Water Supply Startling Statements – Alleged deaths from Impure Water.

February 1880

Mexborough and Swinton Times, February 6

Important Meeting of Denaby Main Miners

Startling Statements about the Water Supply.

Alleged deaths from Impure Water.

Mr Samuel Evans: I have been asked to say a word with respect to the water. It is becoming a very serious question, and I believe it is a matter of some five or six children dying. I don’t know whether the conditions of the children is owing to the state of the water; I should not like to say it was, but there is the fact that many of them are lying dangerously ill.

I know however from experience that when children are sent down to fetch water at 3:45 in the afternoon, they don’t reach home until 6:15. When I come at night and want a cup of tea, I cannot have it because there is no water to be got. (Hear, hear and laughter.) When children have to go from the top end of the village to the bottom, and then have to wait two or three hours, it is enough to make them ill. Considering the enormous rents that we are paying and the low wages we are getting, there ought to be a sup of water for us. I don’t know who isto blame for this; but if our mastercan in any waysupply us with a sufficient quantity, it would be very beneficial to the neighbourhood. There is not water at the present time even to keep the people clean.

Mr Warburton: There is more water at Denaby now than when I came to the place, and I have been at considerable expense to get it. If the people were less careful in using it as I was in getting it, there would be quite sufficient for you. There is as much water in the road as would supply the inhabitants for half a day. If people use it in that way and send their children for it who can control it. It’s not my fault. The water must be running last night or today to leave the road in the state it is. If used properly there would be quite sufficient for all the requirements of the people. There is quite half of it lost.

Mr Warburton left the room.

Mr Evans thought it was very unreasonable for their only to be one tap for 240 houses, which he believed was about the number at Denaby. (Hear, hear).

Men would curse and swear and carry on outside, but they would not asked the employer to amend the thing. They would have to be something done. If it was not done officially it would go to a higher court, or people could not sit down and pay 5s 4d per week rent and not have enough water to give themselves clean. People will be destroyed in the place; there are about six dead now.

The chairman: I think the best course would be to wait upon the master, and get it rectified.

Mr Evans(continued) There is a temporary reservoir which is they have made just to hold a small quantity of water, and when there is any flush of rain it gets full, but when there is a scarcity of rain as has been the case recently, then it gets empty, and we have none. People cannot be supplied, and what would supply them is running down the dyke into the river. If the officials at the colliery won´t take it up, the Local Board will have to do it. Each house ought to be supplied with a tap. (Hear, hear).

The proceedings terminated.

It was decided to wait upon the prices for coal rising before they asked the master for the return of the 5%.

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