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Times of change

Tarmac entered the precast market in 1981, when it acquired Nottingham- based Ferro Concrete. Four years later, with the takeover of Francis Parker and its Francis Concrete subsidiary, it added flooring to its product mix. In 1986 came the last big move of the decade, the acquisition of Bryco Concrete. By the end of the 1980s the precast operation was trading as Tarmac Structural Concrete after a brief interlude when the name over the door read Tarmac Concrete.

Another name change came in 1993, to Tarmac Precast Concrete. The same year the flooring operation was put into joint venture with Trafalgar House, to trade separately as Francis Lees and a year later Tarmac took over the RCC retaining walls business from Tilcon.

The year 1995 was hectic. A joint venture was set up with Composite Structures to produce prison 'pods', SG Baldwin was acquired, the remaining 50% of the Richard Lees flooring joint venture was purchased. Then came the big one. Costain Building Products, formerly Dowmac was taken over, and with it the Tallington site.

A year later Tarmac Precast Concrete relocated its headquarters to Tallington, and transferred SG Baldwin production there as well. Tarmac now operates from three works, including Tallington. The Charcon factory in Nottinghamshire specialises in tunnel segments and shaft linings, while Henlade in Oxfordshire produces a wide range of precast units, principally aimed at the civils and structural market.

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