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John Bell Simpson

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John Bell Simpson (c1837-1926)

1926 Obituary [1]

JOHN BELL SIMPSON died on April 26, 1926, at his home, Bradley Hall, Wylam-on-Tyne, at the age of eighty-nine.

He was born at Ryton Woodside in 1839, and after serving his articles as mining engineer he became connected with the Stella Coal Co., Ltd., controlling several mines near Blaydon-on-Tyne. For many years Dr. Simpson was managing owner of the company, and was responsible for the great development of the collieries.

He acted for the Crown in connection with mining properties, and was mining engineer to the Duke of Northumberland, Viscount Ridley, Viscount Allendale, Sir E. Blackett, and others. He also had charge of the Wallsend and Hebburn Collieries for some years, and later became associated with other important colliery companies in Durham.

He became a director of several companies, including electric lighting companies in Newcastle, Cambridge, and Scarborough, Parsons' Marine Steam Turbine Co., and Hawthorne, Leslie & Co., Ltd.

He was a past-president of the North of England Institute of Mining and Mechanical Engineers, and of the Institute of Mining Engineers. As the result of a series of lectures on geology delivered by him nearly sixty years ago, there was inaugurated a movement which resulted in the foundation of Armstrong College, Newcastle. Later Dr. Simpson contributed £10,000 towards the cost of founding the King Edward VII. School of Art at Armstrong College. He occupied a seat on the Council of the College, and in recognition of his work the University of Durham conferred on him the honorary degree of D.C.L. He befriended hospitals and similar institutions with the greatest generosity, and was a benefactor to various Associations for promoting the welfare of miners, in which he always took the greatest interest. Dr. Simpson was a member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, and a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society.

He was elected a member of the Iron and Steel Institute in 1877.

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