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British Industrial History

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C. H. P. Ewbank

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(Charles Henry Preston) Harry Ewbank (1895-1965)

1895 Born in Cheltenham[1] son of Henry Ewbank, a surgeon, and Mary Elizabeth Ewbank[2]

Educated at Epsom College

Trained at Faraday House

WWI Observer in RFC

Joined Edmundsons' Electricity Corporation

1936 Chief engineer of the Corporation

1946 Formed Ewbank and Partners

1959 Formed Industrial and Process Engineering Consultants with Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners

1965 Died in London[3]

1965 Obituary[4]

"THE power supply industry has lost one of its stalwart figures with the death, on August 9th, of Mr. C. H. P. EWBANK, who was chairman and founder of Ewbank and Partners Ltd., the engineering consultants. Charles Henry Preston Ewbank, better known to his wide circle of friends as Harry Ewbank, was born in 1895. When he left Epsom College in 1914 he began an electrical engineering course at Faraday House. He interrupted his training to serve as an observer in the Royal Flying Corps during the First World War and on returning to Faraday House he gained his diploma in 1921.

He joined Edmundsons Electricity Corporation and by 1929 he had risen to the post of deputy chief engineer. In 1936 he succeeded Mr. R. F. P. Blennerhassett as chief engineer. It was a period of rapid growth for Edmundsons which, by the outbreak of the Second World War, was supplying electricity over wide areas covering about a quarter of England and Wales. These operations involved the generation and distribution of electricity, but it was in steam power-station practice that Harry Ewbank's influence as an innovator was most marked. His great gift for getting the best out of his colleagues was invaluable during the war and it was in 1941-42 that he and his staff were responsible for the building of Llynfi power-station, with four 30MW steam turbo-generators, in the record time of nineteen months from entry to site to the initial commissioning!

In 1946, with the electricity supply industry under the threat of nationalisation, he conceived the idea of forming a firm of engineering consultants. When he founded the firm of Ewbank and Partners, with himself as chairman, he was joined by thirty-seven members of the Head Office Engineering Department of Edmundsons. This small team experienced a ten-fold expansion as it undertook engineering design projects in power generation and in industry generally, in the Middle East, India, Europe, Canada and the Caribbean Islands. The scale of operations and scope for business in Canada encouraged him to form a separate company there, with himself as chairman. In 1959 he joined forces with Sir Alexander Gibb and Partners in a new venture the formation of Industrial and Process Engineering Consultants. At the time of his death he was personally engaged in the engineering design of the 2 000MW coalburning power-station at Kingsnorth, on behalf of the Central Electricity Generating Board.[5]

See Also


Sources of Information

  1. BMD
  2. 1901 census
  3. BMD
  4. The Engineer 1965 Jul-Dec
  5. The Engineer 1965 Jul-Dec
  • The Times Aug 11, 1965