Upgrades to Test Way Footpath Site Access

The Roke Manor Quarry field conveyors (which are used to transport as dug gravels to the processing plant) at one point cross the Test Way footpath.

This is regularly used by members of the public and local residents.

In order to make the footpath more accessible during the winter months, the original pathway has now been upgraded with concrete at the point where the footpath crosses the site road. This ensures it remains safe for both members of the public and site vehicles.

The work was completed on time over the Bank Holiday period to allow the concrete to set prior to the heavy plant using it.

Brickworth Quarry welcomes Assistant Quarry Manager, Karl Reed

Karl Reed has been appointed at Brickworth Quarry as Assistant Quarry Manager and will be working closely with the team and supporting Quarry Manager, Martin Wooldridge in overseeing the safe, efficient and effective management and supervision of operations at Brickworth Quarry.

Karl has worked for the business for over 21 years, with a history in construction and more recently, Incinerator Bottom Ash (IBA) processing.

Karl is committed to working as a team and is always looking at new ways to improve operations.  Last year he was recognised as the employee who most exemplified Raymond Brown’s three core values within the workplace and received an award and John Lewis vouchers.

Secret Auxiliary Units Bunker excavated at Binnegar Quarry

An archaeological assessment has revealed how Binnegar Quarry near Wareham was the site of an underground hideout for the secret Auxiliary Units, Britain’s wartime resistance in waiting.  Andrew Joseph Associates Archaeology Services, working under contract to Raymond Brown, recognised the significance of the site as unusual, on a quarry site that also contained Bronze Age barrows and Battery Bank, a boundary marker and scheduled ancient monument.  Experts were called in to assess the site from Historic England, the County Archaeologist and specialist Auxiliary Units research group, Coleshill Auxiliary Research Team (CART).

The Auxiliary Units were set up in 1940 in case of a Nazi invasion. Their role was to hide underground while the first wave of an invasion passed by and then emerge to sabotage supplies, transport and communications to hamper the German forces and allow a counter attack.  Made up of six to seven men in a patrol, drawn from local civilians, they were taught demolition and issued large quantities of explosives and weapons.  Each patrol had an underground hideout where they could rest and store their supplies.  It would be carefully disguised against discovery.  The men were told their life expectancy after invasion was just a couple of weeks.

The expert review revealed that the bunker was partially collapsed and heavily damaged.  As it was not in a fit state for preservation, it was agreed that it would be fully recorded by archaeological investigation prior to its deconstruction. This was done in stages over 18 months from 2017 and 2018.  CART volunteers lead the project with specialist archaeological support from Ian Meadows from Andrew Josephs Associates and the New Forest National Parks Community Archaeology Service.  Raymond Brown provided plant to assist the excavation and transport to the remote site and local residents were kept updated throughout by Councillor Barry Quinn who attended regularly to review its progress.

Very few such underground bunkers have been excavated in this way. The dig found a sturdy Nissen hut-like main chamber with an entrance shaft at one end and a short tunnel and escape exit at the other.  It revealed that it had been intentionally collapsed in the 1970s, with the centre of the roof removed and the interior filled with sand, however, some elements of its wartime use remained.  At the base of the shafts were found remains of the hatch mechanisms including a heavy concrete counter weight.  These were used to vertically lift a heavy soil covered hatch that disguised the shaft.  The dig revealed an extensive ventilation system, made from over one hundred four inch glazed earthenware pipes brought in from the Midlands.  This relied on warm air rising through pipes set in the roof which drew in fresh air through other pipes running to the bottom of the bunker.  In the base of the tunnel were found numerous inert trap switches. These had been deliberately deactivated by whoever had discarded them, the empty boxes they came in being found nearby.  Other similar devices had been found as part of an extensive metal detector survey of the surrounding area indicating that the men had been training nearby.  This survey also found a metal first aid splint and a .50 calibre bullet, evidence of the US Army who were briefly based in nearby Binnegar Hall prior to D Day.  Other finds included discarded tin cans from a meal eaten by the men who built the bunker, found in backfill outside the bunker walls.

