Story of Cadeby Colliery – Interesting Speech by Mr W.H.Chambers

November 1901

Mexborough and Swinton Times, November 1.

The Story of Cadeby Colliery.

Interesting Speech by Mr W.H.Chambers

Presentation to an Official.

A complimentary presentation to a former Cadeby Colliery official, was made on Saturday evening, by Mr W.H. Chambers, managing director of the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries Ltd and he took the opportunity of stating some exceedingly interesting facts concerning the opening and equipment of Cadeby Colliery.

The official, whose departure from the district was an occasion of compliments, and at the same time expressions of regret, was Mr G.B. Stones, for some time under manager at Cadeby. Mr Stones, who is quite a young man became articled pupil to Mr Chambers about 12 years ago, his object being to learn mining engineering.

So well has he progressed during that time that he was recently able to accept an offer to undertake the general management of a large colliery, near Wigan, Lancashire. A number of the officials and men could not allow the occasion to pass without showing to Mr Stones, in a practical and substantial manner, their appreciation of his good qualities.

The presentation articles were a gold chronometer watch and gold chain, a black marble clock, and a case of mathematical instruments.

This ceremony of presentation was preceded by a dinner served in excellent style at the Denaby Main Hotel, under the management of Mr W.I. Gibbs.

The menu was as under: Oxtail soup, roast beef, roast and boiled mutton, jugged hare, roast pheasant, roast duck, roast and boiled fowl, plum pudding, and sweets.

Mr H Brearley, under manager, presided after dinner, and the company included Mr W.H.Chambers, Mr H.S. Whitley, Mr G.B. Stones, Mr T Mosby, Mr Vincent Rose, Mr W.I. Gibbs, Mr George Butcher, and others.

Items of a musical program interspersed the speeches. The chairman’s remarks were brief and to the point. Speaking of Mr Stones he said: he has served his connection with others, and has taken a step in the right direction; and I think we shall have to be contented with the loss. I wish him very good health, and hope he will have a useful career.

Mr W.H.Chambers, in making the presentation, said:

Mr Stones, your friends with whom you have lately been associated at the Cadeby Colliery, have deputed to me the very great privilege of asking your acceptance of this gold watch and chain, clock, and case of mathematical instruments, as a testimonial of their regard and esteem which you have so well earned. More particularly, do we all appreciate the singular honesty of purpose which has pervaded all your thoughts and actions since we have known you. (Hear, hear).

There is no one, I’m sure, who can evidence any single instance, since we have known you, of which you might be ashamed. (Loud applause) and we are very glad to embrace this opportunity, when you are amongst us once more, though it is only for a short time, to convey our appreciation of those points in your character. All the time you’re been here, we have observed the close attention you have given to your duty, the advantages taken of all the opportunities of hard work and study to fit yourself for the career of a mining engineer, which you have embraced.

We are satisfied, and assured that if you follow in the lines you hitherto pursued, it will help you up the ladder of your profession.

As we remember when you first came amongst us, before the Cadeby colliery was begun at all, when there was nothing but a green field on the site, and how you, from the beginning, assisted us in putting down the shafts, in the operation of which innumerable and almost insuperable difficulties had to be encountered until eventually, with your assistance and that of others in the work, we at last triumphantly found the Barnsley seam, nearly half a mile under our feet, to the confusion of the pessimistic false prophets who said we should never achieve that end. (Loud applause)

After the shafts were down, the workings had to be open, different machinery erected, larger winding engines capable of drawing four tons a minute from that great depth, hydraulic machinery applied for rapidly loading and unloading the cages – machinery which you are very ably and excellently described in your paper that you read before the Midland Institute of Mining Engineers. (Applause)

You have seen in the development of the place the putting down of Coke ovens to make what some said was “a silk purse out of a sows ear.” It was said that we could never make a decent foundry coke out of the Barnsley seam. That has been done; you have seen the design of special ovens for doing this work. You have seen the application of machinery in innumerable ways of facilitating the work carrying on all that large concern; electric plant on the continuous current system for lighting the works, electric plant on the system for conveying power down the pit and driving about 5 miles of rope for the purpose of hauling coal to the shaft bottom, whence it is drawn to the top and put over screens carried by belts to washing machinery capable of washing 300 tons of small coke an hour, and then put into wagons and taken away to the coke opens as may be required.

And you have seen the extension of sidings, which amount now to something like 35 miles in length, to accommodate something like 6,000 waggons.

I could not say how many more things you have seen, headgear on the pit bank, bridges put over the river, all executed on the premises. These and lots of other things you have assisted us in.

You have had an experience which very few men of your years have been able to acquire; and what is better than it all, you have made good use of it. (Loud and continued applause.)

You have seen from the commencement, the almost complete equipment of one of the finest collieries in the world. You have seen everything that has been done for the saving of Labour, for facilitating work to enable the concern to be carried on profitably, so that there is no necessity, in order to make ends meet, to grind wages down, pick halfpennies up, and take anything from what a man has properly earned. (Applause.)

That is where management comes in. You, I am sure, appreciate that you have a position to fill. It is your duty, I am sure you know it, to look after your employers interest, but, at the same time, I believe you have had a training to know that you have also a duty to perform to those who are under you. To take an interest in their work and in their pursuit, and not regard them as mere machines for making money. I do not know that I can say anything that will not commend you more to all in the room, because many of those present have known you intimately for a long time.

I am sure those present will agree with me in every word I have spoken with regard to Mr Stones. We sincerely hope that the career he has so very well begun may just be as well ended (loud applause) and that he will live long life with good health to enjoy the results of what he has laboured so hard to achieve. (Applause.)

I have very great pleasure in asking you to accept these presents to remind you not only of what we think of you now, but in the future, to remind you that you have still friends at Cadeby Colliery who will watch your career and will join, in the pleasure of your success. (Loud and continued applause.)

Mr G.B.Stones after returning his thanks said:

I do in every way, appreciate your kindness. During the long-time I have been amongst you, I am pleased to say there has been in every way a good feeling existing between us. ( Applause)

In the course of further remarks, Mr Stone tendered his personal thanks to Mr Chambers and repeated his expression of thanks to all his Cadeby friends.

Mr H.S.Witty, speaking from the vice-chair, said he had been associated with Mr Stones ever since he started with the company. I’ve seen him, continued Mr Witty, both down the pit and at home, and his domestic qualities are equal to his good qualities in the pit. Here followed a playful allusion to the future Mrs Stones, and Mr Witty concluded with the words: I feel very much his leaving us, more than any of you can possibly know, because he and I have been like brothers together.

Mr T Mosby, who said he had worked with Mr Stones for nine years, spoke of his close attention to business and study.

Mr George Butcher also spoke on behalf of the workmen declaring that Mr Stones had gained their respect, which she would take with him into Lancashire.

Mr Vincent Rose, whilst congratulating Mr Stones and wishing him success, alluded to the benefit Mr Stones had received by seeing the Cadeby Colliery open and equipped. I hope with you, concluded Mr Rose, he will have success where he has gone; if he has anything difficult to deal with, I think he will have seen it before. (Applause.)

Mr Stones again expressed his thanks for the presents, and the kind sentiments expressed towards him

The rest of the evening was spent in a jovial manner.

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