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Charles Sidney Lake

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Charles Sidney Lake (1872-1942)

1943 Obituary [1]

CHARLES SIDNEY LAKE won a considerable reputation for himself at a comparatively early age as a writer for the technical press, to which he contributed numerous articles dealing chiefly with railway transport and motive power. He will probably be best remembered for his long association with The Railway Gazette, for which journal a great deal of his most useful and important work was done.

Mr. Lake was born in 1872, and received his education first at Emanuel School, Wandsworth Common, and later during a three years' technical course in Berlin. In 1890 he entered the Melton Constable workshops of the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway where he served a three years' apprenticeship under William Marriott. He then joined Messrs. Humphrys, Tennant and Company, marine engineers, as a draughtsman and in 1894 became a seagoing engineer, in vessels of the Clan Line.

From 1896 to 1899 he was chief draughtsman to Messrs. Ham Baker and Company, of London, after which he joined the engineering firm of Farrow and Jackson in a similar capacity. About this time he began to turn to the writing of technical articles on railway matters, and his first MS. was published in The Railway Magazine in April 1901. During the next five or six years he developed his talent in that direction to a remarkable degree and in addition to locomotive subjects he began to write on internal combustion engines, particularly those for motor cycles. Some of his more important achievements were published separately in book form, and certain of them became standard works of reference, e.g. "The World's Locomotives" and "The Motor Cyclist's Handbook".

Mr. Lake for a time also held the appointment of motoring correspondent to The Daily Telegraph. In course of time he extended the number of journals to which he contributed his articles, but maintained his association with The Railway Gazette, of which he became a part-time member of the technical staff in 1913. He also joined the editorial staff of The Motor Cycle Trader. In 1917 he was appointed to full-time duties with The Railway Gazette, as assistant editor (technical) and in 1919 he became technical editor. He also occupied a similar position in regard to several other technical journals which came under the control of The Railway Gazette. Mr. Lake retained his connection with the latter journal until his death, which occurred at his home near Bletchley, on 19th November 1942; his last position being that of associate editor.

His election as an Associate Member of the Institution dated from 1919, and in 1938 he was transferred to full Membership.

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