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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The Shaft is Sunk

Dalton Mining Co

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1913 Accident






War Years at the Mine


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War Memorial of 1923


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1947 Accident


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1966 Disaster

The Silverwood Disaster song


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Journey to the Face


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1984 Strike

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One Million Tonnes

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Silverwood Closure

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Final Years Photos

Stuart Tomlins Collection

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Stuart Tomlins Collection 3

Sunset on Silverwood

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Silverwood 2007

Listing of Miners

The Colliers

Where the Miners of Silverwood came from

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Silverwood photo courtesy of Jonathan Dabs

As the Silverwood miners were gradually made redundant towards the closure of the mine, they were faced with gaining employment in the worst employment location in Europe, South Yorkshire! With employment figures double that of the English National average Rotherham South Yorkshire was the least likely place to gain employment, and even harder when you are a miner with no training in other fields. The fate of many of the miners is varied, but many of them with great determination that is typical of their breed accepted the daunting challenge, and despite the many obstacles succeeded in a new life with a new job.

Around 1987 there was a jobseekers bill  which was supposed to help people like the miners gain employment, however like many similar schemes they sounded good on paper , but in practice often fell short of the original intention. The scheme was outlined as below.








That, for the purposes of any Act resulting from the Jobseekers Bill it is expedient to authorise--

(1) the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any sums required by the Secretary of State--

(a) for making payments by way of the jobseeker's allowance and the back to work bonus;

(b) for making grants in connection with resettlement places;

(c) in respect of any other expenditure incurred by him under or by virtue of the Act;

(2) the payment out of money provided by Parliament of any increase attributable to the Act in the sums payable under any other Act out of money so provided; and

(3) the payment into the Consolidated Fund of--

(a) sums estimated by the Secretary of State to balance payments made by him by way of contribution-based jobseeker's allowance;

(b) sums estimated by the Secretary of State to balance sums recovered by him in connection with payments made by way of income-based jobseeker's allowance.

c) sums recovered by the Secretary of State by way of repayment of grants for resettlement places


Michael Pitson


It didn't take long before Rother Valley M. P. Mr. Kevin Barron raised a local case involving Mr. Michael Pitson an ex Silverwood Miner 26 years old who had gained himself a three year course as a nurse in the mental health field.  Michael sat for an entrance examination in December of 1992, passing the exam which would lead to a Higher National Diploma in nursing. Now reading Kevin Barron's presentation of Michaels case in Parliament, you instantly gain a lot of respect for Kevin and Michael, for both the presentation and learning of Michaels determination in obtaining work in his chosen field.

Now Michael after making a lot of applications gained entry with the Humberside college of health and with that decided to find living accommodation for himself and his family of three in the Humberside area..

That's when his problems really began, He firstly applied for a council house in Hull but was informed because his status was that of a student he was ineligible to apply! He then tried Grimsby, Holderness, and Beverly, with no success. He then tried renting through an Estate Agent who said yes they could rent him a Property but required one Months rent in advance, Michael did not have the funds to do this.

So here we had a man who had gained employment, found himself a future, but could not find help from the jobseekers bill, or Local authorities. All he asked for was just under 400.00 to establish his family in a new area so that he could pursue his new career.

Kevin Barron's presentation of Michaels plight received what can only be described as weak excuses as to why Michael did not find the small amount of Government aid forthcoming.

However amongst the excuses was this face saver from the Government " I am happy to be able to tell the House that it looks as though a loan will be made from an access fund by the regional health authority, which will meet the initial housing cost that Mr. Pitson needs."

I do not know the final outcome of Michael plight and can only hope that he did find a solution which enabled him to study as a Nurse.

Michael lived at Maltby and if anyone can inform me as to the final outcome I would be very appreciative.

John Doxey.


David Jones

Jard Products

One of the great success stories has to be that of David Jones who was made redundant at Silverwood in 1987, who is, or was featured at the National Coal Mining Museum in Wakefield, South Yorkshire.

David found himself becoming a business man as a result of helping his wife remember parts of the highway code, he made cardboard cut outs that could be inserted into the booklet, with pop out answers. Discovering that there was nothing of great help in the bookshops regarding the highway code, he set to work funded by his redundancy payment and produced a package that could be marketed. The package was taken on board by an educational company and it wasn't long before local schools started using the packages for cycling proficiency tests. The package was so popular that schools started ordering the packages direct, leaving David without the need of a middleman to sell his product. Learning that schools were also interested in other educational items like classroom furniture and jigsaws, and various other items.

Before to long after using several workshops provided by British Coal Enterprises he realised that he needed his own factory, and was employing nine people in production.

Acquiring a partner in Barry Hooper, a business consultant, David found the business expanding and soon his equipment was being sold overseas.

David is quoted as saying "I miss the comradeship of the pits," but wished he had started in business a lot earlier in his life. At 51 years old at the time we can imagine the courage of David in stepping into the world of business, a world far removed from that of a miner.

One thing is certain and that is that no matter what age you are success can be achieved, as in David's case a simple idea, a lot of courage, and grasping at an opportunity can with a lot of work and determination give you that success.


Dean Clement.

Dean is another success story, an ex pit deputy at Silverwood he now  owns a costcutter store in a village called Shafton which is in Barnsley.


Nigel Walker

Nigels story is a little different than those above in that he became a contractor after the closure of the mine involved in the dismantling and demolition, he had worked at Silverwood from 1978-1995 during which time he was a was a ropeman, then onsetter, and a faceworker.  Whilst working on the closure of the mine Nigel must have done this job with mixed emotions, his father Stan Walker was a deputy for 30 years down Silverwood, and his father in-law is Fred Powell also a deputy who is featured in the photo on the home page of this site, and also on the full photo with Billy Frith and Prince Phillip.


Of course not all ex miners shared the fortunes of the men above, but I am sure like us all they would be proud that some of the lads at least went on to succeed in a new life.

John Doxey




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