BBC Look North Visits MRS Training & Rescue in Knottingley

21st December 2023
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120+ Years Experience Over 120 years' experience
People trained (25,000) - 25,000 trained in last 12 months 25,000 trained in last 12 months
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Nationwide (UK Wide Coverage) UK Wide Coverage

December 18th marked the 8th anniversary of the final shift at Kellingley Colliery (Big K), the last deep coal mine in the UK, located near Pontefract. 

Despite the closure of the mines, MRS Training and Rescue (formerly the Mines Rescue Service) adapted and expanded its services to cater to the evolving health and safety market. In spring 2016, our Kellingley operation relocated to Knottingley, unveiling a new training centre with enhanced facilities.

To commemorate this anniversary, BBC Look North's journalist, Beth Parsons, and camera operator, Malik Walton, visited our Knottingley centre to experience firsthand the work we now do. 

Click on the image below to watch BBC Look North’s coverage:

BBC Look North


During the visit, Knottingley Operations Manager, Billy Gundry, shared his mining background. He described how he was introduced to mining at the age of 16 and completed 10 years as a miner before joining the Mines Rescue Service in 1991. During his time in Mines Rescue, he was involved in many underground incidents, including falls of ground, fires, explosions, inrushes and, unfortunately, dealt with many fatalities.

He explained: “The decision was taken to diversify the skills and expertise of the company’s employees into other industrial areas. The strategy was that, as the mining industry declined, we would increase our income from these new sectors of work, bringing with it new “learning opportunities” resulting in even higher individual and team skill levels.”

“We provide unique rescue servicesconsultancy and a comprehensive range of accredited health and safety related products, training and services to a wide range of industries, including confined space, work at heightfire awareness and first aid training amongst others.” 

Neil Fowkes, Assistant Operations Manager at Knottingley, also spoke with Beth. He worked at Kellingley Colliery and was part of the last shift there before it closed. He then joined MRS Training and Rescue, using the skills he gained from working underground, to now provide industrial health and safety training. He demonstrated to Beth some of the facilities at Knottingley — including those for confined space training.

For more information about MRS Training and Rescue, or to enquire about our services, contact us today.

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