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British Industrial History

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Frederick Andrew Fitzpayne

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Frederick Andrew Fitzpayne (1878-1935)

1935 Obituary.[1]

FREDERICK ANDREW FITZPAYNE was born on the 23rd September, 1878, and died on the 3rd March, 1935. He was educated at All Saints, Bloxham, Devonshire, and received his technical training at Faraday House, obtaining the diploma of that institution. In 1897 he became a premium apprentice in the works of Browett, Lindley and Co., Manchester, and subsequently premium apprentice in the works of the South London Electric Supply Corporation. From 1899 to 1900 he was a pupil with the borough electrical and tramways engineer at Southend-on Sea, and was there engaged on the installation of the third-rail conductor tramway. In 1900 he became an assistant on the staff of the Great Yarmouth Corporation Electricity Department, and from 1902 to 1906 he was chief assistant electrical and tramways engineer to the same Corporation. During that time he was responsible for the installation of the original tramways, and subsequently for two extensions and for the conversion of the original Gorleston horse tramways to electric traction. From 1906 to 1909 he was superintendent engineer to the Leith Corporation tramways, later becoming general manager. He held this post for 10 years, during which time there was an extension of 6 miles of single track. On the amalgamation of the Leith Corporation with the Edinburgh Corporation in 1920 he was appointed deputy general manager. The Leith tramways were made part of the Edinburgh tramways, and as at that time Edinburgh was operating a cable system the electric tramways in Leith formed the nucleus of the future electric system throughout the city. As deputy manager to the Edinburgh Corporation Tramways he was responsible to the general manager for the specification and plans for the electrification of the Edinburgh tramways from cable traction and for the putting into service of over 100 new buses where there had been no tramway facilities. In 1929 he was unanimously appointed general manager to the Edinburgh Corporation Tramways, and since then the transport receipts have been increased by over 50 per cent. He was responsible for the pioneer work in connection with the use of all-steel omnibus and tram bodies and also had built in the tramway workshops one of the few all-aluminium tramcars. This tramcar was a complete success, and subsequently a programme was commenced for building a fleet of composite tramcars in the Corporation's workshops. He was responsible also for the development of the regenerative equipment for the electric tramcar, and a fleet of cars operating on this system are now running in Edinburgh. It is interesting to note that during his managership Edinburgh operated the first motor-bus in this country to be equipped with fluid flywheel and epicyclic gear-boxes. He was elected an Associate Member of the Institution in 1913, and became a Member in 1921.

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