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Lafarge Tarmac’s Barnstone Cement plant celebrates 150th anniversary

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World Cement,

Lafarge Tarmac’s Barnstone Cement Works recently celebrated its 150th anniversary with a special celebratory event held at Colwick Hall, Nottingham. Among the guests were 200 past and present employees of the plant, local suppliers, parish councillors and Ken Clarke QC, MP for Rushcliffe.

Ex-Works Manager Clive Jones and present Plant Manager Chris Stephens put together a video showing the history of the plant over the last one and a half centuries. 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.”

Long service awards were presented to John Parks (35 years), John Leighton (20 years) and Steve Odell (20 years).

When Barnstone Cement first started trading in 1864, it was one of the first lime kilns in the area. The first rotary kiln was installed in 1885 and 16 bottle kilns were installed in 1886. By 1900 the plant was producing 200 t of cement per week. This rose to 600 t per week when a second rotary kiln was installed in 1938, and to 2000 t per week in the 1950s. In 1942, the company was acquired by the Blue Circle Group and in 2001 Blue Circle was acquired by Lafarge SA to form Lafarge Cement UK Ltd.

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 120 000 t annually. 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 2013, the company merged with Tarmac to become Lafarge Tarmac Ltd and for the first time the plant broke the 200 000 tpa mark. Now, the company employs 72 staff and has the capability to produce 230 000 tpa of cement, the majority of which is sold to builders and DIY-ers, as well as specialist applications in the tunnelling industry.

Adapted from press release by

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