1893 - Page 1
The New South Normanton Colliery
The new South Normanton colliery was sunk by the South Normanton Colliery Co formed by the Mein family from Durham in 1892-1893 at a cost of £9,829, and fixed plant and machinery £6,990 with £2,712 in the following year. Locally the pit was known as Winterbank and would remain so ever afterwards. As previously mentioned the Old Winterbank pit near to Winterbank Farm just a few hundred yards to the North had been closed down earlier, but kept open as a pumping shaft. The old pit had been opened around 1840 and had had several owners and several names.
In February 1893 the Low Main seam workings were closed at Manners, Ilkeston and 70 men and boys were thrown out of work. Thomas Bayley, the owner of Manners colliery, was elected Liberal MP for Chesterfield.
Derby Mercury 1893 -
Large Piece of Coal
On Monday Mr. R H Case, the agent for Mr. E M Mundy J.P. of Shipley unloaded a very large block of coal at the Heanor Great Northern station. The coal had been got from the new Coppice pit Shipley, and upon being placed on the weighing machine drew the bar at 2 tons 6 cwt.
Thomas Barber Died
Thomas Barber partner of Barber Walker Co died 1893 (born 1843).
Ironstone production was severely cut by cheaper imports from Spain.
On 19th February 1893 Matthew Green aged 34, a Banksman at Brierley Hill (Skegby Colliery Co), (Nottinghamshire) committed suicide by jumping down the shaft.
Ambulance Brigade 1893
On 13th May 1893 it was reported that the Tibshelf Ambulance Brigade was inspected by Queen Victoria at Windsor. She was highly impressed by the useful work they were doing and her inspection of the men. The Brigade being the first to set up an organisation at Tibshelf for men to be trained in the art of giving first aid to injured men at the pits of Colonel Charles Seely, was also the first in the country to be dressed in a uniform. The idea for forming the organisation was by Captain Stewart C Wardell the Manager for the Tibshelf Collieries belonging to Colonel Seely. Others of the Royal household passed comment as to the smartness and the intelligence of the trained men.
This was the birth of the St John's Ambulance Brigade organisation that spread throughout the country to train men and later women in first aid, in the event of accidents.
There were now between 25,000 and 30,000 miners in Derbyshire, but in the Chesterfield district they were only working a 2-day week.
An Underviewer William Dunn was killed whilst carrying out his duties at Clay Cross colliery, (Derbyshire). The Clay Cross Co sent a payment of £15 to his widow, but made it clear that no precedence had been established!
The Miners’ Welfare at Huthwaite for New Hucknall Colliery was built in 1893 adjacent to the houses and included a reading room where it was possible for the miners to obtain books to read in order to further their education, something unheard of previously.
The number of men and boys employed at Silver Hill (Stanton Iron Co) had now increased to 350 by May 1893, the same number as at Kirkby (Butterley Co). By comparison the manpower at Brierley Hill (Skegby Colliery Co) decreased from 264 in 1893 to 200 in 1894.
With the influx of many Welsh miners to Kirkby, true to tradition it was not long before a male voice choir was formed.
At Pleasley the manpower had risen to 774 underground and 134 on the surface. At Teversall the nightshift men were forced to work an extra hour from August (both were Stanton Iron Co pits).
The Silkstone and Low Main workings were closed down at Pinxton No2 and No3 pits in May 1893. The Top Hard seam was abandoned at Langton No7, but continued at the No8 pit. The flat hemp ropes were replaced with one-inch (0.08m) diameter steel wire ropes, and the King’s patent fitted at the headgear.
Great Lockout of 1893
Throughout 1893 the Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire miners were on a 3-day week. The owners wanted to cut the wages by at least 15% due to the downturn in the industry. A general stoppage lasting 16 weeks from 28th July 1893 affected all pits. The owners who wanted a reduction of 25% in coal getting rates locked out the men. The men were locked out at all pits from 30th June to 17th November. On 22nd August it was reported that practically all the men employed in Cheshire, Midlands, Derbyshire, Lancashire, Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire were out. This was known as the Great Lockout of 1893.
Stanley Top Drift colliery continued to work on a misunderstanding. One hundred or so miners at Clay Cross came out on strike a month earlier in May and did not return until December. There were 350 men and boys locked out at Kirkby Summit (Butterley Co).
