Kinsley Evictions to be remembered

Miners who were subjected to evictions by coal bosses will be remembered at a commemorative event in Kinsley.

By The Newsroom
Sunday, 2nd August 2015, 4:00 pm

A guided walk will mark 110 years since the infamous Kinsley Evictions, when more than 100 miners and their families were ejected from homes owned by the coal company.

Disputes over pay and safety in the pits were commonplace in the 19th and early 20th centuries.

In Kinsley, trouble between pit workers and their bosses had been simmering and boiled over at the end of July, when around 140 workers were given notice by the firm.

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Despite letters sent to the Prime Minister AJ Balfour and other MPs appealing for help to resolve the dispute, eviction notices were served as miners fell behind with their rent.

On Tuesday, August 15, 1905, around 25 policemen marched into the village.

The officers began to dismantle the small homes from top to bottom, including properties on New Row, Outgang Terrace, Kinsley Terrace, Gordon Terrace and Longsight Terrace.

It is said that youngsters shouted abuse at the police and their mothers joined in.

But the miners had been instructed to look on philosophically by their union leaders and most remained quiet.

Tubs full of the families’ belongings, including wringing machines, pots and pans and furniture were hauled out of the homes by the police.

The community helped support the evicted families and tents were lent out by Clayton and Co engineers of Leeds. The miners’ camp was occupied by more than 100 families and attracted many visitors.

The dispute continued until 1908.

On Sunday, August 9, a commemorative guided walk around the scene of the evictions will be held by Wakefield Socialist History Group, led by historian John Gill.

It will start at 2pm at the Winding Wheel outside Fitzwilliam Railway Station and pass through Fitzwilliam Country Park before ending at the Kinsley Hotel.

The event is free and dog walkers will be welcome, the organisers said.