Kenneth Kay started work with John Bowes & Partners and studied mining at Sunderland Technical College. He had four years of war service in Burma and Germany, returning to mine surveying with Dorman Long at Ferryhill, County Durham. In 1949 he qualified as a mine manager and surveyor. In 1950 he became Undermanager at Chilton Colliery and later was manager at Leasingthorne and Fishburn – all these in County Durham too. In 1963 he became Agent/Manager and then Manager at Ellington Colliery, Northumberland. During this time he visited America to study their mining methods. In 1970 he became Production Manager in the Northumberland Area and in 1977 was appointed Senior Mining Engineer (Safety Services) in the North East Area.
A paper he wrote about the equipment trials of American bord and pillar mining machinery at Ellington Colliery gained him a National Association of Colliery Managers Bronze Medal in 1969. In 1971 he was awarded the Colliery Guardian Prize in recognition of published papers on practical mine management.
He was NEIMME President in 1977-78.
Kay, K. Continuous mining with Long Airdox Equipment Colliery Guardian 217 1969, 247-254
Kay, K. Supply vehicles (electric power tractors and shuttle cars) Mining Engineer 130, 1970-71, 101-107
Kay, K. Mining – retrospect and prospect 1952-2002 [Presidential Address NEIMME] Mining engineer 137 1977-78, 560-572