7 May 21. HM 108. Glensanda is the largest granite quarry in Europe, it accounts for 99% of all aggregate shipped out the UK and has no roads leading to it!
Set in the remote hills on the shore of Loch Linnhe, Glensanda was the brain child of Somerset quarryman John Yeoman who enjoyed sailing the west coast. His vision was to build a hard rock quarry close to the water causing minimum environmental impact. Opening in 1986, the quarry has shipped out 177 Million tonnes of stone to customers all over the world. The most common product is “ground up” granite which is the main ingredient of concrete, with Polish & German road builders the main clients. So how do you quarry, grind up and ship out a mountain?
At the centre of the quarry crater (photo 7), which is set back 2km from the shore, is a verticle shaft known as “The Glory Hole” (photo 8) into which the granite is tipped by 100t trucks, down a 230m shaft and along a 1.8km conveyor belt before being ground up. 7 million tons of aggregate are loaded onto ships each year, at a staggering 6,000 t per hour! A typical client order is 1 million tons and as a sideline they sell “armour rocks” for coastal defence
Everything at Glensanda is big, including the welcome we received from Ian Henry the HM. He has worked at the quarry since 1988 and been HM of one of the largest (by weight) bulk terminals in the UK since 2013. The workforce of over 200, all of whom have to be tranported across the loch for their 7 day shifts, is obviously a close team.
His job is as varied as any HM, one day eating fish curry breakfasts on board as a pilot, the next loading 44,000 tons of 10 ton rocks off his jetty and the next discussing the fliming of an epiosde of Top Gear. Thank you so much Ian for hosting Good Dog on your massive ships’ quayside, it was a great start to my 2021 HM Challenge and we all learnt so much about what I can only describe as the “Tracy Island” of all quarries. Do look up www.aggregate.com .
I am circumnavigating #GB to #support The Seafarers’ Charity in a #Nauticat, attempting to visit every #harbour with a #harbourmaster #fundraising for @seafarers_kgfs