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John Wade is a well known and respected local businessman who also farms a considerable area of arable land and trains his own impressive stable of racehorses.

He has a steady flow of winners each season mostly on northern tracks, but arguably his finest hours have been at Cheltenham, when Overflowing River won the Cheltenham Hunters four mile steeplechase in two successive years.

It sounds idyllic life but in 1958 when at the age of fifteen John left school, he could hardly have anticipated being a successful businessman and racehorse owner.

His first wage packet was a mere 10 1/4 d per hour – just £2.00 per week. At nineteen he began repairing and driving earth moving plant and 2 years later out on his own as an agricultural engineer. That fledgling enterprise would quickly move into plant hire and small contract work involving earth moving, re-seeding and demolition.

Those early activities soon progressed into quarry products sales as he became a merchant, collecting stone from the Old Town Quarry at Middridge near Shildon and delivering it to local builders and Councils.

In 1972 John Wade acquired his first quarry Stonegrave Aggregates Ltd based near Aycliffe Village and then started developing the business. John expanded the quarry and was soon supplying the region’s construction industry with crushed dolomite – magnesium limestone for the technically minded. Many new Darlington houses, facilities and roads in the last quarter of the 20th century were built on Aycliffe Quarry hardcore. Meanwhile the demolition and land reclamation side of the business flourished.

During the 1990’s John expanded by taking on larger earth moving and demolition jobs and purchasing the existing Aycliffe Quarry utilising part of the quarry as a licensed landfill site.

In recent years the waste management division has seen considerable growth as a result of the large investment in recycling, obtaining a comprehensive waste permit for its treatment facility and landfill site. It now holds key Waste/Recycling contracts with local Councils and will do for many years to come.

The growth, development and stability over the years have helped to strengthen the John Wade Group, something that is much needed in the times of uncertainty and austerity. As the economy appears to turn the corner who can say what opportunities lie ahead.

Having first started in business on his own at the age of 21, he is now proud to be celebrating achieving his 50th year in 2014.

It’s fair to say that the name John Wade has become synonymous with local transport as his wagons can frequently be observed on many roads throughout the North East.

John Wade Quarry
John Wade (right) celebrates another winner along with his Head Trainer Maria Myco (left)

John Wade (right) celebrates another winner along with his Head Trainer Maria Myco (left)

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