Denaby Main and the Police – W H Chambers

March 1886

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 5, 1886

The Denaby Main Colliery Company And The Responsibilities Of The Police.

The following correspondence has been published in the Times.

Sir. – Now that an inquiry is being made into the conduct of the metropolitan police, it seems to me it would be well if the scope of the inquiry were extended so as to include the existing police arrangements over the whole country.

During the late strike at this colliery we applied for police protection previous to the arrival of some new men from Staffordshire. I accompanied them, and directly the train was shunted into the siding we were met by a perfect hailstorm of stones and brickbats thrown by a large crowd.

I inquired subsequently of the gentleman commanding the police why he had not interfered. He replied that he considered the meeting an ‘orderly one,’ and that the police had not seen any stones thrown.

The crowd subsequently broke hundreds of panes of glass in the houses belonging to the company, but the police apparently again failed to observe the proceedings, and not a single arrest was made. For the services of the police the company had to pay of every policeman (and a further charge for special duty) during the whole time he remained at the colliery.

The company were compelled to sign an agreement containing these terms, under the threat of being left entirely unprotected in case of refusal.

The Denaby company lately addressed a letter to the Chief Constable of the district on the subject. A copy of this letter and the reply received I enclose.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,
W. H. Chambers, Manager.
Denaby Main colliery, Mexboro’ near Rotherham.