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British Industrial History

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John Orme Andrews

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John Orme Andrews (1832-1900)

1832 Born in Kennington son of James and Dorothy Andrews.

brother of Charles Andrews and Arthur Thomas Andrews

1900 Obituary [1]

JOHN ORME ANDREWS was born at Kennington on the 8th June, 1832.

He was articled at the age of sixteen to Mr. T. J. Ditchburn, shipbuilder, of Millwall, and was subsequently transferred to the works of Messrs. Bramah and Robinson, Mechanical Engineers, of Pimlico.

In 1852 he was for some time employed in the engineering works of Messrs. Napier and Son, of Lambeth, and in 1855 he was engaged under the late Mr. John Gardner in preparing designs for bridges on the Staines and Wokingham Railway, including the working drawings for the bridge over the River Thames at Staines.

In 1856 Mr. Andrews was appointed by the Admiralty Second Assistant Engineer on the works of the Portland Breakwater under Mr. (subsequently Sir John) Coode, Past-President; in 1862 he was promoted to First Assistant Engineer, and in 1867 to Acting Engineer on Sir John Coode relinquishing the charge of the works.

Mr. Andrews remained at Portland until 1880, and during his long period of employment there he carried out extensive works for the completion and maintenance of the breakwater; piers, harbour and other works, including the supervision of the construction of the railway connecting the breakwater coaling jetty and the terminal station of the Great Western branch line at Castletown.

He also had charge of the Coast-guard stations extending from Seaton, on the Devon Coast, to Southampton Water, including the building of a new station at Poole Harbour, and additions to other stations, as well as their general maintenance. On Sir John Coode retiring from the post of Engineer-in-Chief at Portland in 1867, Mr. Andrews had sole charge under the Director of Admiralty Works.

In 1880 Mr. Andrews was appointed - in succession to his brother Charles - Superintending Civil Engineer at Haulbowline. There he had sole charge of the completion of the basin and dry dock on Haulbowline Island, a work mainly executed on reclaimed mud banks lying between Haulbowline and Spike Islands.

Considerable engineering difficulties were met with in this work, particularly in the foundations for the deep water basin and dry dock; ail these, however, were successfully overcome, and the work completed in the spring of 1888, when Mr. Andrews retired from the public service, receiving a pension from the Admiralty.

Mr. Andrews was also professionally engaged on engineering questions by many county authorities, as he possessed a thorough practical knowledge of dock and river engineering. After a professional career of nearly forty years in continuous employment, during which he earned the affection and respect of all he came in contact with, he retired with his family to Ealing, where he died on the 16th February, 1900, from an attack of pneumonia, leaving a widow and six daughters. In private life he was a most kind and genial man, and in addition to his professional abilities possessed considerable skill in the fine arts as well as in music.

Mr. Andrews was elected an Associate of the Institution on the 1st December, 1863, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 8th May, 1877.

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