Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine


Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane


South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.

Additional content Mick Carver


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Ralph Law  pg2
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A presentation by Freda Bliss, Betty Barlow, and Harold Barber


(Written by his daughter, Freda Bliss)

Born 18th January 1891at 34 Hooton Road, Kilnhurst, near Rotherham Probably began his career in the coal mining industry in Kilnhurst around 1905. Date of moving to Silverwood Colliery uncertain but he cycled from Kilnhurst to Silverwood each day, rising at 3.30a.m. to catch the 6 a.m. shift. Around 1925 he moved with his wife to live in Thrybergh and continued to work at the coal face at Silverwood until he became a Deputy on the Yarborough District. Times were hard in the General Strike of 1926. He was a Union Member but never a militant believing in negotiation rather than confrontation Shortly before World War II the pithead baths were a welcome innovation at Silverwood and I remember being shown round just before the official opening.
During WWII my father became Training Officer when Bevan Boys worked in the coal mines in preference to joining the Armed Services. He is 2nd from the left in the photograph. I think that this might be a schools visit as some of the boys look a bit young to be Bevan Boys.



My father attended Ambulance Classes in his younger days and later became a judge in the inter -colliery ambulance competitions. I think that the following photograph may be of the judges at one of these competitions. He is 2nd from the left



He retired in 1955 after 50 years loyal and devoted service to the mining industry spending some of his leisure hours fly-fishing at Thrybergh Reservoir. He died in March 1977

(written by his sister, Freda Bliss)

Born in 1925, the elder of three children. Worked in the Fitting Shop at Silverwood from the age of 15 until his death at the age of 49. He worked long hours, often at weekends to keep the headgear and other equipments in good working order.

(Written by his widow, Betty Barlow)

Leonard was born in 1927, the 2nd son of Leonard William Barlow. He started work at Silverwood in 1947 after serving in the Fleet Air Arm. He did part-time study at Rotherham Technical College gaining a Colliery Under manager Certificate at age 28. Shortly afterwards he attended a 12 month, full-time, course for his Colliery Managers Certificate which was awarded at age 29.  He then completed 16 months of Directed Practical Training that included a month in the French Coal Field, and studied for a Certificate in Mining Engineering at the Dinnington College. He returned to Silverwood and worked there until he moved to Cortonwood Colliery as Under Manager
Len died suddenly on November 20th, age 78 years.


The Barlow family

Like many miners of Silverwood the Barlows are still remembered today [ 2006]

George Clement writes:-

 "I was a deputy at Cortonwood under Len Barlow, he gave me a lot of encouragement in my career, he once invited me to his home to give me some mining text books which I still have and treasure. While at his home he showed me a sailing boat he had built in his back garden, I think he named it after his daughter.
I am sorry to read of his passing via your website, to me he was a gent. " George Clement  


 The Barlow's in 1881and 1901

By John Doxey

If I have it right Leonard W Barlow was the son of  William H Barlow also born in Kilnhurst. On the 1881 census four of the Barlow's are recorded as follows.
George Smith Head M Male 28 Sturton, Nottingham, England Coal Miner
Mary Smith Wife M Female 21 Rotherham, York, England
Fred Smith Son Male 1Kilnhurst, York, England
William H. Barlow Wife's Bro Male 14 Kilnhurst, York, England Coal Miner
Ernest Barlow Wifes' Bro Male 8 Kilnhurst, York, England Scholar
Address Hooton Rd Terrace Sq
Census Place Rawmarsh, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4680 / 16 Page Number 2

Charles Orr Head M Male 45 Scotland Draper Employing 1 Man
Matilda Orr Wife M Female 45 Sheffield, York, England
Benjamin Muirhead Lodger U Male 25 Scotland (Draper)
James Muirhead Lodger U Male 21Scotland Draper
Ellen Orr Niece U Female 21 Scotland
Hugh Muirhead Assistant U Male 18 Scotland Draper Assistant
Emma Barlow Serv U Female 17 Kilnhurst, York, England Gen Serv
Address 137 Gell St
Census Place Ecclesall Bierlow, York, England
Public Records Office Reference RG11 Piece / Folio 4632 / 117 Page Number 19


From the above we learn that William H. and Ernest Barlow were brothers and were living with their married sister Mary Smith at Rawmarsh. Emma Barlow above had returned to Swinton by 1901 and apparently still unmarried.


In 1901 there were sixty seven Barlow's living in the Swinton area, the ones below being born in Kilnhurst


Leonard W Barlow 10 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
John H Barlow 11 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Walter Barlow 5 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton  [ Thomas Wilson writes:- "Walter Barlow is not related to Barlow's from Kilnhurst ]
William H Barlow 33 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton Coal Miner
Alfred Barlow 9 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Ernest Barlow 28 Kilnhurst Yorkshire Yorkshire Swinton Coal Miner Chewer
Harry Barlow 11M Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Herbert Barlow 12 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Annie Barlow 3 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Doris Barlow 4 Kilnhurst Yorkshire Yorkshire Swinton
Emma Barlow 34 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton
Ida Barlow 8 Kilnhurst Yorks Yorkshire Swinton

Ivy A Barlow 6 Kilnhurst Yorkshire Yorkshire Swinton


A. J. Cobby writes:

"Ida  Barlow above became a Nanny at Blackpool to a Dr Balla she later retired to live with her sister Emma Gladwin nee Barlow at 28 Beighton Road Kilnhurst."


The Barlow's signed on at Silverwood as below. The men below may not all be related to the family above.

Alfred Barlow age 23 living at 8 Silver St.  Thrybergh signed on as a Stoneworker in October 1919 he had previously worked in the Whiston district. 
Ernest Barlow age 52 living at 10 park lane Thrybergh signed on as a collier in January 1926  he had previously worked at Thrybergh hall
Frederick Barlow age 22 living at Morthern Rd Wickersly signed on as a Collier in April 1926 he had previously worked at Thurcroft main 
James Barlow age 33 living at 48 West Crescent Sunnyside signed on as a Collier in October 1927
John Barlow age 24 living at 24 Far Lane Eastwood  signed on as a Stoneworker in April 1919 previously worked at Grange Colliery Hindley Lancashire
Leonard W Barlow age 36 living at 12 East Vale Drive Thrybergh signed on as a Collier in September 1928 he had previously worked at Rotherham Main
Thomas Barlow age 28 living at 56 Norwood St Dalton signed on as a Packer in January 1919 he had previously worked on the surface
Walter Barlow age 30 living at 3 Thomas St Kilnhurst  signed on as a  Collier in January 1926 he had previously worked at Thrybergh hall  [ Thomas Wilson writes:- "Walter Barlow is not related to Barlow's from Kilnhurst ]


John Doxey



Many thanks to Freda Bliss, Betty Barlow, and Harold Barber for their contributions to this site







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