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British Industrial History

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Ralph Darling Grundy

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Ralph Darling Grundy (1846-1879)

1880 Obituary [1]

RALPH DARLING GRUNDY was born at Hindley on 4th October 1846, and was the son of Mr. Robert Grundy, engineer and cotton spinner, of the same place.

He served his apprenticeship at Wigan under his uncle, Mr. Peter Johnson; but at the age of nineteen removed to the Wigan Coal and Iron Co.'s Works at Kirkless. Shortly afterwards he went on board Mr. Lancaster's yacht Deerhound, and with her went up the Rhine.

In 1869 he was made shop-foreman and chief constructor at Kirkless, under Mr. Peter Johnson; in which position he remained until the death of Mr. Thomas Robinson, one of the colliery engineers to the company, when he was chosen to fill the vacant post. This he continued to occupy till 31st December 1878. During this time there were added to the plant of the Company, under his superintendence as mechanical engineer, the Alexandra Pit at Haigh, the Sovereign Pit at West Leigh, and the two Priestners Pits at West Leigh; representing collectively winding-engine power of 2,000 H.P., and capable of raising 4,000 tons of fuel per day.

At the Sovereign Pit was erected a Guibal fan, 40 foot diameter by 15 feet wide, with east-iron ease. Underground hauling apparatus was also put down at various pits, to the extent of about 40 miles of rope.

On the retirement of Mr. Peter Johnson in January 1879, Mr. Grundy was appointed to the entire charge of the extensive fitting shop and locomotive department, which post ho occupied till his death on 7th November 1879, at the ago of thirty-three.

He was the third of his family, all engineers, who have died while in the service of the Wigan Coal and Iron Co. He became a Member of the Institution in 1876.

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