Pit disaster revelations show libraries’ worth


I am in full support of the Save the Doncaster Libraries group, as the libraries are a mine of information for research groups and local historians alike.

As a member of Conisbrough and Denaby Main Heritage Group, also former miner of Cadeby Main Colliery, I am especially happy with the news that Conisbrough and Denaby libraries have been spared the axe – for now.

For instance, while doing a little research at Conisbrough library for information relating to the 1912 Conisbrough Royal visit and Cadeby Main Colliery disaster, I found that Conisbrough library especially held one snippet of information that I am ever so grateful for, regarding King George V and Queen Mary.

The one snippet of information that is little known about the Cadeby Colliery disaster is that the King and Queen came back to visit the scene of the disaster.

Here is a transcript of the notes:


About 7pm the King and Queen drove up in a motor car. Most of the watchers had gone home.

An almost imperceptible murmur went around that the King and Queen had come.

The crowd closed round the motor. Two police officers, almost as surprised as the people pulled smartly to attention, but there was no attempt to keep back the crowd.

All was informal, everything completely natural. Little children clustered round, and with wondering eyes looked up into the faces of the King and Queen.

The King wore an expression of deep concern, as though some very personal calamity had occurred.

Tears glisten in the eyes of the Queen as she hurried up the steps anxious to learn the fullest details.

The Queen emerged with bowed head, tears still filled her eyes, and she gazed across the valley to the pithead.

A Queen was in tears with a grief that was as real as that of those around. The cheer of the little group, whose loyalty outweighed even their grief, died away with a sob.”

So, there you have it.

Lastly, may I add that Conisbrough and Denaby Main Heritage Group have set up a committee to commemorate the centenary of Cadeby Main Colliery disaster in 1912.

The committee is collecting information on those who died in the disaster, and are asking descendents of the victims for photographs and any information they may have to help mark the anniversary.

Events being considered include an exhibition of mining memorabilia, a series of concerts, and an open-air service at Denaby cricket ground.

The next committee meeting is to be held at Denaby and Cadeby Main Miners’ Welfare on March 22 at 7pm.

Anyone wanting more information, or offering their help in anyway, should contact Jeff Lovell on 01709 865522, or James Beachill on 07886718719

Mr Stephen C Hamilton,

Conisbrough and Denaby Main Heritage Group