Tribute to Sir David Davenport-Handley, Chairman of Clipsham Quarry Co Ltd

DDH in quarry 1947

It is with great sadness that we announce the death, on January 10th, of Sir David Davenport-Handley, chairman of Clipsham Quarry Company Ltd.

David inherited Clipsham Quarry from his father in 1943. After the war he returned to the quarry to find that Clipsham stone had been  selected for the restoration of the Palace of Westminster following war damage. David was placed under great pressure by the Government to increase output from the quarry to unrealistic levels and to increase the number of quarrymen employed. For this project the architect, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott, had specified blocks that were deeper on the bed than existed in quarry, so he invited Sir Giles to visit Clipsham Quarry to see the beds of stone being worked. The result was that the architect re-designed the depth of the stone courses to match the depth of the seam, and much time and labour was saved by this change. David’s communication skills and initiative became legendary.

During  that time The new Labour Government sought to nationalise the quarry.  David was summoned to London to meet the Minister of Works and he argued vociferously against nationalisation. He won the day.  This was to lead to him joining the Conservative Party and getting heavily involved in politics. He became Chairman of the National Union of Conservative and Unionist Associations and in 1979 chaired Margaret Thatcher’s first National Party Conference. He was knighted in 1980 for public and political services.

David was a pillar of the Rutland Community and served his county and his country in many different ways. He was much admired and respected by all. In the stone industry David was a founder trustee of Men of the Stones and a guiding influence supporting Archibald Ireson and Edmund Esdail.

Sue Thomas, Managing Director of Clipsham Quarry Co Ltd, and daughter of Sir David, said ‘ I have been overwhelmed with the most wonderful tributes to my Father. Not only about his personal characteristics of generosity and thoughtfulness of others, but also about his ability to run the quarry with dignity and fairness. He is much missed’

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Clipsham Quarry Company Limited, Registered No. 0786620 (England & Wales), Registered Office: Fernleigh, Castle Bytham, Grantham NG33 4RT