British coal, the end of a mining industry

A move towards renewable energy has left collieries and their employees out in the cold.

Rich Wiles |

Yorkshire, United Kingdom - Coal miners at Yorkshire’s Kellingley Colliery, the only remaining deep-pit coal mine in Britain, worked their last shift on Friday December 18, bringing to an end hundreds of years of underground coal mining in the UK. Thousands marched through the streets and held a rally at Kellingley Miners' Welfare club to mark the end of the coal mining era.

Deep-pit coal mining employed more than half a million British workers in the middle of the 20th century while it was still the main source of energy produced within the country.

Pit closures through the 1960s and 1970s were followed by the infamous "Miners’ Strike", which began in 1984 after Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative prime minister Margaret, announced the  closure of 20 pits.

A renowned "dirty fuel", coal has fallen out of favour amid international trends towards renewable sources of energy.

Despite this, Britain still burns tens of millions of tonnes of coal each year, but its reliance on cheaper imported fuel has brought the industry to its knees.

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