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British Industrial History

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William Menzies

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William Menzies (1840-1898)

of Menzies and Blagburn, 9 Dean Street, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

1898 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM MENZIES was born on 7th January 1840 at Leith, where his father, Mr. George Menzies, was a well-known shipbuilder.

After serving an engineering apprenticeship of four and a half years with Messrs. S. and H. Morton of Leith, he worked as journeyman for two and a half years with Messrs. Hawthorn and Co. of Leith and with Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn of Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Thence he went to the West Hartlepool Steam Navigation Co., in whose employ he gained some experience as a sea-going engineer for two years, and obtained a second-class Board of Trade certificate.

Afterwards he was engaged for three years as foreman, superintending the erection of marine engines on board ship for Messrs. R. and W. Hawthorn; and then for about three years as outside manager of their works at Forth Banks, Newcastle-on-Tyne.

Leaving them in 1870, he started in business on his own account in Newcastle as a consulting engineer and marine surveyor, and subsequently was associated in partnership with Mr. Charles Blagburn, and for a shorter term with Mr. J. P. Spencer, in the firm of Menzies and Blagburn, which was dissolved in 1888. He then practically continued the business by himself, until he took into partnership two members of his staff, Mr. Stenhouse and Mr. Wakinshaw.

Whilst interested in engineering matters generally, he was more especially concerned with marine work, in connection with which he attained a leading position in Newcastle. For nearly thirty years he was consulted by the principal Tyneside shipowners in the construction and supervision of their machinery; and in recent years he acted to a considerable extent as surveyor of damage for London underwriters.

His services as an arbitrator and engineering valuer were frequently sought, and he was occasionally called upon to deal with labour questions as to demarcation of work. He was a magistrate for the city of Newcastle.

His death took place at his residence, Rannoch Lodge, Jesmond, Newcastle, on 18th August 1898, at the age of fifty-eight.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1876.

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