Advertisement

  1. ITV Report

Thousands of miners march in solidarity after final pit closure

Thousands march the day after Kellingley Colliery closed marking the end of an era for the coal industry. Credit: PA

Thousands of miners and their families marched in solidarity after the closure of Britain's last deep coal pit, marking the end of a once-mighty industry.

The day after the final shifts at Kellingley Colliery in North Yorkshire, people lined the streets of nearby Knottingley in West Yorkshire to watch as pitmen walked the mile-long route from the town hall to a miners' social club.

The crowds cheered and applauded as the procession, led by Knottingley Silver Band and someone dressed as the Grim Reaper, passed by.

The march was organised by Lisa Cheney and Kirsten Sinclair, whose partners worked at Kellingley.

Mrs Cheney, 33, said: "I'm upset, really, that it's come to this and there's nothing we could have done to keep the mining industry in this country. "It will have a massive impact on the community. Everyone will be affected."

Ms Sinclair, 48, said: "Both our partners are miners and it's really important that it was marked."

Nothing had been arranged for them and we just felt that this couldn't happen, they couldn't just go. This had to be marked and the guys needed to have some love and affection shown to them for everything that they do.

– Kirsten Sinclair, co-organiser of the march
Miners ending their last shift at Kellingley Colliery on Friday. Credit: PA

Most people attending the rally, including dogs and children, wore yellow NUM stickers with the slogan "Coal not dole" and carried flags.

Many miners had travelled to take part in the march and some carried banners.

Labour MP Yvette Cooper, whose Normanton, Pontefract and Castleford constituency is close to the colliery, took part in the march, along with Anne Scargill, the wife of former NUM leader Arthur.

Former miner Mick Woods was one of those who took part in the solidarity march. Credit: PA

When the march reached the Kellingley and Knottingley Miners' Welfare Reform Social Club, miners could be seen wiping tears from their eyes as the band played a number of songs, including Danny Boy.

Two marchers set fire to banners with slogans including one reading: "Save fuel, burn a Tory scab".

An event at the social club to mark the pit's closure is due to take place this evening.

More on this story