1900 - 1994
Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood
History of the Mine
SIMPLY THE BEST
South Yorkshire England
Webmaster John Doxey
Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.
Additional content Mick Carver
|James William Hill|
|Frederick Kelly Snr.|
|William "Bill" Marshall|
|R & F Green|
|The Barlow Family|
|Ralph Law pg2|
|The Doxey Brothers|
|The Rogers Brothers|
|James "T. C."Turner and Son|
|Keith B. Scholey|
|Ian "Bidder" Evers|
|Newey's of Silverwood|
|The Lawrence Family|
|The Coggins Family|
|The making of the Mine|
|History of the Mine|
|Listing of Miners|
|Where the Miners of Silverwood came from|
|Origins of Miners|
|Work and Leisure|
|Biographies and Tributes|
Facts, Stories and Features
|Legends from the Mine|
|Tales from the Mine|
|For Your Use|
WILLIAM "BILLY " MILLS
Foreword by John Doxey
The story of Billy Mills depicts the determination and spirit of the typical miner, and we can all learn from Billy's never say die attitude towards life.
Billy and Lilly Mills on right and one of the blokes who went out to Umtali Rhodesia with them. Taken at Leopards Rock, in the hot season every one used to go up there at the weekends to escape the heat
Born in Radcliff Lancashire Billy was one of six children, his parents died suddenly and he along with the other two youngest Joe and Dolly were sent to live with his mothers sister who had married a miner and lived in the pit houses some where on Whinny Hill. When they were old enough too Joe and Dolly returned to Radcliff.
Billy eventually married and lived at number 54 Norwood St Dalton until 1946 when the family moved to 18, Bosville St Dalton.
Working at Silverwood Billy was to become yet another casualty of the mine when around 1940 he was the victim of a roof fall, the fall badly crushed both of his legs, the severity of the injuries sustained may have prevented many a person from ever working again, but not Billy.
Following the accident Billy found himself in a rest home at Buxton run by the minerís welfare. for recuperation, the result of the injuries meant that he would always have to wear custom made shoes to compensate for his disability.
Now Billy had married Lilly Barlow whose family
lived next door at number 56 Norwood St. Dalton, Lilly being the daughter
of Tom Barlow, Tom had two sons Enoch (Nip) and Horace all three worked
In 1947 Lilly [ nicknamed Mickey ] and their son Robert sailed out there to join Billy on the Union Castle Line ship Durban Castle. On the trip out prior to our sailing a steward was convicted of murder by pushing a starlet out of a porthole, on its return to pick us up a man committed suicide, after our trip out to Cape Town the ship was taken of the Southampton/Cape town run.
Lilly went to work at the Umtali hospital she was a nurse having done her training at Guys in London, so she would have been a great asset to the town of Umtali. With England still on rationing Lilly sent food parcels back home in large biscuits tins, any loose space was packed out with cigarettes.
Their son Robert was to prove himself quite a scholar, back in England he had attended Dalton Junior whose headmaster was Mr Hillsley, in Rhodesia he found himself attending the Umtali High School where he was in a class a year above his age. Now most School children will envy this but the school hours were from 8am until 12 noon, after that it was too hot to stay indoors and there was no air conditioning back then. Later young Robert won a scholarship to St Georgeís better known as the BBC Bulawayo Boys Collage as a boarder.
Then bad luck struck Billy once more in 1950 he picked up a bug from the jute that affected his legs, after a long illness he was advised to return home to a more temperate climate. Arthritis was also affecting him.
BACK TO SOUTH YORKSHIRE
Upon the families return to Yorkshire they bought number 3 Park Lane in Thrybergh. Billy was now unable to gain employment due to his legs, but not being the kind of man to sit idle he helped out as a bookies runner for Alan Smith and Aubrey 'Orb' Windsor. Alan drove the Home Coal delivery truck for Silverwood. 'Orb had his pitch behind the Progressive Club at Dalton, whilst Billy was at the top of the first hill in Dalton Lane by the shop.
Lilly returned to Moorgate General Hospital later she suffered a slip disk moving a patient, after that she joined the Steel Peach and Tozer medical team.
Often Lilly would call into Fosters shop on Whinney hill on her way home from night duty, there she would relate stories of her time in Rhodesia to the staff.
Robert Mills finished his Schooling at Thrybergh Secondary Modern when the Headmaster was Mr Armatidge.
© Robert Mills 2006
" I moved to Dorset in 1963 but still refer to the 'Brook' as my home. "
Many thanks Robert for adding your family to this site.
All information on this site is correct to the extent of my knowledge,
should you spot an error please let me know and that error will be