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British Industrial History

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Wilfred Morley Ratcliffe

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Wilfred Morley Ratcliffe (1886-1948)

1948 Obituary [1]

"WE regret to have to record the death of Mr. W. M. Ratcliffe, which, as briefly announced in our last issue, occurred at his home at 14, Hill View Road, Hanbury Park, Worcester, on Friday, August 6th.

He was joint managing director of Heenan and Froude, Ltd., in the service of which company he had been employed for thirty eight years.

Wilfred Morley Ratcliffe was born at Bolton, Lancashire, in 1886, and his engineering career started in his home town by apprenticeship with Hick, Hargreaves and Co.,Ltd. After serving his time, he worked for a short while for Bennis Combustion, Ltd., another Bolton firm, and then, in 1910, he went to Worcester to join the drawing office staff of Heenan and Froude, Ltd.

His characteristic ability brought him speedy promotion, and during the next eight years or so Mr. Ratcliffe held successively the positions of chief estimator, assist ant sales manager and contracts manager of the firm's Specialties Department. In 1919 he was appointed general manager and a year later became a director of the company....Read more "

1949 Obituary [2]

"WILFRED MORLEY RATCLIFFE was associated with the firm of Messrs. Heenan and Froude, Ltd., general engineers, of Worcester, for thirty-eight years and at the time of his death, which occurred on 6th August 1948, was occupying the position of joint managing director.

He was born in 1886 and received his theoretical training in mechanical engineering at the Technical Institute in Bolton, where he also served his apprenticeship between 1901 and 1906, first with Messrs. Hick, Hargreaves and Company, Ltd., and then with Messrs. J. Booth and Sons. After four years experience in the drawing office of Messrs. Edward Bennis and Company, Ltd., of Bolton, he began his long connection with Messrs. Heenan and Froude with a similar post.

Between 1911 and 1918 he gained rapid promotion and successively held the positions of chief estimator, assistant sales manager, and contracts manager of the Specialities Department, in the latter year becoming departmental manager. In 1919 he was appointed general manager of the company and in the following year a director. From 1936 to 1947 he was managing director. In the latter year, however, indifferent health caused him to divest himself of some of his responsibilities and he became joint managing director. Mr. Ratcliffe was well known in the Midlands as a leading industrialist. He was president of the West of England Association of the Engineering and Allied Employer's Confederation, and during the war of 1939-45 served on the reconstruction committees of the West of England Industrialists' Association and the Midland Regional Board. He had been a Member of the Institution since 1935."

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