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British Industrial History

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Barnes Kay

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Barnes Kay (1868-1931)

1931 Obituary [1]

BARNES KAY had been for twenty-three years manager of the transport and electricity undertakings of the Haslingden Town Council. Shortly after his appointment as tramways manager in 1908 he acted as clerk of works during the conversion of the tramways from steam to electric traction, and recently he had charge of a further change from electric trams to motor omnibuses.

He was born at Accrington in 1868 and served his apprenticeship at the Bridge End Engineering Works, Helmshore, Manchester, from 1884 to 1891.

He was then engaged for two years as foreman fitter with the Manchester, Bury, and Rochdale Tramway Company.

He subsequently entered the service of the old Accrington Corporation Steam Tramways Company as foreman at the Haslingden depot. Later he was transferred to the Accrington depot. Haslingden Corporation took over the working of the steam-trains in their borough from the beginning of 1908 and appointed Mr. Kay to be foreman at their depot.

When, in December 1911, the Corporation inaugurated their supply of electricity, Mr. Kay was appointed engineer of this department. Mr. Kay had an inventive mind and patented a trolley wire grooving and flanging machine and an electric wash boiler which was extensively used on municipal housing estates.

At the time of his death, on 1st June 1931, he was engaged in perfecting a hydraulic gear-box which he had successfully applied to a motor-car. He became a Member of the Institution in 1923.

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