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  pg2
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By James Turner Jnr




James "Topcat " Turner was born in 1920 and came to Silverwood from Cadeby Colliery, now until James his son contacted me I could only assume that Topcat had gained his name from the 1960's T/V cartoon of that name and that he possibly held a position of authority given the nickname. Well James confirmed what I had thought and writes:-

" I believe he was called this because he was the chargehand on a coal face in the Meltonfield seam training coal face trainees, and I think he was in a development, (roadway heading) that drifted down into the Swallowwood seam.  I was only very young in the sixties unfortunately my father had an accident about 1970 following which he had to retire at the age of 50. "


Well someone definitely remembered James "Topcat" because they sent me his name around 12 months prior to young James contacting me and I have no doubt that there are quite a few more including those ex trainees who would remember him also.




Young James like many miners sons followed his father down the mine and his story has a message and once again is proof that many miners could leave the industry and find success in other fields.




"My working life started in the summer of 1977 straight from school. I ended my working life at the colliery in 1992  I was 32 years old at the time and the coalfields were in rapid decline through the Thatcher government, and the redundancy package was very good, I could see Silverwood getting the big axe so I decided to take my redundancy and hope there was something out there for me.

I was right in 1994 Silverwood shut.   But I still ask the question why shut a pit that produced well over 1 million tons of top quality power station coal and coal faces you could almost stand up on  Why Why ?????


At first I couldn't find a job that suited me it was very hard, adjusting from working down a coal mine to working on the surface or factory, so then I decided to start all over again and going back to college, I chose to study mechanical engineering, and after 3 years of hard studies I gained my qualifications in mechanical engineering. I got a job working on machines. Hey I liked working with machines, I  was enjoying it I also carried on at college doing night school to gain more qualifications all to do with what I was working with.  Now to cut a long story short I've been doing the job for over ten years now, and I really enjoy it , currently at the moment I'm in a job that I really like and I live just 2 miles from my work and for the first time since the pit I belong to a community again.

I wont ever forget my roots though and the colliery comradeship. and also that there is life after the coalfields

PS its a great site keep up the good work mate!


James Turner 2006


Many thanks James for sharing your family here.

























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