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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Now most of us that grew up in the local village's remember well Fred Kelly jnr who was quite a legend, but Fred's father and also his brother William were also legends in their own right. Thanks to recent information we can now start to piece together more of the family history.

One of the first things I learned about Frederick Kelly senior was this little story from his grandson Raye.

One of the many legends surrounding the Grapes concerning the day Frederick Kelly had a fight outside the Grapes Hotel with William [Ian] ( Iron ) Hague from Mexbro, who was British Heavyweight Champion between 1908 and 1911. It was just before Haigh was due to fight Sam Langford for the title this was  in May 1909. Apparently though Frederick lost the fight he inflicted several painful memories upon his opponent, the result being that due to Haighs poor performance outside the Grapes, all the betting went off him and sure enough he lost the fight. There was actually a film recording of the fight between Haigh and Longford. What ever else we may deduce from this incident we can be certain that Frederick Kelly was quite a man to challenge the British Heavyweight Champion to a fight.


In 1903 Frederick married Ada Ryan at East Ardsley aged 2, there were two daughters plus sons Fred and William. It is not certain what year Frederick started at Silverwood, but it was before 1909.

On the 21st of November 1905 Fred Kelly was born, and on the 13th .March.1913 William Edward Kelly was born.


With the outbreak of the first World War Frederick Kelly enlisted in the 8th Bn. York and Lancaster Regiment, and was to gain the rank of Lance Serjeant, little was he to know what fate awaited for him on foreign soil.

On the1st of July 1916, supported by a French attack to the south, thirteen divisions of Commonwealth forces launched an offensive on a line from north of Gommecourt to Maricourt. Despite a preliminary bombardment lasting seven days, the German defenses were barely touched and the attack met unexpectedly fierce resistance. Losses were catastrophic and with only minimal advances on the southern flank, the initial attack was a failure. Frederick Kelly Service No: 11637 was killed upon the first day 1/071916 and was to join those lost with no known grave. In the following weeks, huge resources of manpower and equipment were deployed in an attempt to exploit the modest successes of the first day. However, the German Army resisted tenaciously and repeated attacks and counter attacks meant a major battle for every village, copse and farmhouse gained. At the end of September, Thiepval was finally captured. The village had been an original objective of 1 July. Attacks north and east continued throughout October and into November in increasingly difficult weather conditions. The Battle of the Somme finally ended on the18th of November with the onset of winter. In the spring of 1917, the German forces fell back to their newly prepared defences, the Hindenburg Line, and there were no further significant engagements in the Somme sector until the Germans mounted their major offensive in March 1918. The Thiepval Memorial, the Memorial to the Missing of the Somme, bears the names of more than 72,000 officers and men of the United Kingdom and South African forces who died in the Somme sector before 20 March 1918 and have no known grave. Over 90% of those commemorated died between July and November 1916.


Ada Kelly Jack Baughan in 1918. She opened a second hand furniture shop in Dalton. She later changed it to a general store and kept it until the mid 1940's.

The two daughters of Frederick and Ada sadly died of consumption after childbirth, their children were raised by Ada.

We next learn that in 1919 the family were living at 12, Doncaster Road [ presumably Dalton ] and a young Fred Kelly age 15 signed on to work underground as a driver at Silverwood having previously worked on the surface.

William Kelly left School in March 1927 and the family were still living at 12 Doncaster Road, young William signed on at Silverwood as a driver age 14.

Sometime before 1927 Fred went to work at the Roundwood Colliery and then returned in May 1927 to sign on as a Collier, and we learn that Fred [ Now married ] was now living at 49, Oldgate Lane [ Whinney Hill ] Freds Story



 William at some stage left mining and went on to form his own company firstly Kelly and Bro's and then a couple of years later, Northern Erection. Which incidentally was involved in the erection of the 3rd largest single-span bridge in the world, the Runcorn-Widnes Bridge, A 2 lane bridge which was was opened in 1961 by Princess Alexandra of Kent
The Runcorn-Widnes bridge was no small project and was to cost close to £3,000,000 to build  The old transport bridge which had become to small and  carrying only 1000 vehicles per day, was replaced with the new bridge that 11,500 vehicles could cross per day
In 1977 the bridge was to be renamed ‘The Silver Jubilee Bridge’.  

Not a bad effort for a Silverwood Miner!



Should anyone have information regarding this Kelly family then please contact these two ladies who would love to hear from you.

 Susan     Nadia

















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