The Quarry
Quarry 1961 Quarry 1982
The photograph, left, shows the Quarry in 1961 when the excavation had started to expand towards Well Lane. In 1980, further work was done at the top level and the quarry was deepened, see photograph right.
Quarry 1980
There was an advantage for the village in that, in 1981 and 1982, the Clay Shoot associated with the Village Fête, was held in the Quarry.
Clay Shoot Clay Shoot
The 1981 photograph (left) shows how deep the quarry had become. The buildings were in an advanced state of decay. (below)
Clay Shoot
Throughout the 1980s activity at the quarry became less and less, and, around 1989, it was sold to a consortium of three business men from the Bordon area.
1990 onwards
On Thursday, July 6th 1990, the Parish Council conducted its Annual Traffic Survey, recording one lorry and a tractor using Well Lane, besides a few cars.
LorriesThe next morning all hell broke loose, with some 180 lorry movements, using large 8 wheel lorries, which meant that, between 7:30am and 6pm there was, on average, one lorry every three and a half minutes on the road through Lower Froyle. And there was nothing we could do about it!
A sub committee was formed by the Parish Council to investigate the problem and try to obtain a solution.
It quickly became apparent that the 1947 IDO allowed uncontrolled expansion of the site and the activities there connected with the “winning of chalk”. It was also discovered that the IDO had originally been intended to last just long enough for the country to recover post war ..... but, when it was drafted, no time limit was put on Lorriesit. The pictures here give some idea of the problems involved with all this extra traffic on very narrow roads. Police and Hampshire County Council tried their best to alleviate the problem - we even had the road through Lower Froyle measured for damage by the County Council, an operation that was fairly costly.
The committee contacted a village in Wales who had suffered the same problem of sudden quarry expansion under an IDO and we exchanged strategies. In addition much use was made of the local papers, radio and television to further our objective of preventing this from wrecking our Lorriesvillage. The initial contract, for the Blackwater Valley Relief Road, lasted until the end of August and was followed by another short one for the extension of the runway at nearby Odiham airfield.
After much research and further contacts through Jean Benson, the Parish Council Chairman, we managed to actually get the law changed and all IDOs in the country were “called in”. However, this meant that, for the next five years, we went through several public enquiries as various limitations were placed on the Quarry owners as to the amount of chalk to be extracted and the hours of working.
Also, during this process, two further ideas to ‘ease’ the extraction of chalk were proposed and maps drawn up!
The first was an aerial tramway from the Husseys Lane side of the Quarry, over the skyline crossing Husseys Lane just above Limit Bungalow and heading, via Coldrey, down to the main road.
These buckets would carry the chalk to be loaded into lorries somewhere on road to the Bentley side of Coldrey - a similar concept to the picture below.
Following that, the next idea was to build a haul road along the same route so that lorries could avoid passing through Lower Froyle. See the plan below:-
Haul Road
The next move of the owners was to move their skip business there, and, once more we went through another public enquiry!
Nothing came of this and, at the end of the 1990s, the owners tried to sell the quarry to a local Alton Company who wanted to move a satellite ground station that handled business communications from an existing site at Pirbright near Guildford. This was met with strong resistance in the village, and, in late 2001, the company withdrew their application.
Over the previous years, several attempts had been made overtly by villagers to purchase the site, but, the owners refused to sell it.
Another attempt in 2006 to import chalk from road workings on the course of the old Alton to Basingstoke Railway and recycle it, was also turned down.
Happy Ending
Quarry 2012
In 2012 the quarry site, seen above in a more natural condition in 2008, was finally sold to a private individual who plans to build a house there - the mineral extraction, and its resulting traffic potential, has now gone away for ever.