There are precious few that chose to raise the bar and go beyond the norm required to operate; to be externally investigated by a global charity, to be audited by one of the best independent ethical voices in the world and to be held accountable for promises made on global issues such as Climate Change and Millennium Development Goals (soon to be transformed into Sustainable Development Goals by the United Nations). As with every business, a company is only as strong as the product it sells and the drive to provide high quality stone has led to in depth, rigorous testing to ensure the end user is never disappointed. The passion of its people, the honesty with which they share information and the transparency of its operations in the global marketplace are impressive.
All it takes is Time and Pressure...
From the geologist’s point of view, alongside minerals, these are the most important elements that determine whether it is worth hewing a rock from the ground, beginning a programme of investment that will see it emerge from its dark existence under the earth, through a process of refinement and into the bright sunlight to adorn our public parks and gardens.
“To protect the newly quarried rock from the elements, we have to bury it again” said Rory. “It prevents freeze-thaw action on the rock. It’s been surrounded by earth for centuries, so it is initially vulnerable to outside elements and we have to gently introduce it to different external forces” he explained.
Marshalls own four sandstone quarries in Yorkshire and Lancashire where the stone is mainly bound for a commercial client. It is relatively expensive and is often found paving high profile locations such as Trafalgar Square.
Resilience - the right stone for the right job
Very few rocks (except maybe the fossil-ridden limestone) look exciting at the start of this process, although to the eyes of the geologist they are oozing with potential! Rory has been with Marshalls for almost 15 years and as a qualified and experienced Geologist he is excited by new prospects and often spends time investigating new sources abroad. Such stone only enters the market after rigorous testing, ensuring that they are resilient enough for their various end uses. Why is this important? Well, if your high street is anything like mine, you will have seen plenty of paving smashed to bits by countless lorry wheels. If the correct product had been chosen, with the correct level of resilience the lorry wheels would not have broken the paving at all –avoiding the need to replace the product at a later stage and increasing the visual appeal of the high street.
Read on to find out about how The Marshalls Stone Standard helps to identify the right stone for the right job...