By Stanley Williamson
"An clever and well-informed documentary narrative of the catastrophe and the authentic inquiry."—The financial historical past Review
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Additional resources for Gresford: The Anatomy of a Disaster
For the ﬁrst time in coal-mining the coalface miner was compelled to forego his hitherto privileged position of being the ‘superior’ man in the mine. The machine eliminated the most skilful part of his work, namely, the holing or undercutting of the coal, thus making it possible for unskilled men to enter the mine freely . . ’ Worst of all, from the point of view of status and pride in workmanship: ‘there [was] now a greater degree of supervision than was ever known before, with the result that the miner—the skilled miner—hitherto one of the most independent workmen in the country [was] now reduced to a living tool’.
J. ’), or a continuation of the subsidy with which the government had hastily but temporarily bought oﬀ the threat of a strike in 1925. The immediate consequences of the miners’ capitulation towards the end of 1926 were a return to district instead of national negotiations and an increase in the length of the working day, and it would be diﬃcult to decide which was the more bitter pill for the men to swallow. They had never expected a standard minimum The Industry 29 wage to apply to every miner in the industry but they expected the minimum, although it might vary from district to district, to be ‘national’ in the sense that it could not be reduced in any district without the consent of the industry as a whole; in this way the poorer districts would not be made to suﬀer at the hands of the more prosperous.
But equally it seems to have been felt that something must be done for the deprived investors. 0d. of the undivided proﬁts standing in reserve was capitalised for distribution among the Shareholders . . The Warrants for the ﬁrst half-yearly payment of interest at 5 per cent. per annum, due on the 10th of this month are being sent. The corner, not only for Gresford Colliery but for the British coal industry, was about to be turned. In spite of a mild spring, followed by an exceptionally warm summer which reduced domestic consumption, there were deﬁnite signs of an improvement in trade, thanks chieﬂy to a revival of demand in the heavy industries.