I would like to say a big thank you to the West London Cluster group of the SGD who braved the cold weather yesterday afternoon to pay a visit to London Stone HQ. The visit was originally planned for earlier in the year but we unfortunately had to cancel as I was struck down with food poisoning. Thanks to Sue Creak of Breeze Garden Design for rallying her troops and getting everything organised from her end.
Myself (Steven Walley MD of London Stone) and Tony Osborne, the London Stone operations manager kicked off the tour by showing the designers round the stock yard. We showed them our stock of off the shelf natural stone paving and we also showed where the containers of stone that had recently arrived were being unloaded. Walking around the yard we stopped at various points and answered questions on a whole host of subjects from sealing, CE marking and stock levels to name but a few.
Next we were met by Paul Amondsen. Paul is the production manager for the London Stone bespoke stone operation. I was really looking forward to this part of the tour, London Stone have invested heavily into our bespoke stone machinery and its a part of our operation that people always enjoy seeing. First we took a look at one of the bridge saws in operation cutting sawn granite coping stones. We also demonstrated our method of packing our bespoke stone. Stone can be a fragile material which can be easily damaged if its not correctly handled, that's why we go to lot of effort when packing our bespoke stone. We then showed the designers a range of different stone masonry services that we offer including calibration, profiling and the bullnose finish. It was definitely a real eye opener for the designers to see the process of how natural stone is fabricated.
The next part of the tour took the suppliers round to the pre-sealing operation. We had a large order of Harvest Sawn Sandstone Paving that was in the process of being pre sealed. Paul explained the process of pre-sealing and how important it was, especially with sawn paving. We now headed over to Vermuelens Garden Center, home of our West London showroom and also home to our primary saws. This is where we cut all of our Portland and Yorkstone Paving and any other indigenous stone. All our indigenous stone is cut straight from the block using our very own wire saw. After a brief tour of this area it started to rain and we thought it was time to head to the showroom for a cup of tea and some cake. We then spent the next half an hour walking around the showroom discussing the different types of stone and surface finishes. Finally we were beaten by the light and we had to call it a day. It was a really enjoyable 3 hours and hopefully everybody walked away with an improved knowledge of natural stone.