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Benjamin Shaw Brundell

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Benjamin Shaw Brundell (1825-1897)

Brother of Richard Shaw Brundell


1897 Obituary [1]

BENJAMIN SHAW BRUNDELL, born on the 5th September, 1825, at Gillingham, Norfolk, commenced work at the age of fifteen with a firm of land surveyors at Colchester.

Three years later he was articled to Messrs. Sherrard and Hall, of Westminster, under whom he was engaged in making surveys for the London and York Railway, afterwards known as the Great Northern. In the course of that work he records that he received a horsewhipping at the hands of the then Lord Galway, who, like many landowners at that time, was furious at the idea of a railway passing near his property.

Thus began an unbroken connection of fifty years with the Great Northern Railway, to which Mr. Brundell always referred with great pride and satisfaction.

He was about twenty years of age when, on the recommendation of Messrs. Sherrard and Hall, he was engaged by Mr. (afterwards Sir William) Cubitt, Past-President, and was placed on the staff of Mr. Henry who was then Resident Engineer on the Doncaster section of the line.

He subsequently followed Mr. Carr to Peterborough and later to Tuxford, where he had charge of the works from Askham to Newark.

In 1857 Mr. Brundell settled in Doncaster and commenced to practise on his own account, in association with his brother-in-law, the late Mr. Tom Penrice, who, however, after some months accepted an appointment in London. One of the first works which Mr. Brundell carried out was the construction of a short railway from Sandy to Potton, about 4 miles in length, on the Bedfordshire estate of Captain William Peel.

In 1864 he was appointed Engineer to the Don Drainage Commission, and in the same year he made the working survey of the Doncaster and Gainsborough Railway.

It was in 1867 that Mr. Brundell was first consulted by the Doncaster Corporation as to a sewerage scheme for that town. He suggested a reversal of the sewers in order that the discharge might take place at one point, and Mr. (now Sir Robert) Rawlinson, Past-President, having reported in favour of the proposal, Mr. Brundell was instructed to carry out the works.

He then recommended the erection of a pumping-station and the pumping of the sewage to Sandall, where the Corporation possessed suitable land. That scheme, being also approved by Mr. Rawlinson, was carried out, and by 1872 the Doncaster irrigation farm at Sandall, which has since served as a model for many others, was in working order.

Mr. Brundell also acted as Engineer to the Doncaster Waterworks, which were completed in 1880 and were under his charge for six years, when they were handed over to the Borough Surveyor. While engaged on that undertaking he was responsible for the new Don drainage works, in addition to his ordinary practice, a task which must have severely taxed his energy. He was frequently consulted by other towns requiring modern systems of sewage disposal and water-supply, and carried out works at Wigan and Sleaford.

Mr. Brundell died at his residence, Christ Church House, Doncaster, on the 8th April, 1897. He was a man of cultivated tastes, refined perceptions and intelligent judgment-eminently practical and painstaking to a degree. Although burdened with a full share of the cares and worries of professional life, he was ever ready to help those in need and to bear a prominent part in local undertakings.

Mr. Brundell was elected a Member on the 4th May, 18G9.



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