1900 - 1994
Dedicated to the Miners of Silverwood
History of the Mine
SIMPLY THE BEST
South Yorkshire England
Webmaster John Doxey
Main Photos Jonathan Dabs.
Additional content Mick Carver
|Legends and tales from the Mine|
|Tales from the Mine|
|Tales from the Mine 2|
|Tales from the Mine 3|
|Tales from the Mine 3a|
|Tales from the Mine 7|
|TALES FROM OTHER MINES|
|INFO ON MINING|
|Coal Hard Facts|
|The making of the Mine|
|History of the Mine|
|Listing of Miners|
|Where the Miners of Silverwood came from|
|Origins of Miners|
|Work and Leisure|
|Biographies and Tributes|
Facts, Stories and Features
|For Your Use|
TALES FROM THE MINE pg 3
Author Bruce Wilson
"When I used to work with old miners down "pit I would listen intently and even prompt them for more".
From the diary of Bruce Wilson the following tales are recollections of the authors time at Silverwood, the tales are a mixture of personal events and stories related to Bruce. In with the tales are some first hand descriptions of the mine workings, and a fascinating glimpse into the history of Silverwood. So read on, explore the mine and meet some of the miners.
Please note that the tales from the mine pages are linked at the foot of each page.
NEWSPAPERS AND PONY STABLES.
A favourite time for me was Sunday night, when the district deputy used to go up on his walks round the old egress, to open the district up and going the egress way [ emergency escape route] He'd take me and we would go exploring, the deputy putting his initials and date on an old pit prop or roof support with his bit of chalk. Some of the old faces and roadways dated from when the pit first started coaling around 1910. They were just as the men left them all those years ago. Mine cars, props left in the side, then you'd come to an old face, 3ft high, you could look down it, all wood apart from the steel bars set on top of the wooden props to support the roof.
TRAPPED IN TIME
I'd pick a bit of somebodys thrown away paper in the dust on the floor, a newspaper from 1928, or even 1906.
We came across an old stable again trapped in time, a time warp, the stables walls and floors immaculately clean. The miniature stables for the pit ponies, harnesses, all the tack needed. Their names painted meticulously on a piece of wood above their stable on the wall. All the stables whitewashed as if everything just waiting for their return at the end of their shift.
We'd move and see mens names in what was then fresh concrete with their fingers, " J.D. 1938"
Then you'd come to the deputies desk complete with contents, old paperwork etc. and above it a very old magneto telephone. The ones you see in 1930's films, wind the handle up, pick the piece up and put it to your ear, and talk into the telephone.
We'd come out at some stoppings at the end of Braithwell 2 district, in the 1960's a lot of men were killed in a paddy mail accident. Just behind these stoppings was the scene, a passbye, the paddy mail could'nt get in it off the main rail in time. A loco train came down behind them carrying supplies, steel girder etc. it slammed into the men on the paddy.
The district was sealed off, it was said if the men ever saw what state those Wickham manriding cars were in, they'd never ride them again. They were just flimsy mail cars made out of angle iron, no weight to them, if they came off the rails 2 or 3 men could lift them back on again.
The pit bottom loco guard he was the mail guard that fateful morning, he heard the runaway loco coming, knew he couldn't escape. So he jumped off the paddy mail, he was only a little bloke and he got in a gap between the airpipe and the roadway wall. The airpipe was large maybe 6 or 8 ft in diameter and ran all the way down Bth 2 to the old workings, that gap and quick thinking saved Georges life.
One night making out way out of the pit, me, Tommy Bartholomew and half a dozen other men and officials got on the chair to go out. We were about half way up the shaft when the winder decided to check the brakes on the winding gear, he didn't know we were on the chair.
I heard grown men scream for their Mothers that night, Silverwood shaft must have been half a mile deep. The rope connected to the chair was made so it was like a giant elastic rubber band.
Well the brakes came on, I was holding the hand rail in the chair, up and down we went. My knees literally coming up to my chin, I thought I was going to break my own jaw!
There were men on the floor with no control of their movements whatsoever ! There was a gap of 18" from the bottom of the chair safety net to the chair floor, I was surprised no one was sent rolling towards it and down the shaft.
It lasted for a few minutes but seemed a lifetime, it wasn't funny at the time, but after the best ride in the World, better than any at Blackpool.
I think one man hurt his back, another stepped on the pit top, wouldn't ride the pit shaft no more.
For a while after men would get on the chair and tell the Onsetter to tell the Winder
" There's men on here"
Copyright Bruce Wilson
Tales from the Mine Page 1 Bruce Wilson
Tales from the Mine Page 2 Bruce Wilson
Tales from the Mine Page 3 Bruce Wilson
Tales from the Mine Page 3a Bruce Wilson
Tales from the Mine Page 4 Fred Spencer
Tales from the Mine Page 5 John Doxey
Tales from the Mine Page 7 Geoff Walker
Many thanks to Bruce Wilson for his contributions to this site
Other pages and stories by Bruce
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