Clinker manufacture operational: 1874-1911 and 1920-1939
Approximate total clinker production: 1.39 million tonnes
The Gillingham company, which eventually ran four plants, was started by George Burge Jr, who had been introduced to Portland cement manufacture by Isaac Johnson at Crown. The plant began with four small chamber kilns (55 t/week). By 1882, a block of five (85 t/week) and a block of ten (170 t/week) had been added. Around 1889 a block of eight (200 t/week) was added, giving a total capacity of 510 t/week. Around 1898, the original block was abandoned (it seems to have collapsed) and blocks of two (60 t/week) and four (100 t/week) were added. APCM operated the plant until the BPCM acquisition, when it was closed, but was left intact. Leslie Cook explained the subsequent history: the plant “was started by an ex-manager of one of the BPCM works. He was under a ten-year bond not to put in a rotary kiln and began with chamber kilns; as soon as the ten years had passed a 200 ft. Edgar Allen rotary kiln was installed”. The list of equipment and costing of the later rotary plant can be seen here. The plant on re-opening was uprated with a further block of twelve chamber kilns (360 t/week), giving a total capacity of 975 t/week. The plant had at one time a 1 km tramway running to the quarry which was adjacent to the London/Dover railway, but it never had a rail link, and used mostly water transportation. The Depression following upon the installation of A1 put the plant in permanent debt, and Rugby bought it cheaply. The upgraded plant at Rochester being in place, and the raw material reserves being limited, it was immediately closed. The kiln was moved to Rugby as part of kiln A4. The site was redeveloped: the old plant is an industrial site, while the rotary kiln area is under housing. The quarry is a park. The Gillingham Portland Cement Company was kept alive by Rugby as a holding company for various purposes, and continues today as a subsidiary of CEMEX.
The plant used a washmill on the wharf, combining chalk brought by tramway with clay as it was unloaded. In 1929 three washmills were installed at the quarry and a second on the wharf. Chalk slurry was pumped to the plant by a 770 m pipeline and combined with clay in the mills on the wharf.
One rotary kiln was installed:
Supplier: Edgar Allen
© Dylan Moore 2011: last edit 20/07/2016.
This is a composite map containing details from different eras that may not have co-existed.Approximate capacity: tonnes per year