Kellingley Colliery to close December 18th

December 7, 2015 | Comments Off

Mining Equipment

With the loss in 2015 of Thoresby Colliery and Hatfield Colliery, the UK has been left with just one remaining pit, and before the end of the year, we are saddened to learn that Kellingley will be closing too.

UK Coal, the owners of the mine, has stated that the pit will cease operations between 11th and 18th of this month, when work on the current coalface has ceased. We have learned that the official date as given to workers at Kellingley is indeed Friday the 18th December.

It will be an unhappy Christmas for the 450 workers, who will have to look for alternate work. Many of those will have lived through the 1984 strike and the privatisation of the industry ten years later.

A march through the streets of Kellingley is planned for Saturday 19th December. The mining community, whilst not the powerhouse it once was, is still a close knit family unit and they “will not go down without a fight”, says NUM branch manager Keith Poulson.

Labour MP for Pontefract and Castleford, Yvette Cooper, believes there is a further risk to those who will lose their jobs. She believes that UK Coal do not have the funds to pay the correct redundancy package to each of the remaining workers at Kellingley.

“We need a guarantee from the government, UK Coal and its administrators that the miners who kept Kellingley and UK Coal alive for so long will get a proper redundancy deal – it is the least they deserve.”

Kellingley, affectionately known as the “Big K”, once could boast being the European Champions of mining. However in just a few days time, the former heavyweights of the coal mining world will be no more. For those apprentices taken on as recently as January 2014, to those who have worked underground for their whole careers and for everyone with an interest in mining in-between, closing The Big K is going to be a very, very, sad day.