The dispute was caused by the coal owners wanting to reduce the rates of pay for coal getting, and great hardship was experienced by the miners and their families. Mrs CH Seely the wife of Charles Seely colliery owner provided meals for the 120 children of miners from Newcastle colliery. In many places soup kitchens were opened and gifts of food were given by many tradesmen etc. They were obviously making sure that when the dispute ended that they would be remembered for their generosity and miners and their families would trade with them afterwards. Eventually the dispute was settled by
Lord Rosebery at a meeting with the owners and miners’ leaders which resolved that the men return to work at the old rates of pay.
The photo shows a miner chopping out or holing beneath the coal. It was a very dangerous job and one can see that if the coal fell then the chances of the miner escaping serious injury or death were very low. There are numerous cases of deaths mentioned where the statement says ‘fall of coal’.
There were now 25,000 coal getters in Derbyshire. Widespread strikes occurred at Moira at miners attacked and injured several maintenance men at Rawdon and 26 policemen were sent to protect them.
The average price for pithead coal was now 6s 10d (34p) a ton.
H Jarvis was Treasurer of the Derbyshire Miners’ Association from 1893 until his death in 1907.
The Pleasley colliery Band was formed. Many brass or silver bands were set up.
A very tragic accident occurred when a Grandfather David Tatham (60) and Grandson James Tatham (16) both suffocated to death at Manvers colliery (South Yorkshire) on 20 Jun 1893. Obviously there was a build up of blackdamp.
Nottinghamshire Miners Demonstration
On 12th August 1893 there was a further Nottinghamshire miners’ demonstration on Bulwell Forest, again very well attended.
The Grassmoor Colliery Co took over Grassmoor Nos 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 pits from Messrs Barnes.
Widow Took Over The Running Of The Mine
Also the widow of the owner of Gosforth Mrs Jane Sheard of Dronfield, took over the running of the mine.
Coke and Co changed the name Sleights to Pinxton No1 and 6 pits (Derbyshire).
Outbreaks Of Violence
On 28th August 1893 there was the first outbreak of violence in Derbyshire at Holbrook colliery, Killamarsh, where a crowd of 600 to 700 surrounded a gang of mainly non-union labourers and began to throw stones. By October there were only about 6 pits back at work.
Another mob surrounded a small horse-gin pit at Oakerthorpe. They went on to Shirland where the crowd had grown to about 3,500.
Violence erupted at West Hallam near Ilkeston (Derbyshire) Many miners and their families went coal picking on the dirt tips.
On 5th September 1893, at least 500 miners with a leader waving a black flag went to Alfreton colliery (Blackwell Colliery Co) and demonstrated. At the time there were 114 men underground and 43 on the surface at the new South Normanton pit, where the march started.
According to reports there was only one serious riot in Nottinghamshire when on 7th September 1893, a crowd of 1,500 men and boys set off from Bulwell market place then made their way to Watnall and whilst passing by Bulwell colliery did some damage to surface buildings. By the time they reached New Watnall colliery the numbers had swelled to about 5,000. They set fire to wagons standing in the sidings and also set fire to a number of buildings and damaged some machinery. Eventually after some time reinforcements of police arrived to assist the police trying to control the crowd and the Riot Act was read and blows were struck on both sides. Seven ringleaders, Henry Birchmore, Sam Briddlestone, Charles Eaves, John Gully, Albert Palmer, John Richards and Henry Saint were arrested and the crowd was dispersed by police charges. Following this incident large detachments of police were drafted into the area from other parts of the country but they had little to do. It was also stated that some 3,000 people condemned the actions and violent behaviour of the men who took part in the riot.
At Hornthorpe and Holbrook (J &G Wells Ltd) there was some violence when a crowd sent 2 full coal trucks careering down the grade to the main railway line.
At the new Bolsover mine there was violence over Bolsover Colliery Co employing 30 blacklegs.
A mob of about 200 from Hucknall Huthwaite went to the new sinking at Tibshelf No3 and 4 (Babbington Co) and carried off 4 men assisting the sinkers.
At the end of September owners at the Leen Valley pits said that they were willing to accept men back at the old rates.
During the dispute coal prices had rocketed and stocks had been used up and with winter approaching it was imperative to build up stocks again.