Ozone Friendly at Home Farm, Tetbury Andy Tarrant

The first successful conversion of a bulk milk tank to an ozone friendly refrigeration system has been carried out on the Duchy Home Farm at Tetbury. This is believed to be the first such conversion in the world and success was achieved by the enthusiastic co-operation of the staff involved in running the Home Farm. Work started in Autumn 1990 when the traditional refrigerant Chloro Flucoro Carbon (CFC) 12 was replaced with the new non-ozone depleting Hydro Fluoro Carbon (HFC) 134a. The work was undertaken by Tarrant Refrigeration in co-operation with Castrol who supplied a new generation lubricant and Rhone Poulenc who supplied the refrigerant.

Until recently conversion of existing milk storage equipment has been deemed impractical by the refrigeration industry who preferred to promote costly installation of the alternative equipment using Hydro Chloro Fluro Carbon (HCFC) 22 refrigerant. This approach involves great expense to the farmer and at best can be regarded only as an interim solution. HCFC 22 is itself ozone depleting all be it less so than CFC12. The conversion programme to HFC 134a has been extended to many other farms. Adopting the use of HFC 134a rather than the HFCF 22 will save the sairying industry many millions of pounds over the next 5 years while achieving the important switch to an ozone friendly refrigerant. Tarrant Refrigeration was established in 1982 and is based in Marlborough. In 1986 the company first carried out work at Duchy Home Farm when they supplied and installed the bulk milk tank which they continue to service and maintain. The Editor would like to thank Castrol Ltd. for supplying the photographs.


scan-1Cooling down the Royals

A company in Marlborough has won royal recognition for it work in helping Britain’s dairy farmers to protect the ozone layer – the Prince of Wales is just one of a long list of clients who are using the expertise of Tarrant Refrigeration based at Wagon Yard.

It was while working on the Royal farms at Windsor that Andy Tarrant and a 17-year-old apprentice from Burbage, Justin Elkins, were called upon to help out in the devastating fire at Windsor Castle.

‘It was about 11.30am, we were about half a mile away from the castle when we saw smoke coming from the east wing,’ said Andy. ‘We packed up what we were doing and went along to lend a hand.’

He describes how he and Justin, a trainee in refrigeration engineering with the Wiltshire Training & Enterprise Council, joined a team who helped remove books from the castle library and valuable armoury from the blazing inferno.

‘It was amazing, I’ll never forget it, I couldn’t believe the kind of swords and armoury that we were handling,’ said Justin.

‘It was a very traumatic experience, basically we were seeing somebody’s house going up in flames,’ said Andy. ‘But the atmosphere was incredible, everyone from the farms came and helped out, there was a wonderful feeling of comradeship in the face of disaster.’

The small family business (run by Andy and his wife Alison) has become a world leader since it pioneered a system to convert huge milk-cooling tanks to a new ozone-friendly system.

It was while watching the Prince of Wales on television that the royal link began. ‘The Prince was giving a speech about small companies and how they should become more environmentally-friendly,’ said Andy. ‘So I got to the Palace straight away about the milk-cooling system and the next thing I knew I had an appointment at Buckingham Palace.’

A contract to convert the system at the Prince’s farm in Tetbury followed shortly afterwards and the work on the Royal grounds at Windsor is still going on.

‘The thing has really taken off, we are completely booked up for work at the moment and I have been invited to talk at conferences in the United States to tell them about what we are doing here in Marlborough,’ Said Andy.

Justin was lucky to be placed by the TEC at such a crucial time in Tarrant Refrigeration’s history, and he is more than pleased at being on the scene to witness the historic fire at Windsor Castle.

‘It’s certainly a good story to tell the grandchildren,’ he said.