Longannet Colliery employed 366 miners and 150 support staff near Kincardine, Fife, mining low-sulphur coal for the neighbouring Longannet Power Station; the power station uses up to 10,000 tonnes of coal per day.
Longannet was the last deep coal mine in Scotland, and because of it’s large reserves it had a bright future, until March 2002 when millions of gallons of water suddenly cascaded into the mine. Luckily no-one lost their lives, but the mine’s fate was sealed. Various campaigns have suggested reopening the mine, but the costs of pumping out the water and making the mine safe and profitable have been put at up to £100M, so instead the shaft was filled in and the surface buildings mostly demolished – by the time of my visit, only a couple of surface buildings remain, but they have quite a bit of interesting stuff.
A map of some of the workings:
I’m not sure what this is – it’s a wooden fume cabinet, sort-of, perhaps for testing gas meters?