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Francis Lawrence Lane

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Francis Lawrence Lane (1856-1931)

Chairman of G. H. Sheffield and Co

1931 Obituary [1]

FRANCIS LAWRENCE LANE, O.B.E., began his apprenticeship in 1871 at the Stratford works of the Great Eastern Railway under the late Mr. S. W. Johnson.

When, in 1873, Mr. Johnson was appointed locomotive superintendent to the Midland Railway at Derby, Mr. Lane was transferred and continued his training at Derby.

In 1878 he was appointed manager of the tube department at the Kingston Metal Works of Messrs. Allen Everitt and Sons, Birmingham.

Four years later he received an appointment with Mr. A. M. Rendel (afterwards Sir Alex M. Rendel), and for five years he was engaged in the inspection of railway rolling stock during construction at works in Glasgow and Manchester.

He was then appointed works manager at Ashbury's Railway Carriage and Wagon Company, Manchester, and in 1895 he was invited to join the Leeds Forge Company as works manager, an appointment he accepted at a time when pressed-steel frames for railway vehicles were in their infancy. He subsequently became general manager and afterwards managing director. During this time the works were remodelled, equipped, and organized on modern lines, and designs were standardized.

Mr. Lane was the patentee of several details in pressed steel used in the manufacture of railway vehicles. He received the O.B.E. in connexion with the manufacture of munitions during the War.

In 1919 Mr. Lane left the Leeds Forge to become advisory director to Messrs. Clayton Wagons of Lincoln, when this company commenced to build railway carriages and wagons. He again became a director of the Leeds Forge Company when the firm became associated with Messrs. Cammell, Laird and Company.

Mr. Lane was born at Manchester in 1856 and he had been a Member of the Institution since 1896.

He died on 12th March 1931.

1931 Obituary[2]


We regret to note the death on March 12 last, at his home, 3, North Grange-road, Headingley, Leeds, of Mr. Francis Lawrence Lane, late managing director of Messrs. Leeds Forge Company, Limited. Mr. Lane, who was born in 1857, began his apprenticeship in 1871, when fourteen years of age, in the locomotive shops of the Great Eastern Railway Company. In September, 1873, he proceeded to the locomotive works of the Midland Railway Company, at Derby, and four years later entered the locomotive drawing office of the company. In March, 1879, at the early age of 22, he was appointed manager of the brass and copper-tube mills owned by Messrs. Allen Everitt and Sons, Kingston Metal Works, Birmingham, and remained in that position for four years. The subsequent five years of Mr. Lane’s life, i.e., from 1883 to 1888, were spent in the capacity of inspecting engineer under the late Sir Alexander M. Rendel, K.C.I.E., consulting engineer to the Secretary of State for India and to various colonial and foreign railway companies and founder, in 1912, of the firm of Messrs. Rendel, Palmer and Tritton. On May 1,1888, Mr. Lane was appointed manager of the works of Messrs. Ashbury Railway Carriage and Iron Company, Limited, which position he retained for 7 years.

Mr. Lane’s long association with the Leeds Forge Company began on May 31, 1895, on which date he was invited to take up the management of the works. He accepted the offer, and his career as works manager of the firm commenced in June, 1895. He became one of the leading engineers in the railway rolling-stock industry and was subsequently appointed managing director of Messrs. Leeds Forge Company, Limited, and a director of Messrs. Newlay Wheel Company, Limited. For his services during the war, Mr. Lane was made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire. He left Leeds in 1919 to take up the appointment of advisory director to Messrs. Clayton and Shuttleworth, Limited, Lincoln, when the firm of Messrs. Clayton Wagons, Limited, was formed, and he served for some time on the board of this latter concern. In June, 1923, however, when a controlling interest in Messrs. Leeds Forge Company, Limited, was acquired by Messrs. Cammell Laird and Company, Limited, he left Messrs. Clayton Wagons and rejoined the board of his old company(as an advisory director; he continued in this capacity until his death. In 1925, Mr. Lane became Chairman of Messrs. G. H. Sheffield and Company (Engineers) Limited, railway stores contractors, of 38, Victoria Street, Westminster, London, S.W.l, and was still holding this position when he passed away. He was elected to full membership of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers in 1896."

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