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British Industrial History

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Ernest Spencer Bourne

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Ernest Spencer Bourne (1878-1936)

1936 Obituary [1]

ERNEST SPENCER BOURNE was for thirty-four years chief draughtsman and assistant engineer to the Castner-Kellner Alkali Company, Ltd., of Runcorn.

He was born in Battersea in 1878 and served his apprenticeship from 1895 to 1899 in the workshops and foundries of Messrs. G. Fletcher and Sons, of Derby.

After working for two years as a draughtsman with Messrs. Dawnay and Sons, structural engineers, he joined Messrs. Anthony Fasey and Sons, of Leytonstone, in a similar capacity, and held this position until his appointment with the Castner-Kellner Alkali Company in 1902.

The firm was amalgamated with Messrs. Brunner, Mond and Company in 1921 and became one of the constituent companies of Imperial Chemical Industries, Ltd., in 1927. Mr. Bourne was responsible for large extensions to the works, which became the largest electro-chemical factory in the country. He also designed the layout of gas producer plant and large gas engines, and introduced boilers and furnaces fired by producer gas.

During the War, he served overseas with the Chester Regiment, and was promoted to the rank of captain. In 1916 he was made railway transport officer at the headquarters staff.

On his return to England he resumed his work at Runcorn, and continued there until his death, which occurred in Runcorn on 16th February 1936.

He had been an Associate Member of the Institution since 1907.

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