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John Allison (1838-1894)
1894 Obituary 
JOHN ALLISON was born at Pathhead, near Dalkeith, on the 26th of February, 1838.
At eighteen he was articled for five years to an architect and surveyor, Mr. Thomas Jeffrey of Leith Walk, Edinburgh.
On the expiration of his pupilage he was for twelve months an assistant in the engineer’s office of the North British Railway Company.
From 1861 to 1867 he was engaged - first for Mr. R. Wilson of Dalkeith and subsequently for Mr. James Young of Sunderland - on the construction of various works, including graving-docks, hospitals and railways.
In 1867 Mr. Allison was appointed Town Surveyor of Jarrow-on- Tyne, which post he held for seven years. During that time he carried out extensive sewerage and paving works consequent on the rapid growth and extension of the town. In addition to his municipal duties he was allowed to practise on his own account as an engineer and surveyor.
From 1874 to 1879 Mr. Allison was Borough Engineer and Surveyor of Bradford, for which he constructed important main and branch sewers for several districts in extension of the previous system, and carried out various street improvements and other works costing £451,OOO. He had the general supervision of all works under the corporation, with the exception of those in connection with the gas and water departments.
In March, 1879, Mr. Allison left Bradford to take up the appointment of City Engineer and Surveyor of Manchester.
During the fifteen years of his connection with that city, he was identified with many important works of improvement. Fifty miles of tramways were laid during his term of office, and open spaces, public baths and free libraries were provided. But the most important work he carried out was the design and execution of a scheme for the complete drainage and interception of the sewage of Manchester involving the expenditure of upwards of £500,000. The main features of the scheme are described in a Paper read by Mr. Allison in I893 at a meeting of the Association of Municipal and County Engineers.
Mr. Allison died at his residence, Chorlton-cum-Hardy, on the 13th of February, 1894, from heart disease, accelerated by acute pneumonia. He had been in ill-health for a considerable time and, in spite of a visit to the South Coast, his strength gradually declined.
He was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 1st of February, 1876, was placed among the Associate Members in 1878, and was transferred to the class of Member on the 6th of March, 1888.