Silverwood Logo by John Doxey background photo Mick Carver1900 - 1994

Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood

History of the Mine

SIMPLY THE BEST

Silverwood Mine

Hollings Lane

Thrybergh

South Yorkshire England

Webmaster John Doxey

Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.

Additional content Mick Carver

 
Home Page
 
Site Guide
INDIVIDUALS
William Hill
James William Hill
Fred Hartle
Hartle Family
Reginald Gray
Fred Spencer
Medical Team
Fred Kelly
Frederick Kelly Snr.
Warneford Cawthorne
Alfred Blyton
William "Bill" Marshall
Stephen Marshall
William Hitchen
Peter O'Brien
Bruce Wilson
Dave Vicars
R & F Green
Dean Clement
George Clement
James Slater
William Birch
Billy Mills
Larrett Roebuck
Jeff Lovell
The Barlow Family
Ralph Law
Ralph Law  pg2
George Baker
Frank Brown
James Browne
The Doxey Brothers
The Rogers Brothers
James "T. C."Turner and Son
Frank Jones
Keith B. Scholey
Ian "Bidder" Evers
Stan Etchells
Stan Crowther
Newey's of Silverwood
Alexander Dutton
Paddy Burke
Robert Pepper
James Dabbs
Benjamin Bennett
Dave Edwards
The Lawrence Family
William Lawrence
George Mosley
Albert Illsley
William Peers
Walter Ackroyd
Churm Family
George Wilshaw
The Coggins Family
The making of the Mine
History of the Mine
Listing of Miners
The Colliers
Where the Miners of Silverwood came from
Origins of Miners
Work and Leisure
Working Life
Biographies and Tributes
Individuals

Facts, Stories and Features

Interesting facts
Legends from the Mine
Tales from the Mine
For Researchers
Mining Information
For Your Use
Students Page
Guest Book
Messages
Local Villages
Thrybergh
Ravenfield
Dalton

STAN CROWTHER

A tribute by John Doxey

 

FOREWORD

  Stan Crowther  was never a miner, and yet when you read the words to his song "The Silverwood Disaster" it becomes apparent that he understands better than most non miners what being a miner was all about.

In March 2007 I received a very nice email from a lady named Sheila Cameron who works with Stan on the Rotherham Civic Society, inviting me to participate in a project named " Our Heritage in Stones" to be displayed on a stand at Rotherham Heritage Fair on the 19th May 2007.   One aspect of this will be disasters, planning to include the Silverwood disaster of 1966.

 

Sheila informed me, "At that time our Chairman, Stan Crowther, was working as a freelance journalist and was also a folk singer and song writer.  He wrote a song about the disaster, which affected him deeply.  It was widely sung around the folk clubs and we are hoping to play this as part of our exhibition. "

Emails were exchanged and one night I received a phone call from Sheila and Stan.

Now I have never met Stan or Sheila but they both have a wonderful gift and that is to instantly put you at ease, and within seconds we were talking as though we had known each other for years. I soon realized Stan had a great sense of humour, and also that despite a very much acclaimed public life, he is as much down to earth as you would expect a Yorkshire man to be.

 

 So I Googled our Stan that night and came up with a variety of information about the man known as "Mr. Rotherham"


 

THE JOURNALIST

In 1925 Stan Crowther was born in Rotherham, and still lives there today [ 2007 ] . Whilst in the forces he served in the Royal Signals, and upon returning to civvy street became a journalist, which was to be his profession for some 30 years. His reporting skills extended into the Yorkshire region and also to a national level.  This enabled Stan to become socially aware of the needs of the local populace as a local journalist covering local events that were often tragic like the 1966 Silverwood disaster, in contrast he would often cover events that were a great insight into the light hearted side of  life in the local communities, giving him a sound foundation for his political career.

 

THE MUSIC MAN

In 1956 he was like most people at the time caught up in the British skiffle era, influenced by the likes of Lonnie Donnegan, The Vipers Skiffle group, Nancy Whiskey, and others. This led to Stan's introduction as a local entertainer, forming the Sundowners Skiffle Group  with local lads Frank Hedge, Barry Morton, Dirk Eaton and Allan Smith. The group became very popular locally and our Stan emerged as a vocalist of some renown, and it his said that he did a marvellous version of the Merle Travis classic "Dark as a Dungeon" which is a coal mining song.  Stan over the following years was also to become a composer of songs, these songs revealing the mischievous nature of his humour, as well as the serious side found in the "Silverwood Disaster".

