On Christmas Eve 2015 the final train service left Kellingley Colliery, the last deep coal mine in Britain which was officially closed on 18th December.
A commemorative headboard from the last train, which is owned and run by DB Schenker Rail UK, was donated to the National Coal Mining Museum for England (NCMME) on Tuesday 23rd February to help preserve the history of Kellingley Colliery, which first opened in 1965.
Jonathan Lawton, the DB Schenker Rail UK driver of the last train service, presented the headboard to Darran Cowd, Collections Officer at NCMME in an event held at the museum in Overton, Wakefield.
The occasion was particularly special for Jonathan as he is the nephew of the late Victor Lawton, who drove the very first train service from Kellingley Colliery in 1972.
He was joined at the Museum by Graham Young, Head of Production at DB Schenker Rail UK, Shaun McLoughlin, Mine Manager at Kellingley Colliery and Mike Benson, Director of the National Coal Mining Museum for England.
The event also included the unveiling of the Kellingley Memorial, which was given to the Museum earlier this year as a fitting tribute to the miners who worked at the colliery. The last tonne of coal from Kellingley was also on display.
Jonathan Lawton, Driver at DB Schenker Rail UK, said:
“You could say that this service runs in the family and so I was very grateful to get the opportunity to drive the last train out of the colliery, which left as the site was being decommissioned.
“The train was fitted with a headboard to mark the occasion and it was an honour to present this here today, I’m proud that it will now be seen at the National Coal Mining Museum for generations to come.”
Mike Benson, Director at the National Coal Mining Museum for England, said:
“We are honoured that we are able to preserve not only the Kellingley memorial here at the Museum, but also the commemorative headboard which was kindly donated today.
“We are looking forward to welcoming visitors to come along to the Museum to view the newly placed memorial and the headboard, and thank our guests for coming along to the event which marks an important point in our coal mining heritage.”
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Notes to editors:
·DB Schenker Rail UK is the UK’s largest rail freight operator, operating over 5,000 trains each week.
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