Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

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Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 149,644 pages of information and 235,472 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Burton Wade

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William Burton Wade (1832-1886)

1887 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM BURTON WADE was the second son of the Rev. Charles Gregory Wade, for many years rector of Hanwood, Shropshire, and of his wife Hannah Maria Burton, daughter of Robert Burton, both of good old Shropshire families.

The Rev. Mr. Wade was one of the commissioners of the Holyhead Road, on which Telford and Macneill were then engaged, and this no doubt influenced the choice of a profession for his second son.

Burton Wade, as he was always called, was born at Hanwood on the 23rd of October, 1832, was educated first at home, then at Rossall School, and, after three years’ study at the Putney College of Civil Engineers, young Wade was articled to the late Samuel Clegg, M. Inst. C.E., who was engaged on gas and sewerage works, railways, and some harbour and canal projects.

In the year 1855, finding it difficult to obtain professional employment in England, Burton Wade sailed for Sydney, N.S.W., and immediately on his arrival was engaged by the late Sir Gilbert Elliott, Chief Commissioner for the Municipal Government of Sydney, as assistant to the late Mr. Edward Bell, M. Inst. C.E., then City Engineer. Mr. Wade was at once employed to assist in superintending the large sewerage-works, and in the preparation, under Mr. Bell, of the designs for the Sydney Waterworks, which he afterwards helped to carry out. Mr. Wade remained as Mr. Bell’s chief-assistant under the re-established corporation after the abolition of the Commissions, and left on completion of the engines, main and reservoirs.

During the latter part of this service Mr. Wade, associated with a friend, obtained the first, prize of £250 in a competition for the best designs for the sewerage of Launceston, Tasmania. The referee, the late Sir William Denison, H.C.B., B.E., Assoc. Inst. C.E., then Governor of New South Walcs, pronounced the design as the best of the fifteen sent in, stating: “I have no hesitation in awarding the first prize. The general scheme is well adapted to the present as well as future wants. All the details are well worked out, and the estimates carefully framed.”

On leaving the city works, Mr. Wade, in February 1859, was engaged by Mr. Whitton, M. Inst. C.E., Engineer-in-Chief for railways, New South Wales, in preparing working surveys, and then in charge of the works from Black Creek to Singleton.

Mr. Wade was continued in that capacity as each extension was let until June, 1872, when the line was completed to Murrurundi, having charge during the latter part of this time of the trialsurveys, of the northern extensions to Narrabri and Tenterfield respectively.

Mr. Wade was next removed to Bathurst as Resident Engineer of the extensions of the western line, from Raglan to Bathurst, and thence through Orange to Dubbo, including the construction of two iron bridges, one consisting of three spans of 150 feet each over the Nacquarie river, at Bathurst, and another, of four spans each of 150 feet, at Wellington ; having completed up to that point a total of 193 miles of railway on the northern and western lines.

In 1879, the great increase in work rendered it necessary that Mr. Whitton should have an able confidential assistant to inspect in his stead, from time to time, all the railway-works in the colony. For this duty he selected Mr. Wade, to whom was given the general superintendence of the extensions; Yass to Albury, Junee to Hay and Jerilderie, Wellington to Bourke, Wallerawang to Mudgee Quirincli to Narrabri, Tamworth to Tenterfield and Sydney towards Illawarra, on which works of considerable magnitude have been carried out, namely, iron bridges over the Macquarie at Dubbo, two iron bridges over the Nurrumbidgee at TVagga and Karran...[more]

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