Media Centre
Media Centre

31 December 2008

CEMEX quarry manager honoured in queen’s new year list

John Drayton, quarry manager at CEMEX in Barrington, has been awarded the Order of the British Empire: Member (MBE) for services to the quarry industry and geology.

John Drayton first came to CEMEX’s Barrington Cement Plant 38 years ago. Contrary to other quarry managers, whose responsibilities are to oversee day to day excavations, John used it as a platform to enhance knowledge of local history to the benefit of local communities, academics and conservationists at local and national level.

His personal interest in geology first took hold when he discovered a fossil in the quarry. Since then, John has made more than 100 finds, to the joy of the many visitors he has received over the years. Over a period of more than 30 years, John has hosted annual visits from Cambridge University and Open University students, often in his spare time.

He has also hosted visits from a number of local primary and secondary schools, as an integral part of their geography and business curriculums. John established a close working relationship with English Nature and the Natural History Museum to ensure the safe collection and removal of the more important quarry finds, such as the remains of an ichthyosaur which lived more than 90 million years ago, a significant and rare find, and the first to be excavated from Cambridgeshire Greensand. Its remains were donated to the Natural History Museum in 2005.

His passion and enthusiasm for geology has extended well beyond the CEMEX plant boundaries, and in his spare time John likes to show off his fossil collection and give talks about local geology and his finds to community groups across Cambridgeshire.

Through his finds, talks and passionate tours, John Drayton has enhanced the local knowledge and understanding of Barrington’s history. He has also made a great contribution towards enhancing the perception of quarrying to one which makes a positive contribution to society beyond the provision of building materials.

Mr Drayton said: "It is a great honour to get an award like this for something I enjoy doing. Behind an award, you have to have a successful team and a lot of thanks go to Gordon Horspool, my team leader."


CEMEX is a global building solutions company and leading supplier of cement, readymixed concrete and aggregates. In the UK, CEMEX also has a significant share of the asphalt, concrete block and mortar markets. The company has a national supply network in the UK with over 500 locations, to ensure that quality building materials is available to customers locally. For more information, see or MORE INFORMATION: Marit Meyer-Bell, tel. 0786 765 3392 / 

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