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WAKEFIELD: At the coalface

18 May 2010

by Margaret Duggan

YOU do not often see a bishop with a dirty face, but the Bishop of Wakefield, the Rt Revd Stephen Platten (above, left), had just visited the newly accessed seam at Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coalmine in West Yorkshire.

Bishop Platten is the son of a mine electrician, and he last visited Kellingley 18 months ago (Real life, 13 February 2009) after UK Coal’s announcement that it would invest £55 million to open up a new and deeper seam to replace the exhausted reserves, and so extend the life of the pit and the jobs that go with it.

This month, he kept his promise to visit the new seam. He said it was great news that UK Coal had shown such confidence in the mine and miners at Kellingley. “I’ve been impressed by the much better working conditions under­ground, and the state-of-the-art equipment here.” It had given West Yorkshire mining “a new spring in its step, as well as a long and proud history.”

Most of the coal produced by Kellingley goes to the nearby Drax power station.

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