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British Industrial History

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Alfred Augustus Richards

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Alfred Augustus Richards (c1884-1948)

1949 Obituary [1]

"ALFRED AUGUSTUS RICHARDS, M.B.E., was associated for forty-one years with Messrs. Edward Lloyd, Ltd., papermakers, of Sittingbourne, Kent, first in the capacity of chief draughts man and, since 1915, as chief engineer.

He was educated at the Finsbury, East London, and Sheerness Technical Colleges and served his apprenticeship from 1898 to 1902. He then gained experience as a junior draughtsman with the Sturtevant Engineering Company, Ltd., before joining Messrs. Edward Lloyd in 1905. As chief draughtsman he was mainly concerned with the design of new buildings and extra paper machines, two of the fastest in the world at that time being installed. During his period of office as chief engineer he was responsible for great expansion in the capacity of the works, which eventually required the service of fifty boilers.

New mills to his design were erected at Kemsley, housing much improved papermaking machines working at high speed and capable of greatly increased output. He also brought into operation the first wood-pulp plant to be seen in this country and erected a large powerhouse. Numerous other improvements in the efficiency of the machinery were due to his fertility of invention. During the war of 1939-45 the mills under his direction made important contributions to the supply of munitions. Mr. Richards retired in 1945 and lived at Bredgar, near Sittingbourne, where his death occurred on 28th February 1948 in his sixty-fourth year. He was elected a Member of the Institution in 1922. He was also a founder member of the Institute of Fuel and a Fellow of the Society of Arts."

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