Families join fight to save Big K

18 June 2013..... Brothers Phil and Stuart Jackson, on left, with  Ian Fowkes, second from right, with his sons Neil and Mark who all work at Kellingley Colliery.
18 June 2013..... Brothers Phil and Stuart Jackson, on left, with Ian Fowkes, second from right, with his sons Neil and Mark who all work at Kellingley Colliery.

Generations of families who work at Kellingley Colliery have joined the fight to keep it open and save their jobs.

UK Coal is continuing to lobby the government in a bid to save 700 workers at the Weeland Road site from the axe.

This week the Fowlkes family, who have four generations who have worked at the pit, and the Jackson family, who have two generations who have worked at the coalface, are backing the Express campaign to save Big K.

Ian Fowlkes, who started work at the site in 1961, said: “I started because my dad, Roland, used to work here and then my two sons joined. My grandson has just started doing some work with the miners’ rescue team. There are so many families that work here and it’s got to be kept open. When you look at the coal field that’s here, there are still valuable tonnes of coal to be mined and the number of job losses could be devastating.”

Ian’s sons Mark and Neil also work at Kellingley. Mark, who works in the miners’ rescue unit, said: “It’s probably one of the biggest employers in the area and closure would have a big effect on the community.”

Stuart Jackson has worked at the site for 31 years, after his father originally started there in 1967. He said: “It would be devastating if it closed. The industry has been around for such a long time and there are 700 people work here.”