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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Ralph Law  pg2
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Dave Edwards

"Retired out to grass"



Dave Edwards worked at Silverwood from 1955 to 1971 starting as a haulage hand in the pit bottom then went onto coal face and became a deputy . He emigrated to Australia in 1971 with his wife and 2 children.

Dave also had quite a few relatives who worked at the mine starting with his grandfather Edmund James Edwards, his  father Edmund James "Eddie" Edwards, great uncle Bill Edwards who ended his time at the mines training centre as an instructor. Uncle Bill Edwards who lived behind Whinny hill, brothers Eddie Edwards, Terry Edwards, and Adrian Edwards who possibly would have been there until closure.

I asked Dave if he would like to write a comparison between working at Silverwood and Appin Mine Australia, to which he kindly has.




The above photo was taken at Dave's home in 2008, if you look closely on the top shelf behind Dave you will see that his days at Silverwood are not forgotten as the display includes the Silverwood plate.





As a young deputy I was privileged to work with officials like Danny Jones and Bill Turner who were always willing to give advice to anyone who was willing to listen. Albert Tuke was the manager at Silverwood in my later years at the mine, one of the best managers Silverwood ever had. I believe his father also worked at the mine and he was rightly proud of his son . It would be great to see their names added to the list, they should all be proud to have worked at Silverwood when the mine was breaking all sorts of production records. I will watch with great interest your web site.


I worked with Albert Tuke senior he was a deputy in the Haigh Moor development  I was one of his shotfirers at the time. He was so proud of his son Albert general manager who ended up as a director of operations at head office . His son can be credited with doing more for Silverwood Colliery I believe than any other manager who ever worked at Silverwood. He demanded very high standards from his deputies overmen and undermanagers. He was a local lad from Sunnyside  who worked at several mines in No 3 area as undermanager then manager and finally general manager at Silverwood before being promoted to a directors position at head office  a position well deserved

I started work at Appin colliery NSW where I stayed until I retired.
"Retired out to grass"


Having worked at both collieries for many years .16 yrs at Silverwood and 25 at Appin,  I was able to see the development of both mines from hand filling longwall faces and board and pillar methods to semi. automatic machines.  The longwall method being the most common . Big advances in roof control allowed these longwall faces to produce massive tonnages.


Both mines able to produce 2 million tonnes per year .Silverwood  was often referred to as "the merry widow pit" the old mining methods taking many lives. Most of the deaths  were the result of roof falls, cave ins ect. . Machinery taking many lives also. Both mines had a major incident where multiple deaths occurred .  There were 11 deaths at Silverwood and 14 deaths at Appin , both of these accidents were totally preventable had the coal mines regulations been complied with and common sense applied  .

I had the unpleasant task of visiting both accident sites, suffice to say it was horrific .


Silverwood was closed as none viable in the late 90 s causing great sadness for the thousands of ex Silverwood men myself included . The mine was the main source of employment for the Dalton and Thrybergh villages, you can only wonder where all these miners who knew nothing but mining found employment when Silverwood closed.


Appin colliery is still in production its coal being in great demand because of the high quality of the coal. Appin Colliery  produces its own electricity from the methane which it drains from the mine during production,  it was I  believe the first mine in Australia to have a gas turbine for electricity production. Both mines could not have operated without methane drainage such was the high level of gas in the seams .  


Appin was also the first mine to employ the longwall method of mining. One more name to add to the list John. Eric Riley, Overman at Silverwood before coming to Appin colliery where he stayed till retirement. The majority of the deputies at Appin were ex NCB who emigrated here for the warmer climate I think. The township of Appin has had problems with mine subsidence, this is always going to be a problem where mine workings are shallow and will even occur on deeper mines where very large areas are worked. Houses and mines just don't mix, if you build in a mined area you can expect problems with ground movement . I remember the severe subsidence we had in the Rotherham area with at least 20 mines in the surrounding area its not surprising .


I would like to hear from anyone on your website regarding Albert Tuke including his family for an update on him. 

Regards Dave Edwards.


Dave Edwards 2007


More on Dave  Aussie Reunion




A mine gas explosion killed 14 miners and injured 25 at the Appin Colliery (NSW).
People Killed   14   
People Injured   25   
People Affected   31












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