Last month I had a telephone call from Katherine Markham who kindly invited me to contribute this month’s ‘Editor’s Comment’ as an end piece to my career with Palladian Publications. It is a career that began in 1970 with the then Publishing Division of the Cement and Concrete Association (C&CA). As mentioned in our 75th Anniversary Issue (November 2003), the publications and periodicals of Concrete Publications Ltd, which had been a wholly owned subsidiary of Associated Portland Cement Manufacturers, were acquired by the C&CA’s Publishing Division in 1969. Included in the deal was Cement and Lime Manufacture whose title, since its establishment in 1928, had originally been Cement and Cement Manufacture.
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This magazine was the brainchild and creation of Henry Langdon Childe who went on to edit the magazine for 28 years. In the very first issue (1928) this remarkable man, who incidentally was also the editor and author of many books produced by Concrete Publications Ltd from the 1920s until the 1960s, wrote: ‘It is our intention in this journal to publish articles by leading authorities of the day, covering every aspect of the chemistry and manufacture of cement. We also propose to give from time to time illustrated descriptions of some of the modern and interesting cement factories and to give early information of new machinery and plant and new methods used in the various manufacturing processes.’ In January 1970, Cement and Lime Manufacture was renamed Cement Technology, and became an A4 periodical. Sir Frederick Lea, the author of the famous Lea’s Chemistry of Cement and Concrete, in an introductory comment in Cement Technology wrote, ‘The cement industry can not afford to lag behind progress. It must know what others are doing. And it must know where it is going itself and why. In short, the industry must be kept fully informed at all times. It is here that a technical journal can perform the greatest service to the cement industry.’
Of my 41 years in technical publishing, 38 of them have been associated with the cement industry, first as Editor of Cement Technology, then Managing Editor and lately as Contributing Editor of World Cement. The above comments by those two innovators together with the encouragement and support from the Palladian Publications board and from various members of the World Cement editorial teams, down through the years, have without doubt been my inspiration in helping to develop and expand WORLD CEMENT into the world’s leading business and technical publication for the industry.
It has been wonderful to visit so many cement companies, plants and equipment suppliers throughout the world and to have participated in international technical conferences, seminars and discussions. Whenever I have found myself in destinations such as Bangkok or Bucharest, Mumbai or Montreal, or even here in the UK, I have always been greeted warmly and entertained by my hosts. That says something about the cement industry family, a family that I have had the privilege of being associated with since 1974. At the same time I have witnessed rapid advances in technology and globalisation, the rise in international cement trade and the increasing significance of sustainable development. Now, there is much focus on the emerging BRIC and CIVET nations and perhaps less talk about the mature markets, but it should never be forgotten that it is the mature companies that have been instrumental in creating much of the progress in these developing markets. Similarly, I have not forgotten it was as a result of the foundations laid by Edwin O Sachs et al, and carried on by Oscar Faber and Henry Childe all those years ago that attracted me into the career I have enjoyed for the past 41 years.
Although I retired at the end of June, I will still continue to submit articles to World Cement, so it is not completely goodbye. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank my colleagues at Palladian Publications and everybody throughout the cement and concrete industry for their friendship, support and good wishes over four decades.