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Christopher Hinton

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Christopher Hinton (1901-1983), Baron Hinton of Bankside OM KBE FRS FREng was a British nuclear engineer, and supervisor of the construction of Calder Hall, the world's first large-scale commercial nuclear power station.

1901 May 12th. Born at Tisbury, Wiltshire.

He attended school in Chippenham where his father was a schoolmaster, and left school at 16 to become an engineering apprentice with the Great Western Railway at Swindon.

At 22 he was awarded the William Henry Allen scholarship of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers to Trinity College, Cambridge, where he graduated with a first class honours degree.

Hinton then worked for Brunner, Mond and Co, later part of ICI, where he became Chief Engineer at the age of 29.

At Brunner Mond he met Lillian Boyer (d. 1973) whom he married in 1931. They had one daughter, Mary (1932-2014), who married Arthur Mole, son of Sir Charles Mole, director-general of the Ministry of Works.

During World War II, Hinton was seconded to the Ministry of Supply and became Deputy Director General, running ordnance factory construction and in charge of the Royal Filling Factories.

In 1946, Hinton was appointed Deputy Controller of Production, Atomic Energy.

1954 when the Atomic Energy Authority was formed, Hinton was appointed Member for Engineering and Production as Managing Director of 'Industrial Group Risley' which comprised the Risley headquarters and laboratories at Culcheth, Capenhurst, Windscale, Springfields and Dounreay plus factories at Springfields, Capenhurst, Windscale, Calder, Dounreay and Chapelcross.

Hinton's department was responsible for the design and construction of most of Britain's major nuclear plants, including Windscale, Capenhurst, Springfields and Dounreay.

In 1957, Hinton became the first chairman of the Central Electricity Generating Board. He retired in 1964.

In 1965 he worked for six months in the Ministry of Transport and afterwards became a Special Adviser to the World Bank. He served as Chairman of the International Executive Committee of the World Energy Conference, 1962-1968.

He was created Baron Hinton of Bankside, of Dulwich in the County of London, a life peer, on 28 January 1965, and served as Chancellor of the University of Bath 1966 - 1979. He was appointed to the Order of Merit in 1976.

1983 June 22nd. Died.

1954 Bio Note [1]

Sir Christopher Hinton was born at Tisbury (Wilts.) in 1901. He attended Chippenham Grammar School and served a five-year apprenticeship at the Great Western Railway Works at Swindon, and afterwards worked in the drawing office there.

In 1923 he was awarded the William Henry Allen Prize by the Institution and with this went to Trinity College, Cambridge. He took first-class honours in the Mechanical Sciences Tripos at the end of his second year and spent his last year on research on vibration of bridges. He was a Senior Exhibitioner of Trinity College in 1924 and 1925 and a Senior Scholar in 1926 in which year also he won the John Wimbot and Second Yeats Prizes.

In 1926 he was appointed to the staff of Brunner Mond and Co. Ltd., at Northwich (which later became part of I.C.I. Ltd.), and was made deputy chief engineer in 1928 and chief engineer in 1931. In 1940 he was loaned by I.C.I. to the Ministry of Supply and in 1942 he became Deputy Director General in charge of the Royal Filling Factories, remaining in that post till the end of 1945. He was then asked and agreed to transfer to the Civil Service and to take charge, under Lord Portal of Hungerford, of the production organization of the Department of Atomic Energy. He still holds this post as Deputy Controller of Atomic Energy (Production), and is responsible for the headquarters at Risley and the factories at Springfields, Windscale, and Capenhurst. His name appeared in the 1951 New Year Honours List, when the distinction of Knight Bachelor was conferred upon him.

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