William Harvey (1852 – 1914) & James Haslam (1842 – 1913)
These two men were two of the most influential people associated with mining and its community in the Chesterfield area. They have looked down on life in Saltergate since 1915.
William Harvey (1852 – 1914)
He was born in Hasland, Chesterfield and worked in coal mines from the age of ten. He joined the South Yorkshire Miners' Association (SYMA) in 1869, and was the union's local delegate by 1872.
He converted to Primitive Methodism and in his spare time was a lay preacher.
In 1880, the Derbyshire-based members of the SYMA split away to form the Derbyshire Miners' Association (DMA), and Harvey became the new union's first treasurer. He resigned in 1882, because union meetings clashed with cricket matches for his employer's team. However, the following year, he was elected as the union's assistant secretary. In 1894 he was the President of Chesterfield Trades Council and served as General and Financial Secretary of the DMA from 1913.
He was elected to Chesterfield Borough Council in 1897, serving until his death in 1914.
James Haslam (1842 – 1913)
Born in Clay Cross in 1842, he started work at the age of 10 at the pit there. He became the Secretary of the DMA in 1880, initially unpaid, and running the Association from his home. By 1893 it had 10,000 members in 69 local lodges and was able to open its offices on Saltergate that year. He and Wm Harvey improved employment rights for miners in the early 20th century and their part in the formation of the DMA was a key event in Chesterfield’s mining history.
Haslam became MP for Chesterfield in 1907, a position he held until his death in 1913.
Harvey and Haslam were known as the ‘twin pillars’ of the DMA and statues of the pair – erected in 1915 - can be seen outside the former NUM Offices on Saltergate in Chesterfield.