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End of an era as quarry closes

Sandwell | News | Published:

A Rowley Regis quarry firm is leaving one of the oldest sites in the Black Country after finally running out of stone.

Edwin Richards QuarryA Rowley Regis quarry firm is leaving one of the oldest sites in the Black Country after finally running out of stone.

Edwin Richards Quarry, owned by Midland Quarry Products, will close its operation in Portway Road, Rowley Regis during August and move its asphalt business to a new site in Wednesbury.

The move will signal an end of an era for Rowley Regis where there has been quarrying on the hills for over 200 years.

Dave Evitts, who is a driver at the site, said: "It is an end to a tradition. Part of it use to be called Hailstone Quarry and there were two quarries on the site.

"It's due to close in August and will move to Wednesbury but it won't be a quarry, it will be a plant where materials are imported, " he said.

"It won't affect me as I'm self employed. There are about six to eight workers and they have the option whether to move or be made redundant," he added.

Sandwell Council leader, Councillor Bill Thomas added: "There is a long history to this site, which is more than a 100-years-old.

"There were problems with dust which were emitted causing problems for residents. In the end we managed to reach a dialogue with the company and they handled the situation well.

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"I am sad, it's the end of an era for Rowley. They use to quarry the Rowley Rag which was an important local stone," he said.

Local businesswoman Joanne Hadley who runs a florists, said: "I must admit I'm glad they are going as there was a lot of dust I had to clean from my vases."

David Weeks, spokesman for Midland Quarry Products, said: "The rock quarrying stopped some time ago and some of the land was taken over by Waste Recycling Group as landfill."

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