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





Home Page

Site Guide


The Shaft is Sunk

Dalton Mining Co

Early Years

Early Years 2
1913 Accident






War Years at the Mine


Early Trains

The 1920's

War Memorial of 1923


Travelling to work

Coke Ovens


1947 Accident


The Blacking Mill

1966 Disaster

The Silverwood Disaster song


Mine improvements 1970

Journey to the Face


Loading Coal

Maps of Workings

1984 Strike

1984 Strike 2

The Miners Return

The 1985 Strike

One Million Tonnes

Weekly Record

Home of Quality

Riddor Incident

Silverwood Closure

Silverwood Closure 2

Final Years Photos

Stuart Tomlins Collection

Stuart Tomlins Collection 2

Stuart Tomlins Collection 3

Sunset on Silverwood

The Last Trains

Final Years

Final Years 2

Work After Silverwood

Silverwood 2007

Listing of Miners

The Colliers

Where the Miners of Silverwood came from

Origins of Miners

Work and Leisure

Working Life

Biographies and Tributes


Facts, Stories and Features

Interesting facts

Legends from the Mine

Tales from the Mine

Mining Information

Mining Information

For Your Use

Students Page

Guest Book


Local Villages







Photo copyright Johnathan Dabbs


In 1992 Baroness Denton, the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Consumer Affairs and Small Firms, visited Silverwood colliery on the 28th August when she saw one production face.


Extract from the Coal News, April 1993, page 17:-
Pit manager Tony Lawson says there was a tear in his eye the day he went to Buckingham Palace to receive his OBE from the Queen. “Mind you it was a tear of pride” admitted the tough-as-teak boss who’s spearheaded a quiet revolution at South Yorkshire’s Silverwood Colliery.
There’s hardly one of the 900 men at Silverwood who’d deny the man they know as “TL” his moment of sentimentality. Tony, 51, followed his late father George into the industry in 1958. After spells as undermanager and deputy manager at several South Yorkshire pits he took up his first manager’s post at the former Manvers Colliery. He went on to become manager of the Manvers Complex and later Frickley Colliery. Tony took over as manager of Silverwood Colliery in 1990. Since then the pit’s once militant reputation has been replaced by a fierce pride in the colliery and a common determination to succeed’.


Ironically Silverwood broke all production records for a coal mine in the two years prior to its closure in 1994. John Lindley writes:- The last official manager was Mr Wilson who came from Bently Colliery, but the last Acting manger was a Mr M. Turton, who was Deputy manager, but was made acting manager for the closure. The manager after Mr Cartwright was a Mr T. Lawson M.B.E..


 Dean Clement writes:-Mr Gilbert Wilson who came from Bently colliery in Doncaster to Silverwood.  I have a lot of respect for Mr Wilson he was one of the few pit managers that spoke out publicly against the mass pit closures in 1992. At the time he was manager at Bently which was one of the 31 pits earmarked for closure at that time. Bently was producing some of the cheapest deep mined coal in the world at that time the pit wasn't closed because it was uneconomical but because the government said there wasn't a market for its coal, this was just another excuse to get rid of the N. U. M. 


Some of the Miners were fortunate to gain work in the few remaining Mines. Others like John Joseph Allott an underground electrician 1970's to 1990's left when the pit closed as he did not move to nearby Maltby. The closure of Silverwood also affected other local Villages, as Mandy Haughton [ Daughter of Oswin Wright  ] writes :- The nearby Village of Sunnyside has never been the same since !
Steve White left Silverwood to work at the Prince of Wales then Hatfield then Rossington. Philip Valentine a Silverwood electrician also went to Rossington only to find in the year 2005 that once again the mine he worked at is due for closure.


Martin Brocklesby who had worked on  Underground Haulage since 1983 finished work on Christmas eve the day of closure 1994. The Brocklesby name had been at the mine since at least 1924 with Stanley Brocklesby Weighman 1924, followed by Robert [Bob] Brocklesby Harry Brocklesby (Deceased) Skip fitter, and Keith Brocklesby Welder.

Silverwood despite having millions of pounds spent on upgrades and machinery was doomed, in a yet even more bizarre stupidity many of the Miners of nearby Maltby were to lose their employment to be replaced by men from Silverwood when the mine closed.

