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.






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Early Train and operarives of Dalton Main

Coal trains for most of us in South Yorkshire were a part of life, long lines of wagons, full or empty, waiting on sidings, until the arrival of the smoke belching steam train, and often we would marvel at the amount of wagons hooked up to a single train.

The railway line that ran to Silverwood was built by John Brown and Co, and it became known as John Browns railway

Over the years there were many incidents involving trains both on the surface and underground, many accidents were recorded over the years. From these incidents sometimes heroes were to emerge.

Hayes, Mick. Recollections of a 'Canklow crow'. Part 2. 54-7.
Accidents: Driver Wilf Johnson had nickname Flipper as he used "flipping" to swear rather than darker words. He was responsible for 3F 0-6-0 No. 43664 going through the shed wall. A more serious accident on 21 November 1957 involved 4F 43978, Driver Tommy Green and Fireman Ken Busby who neglected to stop at the top of a 1 -n 47 incline on the Silverwood branch and ran away. The guard and the fireman leapt off, but Green remained with the locomotive until the last minute until the locomotive plunged into a brick wall protecting an old ventilation shaft at the Colliery. Driver Green accepted responsibility for the accident.

In the above recollection we can see that Tommy Green showed great courage in remaining with the runaway train, and further courage when he admitted he was at fault.

In 1959 Thrybergh gained a train station of sorts when a platform was constructed near the bridge on Park Lane, it became known as Thrybergh Tins. The platform was just a mere 75 feet in length and was only used at most four times a year. The sole purpose of the platform was to enable local club members and families to board excursion trains organized by the clubs.  The line being part of the Great Central and Midland Railway system, Mexborough to Rotherham Central, and use of the platform was controlled by the station master at Kilnhurst Central.

So on the 17th June 1959 I along with 799 other over excited noisy kids, accompanied by 500 adults gathered Dahn't Backs off Oldgate Lane to embark on the first club trip in the area by train. Two trains were provided for this rather historical journey and we were bound for Bridlington courtesy of the Silverwood's workmen and Officials Club. The club had approached British Rail regarding the trip and British rail came up with the answer which was to construct the platform which became known as Thrybergh Tins. [ This was due to the fact that the rail line had Tin sheet fencing on both sides of the track ]

By the late1960's the platform was not in use, and was demolished  circa 1972


There was also another line that was controlled by the Kilnhurst station master who had control over rail traffic and staff in an area which covered the local pottery and brickworks from the earliest days, and following their sinking collieries at Piccadilly and Kilnhurst (both accessed off the brickworks branch) and Silverwood, accessed from a new, steeply graded line, built jointly by the Manchester, Sheffield and Lincolnshire Railway (Great Central Railway from 1899) and the Midland Railway. One unusual siding over which he had control was "Thrybergh Tip", a short spur off the Silverwood line which was a dumping ground for Sheffield Corporation sewage. This siding was usually known by a short but very descriptive title, as were the trains which brought its raw material. No prizes for guessing the title!

source: Wikipedia

Hopefully we can learn more about the trains and drivers of Silverwood and Dalton Main Colliery, if you can help with information please use link at foot of page.

John Doxey


One thing I think we should all remember is that when a typist makes an error, then that error can be corrected instantly, with no one the wiser and no pain caused.  Unfortunately for drivers and operators of trains one small error can be fatal, and who amongst us does not make small errors each and every day.

At the moment I am trying to learn of an accident on a level crossing concerning a coal train belonging to Dalton Main, the accident occurring pre 1940 involved James Slater who worked for the railway at Silverwood colliery for many years from approx. 1910 to 1948.


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.

The incline of the railway line to Silverwood was quite steep and in 1905  Dalton Main Colliery Engine No. 4 whilst leaving Silverwood down the incline was unable to hold back it's load, it was late in the day and the track was very wet, resulting in a runaway train. After passing the Don Bridge thankfully the  driver and the fireman were able to jump from the train, receiving only small injuries to themselves.   The train carried on minus a crew passing beneath the Great Central line where it finally lurched off the rails but amazingly did not flip over ending up in the marsh ground. However Engine number 4 survived, which was not the fate of the wagons which were destroyed, the track was left in need of major repairs. Old number 4 was finally wrote off in 1926 and sold for scrap.

