Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 150,085 pages of information and 235,418 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Alfred William Morant

From Graces Guide

Alfred William Morant (1828-1881)

1881 Obituary [1]

MR. ALFRED WILLIAM MORANT, the eldest son of a second family of Mr. George Morant, decorator, of Old Bond Street and Wimpole Street, London, was born on the 17th of May, 1828.

He was articled in 1845 for five years to the late Mr. James Simpson, Past-President Inst. C.E., under whom he obtained thorough practical experience in such extensive undertakings as the waterworks at Liverpool, Newcastle-on-Tyne, York, Bristol, and Carlisle, besides the Hartlepool docks and Southend pier, &c.

From 1860 to 1855 he was assistant to Mr. J. G. Lynde, M. Inst. C.E., and was Resident Engineer during the construction of the waterworks at Great Yarmouth and at Lowestoft. On the 14th of February, 1856, he was appointed Surveyor to the Corporation of Great Yarmouth, as well as to the Local Board of Health. He continued to perform the duties of these offices for about eight years, in which time he designed and carried out the sea wall and marine parade, more than 2 miles in length from north to south ; developed and improved the drainage system of the borough; and superintended the Corporation estates, as well as thoroughly surveyed and mapped them. He likewise acted as surveyor for several local interests, for one company designing and superintending the Britannia Pier; and he carried out the restoration of several churches in the locality. An attack of diabetes at the end of 1862 compelled his resignation ; but so satisfied was the Corporation with his services, that a resolution was passed to keep the office open for him for a year, the duties being performed by one of his assistants.

After seeking fresh air in Ireland, he visited Norwich, and his health having been re-established, he determined to stay there, and resigned his appointment at Great Yarmouth in November 1864.

In March 1865, the Corporation of Norwich appointed him City Engineer, a post which he held till the end of 1872. In the interval he designed and carried out, between August 1868 and the end of 1870, a complete system of high and low-level intercepting sewers, nearly all of which were built in tunnels excavated at depths varying from 20 feet to 80 feet below the surface. He also acted as Sanitary Officer to the Board of Health.

In December 1872, Mr. Morant competed for, and obtained, the office of Borough Engineer and Surveyor of Leeds. His first employment in that capacity was to complete the sewage works at Knostrop, and to ventilate the street sewers.

During the years 1877, 1878, 1879, and 1880, the sewerage system of the borough was extended to the adjacent townships, comprising Headingley, Meanwood, Chapeltown, Bramley, and Kirkstall, which necessitated three crossings under the river Aire, one under the Kirkstall station of the Midland railway, and one over the Leeds and Liverpool canal ; and for the lower part of Hunslet he constructed a new outfall sewer, which likewise necessitated crossing under the river Aire and the Aire and Calder Navigation. These crossings were by cast-iron pipes laid at a depth of several feet below the line of the sewer, and in the case of three of the river crossings the principle was adopted of confining the ordinary flow of sewage in dry weather to B small sectional area, whereby a sufficient velocity is maintained to keep the pipes clear of deposit, a larger pipe being provided for the greater flow in wet weather.

Other extensive works, in connection with the drainage of Leeds, are mentioned in his address as President of the Association of Municipal and Sanitary Engineers and Surveyors, at a meeting of that body at Leeds in May 1880. The Kirkgate Market extension, various street improvements, the erection of several buildings, and the widening and construction of bridges, also occupied his time.

His latest work, which is nearly completed, is the new road from Kirkstall Road to Armley, consisting of a viaduct and two bridges, the latter crossing the Leeds and Liverpool canal and the river Aire, being only 30 yards apart, and of 35 feet difference of level.

Mr. Morant’s leisure hours were chiefly devoted to archaeology and heraldry, in which he became very proficient ; he was a contributor to the Dictionary of Architecture of the Architectural Publication Society, completed "The Ordinary of British Armorials" after the death, in 1870, of his cousin, Mr. J. W. Papworth; and also occasionally prepared Papers on antiquarian subjects. Joining the Volunteer movement at its commencement, he rose to be a Lieutenant in the 1st Norfolk Artillery Volunteer corps.

He was elected an Associate of the Institution of Civil Engineers on the 7th of November, 1854, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 29th of January, 1876. He was highly respected and esteemed in all the towns in which he had resided, not only in his official positions, but for his private worth and intellectual attainments. He thoroughly mastered the details of all the schemes and plans which he had to propose or to carry into execution. For some months his health had been in an unsatisfactory state, when, about the middle of June 1681, availing himself of a fortnight’s holiday, he visited Bridlington, and returning greatly refreshed, went to Birmingham to resign his Presidentship of the Association of Municipal and Sanitary Engineers and Surveyors. Unfortunately the fatigue aggravated his complaint, and he died at Leeds on the 26th of July.

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