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Munday Hill Number 2 Pit Heath and Reach

Munday Hill Number 2 pit in 1927
Munday Hill Number 2 pit 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 was called Munday Hill Number 2 Pit and lay west of Mile Tree 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 Munday Hill Number 2 Pit noted [DV1/C254/100]: "Saw foreman 30/8/27. 15 men working, do about 56 yards a day = 56 tons. Best sand in Bedfordshire. A good pit well arranged - been open 4 years. Trucks pulled out of pit to Light Railway by Motor & Horses. Separate rails for untopping. 1 gang of men in pit. 1 on untopping. Average untopping 14-15 feet".

Buildings comprised a corrugated iron engine shed, a corrugated iron store shed and a corrugated iron mess room. Untopping referred to the amount of soil, or overburden, to be removed before the sand layers were reached.