The last miners

Photographer Nat Wilkins documents Northumberland’s remaining colliery

When I phone Kevin Shepherd to arrange a visit his wife will often reply with the once common phrase that is now lost with the demise of the north’s coal mining industry. “He’s down the pit.” Shepherd himself admits that the term “pit” is probably old fashioned in itself, hearing it reinforces the direct link to the past that his operation holds. This colliery is the last drift mine in England and the last coal mine in Northumberland.

Photography by Nat Wilkins

Photography by Nat Wilkins

Shepherd is well aware that his operation sits on the cusp of being a going concern and an important heritage asset.


Read the full version in The Northern Correspondent #5