A year since the end of deep coal mining in UK and the closure of Kellingley Colliery

The shut down of Kellingley. Picture by Ian Castledine.
The shut down of Kellingley. Picture by Ian Castledine.

One year has passed since Kellingley Colliery closed down, marking the end of deep coal mining across the UK.

The pit, the largest deep mine in Europe, which at its peak employed more than 2,000 workers, shut on December 18, 2015, after 50 years of production.

During the past year, its shafts have been sealed and parts of the colliery have been demolished.

Aerial photographer Yan Lawrence has captured some of the changes on camera using drones.

The 55-year-old from Knottingley, who runs company Orbital Images, is producing a film showing how the site has altered since the mine shut.

He said: “I knew the pit when it had 3,000 people working there, and most were from the area.

“I have a lot of sadness about it closing down.

“It’s a shame to see something that was so central to our communities no longer used.

“Because I am a commercial drone operator, I’m fortunate enough to see things that other people don’t always get to.

“I wanted to capture the changing landscape and the pit being demolished from above. It’s a sad moment. The colliery has always been there and there’s going to be a big gap on the horizon.”

New owner Harworth Estates, which took over the site in March, has unveiled plans to transform the old mine into a business park. The company says it wants to regenerate the site and bring and prosperity to the mining community.

Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper said she hoped it would create “good quality, skilled jobs that the area needs”.

She said: “We still have got strong communities and I think that has been part of the coal mining tradition. People know how to get through tough times but we do need jobs and we do need investment.”