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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By Wayne Bennett


Mr and Mrs Benjamin Bennett



Benjamin Bennett [ Pictured above ] was born in 1901 at Rotherham Benjamin was born on the 7th February of that year.  at number 11 House 20 Court, Wellgate. Like many working class households of the time, over crowding was commonplace. Grandfather Benjamin was 1 month old when the 1901 census was recorded and, incredible as it seems, occupying number 11 house, court 20 with him were a further ten more people. These were his parents, two elder brothers, an elder sister and a family of five boarders. another sister lived close by with his mothers parents. God knows what sort of life this housing afforded them all.

A comment from a more recent publication remarks that Photographers did not often venture into the ill-lit courts of cramped insanitary houses that lay behind the shops in the town centre. Garden Row Wellgate was later Court 20 in the 1880's.  In 1881 one of these small cottages was home to five adults and seven children  Garden Row was demolished c.1919.'

Grandfather Benjamin was the fifth born of six children to George Henry Bennett and Ann Elizabeth Bennett nee Parkin. both these parents were Rotherham born and bred, his father being described at this time as a general labourer.
Benjamin's siblings were:
George Henry jnr (1890-1963) - later a miner at Canklow colliery.
Lily (1891-1909)
Mary Jane (1892-1957)
Thomas (1898-1962)- later furnaceman/train driver at Steel Peech and Tozers. )
Frank ( circa 1903- circa 1972) - later also steelworker at Steel Peech and Tozers)
Grandfather Benjamin married Beatrice Molyneux (Leicestershire born) in 1921. He was then living at 22 Snail Hill, the Crofts, Rotherham with his parents- they hadn't roamed far.
Grandfather Benjamin was to have three children:
John Robert: (1922- circa 1984) - he was also to be a miner at Silverwood but not for a great number of years. My father recalls him being there during war (like grandfather) and he worked first on the surface then went underground.
Benjamin jnr (1928 -) - my father who left Rotherham in the early 1950's to marry my East Anglian mother.
Ann (1939-) - my aunty who still resides in Rotherham.


Not much is known at the moment of Benjamin's early years and it is assumed like many in the area he became a miner upon leaving school in 1915, which was during the first world war. It is also unknown at the moment as to which year Benjamin arrived to work at Silverwood.

We do know that in 1921 he was listed as a colliery labourer, it was in this year that he married and he is depicted above around the mid 1930's with his wife enjoying a drink possibly at the Dalton Progressive Club on Doncaster Road. The couple had a son in 1928 who was my father, and at this time Benjamin was working at Silverwood as my father remembers that he worked at the mine for as long as he can remember.


Benjamin continued working at Silverwood throughout the second world war and was in charge of the cages as a Banksman. Dogged by ill health throughout his working life Benjamin struggled on until the late 1940's  unfortunately like a lot of miners his health was beginning to wane at this stage in his life and by the late 1940's he ceased to work at the mine.


Sadly for the family Benjamin Bennett age just 59 passed away in 1960, this was the year before my birth so unfortunately  I did not get to see him.


I can remember visiting relatives who lived within sight of Silverwood and as as young boy I was fascinated by the fact that a blue light shone continuously on top of a hill I could see from my relatives house, I later discovered that it was the pits memorial.


  2007 Wayne Bennett.



Many thanks Wayne for sharing your Granddads story here.













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