21 Nov 2016

Dr Tim Yates - New SFGB President

New Stone Federation President - Dr Tim Yates


Stone Federation are delighted to announce that our new President is Dr Tim Yates, Technical Director of the Building Research Team at BRE.

Tim has been involved in work related to buildings and structures for more than 40 years. This has included work in archaeology, research in the analysis of materials, studies of the impact of climate and pollution on heritage structures and the testing of stone and mortar.

In his current role, he is responsible for the management of projects relating to stone, heritage, and other traditional building materials.

For the last 25 years he has led teams specialising in masonry, heritage, natural stone, whole life performance, and more recently European Regulations particularly the Construction Products Regulation. The team has been responsible for undertaking consultancy projects on the assessment of materials and structures and has completed more than 500 projects all around the world. Many of these relate to the deterioration of building fabric or to the selection and testing of new and replacement natural stones for construction. He has been involved in a number of EU funded projects on economic assessments of the effect of pollution on heritage structures and the effect of environment on marble.

He has participated in the preparation of British and European Standards related to natural stone and heritage for more than 25 years and currently convenes two CEN/TC Working Groups and is also Chair of two BSI Committees, B/560 and CB/-/5. Tim has published extensively in international journals and conference proceedings and has produced chapters for two books on the selection and testing of natural stone.

We look forward to Tim's presidency and thank him for his service to the Federation and its members.

Members' News

Stone Federation are a member of EuroRoc, an organisation made up of the various European Federations for the dimensional stone industry.  The aim of the group is to coordinate questions of common interest and find solutions while promoting the use of dimensional natural stone.


The Federation's EuroRoc representative, Michael Poultney of Albion Stone along with Peter Harrison of Harrison Goldman, attended the latest meeting held at the Verona Stone Show in October.


There were a range of topics discussed, but shown are four discussions points that will be of particular interest to members.


1. Ethical Sourcing - There are various different degrees of controls of ethical sourcing across Europe and some is at a very local level.  It was accepted that the EU should be encouraging stones from ethical sources but there was some scepticism that a system with a high degree of certainty could be found in the short term.  It was agreed that the starting point should be to pool all the experiences from the differing methods currently being used by different, Countries, companies and organisations.

2. Geographical Protection - There was considerable support from across the EU and the robust comments from the UK were considered positive.  It is back with the European Parliament on what could be a long journey to possible implementation.  

3. Reporting Figures - There was concerns that the code numbers used for reporting production, imports and exports are not recording the dimensional stone figure accurately.  It was suggested that these should be related to the harmonised Product Standards (BS EN). Michael Poultney has been in dialogue with BGS and Eric Bignell at the Natural Stone Specialist magazine about the topic earlier in the month. Euroroc will progress the matter with the relevant authorities.

4. Silica Dust - There was a mixed response about the danger of the implementation of the dust regulations and the prospects of reducing the code.  It was agreed that the experiences from the implementation from national authorities will be requested.


With the island of Portland, from which the famous Portland limestone comes, being just off the Dorset coast from Weymouth, there could not have been a more appropriate material to use for a sculpture of the Olympic rings that has now been installed in the town that is hosting the Olympic sailing events. 

Burlington Stone has acquired the rights to quarry at Petts Quarry on Kirkstone Pass and Brathay Quarry near Ambleside following the regrettable demise of Kirkstone Quarries Ltd.

This new monument, costing £5 million, will commemorate the 55, 573 crew members of the RAF's Bobmer Command who were killed between 1939 and 1945.  The average age of those who lost their lives was just 22.

Albion Stone has recently purchased a new ‘JCB Fantini’, tractor mounted stone saw which will be used to increase efficiency in the Quarry & Mine.  This is the first machine of its type to be imported into any UK stone extraction operation. 


TV presenter, journalist and former conservative politician and Cabinet Minister, Michael Portillo made a fascinating tour of local natural stone producer, Burlington Stone of Kirkby-in-Furness, shown on 26th January on BBC2 at 6.30pm, as part of series three of the BBC’s popular travel documentary, Great British Railway Journeys.


A £500,000 investment into an innovative new roof for Albion Stone’s Factory is set to save thousands of pounds a year on their electricity bills.

Albion Stone supplied over 3m³ of Jordans Basebed and Jordans Whitbed in the form of treads risers, paving and memorial stones.

Taking centre stage on The Marshalls Garden That Kids Really Want! at the 2008 RHS Chelsea Flower Show in May the company utilised its own indigenous natural Yorkstone block to create two striking central features in this amazing organic playground.