Home Places Streets and Communities The Great Frost – Pit Stopped – Sewer Explosion – Skating – Bovril at the Pit – Street Lighting

The Great Frost – Pit Stopped – Sewer Explosion – Skating – Bovril at the Pit – Street Lighting

February 1929

Mexborough and Swinton Times February 22, 1929

The Great Frost

Local Effect.

This district in common with the rest of the country was in the grip of exceptionally severe weather from Monday, February 11th, to Wednesday, February 20th, and during that period the thermometer frequently registered 10 or 12 degrees of frost. A good deal of damage and obstruction of water and gas supplies has been occasioned, and on the other band, the district has been given exceptional opportunities for indulging in winter sports. All other sports were stop except football, which was played with difficulty.

A thaw set in on Wednesday and is continuing.

Pit Stopped.

Remarkable Effect at Wath Main

The severe frost had the effect of stopping work at Wath Main Colliery on Monday, ice forming in the No. 2 shaft, preventing free movement of the cage, and over 2,000 men were unable to work. During the period of inactivity between Saturday and Monday water trickling through the tubing, or casing, of the shaft was given an opportunity to freeze and on Monday morning it was found impossible to move the cage.

The guide rope were thickly coated about 80 yards from the surface and workmen were lowered in “chairs” to chip it away.    There were several tons of ice and the men were busy all Monday clearing it away. Owing to the risk of explosion it was impossible to use heat. It is a unique occurrence in mining history, in this ‘district at least, and was particularly unfortunate in view of the fact that the colliery was to have worked all the week. The pit was stopped for two full days, work being resumed on Wednesday.

Sewer Explosion at Mexborough

Residents of Cresswell’s Yard, Swinton Road, had a shock on Saturday when with a terrific explosion the steel cover of a manhole was blown fifty feet into the air and fell in pieces about the yard. Four children playing in the yard about 15 yards away had two or three minutes before been near . the manhole and had narrow escapes from the falling fragments.

Mrs. G. Masser, 17, Swinton Road, was standing at the front door and described the explosion, which was heard more than half a mile away, as being “like the noise of a big gun,” and said she was nearly thrown back into the house by its force. Her children and those of Mr. Manchester, next door, were in the yard and Mrs. Massey said it was “a miracle they escaped.” Mr. Massey was returning from work at the time and saw the fragments of the lid falling “like shrapnel.” Nearly every house in the yard had windows broken. A constable directing traffic at Barker’s Corner heard  the explosion and saw the cover, which weighed nearly two hundredweight, hurled in the air. The occurrence is attributed to gases accumulating in the sewers through the covers being hermetically sealed by the severe frosts.

Mishap at Swinton Wesleyan Church

On Saturday water pipes and radiators at the Swinton Wesleyan Church were burst by the frost and about £100 worth of damage was done. The Sunday services by the kindness of the Parish Church Council were held in the Church Hall.

Skating at Kilnhurst

Excellent skating has been available during the frost and the floods near the Kilnhurst steel works.

Damage at Denaby

Mutch damage is reported from Denaby where householders had some trying experiences.

At the home of Mrs Berry, 147, Tickhill Street, a boiler burst on Thursday evening and did considerable damage. Fortunately the kitchen was unoccupied, and no personal injury was caused.

At the Epworth Hall the radiators burst causing nearly £100 worth of damage. No services were held there during the weekend.

The heating apparatus at the Large Hall school was apparently slightly frozen and the children were dismissed during morning session on Friday.

In the parish church quite a number of birds were gathered for warmth and their trills and songs were heard throughout the day even during the evening service.

Bovril at the Pit

During the frost men employed out in the open at the Denaby and Cadeby Collieries are being supplied with Bovril

The Frost and Street Lighting.                   

Al the meeting of the Wath Gas Board on Monday – which lasted but a few minuts – the manager of the works, Mr. T. N Wright, explained the causes of the failure of the street lighting since last Thursday.

The frost caused accumulations of naphthalene in the pipes, usually at the foot of the lamps. They were just small accumulations but they wore sufficient to because complete stoppage of the flow of gas. They had very little trouble till Thursday, but from then more and more lamps could not be lit till they probably had two-thirds of the 90 lamps they served, out of action. The men had been at work on them since Thursday, but the difficulty was to find exactly where to get at the stoppage; which was very quickly removed once they found it.

With the household supplies they had very little trouble indeed, but it had meant very much extra hard work at the works themselves to keep things going. Even in regard to street lighting the district -was much mere fortunate than many others during the frost.

Skating in the Dearne Valley

Skating has been thoroughly enjoyed by enthusiasts in the Dearne Valley during the cold spell. Around Darfield were several excellent stretches of ice. On the meadows in Vicar Lane, it was estimated that there were quite 700 people on Sunday afternoon. Several exponents of fancy Skating gave displays. A race was organised and this attracted about 30 entries. The prize, which was given by Dr. Castle, was won by Arnold Ward. During the day volunteers were busy sweeping the ice, and late on Sunday night an attempt was made to pump water from the river in order to give the ice a new surface.

Excellent skating has been obtainable on the Bolton Ings, one of the most popular stretches in the whole district, and last ,Sunday afternoon there must have been fully 3.000 people on the ire. Hockey matches were organised, and even motor-cycle races improvised, and enterprising folk who set up coffee stalls were rewarded with a brisk trade.

At Wath there has been some excellent skating on the canal, in spite of occasional interruption by the ice boat. On Sunday the “Bay of Biscay” was well frequented.