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Collyweston Slating: David Ellis
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Interview with David Ellis

On leaving school in 1953 David Ellis took up an apprenticeship in slating at Collyweston with the master slater and quarry owner J.J Harrod. One of the first tasks that David had to carry out as an apprentice was to work forty foot down a mine in cold temperatures and poor lighting conditions to extract the slate. He says:

" It was frightening, there was a long shaft of fifty yards, branching off to a face either side of fifty feet. It was very enclosed down there and quite spooky. The most modern thing we had down there were paraffin lamps. We used to pick sand from underneath the stone, working with metal tools by paraffin and candlelight. The stone was sharp, so you had to be careful and there were bats down there, left hanging through the winter."

(Men of The Stones Yearbook and Directory, 2001)

In 1982 David had the good fortune to come across stone slate beds at Cuckoo Lodge Quarry at Duddington. This became the new supply of Collyweston slate and has been primarily used for renovation work. Two other sources still exist; the Burleigh Pit at Easton on the Hill and Claude Smith's Pit at Collyweston. David has continued to work with slate throughout his career and continues to run Ellis Stone Slating, which has carried out some prestigious jobs such as the Yard East Building of the Guildhall in London.

Background information about Stone Slating


Slating TechniquesGlossary of TermsDavid Ellis' Slate Roofs

Changes in Technology Collyweston Slate Roofs

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