Mexborough and Swinton Times, May 3, 1929
Presentations at Wombwell Main Colliery.
Mr. W. Johnson.
There was a pleasant little break in the normal routine of work at Wombwell Main on Saturday when officials, members of the staff and representatives of the workmen at the colliery met in the Surveyor’s office for the purpose of making a presentation to Mr. William Johnson, as a token of esteem on his having fulfilled 25 years’ duty as under-manager.
Mr. Johnson has been very successful as an official at Wombwell Main, for while commanding the confidence and appreciation of the directors of the company he has also enjoyed the good word and good will of the employees. Behind the presentation was a spontaneous desire to express appreciation of a personality that has contributed toward making the associations between men and management at Wombwell Main very pleasant indeed.
And in wider circles also Mr. Johnson has won esteem, for among Wombwell townsmen none is held in higher regard, this despite the fact that he is of a shy disposition and has always shunned the limelight.
A man of mild ways and few words Mr. Johnson has had the happy knack of winning respect without any conscious effort on -his part to command it.
Mr. Johnson was born at Fryston near Wakefield and commenced work at Fryston Colliery. Forty years ago he came to work at Mitchell Main and in 1896 he was made a deputy there. In that capacity he moved to Wombwell Main in the Parkgate seam which at that time was in an early stage or development. In a period of five years the output increased from 500 tons to nearly 2,000 tons per day. As under-manager he first served in the old Barnsley Bed seam, afterwards in the Dunstan and Swallow Wood seams and finally in the Fenton seam.
The presentations to Mr. Johnson consisted of a wireless set in large fumed oak cabinet and a gold-mounted snake wood walking stick, each bearing the inscription “A token of good-will, presented to W. Johnson, Esq., after twenty-five years’ service as under-manager.”
Subscriptions towards the presentations totalled nearly £40 and came from all grades at the colliery.
Coun. J. Winder, a deputy at Wombwell Main, presided over the presentation ceremony. Mr. Winder mentioned that he had served under Mr. Johnson for thirteen or fourteen years and spoke in the highest terms of his qualities and qualifications. At all times and in all circumstances Mr Johnson had been reasonable and scrupulously fair in his dealings with his subordinates, and it had always been a great pleasure to work under him.
Councillor David Cookson, manager of the Wombwell Main Collieries, made the presentation. He said he and Mr. Johnson had worked many years together and their associations had always been of the happiest. Apart from the fact that they had worked together as officials he had always found in Mr. Johnson a sincere and conscientious friend.
Tributes to Mr. Johnson were also paid by Mr. S. Taberner, a deputy, and by Mr. J. Rolfe, a collier. Speaking on behalf of the men Mr. Rolfe said he had worked under Mr. Johnson for 25 years and had never heard anyone speak disrespectfully of him.
Mr. Johnson was much moved by the tributes accorded. He thanked all who had subscribed for their great kindness, and said the wireless set would be a lasting remembrance of all the happy ties Wombwell Main had for him.
Mr. Johnson has had few interests outside his work at Wombwell Main, but has been attracted by intellectual improvement movements and is addicted to chess. He was one of the first members of the old Wombwell Chess Club.