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North Yorkshire
• 1 Kellingley Colliery Closure • 2 Kellingley Colliery Gallery

Click to enlarge.

Kellingley Colliery, the last operational deep mine in the United Kingdom closed on Friday 18th December 2015.

The colliery is situated just to the east of Knottingley, between the River Aire and the Aire & Calder Navigation (Knottingley & Goole Canal).
It is in the parish of Beal, North Yorkshire (formerly in the West Riding).

(Souces: Wikipedia - Kellingley Colliery, Wikipedia - Beal. Websites accessed 28 Jan 2018.)

Click to enlarge.The last pit - closed for business, as final shift at Kellingley consigns deep coal mining to history.

Keith Poulson, branch secretary for Kellingley NUM, said the miners were angry because they believed the closure was unnecessary.

"There was a market for our coal, coal will still be burned at Drax power station for the next 10 years or more, and that's what's angering a lot of these men.

"If there was no market out there to burn our coal at power stations, they would understand it, but there is and that's ridiculous."

Prospect, the union representing managers at Kellingley, accused the Government of failing to provide enough support to help staff retrain or seek alternative employment. It said the workforce believes Kellingley has been thrown on the "industrial scrapheap" even though it still has ample reserves.

Mike Macdonald, a spokesman for the union, said: "We are proud of the hard work and engineering expertise of our members who have successfully delivered the last coal face in Britain under challenging physical and financial conditions. Everyone at Kellingley should be congratulated as they have met the managed closure plan safely."

Shaun McLoughlin, the mine manager, said it was a "sad day" and thanked the miners for their "hard work and determination" and the Board of UK Coal, which owns the colliery, described the closure as a "historic moment". It said the UK owed "a debt of immense gratitude to those who have done so much to help power this country over many decades".

Kellingley began production in 1965 and its closure completes a two-year closure plan for the Britain's deep mines, implemented by UK Coal with financial support from the Government. The company said the closures follow a long period of difficult trading conditions, largely due to low international coal prices. UK Coal will oversee the run-down of the pit before the site is redeveloped. Coal will be imported from abroad.

(Extract from the Wakefield Express (1), Friday 18 December 2015)


Yvette Cooper, MP for Pontefract and Castleford said, "Closing Kellingley will not cut Britain's carbon emissions; all it will do is make us more dependent on imported coal. We campaigned too for clean coal technology - carbon capture and storage at Drax - that could have not just supported Kellingley but security of supply here in Britain.

"It had the potential to cut carbon emissions, to be a great export all over the world, and to cut energy bills here at home, and yet the Government have pulled the plug.

"Ferrybridge is set to close in a few months time, again years before it needs to, so we will lose more skilled jobs. Experts are raising concern that that capacity has been cut so far that it is likely, in the short term, to be filled instead by smaller diesel energy plants, which are far dirtier than the big power stations that they replace."

(Extract from the Yorkshire Post (1), Friday 18th December)


Click to enlarge.Kellingley Colliery: Miners march in final farewell to last British deep coal mine

More than three thousand people united in a march to mark the closure of Kellingley Colliery's mine in North Yorkshire and the end of British deep coal mining.

Families, children and miners from around the country joined the march - which folllowed the mine's final working day on Friday - from Knottingley Town Hall in West Yorkshire to the Kellingley Miners' Welfare social club.

People lined the streets in support, cheering and applauding as the miners walked the mile-long route.
(■ Read an Extract from The Independent (2), Sunday 20th December 2015)

Click to enlarge.

[Photographs of the Knottingley March courtesy of Nick Lyons.]
For more pictures of the area, see
■ Kellingley Colliery Gallery
■ Aire & Calder Navigation (Knottingley to Stubbs Bridge)

When coal was king.Those were the days .....

After the end of the Second World War there were almost 1,000 collieries employing up to a million miners, making the industry a powerhouse and major employer in communities across Britain.

(Extract from the Wakefield Express (1), Friday 18 December 2015)


"Kellingley Colliery

Kellingley Colliery is the largest remaining deep mine in Yorkshire and began production in April 1965.

Up to 900 tonnes of coal an hour can be brought to the surface through one of two 800 metres deep shafts.

The 'Beeston' coal seam, which is currently being mined, will last until at least 2015 after which further reserves will be accessible in the 'Silkstone' coal seam.

Thoresby Colliery*

Thoresby Colliery in Nottinghamshire dates back to 1925 when two shafts were sunk 691 and 688 metres below ground to access the 'Top Hard' coal seam.

Current operations in the 'Deep Soft' coal seam are approximately 750 metres below ground and the mine's reserves are expected to last until at least 2019."

(Extract from the UK Coal website (3), Sunday 9th January 2016. Site now closed, page no longer available on 26th October 2018.)

* Thoresby closed on 10th July 2015.

Source links accessed
1. 21st December 2015.
2. 5th January 2016.
3. 9th January 2016.

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