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peter arnoldPeter Arnold 2009


A sand business was formed in the 1860s by John Arnold (c1816 – 1880). John was a builders’ merchant in Camden Town, London and extracted peat & loam from Kingswood, Heath in Leighton Buzzard. Arnold was to become a well known name in the sand industry in the area, spanning for succeeding generations of the same family. Joseph (1841 – 1911) was born to John, and his wife Ann. The family moved around the country subsequently. Arnold’s first sandpit was opened at Stone Lane, Heath, around 1860. This was the first of many sand pits in the Leighton Buzzard area.

Around 1881 Joseph, a keen church organist, succeeded his father in the sand business. By this time the business was advertising its Pure Silver Sand, from Leighton Buzzard. By 1894, in addition to a London address, Joseph Arnold had a depot on Union Street (now Grovebury Road) where Grovebury Pit produced building sand, and an office at 24 Market Square, both in Leighton Buzzard. In 1907 Joseph had built Sandymount, an impressive home on Plantation Road, Leighton Buzzard, into which he moved.

Joseph’s two sons, Albert (c1875 – 1939) and Ernest (1879 – 1949) were running the business prior to their father’s death in 1911, when they operated eight sand pits. The business continued trading as Joseph Arnold until 1918 when it became Joseph Arnold & Sons.

The 1936 Kelly’s Trade Directory entry: Arnold Joseph & Sons, silver, silica & building sand pits proprietors & peat & loam merchants; contractors to His Majesty's Government, Billington Road (T N67); Chief Office, 124 Tottenham Court Road, London W 1.

In 1937 a limited company was formed, Joseph Arnold & Sons Ltd. The directors were Albert & Ernest. The ownership of some of the land remained with the brothers. In 1939 Albert died, leaving his share in trust to his four daughters. Ernest died in 1949 and his sons Joseph (b1907) & Frederick (b1910) became joint Managing Directors. Joseph managed quarrying operations from the Billington Road office, whilst Frederick dealt with customer liaison and financial matters in London, until that office closed in 1967.

Peter (b1945) son of Joseph (great, great grandson of the founder John) joined his father and uncle in business in 1962. In 1977 Joseph retired as Managing Director and Peter was appointed Assistant Managing Director. Upon Frederick’s retirement in 1980 Peter became Managing Director of the long standing family business.

Changes to the board of management took place in 1988 when Peter resigned and control of the business was moved to descendants of Albert Arnold. Albert’s grandson Colin White was Chairman with his brother David director and company secretary.

The company name continued but the business traded as Arnold Sands (incorporated May 1992), part of the Arnold White Group plc.Now many of their quarries are worked by WBB Minerals Limited.

PR Arnold’s The History of a Family Business
Leighton Buzzard Light Railway by Sydney Leleux
www.leighton-linslade.org – with Kelly’s Trade Directories

copyright Greensand trust 2010
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