I was just looking for some really good reclaimed slates and then Mark was on the end of the phone, and the next day I met him!

He has been buying and selling slates since he was 17, his warehouse is immaculate, beyond organised, and he is the nicest and obviously straightforward person you could ever wish to meet.

The conversation ranged from the tragedy of the average lifespan of men working in the Welsh slate quarries of just 37 years, to the wonders of the beautiful slates that had been on roofs for 120 years. He showed me that they were as good as the day that they were first put on a roof, the slates he sells still ring “like a bell” when he gives them a good rap with his knuckles!

All the different shades of blues, greys, lilacs, pinks, all reflecting in the light and weathering down depending on where they are by the sea, in the sun or the shade or in the country, or an industrial area.

And look how well he is! He’s a mountain cyclist!

A National Treasure!