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
Ralph Law  pg2
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There is one thing made more and more apparent as this site progresses and that is the pride that children and grandchildren have regarding their fathers and grandfathers who worked at Silverwood. Young Joseph John Law age 8 pictured left with his Dad and Granddad is one such grandchild, who was so full of pride upon seeing the previous page regarding his Granddad he had tears of joy in his eyes. No doubt he will be telling everyone with great pride " My Granddad's life story is on the internet."

Well Joseph with the help of your Mother's wonderful story below, we have a second page on the life of your Granddad, and be aware that this second page is not just a further tribute to Ralph , it is also a page for you. The reason for this, is that you represent what the men of Silverwood all wish for, and that is to be simply remembered with pride by future generations.

So now you can go to School and say " Hey! I'm on the internet with my Granddad " with great pride, and as proud as you are,  I'll bet your Granddad is just as  proud of you young fella !







The photo above represents three generations Ralph Law, John Law, and Joseph Law. There is however one grandchild missing from the above photo and that is Joshua Law who is pictured below. Joshua was sadly born with heart defects and despite the efforts made by Birmingham Hospital he lived just twelve weeks.

You can read Joshua's story by following the link below, it is an heartbreaking story in which you will learn of the courage shown by Joshua's parents. Since their sad loss John and Janet have established "The Joshua Law Birmingham Children's Hospital Appeal Fund " to which all donations are gratefully accepted.

Visit the Joshua Law and Birmingham Children's Hospital Link  here


The Joshua Law Birmingham Childrens Hospital Appeal Fund


John Doxey 2006





Written by Janet Law  1991.



At the age of seventy one Ralph still has his youth reflecting in his appearance and fitness and would put many a young person to shame,

         Physically Ralph is a tall person and very slim in build. I would say he weighs around twelve stones. He has a very smooth complexion and rosy cheeks with only the odd wrinkle on this brow. The main feature Ralph has are his eyes. Even though he wears spectacles these emphasise his soft brown eyes and dark fine eyebrows which entrance you. He has a medium size nose and flat ears. Having once had dark brown hair, it is now turning a lovely silvery grey . Large sinewy hands were once the tools of his trade. Ralph has a strong constitution and is always clean. Actually he always looks very smart whether he is in the house or doing the shopping.

           Ralph was born in Cambridgeshire and moved to Pinch Mill Morthen which was then the West Riding of Yorkshire with his parents and elder brother Jack. He was three years old .They lived in a cottage temporarily for one year and then moved to Morthen Village and lived in a Farm Labourers cottage.

             The cottage was made of stone and had two rooms downstairs and two up with an attic which made the third bedroom. There was no gas, electricity or water laid on .As regards to water there was a well in the garden and a spring in the nearby field. During the winter months water was brought from the farm house where his father was in charge of the horses. Oil and candles provided light and the source of heat came from an old cast iron Yorkshire range which also had a built in oven for cooking .This was fuelled by coal but mostly wood .In this cottage two younger brothers were born Victor and Harry. The family were not well off, but Ralph would not say they were poor because he had a pair of boots .His father put studs in the soles to make them last longer. The family were self sufficient .Ralph’s mother worked very hard making wine, bottled fruit, bread and other things which were preserved for the winter months.

                The summer months were usually spent, helping on the farm feeding the pigs, chickens, turnip chopping and getting in the harvest. At the same time the family also had their own livestock to look after. The long winter nights were spent around the fire and the family would sit in the Oil light drawing and writing or pegging rugs alongside their mother.

                  One nasty incident Ralph will never forget occurred with a hand operated turnip slicer. He turned the handle not knowing that his younger brother Harry had put his finger in the cogs at the other side whereby he lost his finger end. Harry was taken to the Hospital at Rotherham, by Pony and Trap. There were no other means of transport .As poor as they were, they made their own toys out of anything that was available.

                  Ralph started school at five years old .He could already read and write this was thanks to his mother. There was a four mile walk to the nearest school, which was Wickersley National School. Ralph walked every day alongside  brother Jack and was commended by the headmaster for regular attendance . During the winter months when the snow fell his mother would say “Walk in the cart tracks and you won’t get snow in your boots” and don’t be late home as there will be sticks to chop, coal buckets to fill ,pigs and poultry to feed.

                   In 1933 Ralph’s father passed away due to being affected in the 1914 –1918 first world war by the German Chemical Warfare. Eventually his mother re-married ,and moved to Bramley.

                Ralph left school at the age of 14. The year was 1935 and the country was in a deep recession. Work was very hard to find. By word of mouth, Ralph got employment at the Maltby Brick Yard. He earned himself 10 shillings for a 44 hour week. After two months he moved to Silverwood Colliery taking up the position of Apprentice Blacksmith, which paid him 15 shillings and 3d . There were no annual holidays, Ralph worked very hard and took a lot of pride in what he did. The foreman was very strict and drilled in the saying that if a job is  worth doing it is worth doing well . Ralph never had a days absence from the pit, except for the 1972 and 1974 strikes.

                  Ralph was married in 1948 at Maltby Parish Church and his son John was born in 1960. John had a good upbringing. He was taken everywhere by his father. Ralph loved his family very dearly and spent hours building models and playing games, so that John would not be lonely being an only child. He had a lot of love and attention.

                   Ralph retired early from the pit at the age of sixty. He then turned his hand to the housework and he looked after his wife's parents for a long time even though he had to walk up to Maltby as he lived on the outskirts. At the age of Sixty Seven Ralph was in hospital for the first time in his life . He had a Hip Replacement due to wear and tear. This was successful and he is now very sprightly. A lot of time is spent at home as his wife is partially disabled due to Rheumatoid Arthritis. Ralph likes to go Ballroom Dancing, but sadly this pastime has ceased . He likes the odd drink and can captivate you with his humour. He is the backbone of the family doing every household chore even the weekly shopping .

                     Ralph’s mother died at the age of Eighty Three and it is thanks to her  influence he would agree which has made him the person he is today.


 ©Janet Law  1991.


Ralph Law pg 1





Special thanks to Janet Law, John Law, and Joseph John Law.

Anyone who would like to add a memory of Ralph, or simply wish him well, he can be contacted at



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