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British Industrial History

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Thomas Fenwick

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Thomas Fenwick (1824-1905)

of Martin and Fenwick of Leeds

1905 Obituary [1]

THOMAS FENWICK, born at Morpeth, Northumberland, on the 19th March, 1824, served an apprenticeship to Mr. E. Bowman, of Newcastle-on-Tyne, from 1838 to 1843, and was afterwards extensively engaged on railway surveys and works in Northumberland, Kent and Yorkshire.

As Borough Surveyor of Tynemouth from 1851 to 1861, he designed and executed sewerage works for the borough, and was instrumental in bringing about the establishment of the Tyne Improvement Commission, to which body a survey of the river which he made early in his career proved of service in the design of improvement works.

In 1861 Mr. Fenwick entered into partnership with Mr. S. D. Martin, practising as consulting engineers and surveyors, at Leeds, and among the works designed and carried out by the firm may be mentioned the Airedale Drainage works, comprising the improvement of the River Aire and its tributaries between Skipton and Keighley, by which the adjacent lands were relieved from flooding; and the reservoirs and other works for the supply of water to the Hartlepools. Mr. Fenwick’s scheme for supplying the south-east portion of the county with water from the Rothbury hills resulted in the East Northumberland Water Bill, which however was afterwards withdrawn.

His services were much in request by municipal and other local authorities, and from his frequent attendance at Westminster in connection with engineering schemes before the legislature, he became well known in parliamentary committee rooms.

Actively engaged up to the close of his busy career, he died suddenly, from heart failure, at Allerton Hill, Leeds, on the 10th January, 1906, in his eighty-first year.

Mr. Fenwick was elected a Member of the Institution on the 5th February, 1867.

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