21 Nov 2016

The Members' Event 2016 - Review


The Members' Event - A Resounding Success

Last week saw the Federation welcome over 50 delegates to the Thistle Euston Hotel for The Members' Event 2016.

The event was focussed around three keys area; review, projection and networking.

The review and projection was provided by the chairmen of the Federation's various sector focussed groups and provided delegates with an insight into some of the exciting new initiatives 2017 will hold for the Federation and its members.

Delegates also heard from the Federation's Chief Executive, Jane Buxey who thanked members for their part in making the Federation what it is, and highlighted how many other trade and client bodies see Stone Federation as an organisation "punching well above its weight".

Jane then handed over to the chairmen of the Federation various sector focussed groups and forums to take a look back at what 2016 held and to let members know what’s in store for 2017.

The chairmen were: 
Stone Heritage, Bernard Burns (Szerelmey)

The Quarry Forum, Matcus Paine (Hutton Stone Co)

The Landscape Forum, Gordon Hines (Marshalls)

The Interiors & Surface Materials Focus Group, Chris Kelsey (The Marble & Granite Centre Ltd)

Technical Committee and Ethical Stone Sourcing, David Richardson (FMDC Ltd)

The Members' Event also played host to handover of Stone Federation presidency from Graeme Hadden to our new President, Dr Tim Yates of BRE. We were able to thank Graeme for his past two years of service to the Federation, and most notably his brainchild, the Federation wide refocus that we have undergone. This has had a wide reaching impact on the way the Federation operates. To find out more about our new President, click here.

The presentation was closed by our guest speaker, Jason Syrett of Allies & Morrison architects. Jason is currently leading the practice's work on the exciting Kings' Cross development which included stone in all its different guises, from interiors to landscaping.

The evening closed with an opportunity for members to network over drinks and a hot buffet. This proved to be a great success with delegates making the most of the opportunity to make new industry contacts as well as catching up with existing connections.

The Federation would like to thank each of the speakers for their part in making The Members' Event 2016 such a success.  Full details of the exciting new sector initiatives that 2017 will hold be contained within the Annual Report, which will be sent to members in December.

We will be releasing full details of the exciting initiatives planned for 2017 on our website next week so keep your eyes peeled.

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.