Barnstone cement works celebrates 150th anniversary

Barnstone cement works celebrates 150th anniversary
Published: 27 October 2014

Tagged Under: Lafarge Tarmac Barnstone UK 

The Barnstone cement works, owned by Lafarge Tarmac, recently celebrated its 150th anniversary, with a special celebratory event held at Colwick Hall, UK.

Honorary guest was Ken Clarke QC, MP for Rushcliffe who, along with Charles Law, managing director of Cement, Lime & Powders, joined almost 200 past and present employees of the plant, local suppliers and Barnstone and Langar Parish councillors Alex Cessford and Rod Whitehead, in congratulating the plant on this significant milestone in its history.

A video was shown of the history of the plant over the past century and a half, which was compiled by ex-Works Manager Clive Jones and present Plant Manager Chris Stephens, that gave an insight into its  150 year history.

Lafarge Tarmac’s plant manager at Barnstone Cement Works, Chris Stephens, said: “It was fantastic to be joined by past and present employees, suppliers and local people to celebrate this major milestone in our history. We would like to thank Ken Clarke for attending our event and to all our staff who worked hard to make it so memorable and such a success. We are entering an exciting new era and we look forward to a bright future here.”

The Rt Hon MP for Rushcliffe Ken Clarke said: “Barnstone Cement Works has been a major employer in this area for 150 years. We celebrate their achievements and I am delighted to join in their success and wish them all the very best for the future!”

At the event, long service awards were presented by Charles Law to John Parkes, office manager who celebrated 35 years with the company, John Leighton, quality and optimisation manager and Steve Odell, production manager, who both celebrated 20 years’ service.

Barnstone Cement Works started trading as one of the first lime kilns in the area back in 1864, when Queen Victoria was on the throne. The first rotary kiln was installed in 1885 and 16 bottle kilns were installed in 1886, by 1900 the plant was producing 200t of cement per week. In 1938, a second rotary kiln was installed and production increased to 600t per week, which by the 1950s had risen to 2000t per week. In 1942, the company was acquired by the Blue Circle Group.

By 1971, Kiln No 1 was removed and the business continued to focus on making special cements for use in coal mining. The 1970s was also the time that contract mineral processing began at Barnstone, which including crushing and grinding of iron and phosphate ores. Since 2006, the company’s activities have focused on manufacturing and distributing products for the construction industry, such as Postcrete, Slablayer and pre-mixed mortar.

In 2007, the plant invested in the Benjamin plastic bag packing machine and palletiser which, along with the existing Adams packer, lifted plant capacity to around 120,000tpa. In 2008 the company acquired its own sand drier, which meant it could be self reliant. A second packing machine, the Adams 2 was commissioned in 2009 and a further packer was acquired in 2011, which collectively almost doubled production capacity. In 2011, Blue Circle was acquired by Lafarge SA to form Lafarge Cement UK Ltd.

In 2013, the company merged with Tarmac to become Lafarge Tarmac Ltd and for the first time the plant broke the 200,000tpa mark. Now, the company employs 72 staff and has the capability to produce 230,000tpa of cement, the majority of which is sold to builders and DIY-ers, as well as specialist applications in the tunneling industry.