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John Brandt

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John Brandt (1838-1886)

1887 Obituary [1]

JOHN BRANDT, the youngest son of the Rev. Francis Brandt, formerly rector of Aldford, near Chester, was born in 1838, and was educated at Cheltenham College.

At the age of fifteen he was apprenticed for five years to Messrs. James Nasmyth and Co., of Patricroft, Manchester.

On the completion of his articles at the end of 1857, he served for a year in the locomotive works and the drawing office of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway at Gorton; he was also, for a short time, in the works of Sir William (then Mr.) Fairbairn. His mechanical training was thus exceptionally complete ; he was also a good surveyor, and was otherwise well versed in the manifold studies essential for the practice of civil engineering.

At the beginning of 1859 it had been arranged that he should go to India as an assistant to Mr. John Brunton, M.Inst.C.E., who was then laying out the Scinde Railway; but circumstances prevented the fulfilment of this intention.

He was then appointed to the engineering staff of Mr. Henry Robertson, M.Inst.C.E., afterwards M.P. for Shrewsbury, and at that time largely occupied in the construction of railways. The association thus commenced lasted nearly through life, the whole of Mr. Brandt's professional career having been identified with the construction of railways in the district between Liverpool and Chester, and in Wales. Of these the most important were: the extension of the London and North-Western line from Craven Arms to Llandovery ; and the extension of the Great Western through the Vale of Llangollen and Bala to the important slate district of Blaenau Festiniog. He was also engaged in promoting lines for the same companies in the Wrexham and Brymbo districts.

Having been associated with Mr. Robertson for a quarter of a century, Mr. Brandt was, in October 1884, appointed Engineer of the Seacombe, Hoglake, and Deeside Railway, acting also as Resident Engineer of the Wirral Railway, which two companies had obtained powers to construct lines joining those of the Manchester, Sheffield, and Lincolnshire Railway at Connah's Quay. Extensions to New Brighton and Seacombe in a northerly direction, joining a branch of the Mersey Railway Company at Birkenhead, were also designed, and when completed will afford a continuous new route from the collieries of North Wales to Birkenhead and Liverpool

Mr. Brandt was also Resident Engineer of the new bridge over the Severn at Shrewsbury, and of the road in connection with it. He was elected a Member of the Institution on the 7th cf March, 1876, and died on the 21st of October, 1886.

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