Pit-head Baths

March 1929

Mexborough and Swinton Times March 29, 1929

Pit-head Baths

Since propaganda in favour of pit-head baths is apparently necessary— though it is astonishing in this age that it should be it cannot be in better hands than those of Commander Coots, adviser  to the Miners’ Welfare Committee, who has been here this week lecturing at Darfield and Great Houghton on the advantages of pit-head washing.

Commander Coots’s visit is connected, presumably, with a scheme to install baths at the Houghton Main Colliery. It does not appear to be sufficiently known, or at any rate sufficiently appreciated, that these baths are not provided either by the miners or the mine owners, but from a fund solely contributed by mineral royalty owners under the last Mines Act.

Miners are in part responsible for maintenance, and it may cost them fourpence or sixpence a week—which is cheaper than they can wash for at home. For that, they free their homes from the appalling  effect of soiled pit clothes, which have done so much in the past to create the discomfort and wretchedness in miners’ cottages.

They are not only able to leave their work fresh and clean, but their working clothes need rarely enter their homes, being kept dry and wholesome at the pit. The advantages of the system are so obvious that it is astounding that any offer of pit-head baths, on any terms, should be rejected. And yet schemes have been rejected by miners in this district. However, a little education on the subject should lead to a new attitude, and is in fact doing so.