It was all Bill Birch’s fault. My friend and long term climbing partner for many years was bemoaning the fact that he couldn’t get reliable supplies of chalk balls from his current supplier and I was moaning about having no money.
I suggested to Bill that I could make chalk balls for him. How hard could it be?!
Having persuaded my wife this was a good idea and secured a loan for machinery and raw materials, Rock Technologies was born in my mother’s garage in 2001.
With little idea how chalk balls were made, I developed a production process from scratch, which remarkably is similar to the system we still use today. In the first year, I made (and Bill sold) 50,000 chalk balls.
We soon outgrew the garage and moved to a unit in Tanners Mill in Greenfield. I took on additional staff, in the shape of John Lewis, who is still with us today, but now as Production Director, handling the day to day production and fulfilment of orders. We now have 6 people working in the business and in 2017, we sold 500,000 chalk balls.
Before Bills retirement, he had started the process of setting up distributors in mainland Europe. Today we have distributors across Europe and beyond and we also manufacture own brand product for some of the most respected names in the climbing equipment world.
Sadly, Bill died in 2017, but I think he would have been proud at what we have achieved and we ork hard to grow our business in his memory.
Looking forward, we are reducing the packaging in products whilst looking at using more sustainable materials.
Keep an eye open for latest updates via our blog!!!
Richard Hyde, Greenfield, December 2019
The majority of our raw materials are sourced from the UK or Europe, this ensures that we keep the carbon footprint of our products as low as possible, with an increasing focus on reducing waste we are endeavouring to reduce our use of plastics, the aim is nil, whether we will achieve this can’t be guaranteed at the moment.
We are now offering finger tape without any plastic packaging, our new paper pouches for loose chalk (launched 2022) will be fully recyclable and our new 250ml liquid bottle will change from PVC to fully recyclable HDPE (also launched 2022). Please visit our Blog for the latest updates as we continue our journey to reduce our environmental impact.