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British Industrial History

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John Fenwick

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John Fenwick (1826-1896)

1896 Obituary [1]

JOHN FENWICK, born at Newcastle-on-Tyne on the 4th July, 1826 , was the second son of Mr. Simon Fenwick, for many years in the service of the London, Brighton and South Coast Railway Company.

So long ago as 1840-41 he was engaged in the locomotive department of the Croydon Railway.

He then served an apprenticeship of seven years, first with Messrs. Gordon, millwrights and engineers, of Deptford, and afterwards with Sharp Brothers, of Manchester.

From 1849 to 1851 he was in the employment of W. Fairbairn & Co, and in 1852 he was in the locomotive department of the London and South Western Railway.

Mr. Fenwick was next for two years engaged for Messrs. Rigby, the contractors, in charge of the plant for Holyhead Harbour works.

From 1853 to 1855 he was foreman boiler-maker at the Wolverton shops of the London and North Western Railway, after which he was for three years foreman of the fitting shop at Messrs. J. and G. Rennie's marine-engine works.

In 1858 Mr. Fenwick proceeded to Western Australia as Resident Engineer for the Geraldine Mining Company. There he was engaged for two years in developing copper and lead mines. He returned to England in 1860 and was employed for five years in superintending for Messrs. J. and G. Rennie the erection of the iron floating dock at Cartagena, Spain.

He was next manager for Walpole, Webb and Bewley, shipbuilders, of Dublin, until 1870, when he set up in business in that city as a mechanical engineer.

In 1874 and 1875 he was engaged at the Royal Marine Arsenal at Lisbon, and from 1876 to 1878 he was employed at the Barrow New Docks, Barrow-in-Furness.

In the following year he was appointed manager to the Victoria Graving Dock Co, of London, which post he held until 1883.

From that time Mr. Fenwick, with the exception of some work in connection with the repairing of the gates of the Barrow New Docks in 1890, was not actively engaged. His last years were spent at Burnham, Somerset, where he died on the 20th of April, 1896. Mr. Fenwick’s career, extending over fifty years, was of a very varied character, embracing as it did locomotive and marine engine work, mining, shipbuilding and dock-work.

He was elected an Associate on the 9th of January, 1872, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Member.

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