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British Industrial History

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Nicholas James West

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Nicholas James West (1839-1909)

1909 Obituary [1]

NICHOLAS JAMES WEST was born at Perranporth, Cornwall, on 18th October 1839.

His father, the late Capt. John West, then engaged as mechanical engineer at Perran Great St. George Mine, afterwards joined his uncle, the late Mr. Henry Harvey, as assistant in the management of the Hayle Foundry. Nicholas West was apprenticed at that foundry, which was conducted under the name of Harvey and Co.

At the death of his father in 1868, he became a partner in the firm, assistant manager, and subsequently manager.

During 1865 and 1866 he was engaged by the Egyptian Trading Co. for the service of H.S.H. Prince Hassan Pasha. A pumping plant was established at Redessah, Upper Egypt, irrigating an extensive tract with the waters of the Nile.

Later he was connected with the extensive pumping plant installed in connection with the drainage of the Severn Tunnel, a work of magnitude, and often fraught with anxiety and danger from the flooding of the tunnel in cutting underground channels of water.

In 1887 he assumed charge of the London office of Messrs. Harvey and Co., retaining that position until 1896, but he remained on the Board of Directors until his decease.

With Cornish mining he held a life-long connection, and his personal knowledge embraced nearly every engine, battery, and dressing floor within the Duchy of Cornwall. After fifteen years' residence at Hampstead, London, he spent three years at Trevales Stithians, Cornwall, and finally resided at Torquay.

His death took place in London from pneumonia, on 9th July 1909, in his seventieth year.

He became a Member of this Institution in 1874; he was also a Past-President of the Society of Engineers, and a Member of the Society of Arts.

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