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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The History


Many people believe that Unions are an unnecessary evil of the workplace, well I think you only have to look at the 1984 strike, and the history of the conditions workers endured prior to the forming of Unions to realize that without them the working mans lot would never have improved.


During the 1800's and continuing into the early part of the twentieth century the Miners strived to form unions. This of course was opposed by the Mine owners and the Ruling Class. During the period of the Combination Act these early attempts at forming unions were disguised by the Miners who named  their Unions Friendly Societies, needless to say there were quite a lot of Friendly societies in the Mining areas of England at this time.

Northumberland and Durham were the first two counties to merge and negotiated a reduction in hours around 1831, this was a major boost in showing that together workers could improve their lot . The Miners Association of Great Britain and Ireland was formed in 1842 and despite Yorkshire and the East Midlands failing to join, the union movement was steadily moving forward.

By 1874 two Miners were actually elected in a general election, even though it was not until 1884 that the Miners themselves were allowed to vote in a Parliamentary Election

In 1888 The Yorkshire Miners Association leader Ben Pickard after failing to gain a pay increase for his Miners, suggested a meeting for all Miners to stand together and hopefully come up with a solution that would strengthen the Miners case. However it was not until a second meeting again suggested by Ben that it was decided to formulate a new union body, this was called the Miners Federation of Great Britain.

It was not until 1908 that all the areas joined the M. F. G. B. making the union the most powerful voice in the Trade Union movement.

On the 1st of January 1945 with the Coal Industry moving into Nationalization, the M. F. G. B. was restructured and emerged with a new name N. U. M.

The Office in the photo below situated at Silverwood belonged to the local Lodge of the N. U. M. A place where miners could raise issues and discuss problems, every colliery had a union office.


Photo copyright and kindly contributed by Mick Carver

The old Union Office at Silverwood photo copyright and courtesy Mick Carver


Photo courtesy and copyright George Johnson

photo courtesy and copyright John Doxey



John Henry Green 1910 approx was the most popular labour leader in South Yorkshire, and was at the head of over 3000 Silverwood miners.

William . (Bill) Rollett 1930's

Fred Kelly 1950's He was in turn president, delegate and secretary of the Silverwood branch. For many years he served on the committee making both friends and enemies along the way.

Tommy D'Arcy  pre 1960 union official, and N.U.M. safety inspector.

Warneford Cawthorne pre 1953 N.U.M. rep

Fred Green 1960's Secretary

Albert Green N.U.M. during 84/85 strike

Terry Johnson pre1994 served on the N. U. M. Committee

Steve Hammill (Silverwood NUM), 1985

Granville Richardson,  union secretary at Silverwood

T. B. Hemmingway Branch President 1970's

E. Manns Branch Delegate 1970's

J. R. Moran Treasurer 1970's


If you have a memory of the Union and its Officials at Silverwood Please send them in





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