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British Industrial History

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Maurice Sylvester Gibb

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Maurice Sylvester Gibb (1878-1950)

1951 Obituary [1]

"MAURICE SYLVESTER GIBB, C.B.E., was formerly managing director of Messrs. William Gray and Company's Central Marine Engine Works, West Hartlepool, and for many years was well known as a prominent engineer on the north-east coast. He was born in 1878 and received his general education at the King Edward VI Grammar School at Retford. He served his apprenticeship with Messrs. William Gray and Company, Ltd., from 1893 to 1899, concurrently attending Athenaeum science classes and studying at the Hartlepool Technical College. The next three years were spent at sea as marine engineer in ships of the Aberdeen Line, and during this period he obtained a Board of Trade Chief Engineer's Certificate. He then entered the employ of the North Eastern Railway and in the following year took charge of the outside machinery department. He was concerned with the carrying out of many important projects, including the design and installation of the electric machinery for the Sculcotes swing-bridge - the first to be operated electrically. In January 1907 Mr. Gibb left the railway company to become assistant general manager of Messrs. William Gray and Company's Central Marine Engine Works. He was appointed general manager in October of the same year, and managing director in 1913, a position he held until 1936 when he resigned to take the post of managing director of the Special Areas Reconstruction Association, eventually becoming one of the liquidators. He retained, however, his seat on the board of directors of Messrs. William Gray and Company.

Mr. Gibb's long association with the Institution dated back to 1898 when he was elected a Graduate. He was transferred to Associate Membership in 1905, and to Membership in 1908. He was chairman of the North Eastern Branch, and a Member of Council in 1936. In addition he was President of the North-East Coast Institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders from 1927 to 1929. He was a Past-President of the Hartlepool Chamber of Commerce, and during the 1914-18 war, was assistant deputy director general of munitions supply and later representative of the Ministry of Munitions at the Birtley National Projectile Factory. He was also a Member of the Institution of Naval Architects and for twenty years was a member of the Technical Committee of Lloyd's Register of Shipping, besides being chairman of a special committee appointed by the Board of Trade to review the examination requirements for marine engineers. For his services he was made C.B.E. in 1920. He was also a Commander of the Belgian Order of the Crown. On his appointment to the Special Areas Reconstruction Association in 1936, Mr. Gibb moved to Guildford, where his death occurred on 6th May 1950."

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