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Aerial view of Rothes Colliery, Fife, Scotland (circa March 1957).
The sinking of the first pit at Rothes Colliery began in 1947, and abundance of coal appeared promising, despite the advice of local farmers who suggested otherwise. A target for production was set for 1957 and it was decided to make the facilities at Rothes a showpiece for the Fife Coal Company. However, the pits took longer to sink than expected and the company ran into water trouble at a higher level than predicted.
Sinking of the pits was cut off early and production began around 1953 to make some contribution to the 1957 target. However, the miners ran into terrible geological conditions which made production difficult. The coal was poor quality and the seams thinned out. Production was eventually shut down in just 1962. The plans of having 2,500 men employed full time at the colliery were never realised and the buildings were abandoned. The company’s showpiece ended up being the company’s biggest planning disaster.