Hundreds mark coal mine closure

Hundreds of people have marched through a Yorkshire pit village to mark the closure of one of the last deep coal mines in the UK.

Maltby Colliery, near Rotherham, South Yorkshire, has been mothballed by owners Hargreaves Services, who decided it was no longer viable earlier this year.

Some former miners were in tears on Saturda as the colliery band led them and their former colleagues from the pit gates, which just outside the village, to the cemetery.

Inside the graveyard, there was service of "thanksgiving and prayer for the future" during which a piece of recently dug coal was buried next to the memorial to the 27 men who died in an underground explosion at Maltby in 1923.

The pit's closure leaves just three deep coal mines operating in the UK - Kellingley in North Yorkshire; Hatfield in South Yorkshire; and Thoresby in Nottinghamshire.

Maltby Colliery has produced coal for more than 100 years.

But Hargreaves decided earlier this year it was no longer viable on health and safety, geological and financial grounds.

The pit employed 500 workers when it shut and the firm said some of these have found work in other collieries.

Hargreaves also manages the nearby Hatfield Colliery, just outside Doncaster.

Maltby's closure follows another recent blow to coal production in UK when the owners of the Daw Mill mine, in Warwickshire, announced it was closing following a devastating underground fire.