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
|Working Life 2|
|Working Life 3|
|The making of the Mine|
|History of the Mine|
|Listing of Miners|
|Where the Miners of Silverwood came from|
|Origins of Miners|
|Biographies and Tributes|
Facts, Stories and Features
|Legends from the Mine|
|Tales from the Mine|
|For Your Use|
The Miners Working Life pg 1
Sanitary conditions down the mines would not have been the best to say the least and we will leave that to your imagination. Other than the sanitary point of view there was the health hazard of working in a dusty and gaseous atmosphere. Extractor fans were to be introduced later. So apart from the time spent in the army during the later months of the first World War, and the final two years of his working life, my father spent the remainder of his working life on the coal face as a coal hewer.
Food was carried in a metal snap tin, pictured left an oblong shape box, square at one end and rounded at the opposite end. A handle was fixed on the square end. Water was carried in a metal round container named a Dudley. Metal was used as a defence against vermin that found their way underground. Many Miners would take simple sandwiches for their lunch, bread and dripping being one of the most popular in the early half of the 1900's.
[ Photos like the one on the left from Caphouse museum can be viewed here http://www.wwmm.org/index.asp ]
ODE TO BREAD N DRIPPING
By John Doxey
What's tha got fa thi snap today then,
Bread n dripping, how can tha eat that,
Al tell thi young un n then tha'll know,
What's so special baht this bread n fat,
When families wa poor n eat what they could,
Nothing was wasted like they do today,
Bread n dripping wi a bit a salt,
Kept a family fed wiaght aving ta pay,
So juices from 't' meat are left to set,
Brown on't' bottom white on 't' top,
Dun't look much al gi thi that,
But it taste better than owt from 't'shop.
Nah tha mignt scoff n ave a laugh,
Baht what I'm aving on me bread,
But if tha thinks what thas got is better,
Then tha not reight int head,
While tha eatin' thi processed meat,
Wi no goodness or taste that I know on,
Am eatin' a Sunday Roast on bread,
Nah tha can't beat that, can tha owd son.
©opyright John Doxey
Comment from Mick Carver
When I was an apprentice near Holmes my job every day was to go to the local butchers for the dripping breadcakes, some of the men wanted dripping with jelly others without and I would get a clip from them if I got the orders wrong . As my grandma once said when I once mentioned cholesterol Cholesterol !! we couldn’t afford that in our days.
At Silverwood the first bath house was installed around 1939, prior to that the miners went home exactly as they emerged from the depths, as Johnny Cash wrote in a prelude to a Merle Travis song " Nothing clean but the whites of his eyes"
Most of the houses back then did not have a bath as we know today, and so water was boiled, and an old tin bath was used, usually placed in front of the fireplace. So the miner would sit in his bath enjoying the warmth of a fire, whilst probably having a cuppa' .
It is worth noting that in the early part of the last
century [20th] that a lot of Miners had very little other clothing than the
clothes they went to work in. Gradually as their lot improved some of them
became very snappy dressers in their leisure time.
Fred also recalls,
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