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Hugh Meller Bradford (1837-1886)

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Hugh Mellor Bradford (1837-1886)

1887 Obituary [1]

HUGH MELLER BRADFORD was born at Gayton, near Stafford on the 28th of January, 1837, and received his education as a private pupil of the Rev. W. Hides, vicar of that parish.

On its completion he was articled to a surveyor and civil engineer at Derby, under whose superintendence he made extensive surveys of that and neighbouring counties.

He then obtained the appointment of surveyor and assistant-engineer on the Monmouthshire Valleys Railway, now part of the Great Western system. He, however, soon voluntarily relinquished that position to become contractor’s engineer and manager in the making of the Sirhowy Valley Railway, now belonging to the London and North Western Railway.

On the completion of his engagement in connection with the Sirhowy Railway Company’s undertaking, Mr. Bradford was appointed, in 1863, assistant engineer on the southern division of the London and North Western Railway, and had charge of the Trent Valley and Birmingham lines, together with the lines of that company in the Shrewsbury and South Vales district.

Between the years 1863 and 1871, the London and North Western Railway system had so materially increased in Central and South Wales, that the Directors, recognizing the importance of thoroughly establishing themselves there, appointed Mr. Bradford to be their resident professional representative and adviser. He prepared Parliamentary surveys, and carried out, under the chief engineer, all new work ; widened existing single lines, designed and erected new stations, goods warehouses, &c., and renewed in iron all bridges previously in timber. These works Mr. Bradford skilfully and energetically carried out for a period of fifteen years. His division increased on an exceptionally large and rapid scale, owing to the richness in mineral wealth, and to the enterprising and extensive development of the coal, steel, and tinplate industries in the district through which the lines under his charge traversed.

Mr. Bradford was seized with apoplexy in October, 1886, when on a tour of inspection, and he was at once conveyed home. At. the end of a fortnight from the time of seizure, he had made such good progress towards recovery that he was advised to travel to, Weymouth for an entire change of air and surroundings. This he did, but the change proved ineffectual; a sudden relapse set in, and he quietly passed away on the 16th of November, 1886, after being in the south for exactly one week. His remains were interred in the churchyard of Gayton, in the presence of his family and about 260 friends, officers, and workmen of the London and North Western Railway, who had assembled to pay a last tribute of respect to one so well beloved in life, and so sincerely lamented in death. Mr. Bradford was elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th of May, 1878.

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