Category: News

Within sight of our sawmill and home town

Here’s another sight to lift the spirits. It’s taken at Bury Ditches, home to one of the best-preserved hill forts in the country which dates from around 500BC. It’s located within sight of the mill, deep in the beautiful Shropshire hills. Bishop’s Castle and the Mill are at bottom left, then following the hills round… Read more »

A new day brings new hope

This was the scene yesterday at out forest holding at Aberhosen in mid Wales: a glorious spring morning which seems full of possibility at a time of great uncertainty for us all. Taking each day as it comes seems less difficult in a setting like this with such a wonderful sunrise. The felling and extraction… Read more »

Back at the cutting edge

Forestry and sawmilling have been classed as essential operations during the pandemic so having taken an extended Easter break we’re back at the cutting edge today in the knowledge that we can cut timber and keep our workforce safe. Timber of course is used to make pallets and packaging on and in which food and… Read more »

Like Parliament, we’re closing a little early for Easter

In the light of the current situation surrounding the Coronavirus outbreak we have taken measures to safeguard our employees and will be closing the site at Bishops Castle from close of business on 27th April. Our intention is to re-open just after Easter on Tuesday 14th April, circumstances permitting. Of course, we will be reviewing… Read more »

A sight for saw(!) eyes

There’s no better sight for a sawmiller than trailers all loaded with timber ready for delivery all over the UK. Every cubic metre of it was grown in the UK, some of it on our own forests, part of the more than 80,000 cubic metres we process eac…

The new chip store is working exactly as it’s designed to

In order to better manage the peaks and troughs in demand for woodchips we’ve constructed a new store here at our mill in Bishop’s Castle. These two pictures show it in operation with a chipper outside working on undersized logs and feeding chips into the store. You can see the operation in a video clip… Read more »

Lovely morning, lovely load!

Maybe we should get out more but some days just start perfectly: a cracking, bright frosty morning here in Bishop’s Castle and a trailer load of treated timber ready to leave us for the customer. What more could anyone ask for?

A distinct improvement

These two pictures were taken almost exactly two years apart. Above is the demolition of the old, run-down buildings where, as we see in the picture below, our new Timber Treatment Centre now stands. At the right of the bottom picture you can see the line of posts for the fencing we’re currently erecting to… Read more »

Keeping our neighbours’ feet dry!

We’ve been tidying up the boundary of the site where our new Timber Treatment Centre stands, both to reduce the impact of our operations on neighbours and to present a tidier face to them. As part of this work we’d thought we’d give the muddy footpath which runs alongside the boundary a top dressing of… Read more »

Air dried Larch

Here’s another benefit to increased storage capacity at our mill: 3.6m larch boards kept in the dry ready and waiting for swift delivery. Larch of course is incredibly durable and has become very popular for use as cladding as well as being a traditional material for fencing. Delivered in bundles of 160, there’s plenty more… Read more »

All chip-shape and Bristol fashion

It’s a process of constant improvement here at Ranfords both in how we mill and treat the timber and how we make certain that we get the most value out of every bit iof timber we handle. This newly completed chip store (complete with Great Brtish Timber Yorkshire Boarding) means we can store more material… Read more »

Frosty morning, Bishop’s Castle

We count ourselves most fortunate to live and work in such beautiful surroundings, never more so than on mornings like this. Here in Bishop’s Castle it’s bright and sunny with the air like Champagne. The biomass boiler and kilns in our mill are steaming away and after what at times was a stormy week all… Read more »

A picture perfect acoustic installation

As the very last of the concrete storage area around our Timber Treatment Centre is poured (above) we’re cracking on with the installation of the acoustic fencing barrier which will reduce noise which might drift over from our long-established sawmill to the relatively new homes nearby. Panels like these are used throughout the UK near… Read more »

Keeping the noise down for the neighbours

Our business is in a small town which has grown and spread in recent years so that houses now stand quite close to the sawmill (which has been here for well over 100 years!) in what once were fields. We are keen to minimise the impact of our activites on our neighbours so, the new… Read more »

Ill winds

With weather warnings issued by the Met office today it seems a good time to remember the Great Storm of 1987 which occurred on the night of 15–16 October. Hurricane-force winds battered England, France and the Channel Islands as a severe depression in the Bay of Biscay moved northeast. As well as causing fatalities and… Read more »

Remembering Alan Evans, pressing on, and recognising long service.

It is three years to the day since the sudden death of Alan Evans who (along with his brother Brian) saved our sawmill from bankruptcy in 1978 by buying the mill for just £100 … along with the £1.5 million of debts to the bank and trade creditors which had accumulated. Every penny of debt… Read more »

Mill machinery mad

We’ve said before that whilst we are proudly a family business we’re also proud to be part of a family of businesses: firms that we’ve dealt with since the year dot. Morris Lubricants have supplied us since we started and we were very pleased to welcome some of the family that own that business to… Read more »

It’s that time of year again!

Our home town of Bishop’s Castle is a small and close-knit community in Shropshire close to the border with Wales. It’s the sort of place which still has a kind of unwritten seasonal calendar on which, of course, Christmas features prominently. So, the picture shows one of the first acts in the Town’s preparations as… Read more »

We’re making good progress on the new chip store

We’ve had more than our share of downpours here recently but enough dry weather to be able to crack on with our new chip store. The roof is half on and the wall panels are all in. Next we need to put some Yorkshire Boarding on. Good job we know a good sawmill producing Great… Read more »

Visit by students at Bishop’s Castle Community College

Lightfoot Enterprises and the Community College, Bishop’s Castle (the secondary school which serves the town and surrounding villages) have been working together to introduce pupils to the delights of woodlands. As part of the College’s enrichment programme, a group of Year 7 pupils have been going into the woods to experience the richness & diversity… Read more »