Haunting images from Scotland’s last deep coal mine – 15 years after it was abandoned

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REMARKABLE new photographs show eerie and poignant scenes inside Scottish mine buildings abandoned 15 years ago.
Castlebridge Colliery was the last deep coal mine shaft to be sunk in Scotland, in 1978, and was part of the much larger Longannet mine complex in Fife.
In April 2001, Castlebridge was closed and the mine filled in. Less than a year later, Longannet – which directly employed 1,500 people in its heyday – was shut entirely.
Haunting photographs taken earlier this month reveal smashed computers, sixteen year old newspapers, and even a voided £58,000 cheque from the mine’s owners to the local council.
Elsewher, vandals have destroyed electronics, staircasing and doors, and set parts of the facility on fire.
More than 15 years-worth of worth of graffiti is also plastered across the buildings, as is shattered glass and broken piping.
In one of the most chilling photos, a singular plastic chair can be seen placed in the middle of a derelict room, in a set that appears to be reminiscent of a horror movie torture scene.
Another tragic images shows a shiny banner, presumably for a party or celebration at the colliery, stuck under a pile of rubble and dirt.
The photographer who took the recent pictures wishes to stay anonymous, but said: “I decided to take the pictures because like a lot of things, I think that the specific history behind the colliery should be preserved.

“It was massive for the local economy at one point, so it was massive for the local population at one point too.
“It’s a shame that it is so easily forgotten.”
Alexander Flannagan, from Alloa, was one of those who worked at Castlebridge colliery until it closed, and worked at the Longannet mine complex after that, until its closure a year later.
After viewing the photos of the abandoned colliery yesterday, he said: “I remember all the great times working there and absolute great bunch of people to work with. It brings back some great memories.
“Since being made redundant in 2002 I first became a HGV driver and worked with the Co-op delivering to all the stores throughout Scotland. I have since moved in to an office role as a Transport Supervisor with the Coop.
“I found the transition between the two really hard as when I worked at Castlebridge everyone told you exactly what was needed.”

Alex now believes the colliery should be bulldozed.
He added: “I think they need to demolish it now as it’s too bad a state to do anything with. Everyone who worked there will always have their own memories, good and bad.”
Longannet mining complex was Scotland’s last deep coal mine.
The mine was forced to shut after being flooded with 17 million gallons of water, and although no lives were lost, it could not reopen, as accountants suggested it could cost £50m to make it operational again.
Owners Scottish Coal (Deep Mine) Limited were liquidated later that year.

 
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