Gresford: The Anatomy of a Disaster by Stanley Williamson PDF

By Stanley Williamson

ISBN-10: 0853238928

ISBN-13: 9780853238928

The worst catastrophe of the North Wales coalfield – one of many worst within the heritage of the British mining – happened in 1934, killing 256 males and devastating a small group. Stanley Williamson’s account attracts on his personal interviews with the bereaved and people occupied with the rescue, in addition to the reviews of the following inquiry and the files of the North Wales Miners’ organization. Williamson covers the inquiry, and the $64000 concerns it raised, intimately and charts the best way Sir Stafford Cripps, representing the North Wales miners, introduced an assault usually social and commercial procedure of which the was once a part.

"An clever and well-informed documentary narrative of the catastrophe and the legitimate inquiry."—The monetary background Review

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Extra info for Gresford: The Anatomy of a Disaster

Example text

It curbed the worst excesses of the earlier free-for-all but the structure of minimum prices was increasingly evaded by middlemen and by the owners who, as their president Euan Williams admitted, were still placing more coal on the market than they could sell. The recognition that markets for much of this unwanted coal were never likely to be won back carried with it the acceptance of an even more alarming prospect—that the severe unemployment of recent years would never be wholly cured. Few of the men who had lost their jobs between 1924 and 1934 would get them back, and for a number variously estimated at between 200,000 and a quarter of a million there would never be permanent work in the industry again.

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. The decline in employment had been arrested; working was slightly less irregular. The upward trend in demand continued in the early months of 1934, though less satisfactorily in North Wales, where the improvement in output, at around 3 per cent, was the lowest of any district, contrasting with 11 per cent in Northumberland and Durham.

In Lancashire and North Wales, the divisional inspector reported in 1919, employment had been better than during any similar period. By the end of the war Gresford had acquired a new manager. In 1917 the man who had been in charge since it opened retired and was replaced by the assistant manager, William Bonsall, who had arrived from Hinckley in Leicestershire in 1914. There had been difficulty in finding sufficient manpower while the war was on and the end of hostilities did not greatly improve the position.

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Gresford: The Anatomy of a Disaster by Stanley Williamson


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