Home Industry and Commerce Mining NCB flag goes up at the Pits – Vesting Ceremonies in the Districts

NCB flag goes up at the Pits – Vesting Ceremonies in the Districts

January 1947

South Yorkshire Times January 11, 1947

NCB flag goes up at the Pits
Vesting Ceremonies in the Districts
Seal of state ownership
Veterans and Boys play a Prominent Part

Miners and their wives and families assembled at the pits on Sunday morning to claim their heritage in nationalisation. With full ceremonyl “NCB” flags were unfurled on the headgear and noticeboard announcing the takeover were formally erected and in some cases “unveiled” the honours being accorded at many of the collieries to the oldest and youngest employees. The event had been celebrated previous night in merrymaking and carnival dancing.

Flags Dedicated at Altar
Before Denaby and Cadeby Ceremonies

To the accompaniment of martial music from the Denaby Ambulance Band and the cheers of the crowd standing in the open space besides Denaby Main Colliery offices, the National Coal Board flag was unfurled from the headstock of Denaby Main Colliery shortly before 1 o’clock on Sunday.

90 minutes earlier the flag and that of Cadeby May Colliery, both of which have been carried by union representatives in a possession who Conisbrough Are the Council Officers, had been received at the altar of Denaby Parish Church and dedicated by the Vicar, the venerable M Clarke.

The address of Mr Clarke was commended by both Messrs B. Gethin and T Hill, old miners leaders, who performed the peaceful ceremonies at the two pits of handing over the flags to the colliery managers “Mrs J Holford (Denaby) and A Hardy (Cadeby) preaching from the text “members one or another,” the Vicar remarked that this was a lesson which had been very slowly learned, but gradually it had been forced home upon them. At one time not only individuals but nations also thought they could live for themselves alone and not bother about the rest of the world. They knew now that that lead only to chaos and war.

“You are here today to celebrate Vesting Day,” Mr Clarke continued. You cannot think of it without thinking also of the years men worked and toiled for this day. We shall not fail them. We shall do our part. Whatever people thought of nationalisation before, I do not believe there is a single man or goodwill does not wish it well now.”

Now into their hands was given power to help not only themselves but people everywhere, and all realise that nationalisation must work, or dire calamity will result for everyone. Nationalisation was not going to make mining a bed of roses. It might mean a greater struggle than ever before, but it was going to make it well worth the fight. They were members of the crew for producing coal. They had no room for passengers. They must work together or they would get nowhere.

There was a great shout of encouragement from all men of goodwill in this country today, among them their Vicar. God would be with them in their goings out and in their coming in from that time forward.

Mr Halford declared that this was an historic moment in all their lives. By receiving the flag he was receiving Denaby Main Colliery on behalf of the National Coal Board, nationalisation was now an actuality. It had got to be a success, and they were the people who would make it a success.

In the procession to Cadeby Main Colliery, which follow, the Denaby contingent, who had led the procession earlier, now fell in behind their Cadeby comrades, and at the pit Councillor I Houghton, president of the Cadeby Main and N U M branch, presiding, unveiled the plaque and the flag was flown from an improvised platform facing the colliery offices.

Mr Tom Hill said the course they were going to travel would have some obstacles, but is they fought them as hard as the older stalwarts had fought to secure nationalisation they would overcome those obstacles.

“Men cooperate with the management and management with the men and there is no doubt that nationalisation will be a success,” Mr Hill declared.

Deputy conducts Service at Highgate.

Between 75 and 80% of the work people at Highgate Colliery took part in pithead ceremonies at the colliery on Sunday to mark Vesting Day.

Mr JB Dickinson (manager) presided, and a procession to the pit from the Halfway Hotel, Highgate, was led by Goldthorpe Salvation Army Bands.

At the pit a dedicated service was conducted by Mr George Fuller, a deputy at the colliery and a local preacher. The hymn singing was accompanied by the Band.

Kilnhurst Ceremony

There was a good assembly at Kilnhurst Colliery on Sunday, to witness the hoisting of the National Call Board flag, including workmen, officials, local branch representatives and the Pit Production Committee.

Mr Jeffs, president of the local branch of the NUM, said it was a very proud day for him. He hoped everyone would do everything possible to ensure that the flag indicating that the target figure had been reached was flying alongside the NCB flag every week.

Mr Darren’s (branch delegate) pay tribute to the all members of the Association who had made this day possible.

Mr Shimmins (Manager) said he was pleased to have the privilege of hoisting the National Coal Board flag on this historic occasion, along with the oldest branch member Mr Hawkins, and the youngest employee Sidney Dungworth.

It was now up to both management and men in the whole of the Coal Industry to bind themselves together and so work as a team to make the Nationalisation of the Mines a success.

Manvers Main Optimism

Speakers at the flag hoisting ceremony at Manvers Main expressed the conviction that nationalisation of the mining industry could not fail, and the 300 miners who took part in a procession from the Plant hotel to the colliery approved a suggestion by Mr F God had, president of the Manvers branch of the NUM that Italian can be sent to Mr E Shinwell, Minister of Fuel and Power, stating their resolve to do everything in the future to make the industry a success.

When the parade, headed by Rawmarsh Prize Band, reached the pit, Mr George Palmer, chairman and joint secretary of the Pit Production Committee, told the men, “At 11 o’clock we will be hosting the flag of the National Coal Board indicating that the government have taken over the property of the whole Manvers May Colliery Company. From now on we shall be judged, not by what we say, but by what we do.”