Chelmer Valley is a family business that was established by Paul Menzies in 2002. With 35 years’ experience in brick and paving manufacturing, Paul saw the potential of this then under-recognised material. He dedicated the company to growing the market by working with production units across Europe to develop the finest products to the highest standards. In the following two decades, Chelmer Valley grew to become leading clay paving specialists in the UK. In 2020, London Stone began to stock Chelmer Valley clay pavers and the shared ethos of providing excellent customer service, supplying quality products and driving innovation quickly drew the companies closer together. The acquisition of Chelmer Valley by London Stone, also a family business, was felt to be a natural progression by both companies, allowing a major step forward in promoting clay and further expanding the market for this environmentally friendly, time-proven and versatile paving.
Where it started
1990 A Vision
Although Chelmer Valley Clay Paving was established by Paul Menzes in 2002, the concept of Clay Pavers had been formulating in Paul’s mind since the late 1980’s.
Whilst working in the brick industry, Paul was inspired by these rich in colour, solid form bricks that were now regularly coming into the UK from established European suppliers. Knowing instinctively that a market for these bricks to be used as pavers could exist, the question of how to launch such a product into the market remained unanswered. Paul shelved the idea for the time being………but not for very long.
The UK's go-to place
2002 Chelmer Valley Is Born
The name Chelmer Valley is now synonymous with quality Clay Paving but back in 2002 when Paul decided to take the plunge and establish Chelmer Valley, his first job was to persuade a small European manufacturer called Red Bank to back his vision and produce his first batch of Clay Pavers for the UK market. Chelmer Valley Clay Paving was born.
This first range didn’t last long, but the ball was now rolling as Paul strove to establish relationships with manufacturers across Europe. As the range grew, so did Chelmer Valleys reputation as they quickly established themselves as the UK’s go-to place for quality Clay Pavers.
Entrusting London Stone
2020 Looking To The Future
In 2020 Chelmer Valley were the UK’s go-to place for quality Clay Pavers. Trusted by the UK’s leading landscape professionals, Chelmer Valley Clay Pavers adorned gardens across the UK and were regularly used in award winning RHS show gardens at Chelsea and Hampton Court.
After 20 years at the helm and thinking about the future, Paul began looking for a buyer for Chelmer Valley who could build on his legacy. Paul entrusted London Stone, the UK’s market leading hard landscape materials supplier, as the team capable of the vision, energy and integrity to build on his legacy.
Vandersanden is a family-run company and one of Europe’s largest producers of bricks. Producing facing bricks, pavers, and brick slips and provide solutions for façades and streetscapes.
Their motivations are craftsmanship, co-creation, being innovative, and sustainability. Interacting closely with designers, developers, and construction companies to identify solutions that inspire and unite and that enhance and safeguard collective well-being. This is a major social responsibility that helps to contribute to an environment that people want to be a part of. Vandersanden don’t create functionality – street, square, façade, pavement, garden – but facilitate liveability.
Vandersanden wants to play a meaningful and inspirational role in customers living environments, a role that unites.
Underpinning Chelmer Valleys success is a genuine appreciation and love of Clay as a brick paving material. Stylish looking construction materials can often be high maintenance and lacking in longevity.
Here was something different though. The range of natural colours available in Clay gave this new paving material broad appeal across a variety of different project applications and design styles but crucially, the stunning aesthetic qualities of Clay were backed up by rock solid technical characteristics which gave Clay Pavers longevity as a paving material.