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British Industrial History

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John Best

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John Best (c.1839-1908), of John Best and Sons

Obituary 1908 [1]

The death took place on the 30th ult., at his home, Warriston House, Edinburgh, of Mr. John Best, the well-known contractor, who was associated with the carrying out of many important dock and railway undertakings in Scotland and elsewhere.

Mr. Best, who was sixty-nine years of age, was a native of Kilmarnock, and as a youth served his apprenticeship to the joinering trade under his uncle, Mr. William Scott, after whose death he became responsible for the completion of certain outstanding works. During his career Mr. Best was responsible for contracts in connection with the Monkland Railways; the Broughton and Peebles branch railway; the first graving dock of the Clyde Trustees at Govan; the Albert Dock, Edinburgh Dock, and Imperial Dock at Leith; the Gouthwaitbe resenvoir for the Bradford Corporation ; the Strone to Kyllachan Railway line; the Ballachulish line, including the foundations for the bridge over Loch Etive and the Creggan Bridge; the Blair Athol to Dalnaspidal line; the pier at Newhaven; a portion of the Water of Leith sewer; the railway for the Cork, Blackrock Package Railway Company; the Loch Erne drainage scheme in Ireland; and harbour work at Haulbowline for the Admiralty. At the time of his death works in the course of construction of which be had charge were a graving dock at West Hartlepool for the North-Eaqtem Railway Company; the Angram Resenvoir for the Bradford Corporation ; the Delph Reservoir for the Bolton Corporation, and the construction of new gates and locks for the old docks at Leith. For some years past Mr. Best was actively engaged in connection with the Talla Waterworks for the supply of Edinburgh's water and he lived to see the completion of the undertaking. About three years ago he was severely injured at Broughton through the collision of his motor car with a cart, and he had never completely recovered from the effects of the accident.

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