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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Silverwood Brass Band

Now disbanded


Photo courtesy of Nadia Simpson ne Kelly




Photo courtesy of Nadia Simpson nee Kelly

Brass Bands were formed in many Mining communities during the 19th and 20th centuries in the North of England, and Yorkshire was the home of some of the best Bands in the World. The most famous of these Bands was the multi award winning Brighouse and Rastrick  formed in 1910 who are still performing today [  2004 ]

Silverwood Band was formed in 1909 and from that time established themselves as one of the local star attractions. In the first half of the 20th century parades were a great means of entertainment, and Bands were a major part of any parade. Lets face it who can resist the stirring sight of uniformed men in a Brass Band marching proudly playing marching tunes. Often these Bands would be found in local town Parks in the then popular Bandstands, and they would play all day, entertaining the crowds and raising money to support the Band. On remembrance day the Silverwood Band would march up Whinney Hill, along Hollings Lane, and make their way to the cenotaph situated in the small wood at the top side of Milburn House. The Villagers would turn out to pay their respects to the soldiers who had died in the two World Wars, and march with the Band. Others would stand at the roadside and watch the march go by.
Silverwood Band went to Amersfoort, in Holland and played there, the photo above was taken of perhaps the most remembered member of the Band Fred Kelly, on one of these visits. As you can see the people of Amersfoort in 1963 turned out just like the British to watch the Band march by. George Baker
  trombone player went with the band a couple of times to Amersfoort and made friends with the family with whom he stayed. I think that they were called de Groote !

Amersfoort  is at this moment in time the 17th largest City in Holland, and has a very interesting musical heritage. It was also the site of one of four Nazi Concentration Camps in Holland.
Now it was great to watch the Band leader up in front twirling his staff, throwing it in the air, and catching it, and it was great to see the rest of the Band marching in step blowing their instruments, but for most of us it was the man at the rear we loved to watch. The big bass drum hanging of his neck, head held high, keeping an eye on the men in front, and twirling the drumsticks between  the hits of the Drum, and what a sound that drum would make.

As you can see the man who played the bass drum did not wear a hat, if he did, he would inevitably knock it off, so a non Band member would be assigned to carry his hat for him. Raye Kelly son of Fred was often given this job and recalls "My father Fred Kelly played the big drum in Silverwood pit band, my job was to march alongside wearing his hat and hope I didn't cop for a thump with the drum sticks as he flailed away without mercy once again. "


Fred Hartle recalls the band had a nickname they were known as the BBC (Beer, bacca and cigaretttes!)


Robert Green ex band member states : "I can assure you that practicing in the Welfare Club on Sunday's was a drinking, smoking, swearing, shouting. arguing practice as well"..

Margaret Macia (nee Baker)

Dear John, I have just logged on to your excellent site about the Silverwood Band. I can´t begin to tell you how many memories it has churned up for me.
My grandDad, George Baker played trombone in the band and many´s the time that I went down to the Miners Welfare for practice sessions. He took a great interest in the young people that aspired to play in the band and gave up a lot of his time teaching trumpet, cornet and trombone. I also remember Reg Gray who was the conductor. I think that he lived on Far Lane at that time.

Perhaps the greatest moment in the Bands history is when they performed at the Royal Albert Hall as finalist in a national competition, under the leadership of Reginald Gray.




On Saturday,  March 15, 1947 Silverwood Colliery entered the Yorkshire Region Fourth  Section

Silverwood Colliery on Saturday, April 23rd, 1949 Led by R.. Gray gained fourth place Fourth Section

Saturday, May 6th 1950 Silverwood Colliery led by R. Gray entered the  Fourth Section
Saturday, April 18th 1953 Silverwood Colliery led by R. Gray entered the Third Section
Saturday, April 10th 1954 Silverwood Colliery led by H. Mileman entered the Third Section
On Saturday, April 23rd 1955  Silverwood Colliery lead by G. Sykes entered the Yorkshire Region Third Section
Saturday, March 10th 1956 Silverwood Colliery led by A. Barlow entered the Third Section
Saturday, April 6th 1957 Silverwood Colliery led by A. Barlow gained third place in the Third Section
Saturday, March 17th, 1962 Silverwood Colliery led by G. Hespe entered the second section
Saturday, March 23rd 1963 had become Silverwood Colliery Welfare Band led by E. Foster  and entered the Third Section


Sources :


John Doxey

Nadia Simpson

Raye Kelly

Ann Cassidy

Peter Lawery

Fred Hartle

Mary [ Daughter of Reginald Gray ]

Bob (Robert) Green

Margaret Macia (nee Baker)

Mike Longden



Fred Kelly

Reginald Gray

R & F Green

George Baker

Mike Longden

Brass Band

Brass Band 2

Brass Band Drawing


IBEW Logo For everything you wanted to know about Brass Bands past and present. Click on the logo left and visit the complete information resource for brass bands world-wide.
All entries completely free, including events diary, vacancies and mini web pages




Graphic copyright Dinnington Colliery BandThough Dinnington Main no longer exist the memory of the mine is still there in the form of the award winning Dinnington Colliery Brass Band. Click on the link below to visit their site








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