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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Dave was raised in nearby Ravenfield where his family still live.  His great grandfather William H. Rowbotham was a miner born and bred in nearby Swinton South Yorkshire.

Dave became an  underground Loco Driver at Silverwood. To enable him to become a driver he undertook The Loco training course, where he firstly had to qualify as a loco guard before continuing in the course to achieve the role of an actual driver. The next part of the training involved Dave having to go away and attend a training centre which consisted of a 10 day course at Lound Hall in Nottingham it was  followed by a test. Dave received the certificate shown below left on the 28/05 /1982
Having passed the test Dave returned to the pit to spend several weeks with a driver, this involved different types of vehicles and like all loco drivers he had to pass out on each type of loco. This ensured that each driver was competent in the handling of each loco at the mine. Following this as a safety measure each driver had to go away again every 3 years for a refresher course at Manvers Main Colliery.
Dave recalls "When I was at Lound Hall we was out on the test track and this chap kept doing something wrong, so the instructor set off up the track shouting and waving his arms about, when he got to the chap they started having a heated row. Whilst they were having the row a stoat or ferret ran up the track and between their legs, and they never noticed. I tell you we where all in stitches about it.



Dave Vickers loco training certificate 1982


At Silverwood there were several types of engine including the Hunslet mk2 100hpr single ended locos No 5317 and No 5315 one of which is pictured above in the 1970's pulling a mail car. There were also Hunslet rack locos.  I n Dave's opinion  the MK2 's were the best. Then lastly the Clayton Poneys  which were Battery locos which Dave claims "They took the fun out of driving. The MK2 s and the rack locos were taken out of service about 5 years before the pit closed and were replaced by the poneys, and if Dave is correct they are all probably still parked up in the diesel garage in the pit bottom?

However there was an oversight in removing the MK2's as the mine discovered when  they had to re build 5317 very quickly not long after, as the Braithwell loco train broke down when the drift belt broke. The power of the old MK2 was needed due to the fact it was the only thing powerful enough to pull the belting back up the drift.  After that they kept it in service just for that particular job. "



During his working life at Silverwood Dave was to be involved in a very curious incident down the mine during the late 1980's, an incident that created a mystery which has  never been explained to this day. Here is Dave's recollection of that day.


The incident at Silverwood when the bucket track entered the roof of an old gate mentioned by  Bruce Wilson in his Tales of the Mine. I was on afternoons that day driving the Braithwell 3 loco when I took the day shift off , it had already happened but we got a message to get the mail on and wait for the manager and not to move it till he got there. 


The men had to walk in about a mile so we obviously got some abuse from them.  When the manager got there with his entourage safety deputy, pit Overman and deputy manager we took them in and he told us not to move till they came back,  with them they had a briefcase  which was strange in its self. They all vanished down the hole and were gone for about 3 to 4 hours, when they re- appeared the briefcase was heavy we had to take them all the way to the pit bottom where we got orders to wait for a load of concrete to fill the hole.
Up to me finishing at the pit no one would say what was in the briefcase? Everything was strange about the incident, the gaffers never went places like that and normally they would have just filled the hole, but what was in the briefcase? I still wonder about it to this day.


Today [ 2006 ] Dave can be found working at Corus as a forklift driver, the biggest forklift  he drives is a SMV 54 toner. He is  still in contact with his old mate Bruce Wilson from Silverwood and they often reminisce about their days at the mine over a couple of pints at the pub.



Text by Dave Vicars formatted by John Doxey.


My gratitude to Dave for sharing his memories here.


















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