A trip to Shap lime works

Monday 8th Sep 2014

A trip to Shap lime works

Rotary Club's Visit to Tata Steel’s Shapfell quarry.


On Thursday 4th September 13 members of the Rotary Club of Lunesdale and 1 visitor paid a visit to Tata Steel’s Shapfell quarry. We were met on site by Chris Queen Manager and Alastair Dunn, Quarry Manager. Chris gave a short history of the company and a concise explanation about the operation of the works while Alastair talked about the quarry. Tata Steel employs about 40 people at Shapfell, most of whom live in the local area. The kilns process 500,000 tonnes of limestone per year into lime products for use in various industries. 6,000 tonnes of lime is made per week of which 4,000t is transported by rail and 2,000t by road. There are approx 70 outgoing road movements each week and a lorry carries approx 30  tonnes. Tata Steel, which employs about 18,000 people in the UK, is the biggest consumer of lime products at its two steelworks in Scunthorpe and Port Talbot. The Shapfell plant has a close involvement with the local community and Chris and Alastair attend bi- monthly meetings of the local Parish Council. Lorries passing through the village of Shap observe a strict 25 mph speed limit and are suspended from travelling through the village during the drop-off and pick-up times at the primary school.


The visit coincided with a beautiful summer evening. Those who wished were invited to climb to the top of the huge 4 kilns about 150 feet. We were not far from the top of the chimneys. Most readers will have seen the steam coming from these great chimneys from the M6. It was a wonderful view from the top and an amazing experience. Finally we walked across from the works to the quarry which is not visible from the road. This marked the end of our tour.

Mike Harrison gave a vote of thanks to Chris and Alistair for their hospitality, for sharing their professional expertise, for answering all the questions so patiently and generally for a superb evening.


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