A full report will be lodged with the County Archaeologist in due course and it is hoped to stage an exhibition of the findings in the local area next year.  Raymond Brown have donated the finds to CART to be exhibited as part of their public displays explaining the history of Auxiliary Units.  It is planned to erect a pair of memorial benches constructed from blocks salvaged from the bunker, to remember the men who received no recognition at the end of the war, due to the secrecy of the organisation.

Raymond Brown Donate Toys to Wellow Village Hall Baby and Toddler Group

Raymond Brown visited Wellow Village Hall Baby and Toddler Group and donated a  Little Tikes Activity Gym and petrol pump as part of the companies Community Matters Initiative.

The group is run on a voluntary basis and is a great opportunity for parents and toddlers to meet and socialise on a regular basis.

Julie Jager who runs the Tots Group commented “ Thank you so much to Raymond Brown for donating the toys, they are wonderful and will make a big difference to the children. It was so very kind of you, we can’t thank you enough”.

Raymond Brown hosts successful Brickworth Quarry Open Event

On Thursday 21 June, Raymond Brown held an open afternoon at Brickworth Quarry to provide the local community with an opportunity to have a tour of the site, chat to employees and enjoy a community afternoon.

The open event ran from 3.30pm – 6.30pm and saw over 60 visitors enjoying the sunshine at the quarry as they tucked into freshly made pizzas from a wood fired pizza oven and refreshments.  In the morning, the site welcomed 25 schoolchildren from nearby Whiteparish Primary School, who were invited on a school trip to have a tour of the site and learn about the industry.  This educational visit forms part of our Community Matters Initiative which sees us providing and supporting industry learning opportunities within the communities in which we work.

The event welcomed families and all children were gifted with a mini hi-vis vest and goody bags.  Children were also able to create their own sand creatures to take home and were provided with activities to complete, such as Biodiversity Bingo.  Congratulations to our two Biodiversity Bingo winners, Emily and Alex who received a £15 book voucher each.  Visitors were given guided tours by employees who are experts in the quarry, its history and nature conservation.

The event was free of charge to all visitors but through donations on the day, £50 was raised for the Whiteparish Memorial Trust.

Industry trade association, the Mineral Products Association (MPA) also attended, discussing with visitors the importance of sustainable development, biodiversity environmental protection and safety in and around quarries.

Steve Clasby, Chief Operating Officer commented: “We have an award winning site and it was a pleasure to be able to open it up to the local community and showcase our biodiversity and restoration.  Judging by the feedback received, the event was hugely successful and provided guests with an opportunity to engage with our employees as well as providing them with an insight into our operations at Brickworth Quarry.”

Photos from the day can be found by clicking here.

Whiteparish Primary School visit Brickworth Quarry in Wiltshire

Raymond Brown invited schoolchildren from local Whiteparish Primary School to visit Brickworth Quarry.

Upon arrival, the students, who are all in the Year 6 Eagles class, were provided with appropriate personal protective equipment and a worksheet to complete during their visit.  The class were then given a tour around the quarry and the chance to see how the sand is extracted and processed through a screening and wash plant and then loaded onto lorries and distributed for use in the construction industry.  The children were also given the opportunity to have an up close look at the ancient woodland soils and learn about the site’s management and conservation of them as well as identifying different animal footprints on site.

Raymond Brown staff explained why quarries are needed, the uses of sand in construction and the environmental benefits of quarrying.  Students also learned about the dangers of entering a quarry unauthorised and the importance of safety on site.

Following the site tour and a classroom lesson, activities were undertaken outside and the children took turns at sieving different sands from three of Raymond Brown’s quarries and filling up miniature sand shape bottles which they took home with them.

To emphasise how the quarry provides environmental benefits to help biodiversity flourish, in creating habitats for numerous wild animals and birds, the children also created colourful bird feeders and planted cress seeds to take with them.

Martin Wooldridge, Quarry Manager commented: “It was a pleasure hosting the Whiteparish Primary School Eagles Class, they were enthusiastic and asked lots of questions about the quarry.  It was great to give them an insight into the quarrying industry and we really enjoyed having them on site.”

