I photographed Thoresby Colliery, the last coal mine in Nottinghamshire, just weeks before its closure for The New York Times. My Father worked at Thoresby until he was laid off in 2007, so this felt like a particularly significant assignment for me. Due to a fire earlier in the day, I was unable to go underground but toured the surface works with a safety officer. Emotions were running high as each of the men I photographed reflected on their careers at the pit, some spanning their entire working lives. The dangers of working underground mean miners form a close bond and have exceptional camaraderie, unequalled by most other industries today. Above all, I sensed the greatest thing these men were anxious of losing was each other.
The closure of Thoresby was the end of an era, not just for its workers but for Britain’s industrial heritage. Hatfield and Kellingley collieries in North Yorkshire followed suit and ceased operation in 2015, ending underground coal mining in Britain altogether.