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British Industrial History

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Bath and Portland Group

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Construction and civil engineering group

1960 Name of the Bath and Portland Stone Firms was changed to Bath and Portland Group.

1960 Acquired South Western Stone Co[1]

1961 Acquired Agricultural Contractors, makers of agricultural lime[2]; acquired K. D. G. Instruments and Stow and Partners[3]

1961 73rd AGM[4]; the group was expanding, having 3 divisions - Stone, Agriculture and Engineering; Dorset Limestones had been acquired, formerly jointly owned with South Western Stone, which was one of 3 members of the Stone Division, together with Stone Firms and Portcrete thus offering both natural and artificial stone as well as stone cleaning. Calcofil Ltd was a member of agriculture division which had expanded from agricultural lime to the broader business of "soil fertility", which was the name given to the leading business in this division - Soil Fertility. The Engineering activities had grown out of activities originally supplying the group's businesses with purpose-made plant of new design; this division was being expanded by acquisition - recently acquired were K. D. G. Instruments and Stow and Partners of Crawley which had the same management.

1961 Acquired a quarrying firm, which was added to the other quarries which were operated by Soil Fertility Ltd[5], the controlling company of the agricultural division[6]

1962 Stone Firms Ltd acquired C. Walker and Co, marble and granite merchants of London[7]

1963 Acquired P. W. G., an old established firm involved in road-stone, concrete and building products[8]

1964 Acquired Rustproof Metal Window and Engineering Co[9], Dudley Coles, D. Davies and Sons (Dinas), D. Davies and Sons (Transport)[10]

1965 Acquired Montcliffe Stone Quarries, Supermix Concrete and Peter Jackson (Quarries), operators of granite quarries and ready mix concrete plant owners in Lancashire[11]

1965 Acquired Marples Ridgway and Partners[12]

1966 Acquired Dunns Farm Seeds, to strengthen the agricultural side of the business[13] which was named Soil Fertility Dunns

1966 Proposed conversion of Portland harbour into a commercial port[14]

1967 Commissioned design of a new headquarters office building in central Bath[15] but permission was refused by the local council after protests[16]

1967 Merged the stone-masonry subsidiary with that of Trollope and Colls[17]

1968 The building and civil engineering division had made losses; steps had been taken to reorganise the company, Dudley Coles Long[18]

1969 Bath and Portland integrated its building and civil engineering activities, forming 2 new subsidiaries: Marples Ridgway would be the new subsidiary carrying out all civil engineering work; Marples Ridgway (Building) would be the subsidiary controlling all building activities; Dudley Coles Long would be a subsidiary of Marples Ridgway (Building) [19]

1969 Losses on building contracts and on industrialised building components led to the Group making virtually no profit overall in the first half of the financial year[20]

1970 Portcrete was a member of the building products division of the group; it supplied precast concrete units for new buildings[21]

1970 Sold the Bath office.

1971 Profitability had been recovered; the dominance of building and civil engineering in terms of group turnover would be reduced[22]

1972 Acquired Keirby and Perry Group and Bell and Sons Group; the latter would strengthen the animal nutrition division of the Group[23]

1973 The main divisions of the group were[24]:

  • Minerals
  • Building and civil engineering
  • Agriculture
  • Engineering

1981 Acquired Braham Millar, makers of quarrying plant[25]

1983 Disposed of the civil engineering interests, which were not making much profit in view of the size of the turnover of these businesses; they were acquired by a Jersey-based subsidiary of the Dutch contractor, LTA. Acquired a Dutch instrumentation company to expand that division. Also investing in the quarrying businesses[26]

1984 The company had developed a medical diagnostic scanner and was seeking a partner to market the machine. Was considering selling the loss making subsidiary Curwen and Newbery, maker of heat regeneration equipment[27]

1985 Acquired by Consolidated Goldfields, which sold parts of 2 divisions of the group[28]; sold Bell and Sons, the agricultural division of the group, to Farmos Farmline[29]

1989 Consolidated Gold Fields was acquired by Hanson

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. The Times, October 6, 1960
  2. The Times, March 28, 1961
  3. The Times, June 5, 1961
  4. The Times June 13, 1961
  5. The Times, October 24, 1961
  6. The Times, June 13, 1961
  7. The Times, August 13, 1962
  8. The Times, June 11, 1963
  9. The Times, September 24, 1964
  10. The Times , October 26, 1964
  11. The Times Monday, May 31, 1965
  12. The Times, June 2, 1965
  13. The Times, April 11, 1966
  14. The Times, July 23, 1966
  15. The Times, January 5, 1967
  16. The Times, February 8, 1967
  17. The Times, June 6, 1967
  18. The Times, December 7, 1968
  19. The Times, June 16, 1969
  20. The Times August 16, 1969
  21. The Times, May 20, 1970
  22. The Times, July 29, 1971
  23. The Times, November 3, 1972
  24. The Times, June 23, 1973
  25. The Times November 25, 1981
  26. The Times, August 26, 1983
  27. The Times, February 23, 1984
  28. The Times , April 12, 1985
  29. The Times, July 2, 1985