|This article does not cite any references or sources. (December 2006)|
New Silksworth is a former coal mining village in Sunderland, formerly located between the villages of Tunstall, and Silksworth. The former colliery being situated to the north west of the village near to the Gilley Law
Silksworth a brief history: New Silksworth is a former colliery village with a 100 year coal mining heritage. In 1871, according to the Census there were approx 400 people living in the Silksworth and Tunstall areas, the local area was mainly farmland and most people worked on the land. Then to exploit the rich coal reserves in the area the Silksworth Colliery shaft was sunk in 1869 funded by Lord Londonderry. Ten years later in 1879 the local population had risen to 4707 for the Silksworth and Tunstall areas. The increase in population was mainly due to the migration of people to the area seeking work at the new Silksworth colliery. According to the census returns the miners came from Ireland, Scotland, Cornwell and even from the United States and Germany. The miners and their families had moved to the colliery areas seeking employment and also colliery housing was provided for the miners by the mine owner Lord Londonderry. The miners life was not an easy one, working conditions underground were very dangerous and the work very arduous. When Silksworth Colliery eventually closed in 1971 it was a massive blow to the local community as many of the local people and businesses relied on the colliery for their livelihood. Just about all remnants of the former Silksworth colliery have now gone and the former mine site has since been converted into Silksworth Sports Complex. Facilities at the sports complex include:
- Silksworth Ski Slope the North East of England's largest artificial ski slope and activity centre.
- Recreational boating lake near Gilley Law which is home to a variety of water fowl birds, ducks, swans and also near the boating lake is a freshwater fishing lake.
- Silksworth Community Swimming Pool, Tennis and Wellness Centre formally The Puma Centre including a new kid's Outdoor Adventure Play Area which is a great facility for kids and toddlers with swings, zip wire, climbing frames, slides, sand pit and pic nic area etc.
- Athletics Running track
- All weather floodlit football pitches
- Skateboard park (Near the Ski slope)
- Joe Clennell - former professional footballer
- Bobby Gurney - Sunderland A.F.C record goalscorer
- Richie Taylor - Sunderland A.F.C SAFC 1968-1972, Winger; later played for York City
- Billy Taylor - Silksworth Pit just one of many miners who spent a lifetime in Silksworth working at the pit.