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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"You couldn't beat us, we were Miners".

Bruce Wilson 2005

A presentation by Bruce Wilson and John Doxey

Photo copyright Bruce Wilson


Now if Mrs Thatcher visualized a defeated, broken spirited, army of miners returning to work heads bowed and humiliated she was in for a shock. The photos above and below kindly supplied by Bruce Wilson are an historic memory of the Miners still proud, arriving enforce at Silverwood, carrying their banner and telling the whole World we fought for our livelihood, our families, and our communities.  

John Doxey




As Bruce Wilson comments. "Its what we stood for and stood up to, we knew it was coming the Gauntlet was thrown down in March 84, anybody that thinks any different were kidding themselves. As I get older in years and in years to come I can rest easy, knowing I did the right thing. We faced up to the events, fought for our jobs and our communities, not just our Pit Silverwood, but for the Lads at Kilnhurst, and Manvers, and pits far away. I do not see the Strike of 84/85 as a defeat, I'm still here, to me the people who were defeated were the men who went back through them pit gates with a police escort, and their heads down, now they are the defeated ones . Against all the odds we stood and fought for 12 Months you couldn't beat us we were Miners".
An elderly  steelworker, his wife told me Watching the miners return to work on telly, "he raised his arm fist clenched, and said, Go on lads HOLD YOUR HEADS UP". he could have been a miner !. when told that, I wouldn't have swapped it for a bucket of gold

Bruce Wilson.




So who really won in the long run, and who really lost. Well Mrs Thatcher will go down in history as the most hated Prime Minister in British History, remembered for taking milk away from School Children in the 1960's, and turning England into a frightening Police State in the 1980's. The Miners will be remembered for standing up against tyranny and being proven right at the end of the day. As I wrote elsewhere on these pages, they may have lost their jobs, but unlike their opponents they did not lose their integrity. That in itself makes the miners the real winners.

John Doxey


Bruce Wilson was a miner at Silverwood who became what was known as a Flying Picket during the strike. He kept a diary of what happened during his involvement and that diary with the help of journalist Brian Elliot resulted in a book aptly titled Yorkshires Flying Pickets.  Here is the description of that book:-

Bruce Wilson's diary is an honest and action-packed account of what life was like for five young men on picket duty during the longest and most bitter industrial dispute in modern times: the 1984-85 miners' strike. Bruce and, younger brother Bob, along with mates Shaun, Darren and 'Captain' Bob crammed themselves into an old car or 'battlebus' and, despite police barriers and blockades, journeyed into Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire and elsewhere in order to express their views and support their union in a country which they thought was free. We are able to experience at first-hand and day by day events, which were often frightening, occasionally humorous but never dull; and also gain insight into major conflicts at Orgreave, Brodsworth, Rossington and Maltby as well as at locations further afield. Towards the end of the strike our flying pickets found themselves on home ground, demonstrating at Silverwood and nearby collieries, including Cortonwood where many observers consider the great strike began. Any former striking miner will find the book compulsive reading and despite the passage of twenty years the journey will seem like yesterday. But there is a great deal for us all to appreciate from this remarkably frank and moving testimony.



Quite a few miners were sacked after the strike amongst these was David Farrell, who had worked at the mine through the 1970's.


After the strike as local pits closed down Silverwood had miners who were transferred from these collieries. Mick Carter was one of these who like many of the other miners, was transferred to another pit when Cortonwood was finally closed in 1985. In an interview with The Observer newspaper he said.  'I was a marked man,' he recalls. 'I had friends in management, and the first day there one came to me and said, "Mick, watch your back, kid."' This, of course, was due to his vociferous activism during the strike, but there was another reason he 'hated every minute' of his time at Silverwood. 'In a pit village you work together, and you play together. Then we were turned into commuters, and you don't have friends, you have...' Carter's voice reaches a pitch of venom, '"work colleagues". The social cohesion was gone, there was a fragmentation, and that takes some adjusting to. Most of the lads were transferred; we were shoved around like gypsies.'






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