Cement Kilns

Lime and Cement Sales at Stockton

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The Warwickshire County Record Office holds sales ledgers from Charles Nelson & Co's plant at Stockton (temporary catalogue numbers RS 9/5/1-5). I present the data here because it represents an exceptionally long (over 50 years) time series of uniformly-gathered data, and because it refers to the idiosyncratic history of the Warwickshire industry. In Warwickshire, the Blue Lias district produced "engineering-grade" hydraulic limes from the 18th century, and these became popular throughout Britain when the building of canals allowed them to be distributed nationwide. When Portland cement began to be produced from the 1840s onwards, Blue Lias Lime was one of the established products with which it had to compete, and the reliability of this lime ensured that it remained in favour for certain applications well into the 20th century. Its production continued at the Warwickshire plants until WWII.

The Stockton plant was established on a site previously worked for lime in 1844. Portland cement made with a ground rawmix commenced production in 1872, and by 1886 its capacity was 15000 t/year of Portland cement and 25500 t/year of lime - about 63% lime. The lime was marketed in three forms: lump lime, ground lime and Selenitic lime. The vast majority (80-90%) was sold as ground lime, which is the familiar Blue Lias hydraulic lime, made by grinding the lump product without any slaking. Lump lime was probably made from stone from known high-carbonate floors. Selenitic lime was made by adding 5% gypsum at the grinding stage as a retarder, and was used in mortars. By the start of the following records in 1897, the relative position of lime and cement had reversed, with lime down to around 40% of tonnage.

YearOwn Product Sold tonnesPurchased Materials Resold tonnesTotal Sales tonnes
Lump LimeGround LimeSelenitic LimeOPCRHPCLump LimeGround LimePlasterCementLump LimeGround LimeSelenitic LimePlasterCement
189747414042800155740 206644843477304 25401852680034722878
1898953148071062209520 252648185124476 347919625106251225428
1899911137121118205070 197840985005120 288917810111850025627
1900465119531471204800 189357055578152 235817658147155728632
1901802130051182209550 110349556826883 190517960118268227838
1902878121381588205330 79428635636455 167215001158856326988
19031706142411034227170 68428574367686 239017098103443630403
19041711155821106223970 35724573686755 206818039110636829152
190531989661943238800 2719503954712 34691061194339528592
1906231411566832277410 43612754194668 27501284183241932409
190728199711931237030 701664224103 2889987793142227806
190825657629710200150 904623713207 2655809171037123222
190919198461792166640 14002302430 2059846179223019094
191031139507651251570 21006112419 3323950765161127576
191120407353546321710 3221276973040 2362748054669735211
191211587108440410420 1571012312545 1315720944023143587
19137745546634404770 5802184433 832554663421844910
191415804207169396790 8101425320 1661420716914244999
19155832636145315300 12121125251 704263814511236781
1916391416115293350 540981988 9314161159831323
19176391357251980 1019911885 73932579127083
191867100581237760 15893957 821013819324733
19191479846235820 3562062059 498044620625641
19207164557267030 5302603089 6016455726029792
19213601610273231940 8811241891 448162127324124085
19223342161141336460 5611491142 390216214114934788
1923314667588367720 34151122026 34866908811238798
1924246344648306470 3901521760 28534464815232407
1925429356397367850 48151481250 47735789714838035
1926283261067328940 139112031080 42226216720333974
1927257269831355880 6160214272 87326983121435860
1928238252828376340 025256423 23825532825638057
1929185253739319540 640305475 24925373930532429
1930181381974335940 7610445267 25738297444533861
1931442292089323530 2212669284 46429328966932637
1932202231672333120 340708176 23623167270833488
1933226344078349570 2112492234 24734527849235191
1934336287884354740 71079119 4072878847935593
19353443005131377270 681680219 412300613168037946
19367973720125477290 125440818440 922416012581848169
19378603803189506451158 90326465289 950412918946552092
1938216369380489621739 3068171171 24637618017150872
1939343212114561661962 974483495 43328611448358623
194083256619464082455 588406670 8826541940649533
194110144010414802150 109649447 2015361049443677
1942012510353792624 91534141830 91404041439833
194307160316031920 026835445 0984035433568
194407770298051559 003090 0777030931364
194504970235091460 02212518252 0718025133221
1946019301371130 053831335290 0731031336791
194700000 072329837025 0723029837025
194800000 057221327817 0572021327817
194900000 0160626967 01600626967

It is noticeable that, particularly in the earlier period, a large proportion of the lime and cement sold was not made by Nelsons. The majority of these materials were sold at remote sales points, particularly London, and were packed under the Cock logo by other producers - mainly the other Warwickshire producers.

stockton sales
stockton lime

The total tonnage produced on site varied remarkably little during the period, and never rose very much above the 40,000 tonnes capacity in 1886. However, the amount of lime in the mix consistently fell. It is noticeable that lime production was set aside during both World Wars. Other Blue Lias Lime producers ceased manufacture earlier: Rugby in 1932, Barrow and Southam in 1935, Barnstone in 1938, Aberthaw and Harbury in 1939.

Note 1.

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NOTES

Note 1.

Text and notes for this article are in preparation.
Original content © Dylan Moore 2016: commenced 31/07/2016: last edit 12/08/16.

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