Ards Cement Depot

A suitably bleak-grey day for a photo of the cement depot, which has lain in this derelict state for a couple of years now.

When I was wee there was a constant flow of lorries to and fro and it was common to see two mixers backed-into in the loading bays. I vaguely recall it being painted light-blue at some point in the past.

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One day whilst I was watching the proceedings one of the lorries stopped at the gates and the driver handed me a plastic 'Readymix' business card with a line drawing of a cement-mixer lorry on it. A very exciting gift for a young lad!

It is located at the bottom of Quarry Heights, just in from the junction with the North Road. The entrance ramp bifurcates, one route leading to the main yard, office and loading bays and the other climbing steeply to reach the upper level of the structure on the right. It appears that aggregate and sand is loaded from that high roadway and percolates down to a conveyor belt which carries the output to along and up into the two large cylindrical tanks, in which it is presumably mixed with water.

Originally built and operated by Irish Roads ( Belfast ) Ltd who ran the adjacent North Road Quarry, by the 1980s it was in the hands of Readymix, then Cemex and currently Northstone who run the Craigantlet quarry a few miles to the north.