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William Richard Cole (1829-1882)
1883 Obituary 
WILLIAM RICHARD COLE was born on the 13th of August, 1829, and at the age of fifteen was engaged by the late Mr. T. W. Jobling, mining engineer to the Northern Coal-Mining Company, to assist in surveying and in keeping the plans of the Framwellgate Moor, the Willington, and Andrew’s House Collieries, in the county of Durham.
In January 1849, he was formally articled to Mr. Jobling for four years, serving his pupilage at Jarrow Colliery on Tyne. Subsequently he was employed for one year in surveying and in making plans for different engineers. From the beginning of 1854 to the latter part of 1855 he was resident viewer of the Bebside Colliery, during its sinking and winning, after which he was made resident viewer and assistant mining engineer to the Bebside and Choppington Collieries. He held this position until Mr. Jobling’s death twelve years later, when he was appointed mining engineer to those collieries, and also of the Walker Colliery.
In 1871 he became, in addition, mining engineer to the Burradon and Coxlodge Collieries, and in 1872 to the Widdrington Coal-Company.
When elected a Member of the Institution in February 1877, the Bebside, Choppington, Walker, Burradon, Coxlodge, and Widdrington Collieries, which were then under his charge, together produced upwards of 950,000 tons of coal yearly. Several new winnings were made at these collieries during his management, and he was in private practice as a colliery viewer.
Mr. Cole was recognised as an able and experienced engineer, exhibiting much skill and resource in the sinking of shafts and in laying out underground works, and especially in the management of a large body of men. He died on the 6th of September, 1882, within a week after his eldest son had commenced an apprenticeship to him.