Thousands of miners and their loved ones have held a sentimental solidarity march in North Yorkshire to mark the closure of Britain's last operating deep coal mine.

The crowds and a marching band filled the streets Saturday in Knottingley, 180 miles (290 kilometers) north of London, one day after the final shift at the Kellingley Colliery mine.

Many cheered the miners, who have now lost their jobs and their close-knit way of life. The march was organized by two women whose partners had worked at the mine. Organizer Kirsten Sinclair says "this had to be marked and the guys needed to have some love and affection shown to them for everything that they do."

Britain's mining industry employed more than 1 million people at its peak in the 1920s.