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Russell Forrester Ferguson

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Russell Forrester Ferguson (1860-1944)

1945 Obituary [1]

RUSSELL FORRESTER FERGUSON was for twenty-five years chief electrical engineer to the Corporation of Hastings. He was born in Glasgow in 1860 and educated at the Glasgow Academy, receiving his technical training at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. He served a six years' apprenticeship with Mr. William Young at Ardrossan, from 1874 to 1880, passing through the drawing office and fitting shops. On the completion of a short engagement as leading journeyman fitter to Messrs. W. Henderson and Company, of Glasgow, he served at sea as marine engineer for a period of five years, rising from junior to chief engineer.

From 1886 to 1892 he held brief appointments as district engineer to a tea company in India, chief draughtsman to Messrs. Mavor and Coulson, electrical engineers, Glasgow, and first engineer in the electricity department of the Brighton Corporation. After holding the position of chief constructional engineer to the City of London Electric Lighting Company, Ltd., he became resident engineer at the electricity supply works of the Shoreditch Vestry, and was later made superintending engineer to Messrs. Manlove, Alliott and Company, of Nottingham.

Subsequently he received the appointment of borough electrical engineer at Fulham. Three years later he began his long association with the Borough of Hastings, and during that period was responsible for the entire reconstruction of the generating station. Mr. Ferguson, whose death occurred at Salisbury on 2nd March 1944, was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1903 and was transferred to Membership in 1909. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers.

1944 Obituary [2]

RUSSELL FORRESTER FERGUSON, who died on the 2nd March, 1944, at the age of 83, was educated at Glasgow Academy. After serving an apprenticeship with Mr. William Young of Ardrossan, Ayrshire, he sailed as a marine engineer, becoming in due course a Chief Engineer in the service of the River Steam Navigation Co., India. On returning home, he studied electricity at the West of Scotland Training College, Glasgow, holding at the same time the position of Chief Draughtsman to Messrs. Muir, Mavor and Coulson. In 1891 he was appointed 1st Engineer to the Brighton Corporation Electricity Works; in 1892, Construction Engineer at the Bankside Power Station of the City of London Electricity Co.; and in 1896, Resident Engineer for the combined electricity and refuse destructor works at Shoreditch. Two years later he joined the Fulham Borough Council Electricity Department, of which, in 1900, he became Chief Engineer and Manager.

He relinquished this position in 1903 to take up the post of Borough Electrical Engineer at Hastings, where he was responsible for carrying out several extensions and modifications to the mains system and to the plant at Earl Street. In 1924 he designed and supervised the building of the new power station at Broomgrove, and was responsible for the change-over of supply to that station from the Earl Street works, and for the inauguration of the bulk supply to Bexhill Corporation. Subsequently he instituted supplies over an area of about 154 square miles, comprising Rye, Battle and Winchelsea, and a large number of villages, but he retired in 1927 before this area was put into full operation.

He came to Hastings at a time when the Electricity Undertaking had recently been taken over by the Corporation, and he had many obstacles to overcome, but he surmounted them all and left the Undertaking well on the road to prosperity. He was a leader of men, a man of wide vision, and a most respected chief and official, with a charming personality.

He joined The Institution as an Associate in 1893, and was elected an Associate Member in 1899 and a Member in 1903.

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