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British Industrial History

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Walter Bernard Challen

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Walter Bernard Challen (1866-1958), Managing Director of Taylor and Challen

1866 July 11th. Born at Handsworth the son of Stephen William Challen and his wife Mary Elizabeth Fidgin

1881 Living at 33 Villa Road, Handsworth: Stephen W. Challen (age 38 born Stedham, Sussex), Mechanical Engineer. With his wife Mary E. Challen (age 37 born Birmingham) and their four children; Walter B. Challen (age 14 born Handsworth)]; Ada M. Challen (age 11 born Aston); Isabella C. Challen (age 9 born Handsworth); and Edith W. Challen (age 2 born Handsworth). Two servants.[1]

1901 October 10th. Married at King's Norton to Clara Keeling

1958 February 12th. Died at Birmingham.

1959 Obituary [2]

Walter Bernard Challen, whose connection with the Institution dates back to 1889, died on 12th February 1958 at the age of 92. He was Chairman and Managing Director of Taylor and Challen, Ltd., at the time of his death.

Mr. Challen followed his father in the business in which he spent all his working life, apart from one brief interval. He became a Director on the conversion of the firm to a limited liability company in 1889, Managing Director in 1902, and added the office of Chairman on the death of his father in 1937. Under him the firm specialized in press manufacture; design was always his chief interest.

He was elected a Graduate of the Institution in 1889 and transferred to Member in 1897. He served as Chairman of the Midland Branch in 1929, 1931 and 1932. During his tenure of this office he took a leading part in establishing the James Watt Memorial Institute as a meeting place for Birmingham technical societies, and remained Chairman of the Institute's Management Committee until 1955.

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