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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William ' Bill ' Hill

A presentation by the descendants of Bill

William Hill photo kindly submitted by Brian Ryre




William Bill Hill was a Loco Driver on the pit top pre 1947, now he would have been the envy of every boy in the village, as back then all boys wanted to be a train driver when they grew up. Bill as he was known would have had superstar rating with not just the boys, but everyone who knew him, as he was also an hero who received a First aid medal for trying to save A. Gibbs life on the 1st Jan 1909.

A. Gibbs was run over by a railway coal truck which severed his leg, Bill responded quickly, ripping off his shirt he made a tourniquet to stem the flow of blood. Unfortunately A, Gibbs died soon after.

Now most people would have stood there in shock, witnessing such an horrific accident and to maintain presence of mind as Bill did was quite an achievement

There were quite a few of the Hill family who became employed at the Mine.

 Photo left, is of Bill which was taken on the day he received his medal.


Bills story starts in 1878 when he emerged into the mainline of life as the son of George and Edith Hill. The family had lived in Bradford from around 1884 but by 1881 had moved to Hertfordshire. Bill would have developed a love of trains from an early age given the occupation of his father which was a railway porter.




In 1881 the family are listed as.

George Hill Head M Male 33 St Olaves, Surrey, England Railway Porter
Edith C. Hill Wife M Female 30  Holborn, Middlesex, England
George I. Hill Son Male 7 Bradford, York, England Scholar
Mary Ann Hill Daur Female 5 Bradford, York, England  Scholar
William H. Hill Son Male 3 Bradford, York, England
Flora E. Hill Daur Female 1 Bradford, York, England
Puttocks Oak
Census Place
Hatfield, Hertford, England
Public Records Office Reference  RG11 Piece / Folio   1426 / 57 Page Number  11


In December of 1881 the family was increased with the arrival of Gertrude Louisa Hill.


Bills first job was at the age of twelve when he gained employment at an hospital, that job was going around the wards collecting human bones that had been amputated. He would then burn the limbs.

Over the next twenty years the family separated, this occurred with the sad loss of Edith Hill in 1890.


Somewhere between 1901 and 1909 William Hill became a Loco Driver and a local legend. Not one to discuss his life even with his family left much of his story untold.
In 1946 Bill was diagnosed with cancer and was forced to retire in 1947, despite the fact he wanted to continue working, the mine reluctantly informed him that he was too sick. With tears in his eyes Bill despondently left, and in 1948 he sadly passed away.

Bills son James was also employed at Silverwood James William Hill


On the photo below,

Bill is the first on the left on the ground. His son James Hill  tells us that  "This wasn't the engine he used to drive because I was proud when I was a kid  my dad drove the biggest engine at Silverwood" The engine that Bill drove was engine number 7.

Photo of Bill Hill courtesy of Brian Eyre


Take a good look at the young boys standing there proudly, they look to clean to be working.

From what I can make out the Engine was Dalton Main Company Engine No 4. Which needs verifying.

Train Number 1021 type 0-6-OT with OC cylinders 18x24 wheels and a four foot gauge was purchased by Dalton Main on the 1st of the 10th 1904 from Andrew Barclay, Kilmarnock Locomotive Works, known as Engine no 4.  Not being an expert I can only guess that the above train is Engine Number 4


Many thanks to Brian Eyre and James Hill for sharing the photos and information



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