Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine

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Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane

Thrybergh

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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GEORGE CLEMENT

Colliery Overman at Cortonwood

 

George though he didn't work at Silverwood knew quite a few men who did including his son Dean, George knocked around with Tony Lawson [ Ex Silverwood Manager ] when they were kids, and they both started their careers at Cortonwood. Later on in his career  he was to come into contact with Len Barlow who is also featured on these pages.

The closure of Cortonwood in 1984 was the incident that sparked the strike of that year, and George tells of a little of his life both before and after that strike.

 

 

 
 

 "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. "


I worked at Cortonwood from 26th Dec 1956 until it closed. When it closed I was a Colliery Overman. After the the strike when we went back to work we carried on mining for a short period to supplement  production lost at other pits where they were held up while they got their faces back on stream. One of the reasons they closed Cortonwood was because they could not sell our coal and here we were mining more.


After a while we stopped production and started salvaging, I was held back to run one of the salvage shifts. Before salvaging was complete I was seconded to The Small Mines Drainage Unit at Rawmarsh at the recommendation of Guy Stevens a colliery manager who had stood in as manager several times at Cortonwood.
At the Drainage as it was affectionately known one of our jobs was to close down old pits and fill in the shafts, the irony of this was I had to go back and supervise the filling in the shafts of the pit where I had worked for so long but where my father Jack and my own son Dean had worked.


Just a bit of unknown history, the N.U.M. Cortonwood had asked for half of one of the headgear pulleys [wheel] to erect as a monument opposite  ' The Welfare' at Brampton Bierlow, well some bright spark let them all go for salvage so I was told I had to find another. I sent a team and a lorry and we nicked one from Yorkshire Main and that is the one at Brampton.
Just another funny incident, we were later to close Yorkshire Main and we were told to get the job done before March 97 I think it was so the Copey Winding Towers could be demolished so there was no chance of going back in there, I was told there was more coal take left at Yorkshire Main than there was left in the whole of the Selby Coalfield, the closure was political to beat the local miners and unions, these were the lengths that Tories went to to humiliate the miners.


Well to the funny bit, in the absence of my manager John Brennan I was in effect the manager of the Yorkshire Main site when I was there and he was not, well I was on site with some of our lads recovering some of our own gear and loading it on to a British Coal lorry when one of the Bosses of the firm who had got the salvage contract saw us and sent the security men, who we employed, to detain us while he called the police to arrest us for recovering our own gear. It took a phone call to the area where our manager was at a meeting to get the idiot sorted out.

 

George Clement  george.clement@tiscali.co.uk  

 

 

Many thanks George for adding your memories here which I am sure will be appreciated by one and all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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