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Percy Graham Buchanan Westmacott

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Percy Graham Buchanan Westmacott (1830-1917) of W. G. Armstrong and Co, Engineer

1830 September 11th. Born in Edinburgh.

1862 Percy Graham Buchanan Westmacott, Elswick Engine Works, Newcastle-upon-Tyne.[1] - W. G. Armstrong and Co.

1864 Westmacott's Hydraulic Engines, p 143 and p 144 The Engineer 1864/03/04.

1865 Son Claude Berners Westmacott was born in 1865 at Wickham, Durham, son of Percy Graham Buchanan Westmacott and Annette Beatrice (nee Berners). Claude was educated at Eton College.

1881 16 & 17 Pall Mall, Westminster St James, Middlesex, England.[2]

In 1882 he was President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers

1917 September 10th. Died.[3]


1917 Obituary [4]

PERCY GRAHAM BUCHANAN WESTMACOTT was born in Edinburgh on 11th September 1830.

He served his apprenticeship in the marine engine works of Messrs. Miller, Ravenhill and Co., Blackwall.

In 1851 he entered the Elswick Works as a draughtsman, about four years after they had been started. Upon the appointment of Mr. W. G. Armstrong (as he then was) to superintend the manufacture of guns at Woolwich Arsenal in 1859, Mr. Westmacott was entrusted with the sole technical management of the engine works at Elswick, and greatly contributed to the development of the hydraulic lifting machinery department of the works.

In 1864 he became a partner in the private company of Sir W. G. Armstrong and Co. formed in that year, and managing director when the firm became a limited company in 1882.

In 1866 he completed a long series of experiments on the conveyance of grain, on which subject he read a Paper before this Institution in 1869, and in the same year he joined the Council.

He designed in 1868, in conjunction with the late Mr. T. E. Harrison, then engineer to the North Eastern Railway Co., the swing bridge across the Ouse, near Selby, and the swing bridge across the Tyne, at Newcastle, was also built largely under his direction.

Almost all the principal docks on the Thames, in the South Wales ports, and in other parts of the country, were equipped with machinery for operating the locks and for the loading and unloading of cargo, at the suggestion of Mr. Westmacott, acting in conjunction with the local engineers.

The earlier giant cranes of 160 tons at Spezia, Malta, Venice, and Taranto, are among some of the examples of work carried out under his direction, also the hydraulic installations for dealing with cargo fitted in the large P. and O. liners.

He retired from the Board of Directors in 1910.

He was elected a Member of this Institution in 1862, was a Member of Council from 1869 to 1875, a Vice-President from 1876 to 1880, and occupied the Presidential Chair in 1882 and 1883. In the latter year the Summer Meeting of this Institution was held for the first time in Belgium, and in the Address he delivered at Liege he called special attention to railways and the advantages of rapid transport. He was frequently a witness before Parliamentary Committees, more particularly in connexion with the various Thames Crossings Bills, including that relating to the building of the Tower Bridge, and he devoted much attention to the manufacture of chains. He took great interest in the original Volunteer movement, and raised and commanded for many years the 1st Newcastle-on-Tyne Engineer Volunteers.

His death took place at his residence at Ascot, on 10th September 1917, at the age of eighty-seven.

He was a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers from 1861.


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