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William Griegson Pickvance

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William Griegson Pickvance (1874-1942)

1943 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM GRIEGSON PICKEVANCE was well known in mechanical engineering circles in North Wales. He was born in 1874 at Bolton and received his technical education at the Bolton Technical School. After training as a pupil in mining engineering at Hulton Colliery, he gained further experience in mechanical and electrical engineering at various cotton mills, and in printing and general engineering works. In 1899 he became engineer to the Farnworth Co-operative Society, for whom he equipped a complete steam-driven electricity generating plant. An appointment followed in 1901 as assistant engineer in the electricity and tramways department of the Farnworth Urban District Council.

For two years he was engineer in charge of the electricity station at Malvern, but in 1907 he was appointed borough electrical engineer at Wrexham, a position which he held for thirteen years, during which time he carried out many alterations and extensions to the plant. It was, however, in 1915 that he became prominent as the originator and organizer of a national shell factory at Wrexham which eventually became the second largest of its kind in the country, the layout and equipment being entirely to his own designs. In the same year he was appointed by the Ministry of Munitions as engineer member of the Board of Management for the North Wales Munitions Area.

While controlling the Wrexham factory as resident director, he also designed the national factories at Portmadoc and Caernarvon and personally controlled the inspection of all shells produced in the North Wales area. In 1920, however, continued ill-health forced him to resign his position as borough electrical engineer. In the following year he began to practise as a consultant at Wrexham and he also became interested in the engineering firm of Pickvance, Ltd., of which he was managing director. From 1932 to 1937 he was resident technical and sales engineer for the north-western area to the Weston Electrical Instrument Company. Latterly, Mr. Pickvance had been living in retirement at Hastings, where his death occurred on 31st March 1942.

He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1909, and was transferred to Membership in 1929. He was also a Member of the Institution of Electrical Engineers and was a past-president of the North Wales Branch of the Association of Mining Electrical Engineers.

1942 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM GRIEGSON PICKVANCE died at Hastings on the 31st March, 1942, at the age of 67.

His technical training was obtained at the Bolton Technical Schools during the time he was a pupil of the General Manager of the Hulton Colliery Co., Bolton. Later he held an engineering position in a spinning mill and a printing works, and then took charge of the private generating plant of the Farnworth Co-operative Society.

In 1901 he became an assistant to the Electrical Engineer of the Farnworth Urban District Council and in 1905 went to Malvern to take charge of the Electricity Department of the Urban District Council under the supervision of the Gas Manager. He was appointed Borough Electrical Engineer of Wrexhamin 1907, resigning in 1920 to take up private work.

In 1937 he acquired the electrical contracting business of George Tester in Hastings, becoming a very active committee member of the local branch of the Electrical Contractors' Association, and the East Sussex Committee of the Electrical Industries Benevolent Association. He was a charming conversationalist and dearly loved to recount reminiscences about generation, cable-laying, and breakdowns in the 1890-1910 period, and he will be missed by a wide circle of business and social friends.

He was elected an Associate Member of The Institution in 1911 and a Member in 1913.

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