Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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William James Yarwood

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William James Yarwood (1850-1926) of W. J. Yarwood and Sons

1911 Living at Lindley House, Greenbank, Northwich: William James Yarwood (age 58 born Northwich), Mechanical Engineer - Shipbuilding - Employer. With his wife Mary Ann Yarwood (age 56 born Northwich) and their two sons; Sydney Yarwood (age 24 born Northwich), Mechanical Engineer and William Douglas Yarwood (age 18 born Northwich), Mechanical Engineer.[1]


1927 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM JAMES YARWOOD was born at Northwich, Cheshire, in 1850, and at an early age was apprenticed as an engine smith.

When twenty-two he entered the employ of the River Weaver Navigation Trust and was promoted to the position of foreman of the engineering department. During his service with the Trust, a hydraulic lift at Anderton, new locks, and various large sluices were constructed, largely under his direction.

In 1896 Mr. Yarwood severed his connexion with the Weaver Trust and founded the shipbuilding and engineering firm bearing his name. As a result of his enterprise the firm developed from a small concern employing twenty workers and building vessels suitable only for inland waterways, to the employment of 300 hands and the construction of light-draught craft for South America and the larger types of coasting vessels for this country. Mr. Yarwood was able to claim that machinery, boilers, ship, and woodwork were all completed in one establishment. He also built lock gates in both wood and steel for the Manchester Ship Canal.

In 1904 he became a member of the River Weaver Trust, and in 1912 visited the Continent to procure evidence for the Royal Commission of Inland Waterway Development.

His death occurred on 25th September 1926, and he had been a Member of the Institution since 1895.



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