Mexborough & Swinton Times – Saturday 02 March 1912
The Effect in the Don Valley
How the Local Firms Stand
Electricity All Right.
The seriousness of a general coal stoppage is brought home to the immediate district with peculiar force by a few inquiries made on Thursday of the local manufacturers, as to their ability to withstand the abnormal conditions.
We are informed that Messrs. Baker and Co. of the Kilnhurst Steel Works, will have to shut down their steel forge, employing a considerable proportion of their total hands at the end of the present week, on account the low state of their coal stock. The Siemen’s furnaces might last another week, and the waggon works will probably go another week, too, but no longer, and when the whole of the works are shut down 330 men will be out of employment. The firm are burning’ 400 tons a week in, the steel department.
The first industrial branch to succumb in the immediate locality bas been the Don Glass Works (Waddington and Son), Mexboro’, employing 250 hands. All the glass-hands finished work on Wednesday morning, with no prospect of resumption until the settlement of the coal strike. The yard-men are working, and may find a week’s or a fortnight’s employment in clearing the stock.
At the Phoenix Glass Works, Mexboro’ (Messrs. Barron), the factory is, already running at half-speed. Two of the four furnaces have been damped, and the remaining two may continue for three weeks, burning 150 tons a week.
Messrs. Kilner, of Conisboro’, will have stopped 200 men at the end of the present week; and three furnaces will have been damped. The remaining two will probably be able to work for three weeks.
A satisfactory feature of the general chaos is that two important public services will not be materially affected. The Mexboro’ Urban District Council’s Electricity Works can give current for nine or ten weeks. ‘The Mexboro’ and Swinton Tramway Company can run a full Service for a month comfortably, and a reduced service for a very considerable period.
Messrs. Stanley and Sons’ Oil and Soap Works, Wath-on-Dearne, are not by any means in extremis so far as their coal supply is concerned, but they anticipate difficulty in getting supplies from the railways, and also in getting their output away, so that they have considered it necessary to post a notice warning their workpeople of the liability to shut the works down. If the strike continues to any length, Messrs. Stanley, who employ 300 men, will shut down in sections.
Messrs. Grococks waggon works at Swinton will be among the earliest to shut down. As they are repairers and not makers they anticipate more hindrance from the railway than the collier’s and as waggons are locked up all over the railway system, they are shutting down to-night (Friday) until the traffic is freed once more.
Messrs. Whitworth, Son and Nephew’s Brewery at Watb-on-Dearne will not be materially affected, unless the strike is extraordinary length. They can continue to work a month or more without any great difficulty. They employ about 80 workpeople.
Verity’s Waggon Wheel Works, at Swinton, will last about a fortnight far as it rests with their coal supply, but they also anticipate difficulty from the railway block.
Messrs Hattersley Brothers’ Stove Grate Works are not so seriously affected as some et the local factories. Their stock will probably enable them to work three weeks. They employ 130 hands.
Messrs. White, millers, of Mexboro’, have been experiencing an uncomfortable rush for flour, but if the public demand remains steady, their stack of coal and their reserve of flour may enable them to supply for a month.
Messrs. Walker and Crawshaws Brick and Sanitary Pipe Works are not likely to last more than a fortnight, though they will, at the end of that time have a respite in clearing their stock, and may not shut down completely inside a month.
Mr. Ellison, the managing director of Messrs. Ellison and Mitchell, Kilnhurst works, told our representative that shortage of coal would not materially affect their working. They could burn various kinds of oil as a useful substitute. “but there will be nothing doing,” said Mr Ellison; “trade will be paralysed; so what will be the use of working?”