in deference to a request made to newspapers on Her Majesty’s behalf.

The original plan was that Queen Mary should pass through Conisborough early in the afternoon, and half an hour before she was expected the streets over the three miles from Brook Square to the Mexhorough Toll Bar were lined with persons of both sexes, the majority of whom carried Union Jacks. In the front row all the ‘way along were the children from the- local elementary schools, marshalled by their teachers. A very large proportion of them had flags, and they made a brave show as, in their best clothes, they stood waiting for the Royal car to come along.

The minutes sped by and Queen Mary did not arrive. At last, probably two hours idler the majority of the crowd had taken up their stands, word was brought along by a Police Inspector that the Royal visit had been cancelled and, disappointed, the people melted away. Then at about 5-10 p.m. Police Officers and Special Constables received an urgent message to take up their positions on the route again as it had been announced that Queen Mary would after all pass through the district. News of this re-arrangement travelled like wild-fire and when the Queen’s car arrived, less than half an hour after the first message had been received, the streets were even more thickly packed than they had been in the afternoon. The school-children were quickly marshalled into their advantageous positions and they had an exceptionally good view of Her Majesty.

Car’s Slow Pace.

Her Majesty’s car travelled through at a slow pace—not more than 15 m.p.h.—and everyone in the crowd had a perfect.view of her, for, although the car was a closed one, Queen Mary sat very close to -the near-side window and smiled graciously as she acknowledged the enthusiastic cheering and flag-waving. It had been thought possible that the Queen would leave her car to take a closer look at Conisborough Castle, and the crowds were particularly thick at this point. However, this was not done, although the Queen noticeably looked-upwards towards the splendid ruin as she passed it.

A party of old miners were assembled at the top of the Cadeby pit road, and they gave the Queen a particularly enthusiastic cheer, for they remembered the visit that King George V. and Her Majesty paid to Cadeby Main 25 years ago on the occasion of the explosion there. This was Queen Mary’s first visit to Conisborough since then and, as her car passed the entrance, she took her eyes off the crowd to look at the pit-head that she had last seen under such terrible circumstances.

Turning right at the Toll Bar, Her Majesty’s car gathered speed on reaching the Pastures road and sped away in the direction of High Melton and the Great North Road.

Queen Mary loves to spend a holiday among Yorkshire folk, and each day while she was on holiday at Harewood House she visited some place of interest at her own’ request. On the Tuesday she had been paying the first Royal Visit to Roche Abbey and Sandbeck House for very many years. The last official visit paid by a member of the Royal Family was by the late King Edward VII.

Her Majesty arrived at Sandbeck House shortly after one o’clock, accompanied by the Princess Royal and the Earl of Harewood. She was welcomed on her first visit by the’ Earl of Scarborough, and later she was presented with a beautifully worked little volume containing photographs by two Maltby girls, Audrey Ashton, of the Grammar School, and Beryl Ward, of the Hall Girls’ School

The Royal party later drove to Roche Abbey, where the ruins were inspected from a distance. A special platform had been erected, and Lord Scarborough pointed out the many marks of interest. Afterwards, a .decision was made to visit Rufford before Queen Mary returned to Harewood.He