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North Selby Mine (Selby Complex)
2012 - 2013
The Selby complex of coal mines was the last big development in the UK coal industry, It represented the creation of an entire new coalfield in Yorkshire. Five Deep mines spanning a 20 mile area were established and linked underground. The combined output was surfaced at Gasgoine Wood where the coal could be sent by rail to feed the 5 local power stations. The £100 million pound project was to create the most modern coalfield in Britain.
I first visited the Selby Complex in 2005 and was struck by how modern the complex was its size and the sheer effort and engineering that went into its construction. Since then I have made many visits each time seeing a little bit more of what was once the Jewel in the crown of the British mining industry.
It can be difficult to chart the individual history of the Selby pits, but North Selby was the northern most pit in the coalfield and had the deepest shafts reaching 1040 meters. As the most outlying of the Selby pits it was one of the first threatened with closure. Some sources suggest Whitemoor and North Selby had their cards marked for closure as early as 1992. Despite Whitemoor being the most efficient per man and North Selby being the cheapest coal produced in the UK per ton.
As it was North Selby continued until 1998 when it was combined with Stillingfleet. Following problems with faults in the face and whitewalling it was thought uneconomic to work through and Mining on site stopped in 2000. The surface buildings at North Selby were then used for track laying training and other semi industrial activities.
When I visited at the end of 2012 if found a place deserted... but haunted by the promises of its past.