Rugby Cement
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Rugby Cement was the common name for a company based principally in
Rugby, Warwickshire Rugby is a market town in eastern Warwickshire, England, close to the River Avon, Warwickshire, River Avon. In the 2021 United Kingdom census, 2021 census its population was 78,125, making it the List of Warwickshire towns by population, second-l ...
, which produced
portland cement Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar (masonry), mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in t ...
. With its origins in the early 19th century, the company was founded in 1862 as the Rugby Lias Lime & Cement Company Ltd before being renamed the Rugby Portland Cement Company Ltd in 1872, in 1979 it was renamed the Rugby Group plc. In 2000 Rugby Cement was taken over by the
RMC Group RMC Group plc (formerly "Ready Mixed Concrete Limited") was a ready mixed concrete, quarrying and concrete products company headquartered in Egham, United Kingdom. It was listed on the London Stock Exchange and was once a constituent of the FTSE 1 ...
, which was itself taken over by the Mexican firm
Cemex CEMEX S.A.B. de C.V., known as Cemex, is a Mexican multinational building materials company headquartered in San Pedro, near Monterrey Monterrey ( , ) is the capital and largest city of the northeastern state of Nuevo León, Mexico, and the ...
in 2005. Cement production still continues at the New Bilton site in Rugby under Cemex ownership.


History

The business was first started in 1825 as a small family business by two local businessmen Thomas Walker and his son George Walker when they started producing
lime mortar Lime mortar or torching is composed of lime (material), lime and an construction aggregate, aggregate such as sand, mixed with water. The ancient Egyptians were the first to use lime mortar (masonry), mortars, which they used to plaster their temp ...
at a site on their land at New Bilton and nearby Newbold-on-Avon, exploiting locally available deposits of what Professor H.B. Woodward described in 1898 as "the finest inland section of lower lias
limestone Limestone (calcium carbonate ) is a type of carbonate rock, carbonate sedimentary rock which is the main source of the material Lime_(material), lime. It is composed mostly of the minerals calcite and aragonite, which are different Polymorphis ...
in the country". The first public company the ''Rugby Lias Lime & Cement Company Ltd'' was founded in 1862. In around 1870 the company began producing
portland cement Portland cement is the most common type of cement in general use around the world as a basic ingredient of concrete, mortar (masonry), mortar, stucco, and non-specialty grout. It was developed from other types of hydraulic lime in England in t ...
, and the company was renamed the ''Rugby Portland Cement Company Ltd.'' in 1872. The next milestone in the company's history occurred in 1933 when Sir Halford Reddish became the managing director of the company. The company began to expand its activities, acquiring four plants at nearby Southam in 1934, Rochester in 1937, Gillingham in 1939, and Stockton in 1945. The first two were rebuilt and modernised with the latest technology, but the latter two were soon closed down as they competed with the Southam and Rochester plants. In 1955, the company founded an
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands. With an area of , Australia is the largest country by ...
n subsidiary, Cockburn Cement Ltd, in
Perth, Australia Perth is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian states and territories of Australia, state of Western Australia. It is the list of cities in Australia by population, fourth most populous city in Aust ...
, which was later merged in 1999 into
Adelaide Brighton Cement Adbri, formerly Adelaide Brighton Cement, is an Australian manufacturer of cement, Lime (mineral), lime and dry blended products. Adbri operates manufacturing and distribution facilities in South Australia, the Northern Territory, and New South ...
. In 1965 a 92 km pipeline was opened to transport
chalk Chalk is a soft, white, permeability (Earth sciences), porous, sedimentary rock, sedimentary carbonate rock. It is a form of limestone composed of the mineral calcite and originally formed deep under the sea by the compression of microscopic pl ...
as slurry from
Kensworth Chalk Pit Kensworth Chalk Quarry is a geological Site of Special Scientific Interest in Kensworth in Bedfordshire. It was notified under Section 28 of the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, and the local planning authority is Central Bedfordshire. The site ...
,
Bedfordshire Bedfordshire (; abbreviated Beds) is a ceremonial county in the East of England. The county has been administered by three Unitary authorities of England, unitary authorities, Borough of Bedford, Central Bedfordshire and Borough of Luton, since B ...
to the Rugby plant. By the 1980s the company branched out from its Portland cement base to offer a wider variety of cement types, including sulfate-resistant cements, cements for the offshore oil industry, and quick-drying cements. In 1984 the company bought the Addison Corporation of
Atlanta, Georgia Atlanta ( ) is the capital city, capital and List of municipalities in Georgia (U.S. state), most populous city of the U.S. state of Georgia (U.S. state), Georgia. It is the county seat, seat of Fulton County, Georgia, Fulton County, the mos ...
, thus entering the American construction market, and also saw it enter the joinery market. In the late 1990s, the plant at Rugby was upgraded at a cost of £200 million to a production capacity of 1.8 million tonnes. At the same time the plants at Southam and Rochester were closed down as production was concentrated at Rugby.


See also

*
Blue Lias The Blue Lias is a geological formation A geological formation, or simply formation, is a body of rock having a consistent set of physical characteristics (lithology) that distinguishes it from adjacent bodies of rock, and which occupies a pa ...
– locally available limestone


References

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External links


Rugby Cement Plant
British companies established in 1862 Cement companies of the United Kingdom Companies based in Rugby, Warwickshire Defunct companies of the United Kingdom