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British Industrial History

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Richard Henry Middleton

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Richard Henry Middleton (1856-1906)

1907 Obituary [1]

RICHARD HENRY MIDDLETON, born on the 8th April, 1856, served his apprenticeship to Mr. Richard Horsfall, Engineer and Surveyor, Halifax.

In 1881 he was appointed Assistant Borough Engineer of Dewsbury, where he was engaged on extensive main drainage works, and 2 years later he was selected to fiII a similar position at Birkenhead.

In 1889 he became Borough Engineer and Surveyor of Walsall, and retained this post until his death, a period of 17 years.

On taking up his new duties, he reorganised the department under his charge, and brought it, by his able and energetic administration, to a high state of efficiency.

Devoted to his work, the growth and development of the borough brought him manifold tasks, all of which he carried out with ability and success. He was responsible for the enlargement and remodelling of the sewage farm at Bescot, where he conducted experiments on the disposal of sewage, and he also designed ancl carried out an additional sewage farm at Beechdale, and a stormwater system for the town drainage. When the tramways were taken over by the municipality, Mr. Middleton successfully undertook their reconstruction and extension.

Amongst other works, he laid out a new cemetery, extensions of the Arboretum and other parks, and was concerned with the design and erection of a number of public buildings. He was also frequently consulted by other public authorities, including the Staffordshire County Council, and all with whom he came into contact held his personal character ancl professional competence in high esteem.

In 1905 his health failed, and after nearly 12 months’ illness, he died on the 4th August, 1906, aged 50.

Mr. Middleton was elected an Associate Member of The Institution on the 2nd February, 1892.

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