7 May 2019

2019 Natural Stone Show

The end of April saw the Federation exhibiting alongside 25 members firms at the 2019 Natural Stone Show.  Held at London's Excel, the show gathered together architects, industry professionals and natural stone firms from the UK and overseas.

The Stone Federation member-exclusive 'Stone Village' was the hub of the event and featured companies covering all areas of the industry, from British and international stone suppliers through to sealant and cleaning product manufacturers, design consultants and fixing specialists.

With so much to report from the event, we’ve decided to pick our top five highlights (in no particular order) from the 2019 Natural Stone Show.

1.    Education, education, education.

The Stone Federation stand played host to a range of seminars throughout the event, each providing visitors with the chance to hear from some of the industry's experts about latest developments, initiatives and best practice.

The topics included The Ethical Stone Register, an industry update from the Health & Safety Executive and a showcase of the Federation’s new ‘Natural Stone for Interiors’ CPD’.  Feedback from attendees was incredibly positive and the conversations sparked by the seminars carried on in our coffee bar long after sessions had finished.

2.    Hot off the press

The Natural Stone Show was a fantastic opportunity to distribute three of our latest publications: The Natural Stone Source Book, 2018 Natural Stone Awards Brochure and the Stone Heritage Register.

Hundreds of architects, specifiers and industry professionals took the opportunity to update their natural stone resource library with the latest versions of these invaluable resources.

3.    Networking hub

The Stone Federation stand proved to be a networking hub for the show and our coffee bar provided an ideal space for members to connect with new and existing contacts.

The Natural Stone Show is always a fantastic opportunity to connect our members with one another and this year was no exception.

4.    2019 Members’ Event & AGM

After the second day of the show, we held our 2019 Members' Event and AGM.  It was great to see so many members in attendance, taking advantage of the opportunity to keep their finger on the pulse of activity within the Federation and the wider natural stone industry.

Delegates heard from each of our sector forum Chairmen who explained what the groups had achieved over the past year and what was in the pipeline for the coming months.

5.   Presidential Handover   

The Members’ Event played host to the handover of Stone Federation Presidency from Dr Tim Yates (BRE) to Marcus Paine (Hutton Stone Co).  It was a great opportunity to thank Tim for the investment of time and expertise during his Presidency and to welcome Marcus into his new role.

Members' News

Stone Federation would like to congratulate former Stone Federation President, Peter Harrison for being the recipient of the stone industry's highest award, the Duke of Gloucester Gold Medal.

Peter was presented with his medal by the Duke of Gloucester himself at Worshipful Company of Masons' Master's Banquet in London's Mansion House.

The Medal, which was introduced in 2010, is awarded every two years, to honour an individual in the craft of stonemasonry or the natural stone industry whose work is of considerable merit and who is acknowledged by his or her peers for the excellence of their contribution.

The idea for recognition for those in stonemasonry was originally mooted in the 1980s when it was noted that stonemasonry did not have any kind of recognition or a supreme accolade.


His Royal Highness The Duke of Gloucester, who trained as an architect and has an affinity for stonemasonry, also felt that some form of recognition should be created and was instrumental in developing the concept of a recognition for stonemasonry befitting the millennia-old craft.

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.