Raymond Brown Take New Signwritten Lorry to Smannell and Enham CE Primary School

Raymond Brown took their new sign written grab lorry to Smannell and Enham Primary School, accompanied by Sean Warren (Business Development Manager), Alix Kerr (Assistant Transport Co-ordinator) and Martin Brown (Driver). The children from Smannell and Enham school had taken part in Raymond Brown’s lorry competition to design posters around recycling and the winning children were given certificates, goody bags and book vouchers for their efforts in taking part and were also able to sit in the lorry cab.

The children learnt about the importance of recycling and how Raymond Brown are addressing the issue through educating children through their links with local schools.

All of the children from Smannell and Enham School were very excited to see the new lorry and promised the driver they would wave at him if they spot the lorry on the roads.

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.

Fortis host first CPD Event at A303 IBA Processing Facility – for Fortis and RBG Websites

Fortis IBA’s new CPD Events started this month with the first event taking place on 18 July at the A303 IBA Processing Facility in Hampshire.

Delegates attended from different roles across the industry and were provided with an insight into the processing behind IBA Aggregate and its future within construction.

Upon arrival, over breakfast, Fortis employees gave an introduction to and technical overview of the IBA Aggregate produced onsite and the benefits of using it versus primary aggregate within the construction industry.

As a country, we are now facing a limited availability of natural minerals and Fortis understands the consequences of primary resource shortage.  Topics also included the growing need for construction minerals whilst working to protect the world’s resources.  Examples were given of local sites where IBA Aggregate has been utilised and how Fortis are able to provide to companies looking for an accessible sustainably sourced aggregate at cost effective prices and often within short timescales.

Following discussions, Unit Manager, Martyn Jones undertook a tour of the processing plant to demonstrate the recycling process.  Martyn Jones is the Unit Manager for Fortis’ IBA Processing Facilities in Hampshire and Oxfordshire and has over 15 years’ experience working within the recycling an mineral processing industry.

Our CPD Days are on offer for small groups (no more than 10 per session) to provide a more detailed level of information.

The next event will take place from 8.30am – 11.00am on Wednesday 19th September.  To book on or to find out more information and be kept updated with future event dates please visit: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/the-future-of-iba-aggregate-tickets-44361578676

Raymond Brown’s Fourth Lorry branded at Cart Marking Ceremony in London

One of Raymond Brown’s newest Grab Lorries was branded yesterday at the traditional Cart Marking Ceremony in the City of London.  The lorry, which was designed by Foxhills Junior School in Southampton was driven by Mark Attwood and is the fourth Raymond Brown lorry to have been branded in the annual ceremony.

This year the Carmen will celebrated their 501st anniversary and the annual Cart Marking Ceremony took place in Guildhall Yard commencing at 10.35am on Wednesday 18th July 2018. Vehicles were marked between the Master Carmen, Patrick Marsland-Roberts TD, The Rt.Hon The Lord Mayor of London, Alderman Charles Bowman and the Master Glover, Alvin Seth-Smith.

The ancient tradition of cart marking dates back to the 16th century when all carts operating in the City of London were required to pay five shillings for the right to ply for hire in the City and have their axles branded – an early form of vehicle licensing.

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.

brownSkips.com attends South Coast Smile Wheels Show

Driver, Mark Gale attended the 2018 South Coast Smile Wheels Show on 23 and 24 June this year.

The show takes place at at Highbridge Farm in Otterbourne and is a large family event with a range of cars, bikes, trucks and stalls.  The show fundraises money for the children at Southampton General Hospital and the neonatal unit at Princess Anne by raising gifts and money.

Mark, who frequently attends wheel shows, took the Roman Way Primary School lorry with him this year which is one of the newest and most colourful lorries in the fleet.

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

Raymond Brown gain FORS Reaccreditation

Raymond Brown are delighted to have been reassessed and reaccredited with the Bronze Fleet Operator Recognition Scheme (FORS).

The FORS scheme has been set up to raise the level of quality within fleet operations across the UK and in 2017 Raymond Brown announced that the business had met the FORS bronze level requirements.

FORS reassessments take place each year and comprise of an external audit of the business processes to ensure that the company maintains the high standard of work related road risk management.

Transport Manager, Simon Webb commented: “The Raymond Brown fleet comprises of over 60 vehicles and this reaccreditation emphasises our commitment to fleet safety and environmental efficiency as well as demonstrating that we meet a recognised industry standard.”