Grace's Guide To British Industrial History

Registered UK Charity (No. 115342)

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 163,436 pages of information and 245,908 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

Grace's Guide is the leading source of historical information on industry and manufacturing in Britain. This web publication contains 147,919 pages of information and 233,587 images on early companies, their products and the people who designed and built them.

William Simons

From Graces Guide

William Simons (c1870-1931), deputy managing director of the British (Guest Keen, Baldwins) Iron and Steel Co


1931 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM SIMONS was deputy managing director of the British (Guest-Keen-Baldwins) Iron and Steel Company at the time of his death, which occurred on 26th November 1931, in his sixty-second year.

The works at Cardiff, Port Talbot, and Dowlais were all under Mr. Simons's control. He had been a Vice-President of the Iron and Steel Institute. He was responsible for considerable extensions at the Cardiff-Dowlais Works, including the installation of blast-furnaces which are amongst the largest in the country.

He was born at Dowlais and completed his education at Glasgow, where he also served his apprenticeship in the engineering works of Messrs. Miller and Company of Coatbridge, at that time leading makers of iron and steel works machinery.

For a period of twenty years, from 1902 to 1922 he was successively engineer, works manager, general manager, and managing director of the Shelton Iron, Steel and Coal Company of Stoke-on-Trent, and during that time reconstructed the whole of the iron and steel works plant of the firm.

He went to Cardiff in 1922 to take charge of the Dowlais works there, and at the same time he was appointed managing director of the Orconera Iron Ore Company of Bilbao, Spain.

Mr. Simons was elected a Member of the Institution in 1925.


1931 Obituary [2]

WILLIAM SIMONS died at his home, Penylan Court, Cardiff, on November 26, 1931, in his sixty-second year.

He was born at Dowlais, and spent the earlier years of his business career in the South Wales iron and steel works. When his father was appointed general manager to the Mossbay Iron and Steel Co., in Cumberland, Mr. Simons went with him, and was engaged there for some years as assistant engineer; later, he went to Glasgow to finish his engineering training. Subsequently, he was appointed chief draughtsman to the West Cumberland Works, after which he took up a position as designing engineer at Dowlais.

In 1902 Mr. Simons was appointed chief engineer to the Shelton Iron, Steel and Coal Co.; in about two years he became works manager, five years later he was promoted to general manager, and then became managing director of the Shelton Works and its allied concerns, remaining with the firm for twenty years.

After John Summers and Sons had purchased the Shelton Co. Mr. Simons was offered the post of general manager of the Cardiff works of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, Ltd., and in 1928 he became manager of the Dowlais Works as well. He was a joint managing director of the Orconera Iron Ore Co., Ltd., and a director of some of the other subsidiary companies of Guest, Keen and Nettlefolds, Ltd.

Mr. Simons was a Vice-President and a member of the Executive Committee of the National Federation of Iron and Steel Manufacturers, a Member of Council of the South Wales Institute of Engineers, and a member of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers. He joined the Iron and Steel Institute in 1896, was elected to a seat on the Council in 1924, and became a Vice-President in 1929.



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