This was not to be the only accident on the Silverwood line there were other similar occurrences, a further accident occurred on the 30th September 1910, again a  coal train this time hauling some 50 wagons. The locomotive crew from Mexborough also had a lucky escape when they threw themselves off the unstoppable train. Some of the wagons ended up on the main line but the train thanks to catchpoints derailed onto the canal towpath. Even the Thrybergh junction signal box had a lucky escape, and apparently the box ended up in the river later on in yet another incident, this time the signal man had a narrow escape when he fled from the box.

See also James Slater

 Now a train enthusiast Phil Deaves has a very interesting site naming amongst other things the rail lines at Silverwood

SIC Silverwood Colliery Branch (Rotherham)
 SIC1 Silverwood Colliery Headshunt to 11MP 10.39 - 11.00 Rotherham ?? 
SIC2 11MP to Thrybergh Junction 11.00 - 13.11 Rotherham ??
RSC Roundwood Chord Junction to Silverwood Colliery Line 7.24 - 7.60 Woodburn Junction

Some of the wagons etc used at Silverwood were

PO MINERAL, TANKER & BRAKE VAN  MRN  May-64  FINA MOTOR SPIRIT. pic 14 ton tank wagon No.136 R Y Pickering 1918 livery as at 1948 repaint reg L & Y R. - L B Ltd. Unilever Ltd (Lever Brothers (port sunlight) Ltd).

pic brake van No.1310 ex MIDLAND No.1060 Derby 1904. - D L CLEVELAND. Dorman Long (steel) Ltd. pic internal user No.102. - S C. Stephenson Clarke & Associated Co.s Ltd London pic 20 ton steel wagon No.2566 CravenRC&WC 1933 reg GWR. - DALTON MAIN COLLIERIES Ltd. Rotherham 10 ton No.3701 s/elv. - ICI (LIME) Ltd. Buxton pic 12 ton No.3001 GloucesterRC&WC 1937 reg LMS plus ICI Ltd. Lime Division Buxton 13 ton No.L3307 s/elv.

Dalton Main (Rotherham) 10T 7 plank S/E/B open 2683 F3Red 1910 IWC  Good   ACA106

SILVERWOOD SIDINGS* to THURCROFT SIDINGS GCR&MR Jt in month ending 31-Oct-1966 1966.185 Braithwell Jn to Thurcroft used for wagon storage for some time after this date.  Date may be 31-Oct-1966.  O 13-Mar-1969.




William Hill from an original photo subscribed by Brian EyreWilliam Green  who was a Train Driver for G.C.R. was assigned to Silverwood Colliery in 1906

George Newhill was a fireman working on the G.C.R. at Silverwood in 1906


Edward Thomas GWatkin born in Walford Herefordshire  age 42 in 1910 was appointed as a Train guard at Silverwood in 1910.


William Bill Hill was also one of the early Train Divers at Silverwood and drove Engine no 7.


James Slater worked for the railway at Silverwood colliery for many years from aprox. 1910 to 1940.


William Drabble was an early pit top worker at Silverwood as an engine driver, he lived at Thrybergh for 84 years


Frank Harvey of Dalton was a train driver at Silverwood pit 1955 to approx 1965













With the advent of Diesel Engines the steam trains found themselves being replaced, John Waller writes.

"Working in maintenance at most of the South Yorkshire pits brought me into contact with a rare breed of train spotters who specialized in industrial locomotives. Most of the diesel shunting locos had men's names. I remember quite a bit of grumbling when Horace came to live at Silverwood. At least  one these guys published a small book on the subject that could still be available in Rotherham Library".

Below is a memo from 1979 written by R. Critchlow kindly sent in by Bruce Wilson complete with a listing of underground loco Drivers and Guards


Ian Johnson, was a Paddy Mail Guard on the Swallow Wood seam-

Dave Vickers was a loco driver during the 1970's and has contributed his recollections of the diesel trains used at Silverwood.


Anyone who wishes to contribute information on Trains etc. please


Send it in





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