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Harold Faraday Proctor

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Harold Faraday Proctor (c1868-1942)

1942 Obituary [1]

HAROLD FARADAY PROCTOR, who died at Bristol on the 11th May, 1942, at the age of 74, was the son of Barnard S. Proctor, the well-known writer on pharmacy, and grandnephew of Michael Faraday.

Born at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, he received his education at Rutherford College and, after passing through the Durham University College of Science (now the Armstrong College), served an indentured course with Messrs. H. Watson and Sons, mechanical engineers, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.

On the commencement of the Newcastle-upon-Tyne Electric Supply Co. in 1889 he was appointed Chief Assistant Engineer. He relinquished this position in October, 1892, and went to Bristol on being appointed Chief Engineer and General Manager of the Bristol Corporation Electricity Department.

In August, 1893, a supply of electricity was given to the Bristol Arts and Crafts Exhibition from the original generating station at Temple Back. Arising out of a meeting of a few municipal engineers who met at a dinner in London in 1895, the Municipal Electrical Association was conceived. Mr. Proctor served on the first committee and was one of the signatories of the Articles of Association upon the Association's incorporation in 1901. He became President of the Association in 1898 and in 1905 was elected Honorary Secretary, an office which he retained until 1919.

He gave evidence before the Government Committee on Electrical Trades in 1916 and, as a result of this evidence, the I.M.E.A. was requested by Sir Charles Parsons to draw up a plan for the governmental representation of electrical interests suggested by Mr. Proctor in his evidence. A special Council Meeting of the I.M.E.A. passed certain resolutions which were the basis of the formation of the Electricity Commission and the Central Electricity Board.

He joined The Institution in 1892 as an Associate and was elected a Member in 1894.

In 1910 he was elected to the Council, on which he served altogether for 8 years. In 1914-15 he was chairman of the Western Local Section (now Western Centre). He was a member of the Committee which drafted the constitution of the National Whitley Council for the electricity supply industry and was the first Chairman of the West of England Area.

He was requested by the Electricity Commission to set up an Engineering Investigating Committee, whose chief problem was to select a site for a generating station which would be suitable as a base-load station for the whole of the Lower Severn Area. The Committee finally recommended that the station should be erected upon a site at Portishead. The scheme was commenced in 1927 and the Portishead generating station, which might be looked upon as the "coping stone" of his energetic and distinguished career, was placed in commission in 1929.

He is survived by a son and daughter.

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