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Deputy's Stick

The deputy’s stick is a walking aid when he is travelling to inspect his district. It is also a measuring instrument to see that roof supports are set to the regulation distance. (Before powered supports) Another use is, as an aid to test for gas in a high road-way.

He would carry with him a rubber aspirator bulb fitted with a plastic adapter that fits on the end of his stick. He would squeeze the air out of the aspirator bulb, raise it to the roof and the bulb would inflate, sucking in a sample of air at roof level. Methane gas is lighter than air therefore if present tends to accumulate in the roof.

He would withdraw the rubber bulb and attaché it to his Garforth oil lamp then squeeze the bulb into the lamp. The amount of gas could then be measured by the change in the flame of the oil lamp that can be detected by the trained eye.

5% of methane would extinguish the flame in the oil lamp.

A separate ramming stick, about one inch in diameter and six foot long is used in stemming in the explosives and clay into the drilled hole.

John Lumsdon


From: Pete Ffrench
Sent: 07 November 2007
Deputy stick


I've just been reading your page and noticed someone asking about the use of the deputy stick. I was given one by my father in law and I asked him the same thing and apart from the use you suggest it was also used for measuring the day's progress, being a yard in length.

Pete Ffrench.


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