Records of George Garside (Sand) Ltd., Leighton Buzzard
The records deal with the finances of the company (investments ledgers, daybooks, cash books, sales ledgers etc), the production and movement of sand (sand returns, production totals etc), and employment records (wages book, sickness fund, tax deduction cards etc). This collection also contains some records of the Leighton Buzzard and Linslade Land Company Ltd., of which George Garside was a member.
The records of George Garside (Sand) Ltd were deposited in the County Record Office by David Markham, on behalf of Thresher and Agnew (quantity surveyors / project managers), Buchan House, 39, Hockliffe Street, Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire, LU7 8HB, on 8th July 1996.
Leighton Buzzard, Bedfordshire
Administrative / biographical background:
George Garside opened his first sand quarry at Billington Road in 1885. He opened a smaller quarry at Rackley Hill around 1898. George Garside died in 1926 whereupon his nephew, Hugh F. Delafield, took control. In 1957 the business passed to J.G. and W.H. Delafield (sons of Hugh). They embarked on a period of expansion and modernisation: A Limited company was formed on 1st January 1960. The company became part of the English China Clays (ECC) Group in December 1978. The pit in Billington Road had become almost exhausted during World War I. As a result George Garside began to quarry at Grovebury. In 1918 he purchased a quarry from Joseph Arnold and Sons. He also opened two new pits in a nearby field. However, production became concentrated at the Grovebury pit due to the trade recession of the 1920s and the subsequent need to economise. The sands became an important source of raw material for the manufacture of concrete roofing tiles. During the war, quarries were opened at Shenley Hill and Double Arches. The sands from these areas were found to be acceptable as a substitute for certain types of materials used for U.K. glass manufacture, when normal supplies were interrupted. Although the sand had to be carted several miles to the railway or canal, the wartime demand made transport problems of secondary importance (all his existing pits were close to the LNWR). The LBLR served these quarries when it opened in 1919. Another quarry connected to the LBLR was opened in 1925 at Munday's Hill, opposite Miletree Farm. A plant (to wash, screen and dry sand with coal fired ovens) was built in the old Billington Road quarry soon after the LBLR opened. In 1964, a large new drying plant was built at Eastern Way.