1900 - 1994
Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood
History of the Mine
SIMPLY THE BEST
South Yorkshire England
Webmaster John Doxey
Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.
|Loco Rules 1|
|Loco Rules 2|
|The Hunslet Loco|
|Coal Hard Facts|
|The making of the Mine|
|History of the Mine|
|Listing of Miners|
|Where the Miners of Silverwood came from|
|Origins of Miners|
|Work and Leisure|
|Biographies and Tributes|
Facts, Stories and Features
|Legends from the Mine|
|Tales from the Mine|
|For Your Use|
A presentation by Bruce Wilson, Fred Spencer, John Waller, Keith Barraclough.
Mining like most industries had its own language, often the terms and variations of those terms found their way into everyday language. So here below are some of those terms with explanations by ex miners.
Air Range Bruce Wilson
Down the side of the roadway
steel pipes upto4 feet in diameter from the pit bottom to destination (
carrying compressed air for air tools etc all over the Pit )
An old roadway that took men and supplies etc to the coalface in its day. sometimes old roadways were opened up years later, and developments were taken off them I.E. Silverwood had Braithwell 1 and 2, both which I worked in. The old Mail Plane, in which the Paddy Mail disaster happened in was called Braithwell 2 development ,it went inbye for about 1/2 mile then a drift was taken down, from the side wall off old workings.
Drift Bruce Wilson
A steep hill downwards. These drifts were sometimes that steep you would have difficulty walking up them, God would your legs ache, To give you an idea, think of the steepest hill you know off, times it by 10, add a bit more then try walking up it, some of these drifts were like cliffs they had paddy mails on them, it was the only way out of the Pit.
Stoppings Bruce Wilson
Old workings were sealed off, usually
with anything available, bricks etc, sealing off old workings.
Towards the coal face, away from the pit bottom.
Towards the pit
bottom ,away from the coal face.
To each face 2 means off approach loader gate where the air is sent in (temperature, cool) another name is
Maingate. Bruce Wilson
Loadergate rip. Bruce Wilson
Where the roadway ended and the rippers were setting roof supports etc.
Tailgate Return. Bruce Wilson
Where the air supply was
coming off the coalface, and it could be hot I can tell you, more
uncomfortable than any beach in Spain the air was so still ,no movement you
were continually drinking from your water bottle, or
A Dudley, looked like something the cowboys used to carry, a metal circular water bottle) see picture above of old workings at Silverwood there is a dudley in the drawing.
Passbye. Bruce Wilson
Underground locomotives tracks, now and then you would get a passbye. sidings, the loco guard would throw points and you would put supplies in for later ,off the main track
Skelly, Bruce Wilson
A flat mine car/ tub
Gob, Bruce Wilson
As the coalface moved forward leaving a void behind where there was once was coal
Ligged out Bruce Wilson
Having a nap [ Sleep ]
Wrapping wires Bruce Wilson
Signal wires fixed on the old props. if you touched the wires together with a piece of metal you'd make a circuit and hundreds of yards away someone would hear a bell ring, a signalling system used down the pit, probably to this day.
Motty. Bruce Wilson
Packs Fred Spencer
stone walls on the coal face, was an essential means of supporting the roof, after other supports had been removed. Such walls, known as “packs” had to withstand tremendous pressure, as the strata above, lowered to replace the void left in its midst, where the seam of coal had been removed.
Gaffer John Waller
Boss, Modern washing is a highly refined process, but in the days of hand cutting the first process was for the coal to pass across large picking tables where rows of men picked out any stone. Above the tables ran a walkway gantry where the gaffer stood with a long stick. Any man missing a stone had it pointed out to him with the stick - or
Gaff. John Waller
A long stick.
To cut the wood used underground to length most pits had a large circular saw in the pit bottom area. Some had two and I think that Silverwood was one of them (CORRECT ME IF I AM WRONG) that has a snap tin saw whose sole purpose was to trim prop wood to the correct size to fit in a snap tin (a snap tin was a sandwich box) - sandwiches go down the pit and a block of wood comes out in the same tin!
Baggins John Waller
Machinery was driven by compressed air & the supply hoses were widely known as bags or baggings"
Gun John Waller
Compressed air picks
within the mine
within the mine
Many thanks to Bruce Wilson for his contributions to this site
Other pages by Bruce
All information on this site is correct to the extent of my knowledge,
should you spot an error please let me know and that error will be