W.H. Chambers Complains About the Police

February 1886

Sheffield Daily Telegraph February 27, 1886


Now that an enquiry is being made into the conduct of the Metropolitan police, it seems to me it will be well if the scope of the enquiry 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 sidings we were met by a perfect hailstorm of stones and brickbats thrown by a large crowd.

I enquired subsequently of the gentleman commanding the police why he had not interfered. You reply that he considered the meeting and “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 about £1,200. The sum included the full pay of a policeman (and a further charge of 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 on protected in case of refusal.

The Denaby Company later addressed a letter to the Chief Constable of the district on the subject.

I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

W.H.Chambers, manager, Denaby Main Colliery, Mexborough near Rotherham