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British Industrial History

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Charles Lafayette Hunter

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Charles Lafayette Hunter (1839-1902) of the Bute Dock Co

1902 Obituary [1]

CHARLES LAFAYETTE HUNTER was born at Tredegar, Monmouthshire, on 29th October 1839, and was the son of the late Mr. Charles Hunter, estate agent to the old Tredegar Iron and Coal Co., and who was for many years High Constable of Tredegar.

He was educated at Long Ashton School, near Bristol, and in 1853 was apprenticed to the Tredegar Iron Co. as a mechanical engineer. He made such rapid progress in his profession that in 1860 they appointed him their chief engineer, and locomotive superintendent of their Sirhowy Railway (a line which was subsequently taken over by the London and North Western Railway Co., and which is still known as the Sirhowy Branch).

In 1869 he was further promoted to the position of works manager, retaining the engineering responsibilities as heretofore, and continued in those positions until the Works were purchased by a new company in 1874, when he resigned. He was also on several of the local public authorities during his residence in Tredegar.

In 1875 he removed to Cardiff where he started in practice as a consulting engineer, and continued in this till 1882, when he became Chief Mechanical Engineer to the Trustees of the late Marquis of Bute, Bute Docks, Cardiff (the title so far as the Docks are concerned being at a later period changed to that of the Cardiff Railway Co.); and in 1889 he succeeded the late Mr. John McConnochie as Chief Engineer, which position he retained till his decease. During his twenty years' connection with the Bute Docks he carried out many important engineering works, among which may be mentioned the equipment of the Roath Dock, the modernising of the coaling tips etc. at the East Dock, the construction of several large grain, meat chilling, and cold storage warehouses and numerous other works, and was responsible for the design of the system of shipping coal known as the Lewis and Hunter System in use at the Roath Dock, Cardiff, which has proved so great a success and such an acquisition to the port.

At the time of his death he was joint engineer with Mr. George N. Abernethy for the construction of the New South Dock, which is nearing completion at Cardiff.

His death took place at his residence in Penarth, near Cardiff, on 8th February 1902, in his sixty-third year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1889.

1902 Obituary.[2]

...Tredegar Ironworks where he acquitted himself so well that in 1860 he was appointed chief engineer to the company, and also.....Sirhowy Railway...

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