Around 1979 Mike Harding aka "The Rochdale Cowboy" and ' Mrs. Harding's Kid" recorded one of Stan's songs which was titled "The Hole in the Elephant's Bottom" now if that title has you chuckling what about one of Stan's other well known compositions "The Vicar and The Frog". Now trust me on this but the end line of the latter title is a belly shaker.
 

 

In 1997 Sheffield celebrated the seven hundredth anniversary of cutlery making in the City. The club decided to mark the occasion by making a film, to be called "Seven Hundred Years". The film was introduced by Stan Crowther, the former MP and Mayor of Rotherham and an accomplished entertainer. He recorded the commentary and even sang a song about one of the industry's young victims. 

 

THE UNION MAN

 

A dedicated trade unionist, he is a life member of the National Union of Journalists, holds the silver medal of the Transport and General Workers’ Union and was presented with the Iron and Steel Trades Confederation’s shield ‘in the appreciation of his meritorious service to the steel industry and the ISTC.’

 

THE POLITICIAN

 


He served on the Borough Council for 16 years, was twice elected Mayor and spent twelve years as chairman of the Council’s planning and development committee, presiding over major redevelopment schemes and huge housing programme. until he was elected MP for the town in 1976.
In Parliament, he was appointed Parliamentary Private Secretary to Harold Walker, the Minister of State for Employment, became chairman of the Yorkshire Group of Labour MPs and gained a reputation as a specialist in the affairs of the steel industry. From 1979, he was a member of the Trade and Industry select committee where he was well known as an incisive questioner of reluctant witnesses through many inquiries, culminating in the investigation into the Iraq “supergun” affair.
 

When the anti smoking brigade raised their arguments in Parliament, Stan joined in the debate and took the brigade on regarding some of the facts they used to prove their point. He researched the same medical findings that the brigade quoted and discovered that the actual results differed from those quoted, in particular regarding passive smoking. The actual finding was that a passive smoker would have to remain in a room with a smoker for a non stop period of 450 hours to inhale the equivalent of one cigarette, a figure far in excess of that quoted by the anti smoking brigade.

 

In 1992 Stan retired as Rotherham M. P.  and James Boyce took over the role. This is what James said in Parliament.


Mr. James Boyce (Rotherham) :
May I now pay my respects to my predecessor, Stan Crowther, who was a much admired and respected Member of Parliament, both in the House and in his constituency, which he served for the best part of 16 years. Stan Crowther was a man of many parts. Not many people know that he was the only person to hold the position of mayor of Rotherham on two separate occasions. That is unique. I hope that I have not ruined too many pub quizzes by revealing that fact to the House.

Stan Crowther's work with the Select Committee on Trade and Industry also earned him the respect of the House. During the time that he served on the Committee, it became a labour of love to Stan. He is also much respected by the steelworkers, for whom he did a great deal of work in the Rotherham area. I am sure that the House would wish to join me in wishing Stan and his wife Margaret a long and happy retirement.

 

 

 

THE AUTHOR


 "One Thing After Another "

Stan Crowther

One Thing After Another is a fascinating series of glimpses into the multi-faceted life of a man who, through decades of service to his home town, became known as ‘Mr Rotherham’. It traces Stan Crowther’s early family life, his schooldays and his wartime memories.
It tells of his 25 years as a folk club singer/songwriter, overlapping his 16 years as a member of the local authority including two terms as mayor before his election to Parliament in 1976.

The book deals with the work of the Trade and Industry select committee as Governments increasingly sought to reduce the investigative powers of the Chamber. It also shines a light on some dark corners and explains, for example, why the Callahan Government was defeated by one vote after the “confidence” debate in 1979, why Denis Healey’s bid for the Labour Party leadership failed, how the trap was set for Arthur Scargill in 1984 and how Betty Boothroyd was able to leapfrog into the Speaker’s chair in 1992. 

 

STAN TODAY

 

Stan Crowther was Rotherham’s MP from 1976 to 1992 and the town’s Mayor in 1971/72 and also 1975/76. Mr Crowther is now chair of the Rotherham Civic Society, who are also working in partnership with the Borough Council to restore Boston Castle.


information@rotherhamcivicsociety.org 
http://www.rotherhamcivicsociety.org/index.htm

 

 

Researched from various sources on the web by John Doxey.


 

 

 

Many thanks Stan for contributing your song "The Silverwood Disaster to this site.

John Doxey


 

 

 

 

Top of Page

Email John Doxey

Click here to sign in and leave your comments 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 corrected.
All text and pages as formatted and presented on this site Copyright John Doxey, and may not be reproduced without consent
Photos, and information Copyright to Primary Sources where applicable

Site URL.L. http://johndoxey.100freemb.com/Silverwood/index.htm