Lift off for the HLTG

The Hard Landscape Training Group staged its first pavement construction training day on Friday, October 6th 2006 and the overall opinion seems to be that it has exceeded expectations, with 15 trainees on this first of ten one-day courses that will be taking place before the end of the year.

This first course, entitled "An Introduction to Block Laying", was developed by the HLTG in association with this website and the course was led by some scruffy git by the name of Tony McCormack, ably assisted by John Howe of Interlay/Interpave and Colin Metcalfe of the HLTG.

On this introductory course, the day is split into two sessions, with the morning being spent in a classroom environment examining and discussing the layers of a block pavement, describing the various tools and materials that are used, and looking at just how a well-constructed block pavement is put together. There's a lot of emphasis on proper edge course construction and quality cutting-in, but the level remains fairly basic throughout. Even in a 3 hours session such as this, it's amazing how quickly the time goes, and you suddenly notice there's only 15 minutes until the lunch break and you still haven't discussed dealing with efflorescence and the value (or otherwise) of sealants.


This first course was very kindly sponsored by Marshalls at their Southowram plant on the outskirts of Halifax. They really couldn't have done any more to make us feel welcome and to provide a superb venue. They even sorted out the weather so that the afternoon practical session was held in bright and dry conditions, despite it pi... tipping down for the preceding 48 hours! A heartfelt thank-you to Brian Commons, Dave Jessop and everyone else that helped make this inaugural course such a worthwhile experience for both the trainees and the HLTG.

There's still plenty of courses to come before the end of this year. Unfortunately, due to last minute Elfin Safety problems at the Cemex Gartshore site, last week's course in Scotland had to be postponed, but will be re-scheduled for later this season. This week, we hit another snag with the Charcon site at Leighton Buzzard, and so we are immensely grateful once again to the wonderful people at Marshalls who stepped in and made it possible for us to transfer the second "Block Laying" course just a few miles up the road to their site at Sandy in Bedfordshire. You're too late to book into that course - it's chock-full - but there are a limited number of places remaining on several of the later courses.

in the classroom
Settling down for the morning classroom session
Setting-up for the afternoon practical
block cart
Learning how to use the block cart
HLTG schedule
Latest revised schedule for HLTG courses this autumn

If you want to book places on any of the remaining courses, or if you just want to learn more about the HLTG, please contact group organiser Kath Walker - contact details are given below.

Places on the courses cost roughly 70 quid per person, plus the dreaded VAT and, in most cases, that includes a butty for lunch plus a copy of the course notes and exercises, and the all-important certificate of completion that proves you've been properly trained.

setting screed rails
Setting screed rails
laying a 45 herringbone
Establishing a 45° herringbone
finished pavement
Finished pavement
Using a block splitter

Contact details for HLTG


0845 260 7609