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Garsides Shenley Hill Pit Heath and Reach

 Shenley Hill pits of Harris and Garside in 1927
Shenley Hill pits of Harris and Garside in 1927

George Garside (Sand) Limited (now Garsides Sands, part of the Holcim Group) was one of the two principal local sand quarrying firms. Established in 1880 the company worked a number of pits in Heath and Reach and Leighton Buzzard. One of these pits lay in Shenley Hill Road.

The Rating and Valuation Act 1925 ordered that every piece of land and building in the country be assessed to determine the rates to be paid upon it. The valuer visiting Garside's pit in Shenley Hill Road [DV1/C254/94] noted that it comprised 13.692 acres. He noted: "Work it about once a month" "Most of pit not worked lately" "But fairly recently worked on south side" "Rails run into pit" "No one working 30/8/27"

The pit stood just east of a pit quarried by Parrott and Harris. Garside's pit has now closed and part of the site is used as a local amenity area run by Bedfordshire County Council until April 2009, then the newly created Central Bedfordshire Council. The area is used to dispose of household and other waste a large proportion of which is recycled.