Cementing steam!


Spending a weekend at a cement works probably isn’t at the top of most people’s priority lists – but it is for us enthusiasts. Ketton Cement Works, which lies three miles west of Stamford in the county of Rutland, opened its doors to the public on Saturday, June 30 as part of a celebration of the facility’s 90th anniversary.

I was literally a pig in muck – or rather dust. Being fascinated by all things heritage and ‘practical’, the rare opportunity to look round a well known industrial plant was too good to miss. What’s more, a steam locomotive was on site – and on a personal level, my late maternal grandfather worked at Aberthaw and Rhoose cement works in the Vale of Glamorgan, adding to my fascination.

In a scene completed by the locomotive’s temporary renaming, Dunlop No.6 looks at home in the bagged loading area. MARTIN CREESE

There was plenty to interest all ages – including displays of vintage tractors, motorbikes, trucks, cars, fire engines and a steam roller. Operator Hanson Cement also kindly allowed access to the cabs of some of its trucks, aided by specially-made wooden steps.

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Access around the large expanse of site was aided by a network of shuttle buses operated by Lawson’s of Corby using a selection of Mercedes-Benz minibuses and a solitary immaculate Alexander PS-bodied Volvo B10M.

A popular attraction was the quarry machinery demonstration, involving dumper trucks, excavators, shovellers, a bulldozer and a water sprayer to keep the dust down.

Providing a reminder of the owner’s environmental awareness, displays near the quarry face included fossils and photos of the rich variety of wildlife that inhabits the site.

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