Mexborough & Swinton Times – Friday 21 November 1890
Serious Offence at Denaby Main Colliery.
John Whitehead, aged 14, and William Gough, aged 14, of Denaby, were summoned for having committed a breach of special rule 86, at the Denaby Main Colliery, by going into a part of the mine in which they did not work and where they had no right to go.
Defendants pleaded guilty.
Mr. Hickmott prosecuted. In stating the case he said the defendants were drivers. On the 28th October they were working along with another lad in what is known “20 gate,” and they arranged to go to No. 1 old jenny where there were some empty corves locked, and to take out the lockers and send them (the corves) down the incline.
The incline had a gradient of one in ten.
Defendants dared each other to take out the lockers from the wheels, and they ultimately agreed to take out a locker each. The result was that the corves dashed down the incline—a distance of 75 yards and were smashed to pieces.
Two men worked at the bottom, but fortunately for these lads they were not there at the time they sent down the corves. Had the men been there they would inevitably have been killed
Thomas Salt, a driver, save evidence in support of the ease.
Mr. Hickmott explained that Salt was one of the offenders, but a summons had not been issued against him. When the corves were found simplest to pieces the officials of the mine could not obtain any information, but Salt had confessed, and for this reason he had not summoned
William Wright, in the course of his evidence, said if the defendants had set the corves down the incline earlier in the day two mem would probably been killed.
Mr, Skinner: Would there have been no chance of escape for the men at the bottom
Witness : I don’t think so.
The Chairman said the offence was a very serious one and the defendant would each he fined 40s. and costs or one month in default with hard labour.