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Thomas Cheveley Rayner

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Thomas Cleverley Rayner (1840-1898)

1899 Obituary [1]

THOMAS CHEVELEY RAYNER, eldest son of the late Thomas Rayner, of Castle Hedingham, Essex, was born on the 30th October, 1840.

After assisting his father, who was an extensive agriculturist in Essex, and being for some time in the office of a land agent and surveyor, he joined in 1861 the staff of the late William Munro, contractor, and was employed on the Colne Valley Railway and on the Tendring Hundred Railway during construction.

In 1863-65 he was in charge of a considerable length of the Athenry and Ennis Junction Railway for the same contractor.

He was engaged during 1866-68 on a 25-mile district of the State Railways in Denmark for the contractors, Peto, Brassey and Betts, and in 1869-70 on the East Hungarian Railways, under the late Charles Walker, for Waring Brothers.

From 1871 to 1876 he was occupied, partly on his own account, in connection with ironworks, mining, railways, etc., chiefly in South Wales.

In 1877 he was again in Ireland as contractors' agent on the works of the Dungannon and Cookstown Railway, and in 1879 he was appointed to take charge of the Banbridge Extension Railway, and afterwards of the Limavady and Dungiven Railway. On the completion of the latter line the directors retained him in their service as contractor for some extra works.

In 1885-86 Mr. Rayner carried out several contracts on his own account, including some difficult pier works on the Donegal coast for the Board of Public Works, Ireland.

Early in 1887 he accepted an engagement as agent for the contractors of the Plymouth, Devonport and South-Western Railway Works, but relinquished that position shortly afterwards on being offered an appointment on the staff of the late T. A. Walker on the Manchester Ship Canal contract. There he was engaged as District Agent until the end of 1890, when he was appointed by the Belfast and County Down Railway Company Agent and Resident Engineer on the works of the Downpatrick, Eillough and Ardglass Railway, which, together with the Newcastle loop line, he completed to the entire satisfaction of the Company.

He was engaged on numerous other works in the North of Ireland until September, 1896, when he undertook for the Board of Sublic Works the supervision of the construction of Hillybegs Pier, CO. Donegal, which was completed in the following May.

Unfortunately his health then began to fail, and, having to nndergo a severe internal operation, he was unable to attend to work for nearly a year, but in March, 1898, he was entrusted by che Dublin University Boat Club with the execution of the works in connection with the new rowing course on the River Liffey. These he was able to complete satisfactorily, but, after long struggling against an internal complaint, he succumbed on the 17th November, 1898.

Mr. Rayner was loved and esteemed by all whom he employed. Somewhat reserved in disposition, he was hard to please in his choice of friends, and only selected those who were true and straightforward. He is greatly missed by many who had learned to appreciate his sterling qualities.

He was elected an Associate on the 6th May, 1869, and was subsequently placed in the class of Associate Members.

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