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Andrew Duncan Cairns

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Andrew Duncan Cairns (1850-1896)

1896 Obituary [1]

ANDREW DUNCAN CAIRNS, third son of the late Mr. James Cairns, of Dollarbank, Dollar, N.B., a, well-known sheep farmer, was born at Lornshill, Clackmannanshire, on the 28th of September, 1850.

After being educated at Dollar Institution, he was apprenticed in 1868 to Mr. William Johnstone, Engineer to the Glasgow and South Western Railway Company, with whom he remained two years, and afterwards for a similar period to Messrs. R. B. Bell and D. Miller, under whom he was engaged on the designs for the new docks at Cadiz and for a graving dock and basin at Glasgow for the Clyde Trustees.

From March, 1874, to July, 1877, Mr. Cairns assisted Mr. J. Watt Sandeman in the design and construction of two large ship locks on the River Weaver Navigation, having entire charge of the carrying out of the works without a contractor, which he did in a most satisfactory manner.

In April, 1878, Mr. Cairns was appointed assistant to Mr. Philip J. Messent, Engineer to the Tyne Improvement Commissioners. He was at first employed in the preparation of drawings, under Mr. Messent's direction, for the lock and entrance gates of the Albert Edward Dock, and afterwards for the tidal landing-stages on the Tyne Piers, the construction of which he superintended.

In 1880 he had charge, as Resident Engineer under Mr. Messent, of the construction, without a contractor, of the piers or breakwaters at the mouth of the Tyne, an undertaking of extreme difficulty, in the course of which he displayed great readiness in devising expedients for the execution and protection of the work.

In August, 1892, Mr. Cairns had an attack of paralysis, from which he apparently recovered and was able to resume his duties for some time.

At the end of 1894, however, repeated attacks had so enfeebled him that he was obliged to retire, to the great regret of his employers and colleagues. He left Tynemouth and resided with his mother at Balquharn, Menstrie, where he died on the 7th of May, 1896.

Mr. Cairns was elected an Associate Member on the 5th of December, 1882, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 15th of March, 1887.

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