Mexborough and Swinton Times, July 26, 1919
The Local Situation.
No Serious Mine Damage.
Industry Running Down.
Mines Calm and Orderly
In the Mexborugh district the strike is accompanied by little incident and no public discussion. It is, however, the dominating topic. The miners themselves are calm and orderly.
They are holding very few meetings, and many of them are getting through a good deal of gardening, while most of them took their part in the week-end peace celebrations. Except for an unhappy incident at Goldthorpe, not directly connected with the strike, there has been nothing of an untoward nature. All news of the dispute, from London, Barnsley, and Leeds, has been eagerly read and canvassed. The announcement that the Government was sending Naval parties to the rescue of
In the Mexborough district there is no danger of widespread destruction from flooding, though very little pumping is being done.
Pumping was stopped at Thrybergh Hall (Kilnhurst) on Saturday, but as the water began to rise rapidly there, it was tentatively resumed on Thursday, pending the negotiations between Mr. Herbert Smith and Sir Eric Geddes.
At Denaby Main sufficient pumping is going on to supply the villages of Conisborough, and Denaby with water, and so the floods are being kept down there.
The Goldthorpe pit, the only shallow one in the district, and especially liable to flood, is being normally pumped. There is water trouble at Mitchell Main and Cadeby, but it is not yet serious. At these pits and at Cortonwood, Wombwell Main, Hickleton Main, Manvers Main, Barnburgh, and Wath Main, there is a dead standstill, a situation never before known in the history of the coalfield.
The situation at Hemsworth is very serious, and the owners there have made a last appeal to the miners to help save the mine. At all the mines depreciation and collapse is taking place on a great scale, owing to withdrawal of ventilation, and the lack of regular working and timbering.
After the settlement it will take from a week to a month to restore more of these mines to normal efficiency and safety.
The public services of the district arc at present not in danger. As a precautionary measure the Swinton Urban Council has cut down the domestic water supply, and from to-day it will be available only from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. Similar measures will have to be taken in Mexborough, very probably, but with care and economy the water and electricity services in Mexborough will last several weeks.
At the Swinton gas works there is sufficient reserve of coal to carry on the undertaking for a fortnight or three weeks. The Wath gas works are about as well provided. Last week they were notified from the Manvers Main Colliery that the supply of crude gas from the coke-ovens there would have to be discontinued, and the retort beds were accordingly prepared for carbonisation, and were got ready, by a special effort, in time to replace the Manvers Main supply, which was exhausted on Tuesday. The gas supply at Wath will last, with care, about three weeks. There is no present anxiety about the Wath and Dearne Valley water supplies, and the Wombwell gas undertaking can carry on for a few weeks.
The glass bottle works in the district are already feeling the effects of the strike. None of them was supplied with a normal fuel reserve, and Messrs. Kilner Brothers’ works at Conisborough were shut down completely last Saturday, They will not re-open until a supply of coal can be obtained, and it will probably take a fortnight or more to get the furnaces in working order again.
Messrs Baron, Mexborough, or closing a shop this week, and the remaining three shops next week, if there is no settlement.
Messrs Waddington of already closed down the shop, and the other shotgun on the last few days. The same position obtained at Swinton and stare for, and in less than a week over 2000 glass workers will be thrown idle.
The Kilnhurst steel Works can last another week.
The Wath Brewery ran out of fuel on Tuesday and close down. There will be no beer available from Wath until a week after the next supply of call is received.
The danger of flooding by accumulation of water, is stated to be more critical at the Mitchell Main Colliery than at any of her pit in the Wombwell district, and the position is viewed with very great concern. How far these fears are based, in fact, may be gathered from the statement of a local official that immediately before the strike it was necessary for the pumps to lift water at the rate of 500 gallons per minute in order to keep the colliery .dry. The pumps have been standing since Monday.
The arrival in the town of the Naval stokers who are being sent to man the pumps is anticipated with a certain amount of curiosity.
Strike pay at the rate of 9s. per man, and 1s for each child will be paid out at Wombwell, to-day (Friday).