Cole Ironcraft rings in the changes at St Pauls Cathedral

September 18th, 2008

Kent-based company, Cole Ironcraft has sympathetically restored a series of ornate railings at the St Paul’s Cathedral as part of a major scheme to refurbish the world famous 18th Century landmark.

In doing so, it has accurately recreated the original vision of one of the country’s most significant architects, Sir Christopher Wren.

It is the latest chapter in the company’s continued involvement with the historic London icon, which spans more than a quarter of a century. Initially, in 1974, WD Cole – which would later become Cole Ironcraft – carried out extensive renovations to the railings to St Paul’s North Churchyard.

And now, some thirty two years later, it has returned to the site to complete a highly involved contract that, as part of a £40million scheme to mark the 300th anniversary of the laying of the final stone of the dome’s lantern, has helped bring the South Churchyard back to its original best.

It comes after the area’s original iron railings, part of the 200 tonnes of original ironwork produced by the master craftsman of his time, Jean Tijou, had been deemed unsafe.

Setting about the highly sensitive works – commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of St Paul’s and overseen by architects Purcell Miller Tritton, whose Managing Director Martin Stancliff is the Surveyor of the Fabric – Cole Ironcraft carefully removed the railings from the original stonework. At the same time, it meticulously recorded which ballister matched to each finial. With thousands of them to work through, this alone was a challenging job that demanded total concentration.

Once removed, the repairable material was first blasted, before being filled and repainted to their original black finish. Any sections deemed beyond repair where recast with the assistance of a local foundry.

In September 2006, Cole Ironcraft began reinstalling the newly refurbished ironwork. Requiring newly created stonework to set into, Cole worked closely with stonemason, Stone West Ltd. In doing so, both companies demonstrated their impeccable standards to produce a finish that is not only of the highest quality, but matched the original works perfectly.

The South Churchyard project was officially opened by the Lord Mayor on 5th June this year.

Cole Ironcraft is part of the Cole Group, which also offers fencing and civil engineering services. The Cole Group, in turn, is part of the wider Countrystyle Group – Kent’s leading waste & recycling and agricultural contracting and managing provider.


September 8th, 2008

Innovative technology which turns organic matter into biogas – a renewable source of energy and a transport fuel – could play an important part in helping farmers meet strict new environmental rules according to Environment Minister Phil Woolas Treating the manure in on-farm anaerobic digestion plants while it is being stored could produce biogas, which farmers could use as a source of energy.  The treated manure can be returned to the soil as fertiliser. See press release


September 3rd, 2008


Defra published provisional estimates from the Department’s survey of municipal waste in England, incorporating the third quarter of the 2007/8 financial year (October to December 2007).  These results are based on information supplied by local authorities to WasteDataFlow: See link


September 1st, 2008

WRAP commissioned a pilot survey to collect gate fee information. The aim of this study was to increase price transparency and, through improving the flow of information, to enhance the efficiency with which the waste management market operates. The survey was undertaken in late 2007 and covered both those procuring waste disposal services (primarily local authorities) and service providers (including waste management companies (WMCs), materials recovery facilities (MRFs), reprocessors and composters). See link


September 1st, 2008

An anaerobic digestion plant in Ludlow, which takes food waste from the town and turns it into electricity and compost, was described as ‘the way forward’ by Minister for Waste, Joan Ruddock when she visited the site. The plant is part of Defra’s £30 million New Technologies Demonstrator Programme which tests innovative technology that could offer alternatives to landfill. See link for news release: see link for New Technologies Demonstrator Programme:


August 14th, 2008


The Local Government Association and The Packaging Recycling Action Group released consultation seeks to establish whether it is possible to find 5 or 6 systems which could become standard and to establish what barriers there may be for councils in moving towards using these systems. This is part of the work of the Packaging Recycling Action Group which seeks to increase quality and quantity of packaging materials collected from the household waste stream and to consider in particular how more plastics can be collected for recycling. See link


August 14th, 2008


The purpose of this guidance is to assist contractor organisations to reduce and recover waste on their construction projects and as a consequence, comply and exceed client requirements. It sets out what is meant by waste minimisation and management (WMM), why it is important and the key considerations to ensure good practice takes place throughout the construction process. See link for the guidance:

FGS Plant on top form at the races

July 2nd, 2008


FGS Plant hosted a day out at the races last Friday (27th June) and a good day was had by all! Stuart Willy, General Manager of FGS Plant, was joined at Folkestone Races by several of his customers for a day of racing, dining and great conversation. A private box was reserved for the day where Stuart and his guests were entertained in style. The day was co-sponsored by Southern Plant who supplied FGS Plant with a recent order of 15 Terex Excavators . Two of these Excavators were proudly displayed on the course for all to see.

FGS Plant and Southern Plant sponsored the 4.45 race which was named the FGS Plant/Southern Plant Handicap Class 6. The winner of the race was Granary Girl which is owned by Mrs P O’Shea and had odds of 16/1.

Stuart Willy also presented the coveted prize of ‘Best Turned Out Horse’ to Foreign King. This exceptionally well presented horse was looked after by Lauren Webb who was the proud winner of the £25 cash prize.

This day was the first of a series of Corporate days being held by the Countrystyle Group so there is lots more to be enjoyed yet this summer. 

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Green Light For New EU Waste Legislation With Binding 2020 Targets

June 23rd, 2008


The EU will have new waste legislation which includes targets for re-use and recycling of waste to be attained by 2020 after MEPs adopted amendments. The directive sets out rules on recycling and requires Member States to draw up binding national programmes for waste prevention. Waste prevention targets will be considered by the Commission in the future. Incineration of waste will be categorised as a recovery operation rather than disposal, provided it meets a certain energy efficiency standard. For press release:

WRA publish wood waste statistics for 2007

June 16th, 2008

The vast majority of waste wood is produced by construction & demolition, commercial & industrial and municipal wood waste from CA Sites, Transfer Stations and Households. Less than 200,000 tonnes of waste wood was recycled in 1996 but the new figures show a dramatic increase to1,986,000 tonnes for 2007.

The data has been compiled by The Wood Recyclers’ Association (WRA) based on information acquired from 32 of it’s members and the Wood Panel Industries Federation. This latest set of statistics demonstrates an increase in waste wood reaching animal bedding markets and biomass, with the dominant outlet being the panel board industry, taking 60% of the total tonnage for 2007.