FORMER miners are returning underground to perform a once in a generation task.
Guides at the National Coal Mining Museum at Overton, between Huddersfield and Wakefield, will replace ropes which steer the cage carrying visitors into the shaft.
By law the ropes must be changed every 20 years. It means the 140-metre deep shaft will be closed to museum visitors from January 9 to 11.
Museum spokesman Jim Daykin said: "Unfortunately, the three-day shutdown is necessary to ensure the work is done safely.
"While the guides enjoy taking people on underground tours and are passionate about telling visitors about their working lives, they are also required to use the skills they gained to assist with the rope changes."