Whiteparish Primary School Head Teacher, Kate Heathcote commented: “On Thursday, the Eagles visited Brickworth Quarry and had a great trip! Huge thanks to all at Brickworth for making this a memorable trip for the eagles and for providing mini-buses!”

Quotes from the Eagles Class:

“We all enjoyed the experience; the best bit for me was making the bird feeders.” – Grace

“Our experience at Brickworth Quarry was fascinating because we learnt a lot about the quarry and stones.” – Megan

“My favourite part was sieving the sand and also the tour around as I had never seen a quarry before.” – Abbie

“‘It was really interesting finding out how big quarries are and how important they are.” – Joe

Brickworth Quarry Open Afternoon on 21 June

Raymond Brown are opening the doors to Wiltshire-based Brickworth Quarry on Thursday 21 June.

The open afternoon will be from 3.30pm – 6.30pm and will provide local residents with the opportunity to have a site tour of the quarry, absorb its history and substantial restoration and learn about the work being done to increase biodiversity.

Families are welcome and there will be activities for children as well as competitions to raise funds for the Whiteparish Memorial Centre.

Freshly made wood-fired pizzas and refreshments will be available to visitors.

Please wear sensible footwear (not sandals).

The site address is: Brickworth Quarry,  Junction A36/A27, Salisbury, Wiltshire, SP5 2QJ

Raymond Brown awarded RoSPA Gold Medal Award for Health and Safety Practices (Nine Consecutive Gold Awards)

We are delighted to announce that the Raymond Brown group of companies have been granted a prestigious award in recognition of our practices and achievements in safety.

Raymond Brown have achieved a Gold Medal (our nine consecutive Gold) in the internationally-renowned RoSPA Health and Safety Awards, the longest-running industry awards scheme in the UK.  We will be presented with the award during a ceremony at Hilton Birmingham Metropole hotel on Wednesday 4 July 2018.

The RoSPA Awards scheme, which receives entries from organisations around the world, recognises achievement in health and safety management systems, including practices such as leadership and workforce involvement.

Julia Small, RoSPA’s head of qualifications, awards and events, said: “The RoSPA Awards are the most highly-respected in the health and safety arena, with almost 2,000 entrants every year, and allow organisations to prove excellence in the workplace, demonstrating a commitment to the wellbeing of not only employees but all those who interact with it.”

Raymond Brown successfully pass interim Investor’s in People Review

Following the Raymond Brown Group’s Investors In People (IIP) Accreditation in February last year, Raymond Brown have successfully passed an interim review with IIP Practitioner, Dorothy Shrivell.

Dorothy visited the Raymond Brown head office to meet with Steve Clasby, Chief Operating Officer and Gemma Taylorson, HR Manager to see how the group businesses are progressing with their targets for improvement set with the initial accreditation last year, discuss key areas the businesses are focussing on and to look at developing an action plan for the next 12 months.

IIP is the mark of high performance in business and people management and as a result of this, the business has regular briefings, frequent feedback and review meetings about its performance.

Practitioner, Dorothy commented: “The team were able to confirm that a number of the recommendations highlighted within the IIP report had been implemented and it was helpful to remind themselves of these.  In particular, senior leaders have worked hard to improve communication across the whole business, created more team building opportunities to strengthen inter and intra team relationships and created better awareness of the new values.”

Gemma Taylorson, HR Manager commented said: “The recognition from IIP is very positive for us as an organisation, we have also found it invaluable working with them to ensure we are continually improving as an employer.”

Copyhold Quarry Phase One Restoration Complete

The first part of the Phase One Area at Copyhold Quarry has now been fully restored with mixed woodland.  The area, which sits next to the recycling facility is approximately 3.42 hectares in size and has seen a considerable agricultural restoration scheme undertaken over the last two years, which have included the planting of 4,700 trees and the installation of deer fencing. The next part in fully restoring this area will be once the recycling facility has stopped, the area is to be restored to a hard standing for woodland management.

Raymond Brown is fully committed to restoring all areas at Copyhold Quarry and the restoration seeks to create an enhanced agricultural area with additional woodland to welcome more species and wildlife to the site.