Local M. P.s raised the matter in Parliament

"Mr. Peter Hardy 1994 My hon. Friends will have heard my hon. Friend the Member for Rother Valley (Mr. Barron) and me make relevant comments about the matter. British Coal intends to de-mothball Maltby but close Silverwood in my constituency. It will transfer men from Silverwood to Maltby, having got rid of most of the Maltby men first.
Does the hon. Gentleman recognise that the one thing that Hobart house should have been worried about was to keep Maltby going immediately after completing £190 million of capital investment ? The price that British Coal would have had to pay for taking Maltby into the core group it wants to set up might well have been rather higher than it wished to pay."


The Wheels of Silverwood Came to a Halt !




On the 23rd December 1994  The colliery buildings no longer existed having been demolished, the clearing of the site continued in 1995.  The remaining coal was removed by RJB Mining (UK) Ltd. 

The extensive site is being reclaimed but even in their closing mines can still be dangerous as in a newspaper report of 2004 which told of children at nearby Kilnhurst colliery site throwing fireworks near the old mineshaft. Apparently the shaft was not sealed correctly, and there was a presence of Gas, resulting in an explosion.


THE AFTERMATH [ The writing on the Wall ]


Photo extracted from a Jonathan Dabs photo taken in 1996


Well I think the photo of the Vacancies Board on the right taken in 1994 portrays what Mrs. Thatcher's victory meant for not only Miners, but also for many other industries and small businesses in the area, no work!, no business, no future!

Arthur Scargill was of course a main figure in the 1970's and 80's as the Miners Union Leader involved in the strikes of that time. Born in Yorkshire Arthur suffered a tirade of  bad press and was a much maligned character.  My own opinion on Arthur is, he had a job as the Miners representative and he did that job to the best of his ability, he also knew where the Thatcher Government was heading, and what that meant for his Miners. Villain or hero, you decide and look at the facts After the victory over the Miners Mrs. Thatcher's Government continued to destroy the economy of the North of England and unemployment in that area rose to nearly fourteen percent, the highest it had been since the depression. Today 2003 at the time of writing there are only seventeen working mines left in the whole of Britain, from the one hundred and seventy working pits working prior to that strike. Now if you add to that the closure of the Steelworks, plus the number of small businesses that collapsed, that either supplied the Mines and Steelworks, or sub contracted, then you start to come close to the devastation created.
Eight years after the 1984 strike Chief Superintendent John Nesbit, was quoted "Arthur was right."
For further reading on how even the M.I.5 were used to topple Arthur see  You will be amazed.

Today Yorkshire is still lagging behind the rest of the United Kingdom regarding wages, the list below is from 2003
Yorkshire average £425; UK £475
Men full time: £463; UK £525
Women full time: £360; UK £396
Men part time: £167; UK £163
Women part time: £144; UK £149
Source: Yorkshire Forward, 2003

As at 31 March 2005 there are 42 opencast sites and 8 major deep mines in production
Goitre Tower Colliery Ltd Tower Colliery Mid Glamorgan
UK Coal Daw Mill Colliery Warwickshire
Harworth Colliery  Nottinghamshire
Kellingley Colliery Yorkshire
Maltby Colliery Yorkshire
Rossington Colliery Yorkshire
Thoresby Colliery Nottinghamshire
Welbeck Colliery Nottinghamshire

South Yorkshire once the solid backbone of British Industry is now still classed as a depressed area, receiving around £1billion  of European Union aid in the six years to 2006, makes you weep doesn't it.

Someone sent this into me a while ago, with no source or date, I suspect it is a few years old so if anyone knows the source please send it in.
The man who used to edit one of Britain's biggest popular newspapers last week made an astonishing admission. He confessed that a major smear campaign his paper ran against the left wing leader of one of Britain's key trade unions was in fact a pack of lies. Roy Greenslade, the former editor of the Mirror newspaper, offered "the sincerest of apologies" to National Union of Mineworkers leader Arthur Scargill for the lies the paper told during a six month campaign in 1990.
The Mirror, under Greenslade's editorship, ran a savage campaign against the then miners' union leaders Arthur Scargill and Peter Heathfield. It published allegation after allegation of what Greenslade now calls "cloak and dagger tales", without a shred of evidence. The paper accused Scargill of being corrupt, taking money from Libya to pay off his mortgage and lining his own pocket during the year-long miners' strike in 1984-5.


Coal Miner

The  figure on the left is indeed coal, done I  believe by a local sculptor in Rotherham. It was presented to me by my sister some years ago as a memento. I will try and find out who the sculptor is. The black background on the photo was added by me purely for effect. The plate at the top of Silverwood page 1 was also a present from my sister and it was manufactured by Edwardian fine China England  









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