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Waynman Dixon

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c1844 Born the son of Jeremiah Dixon and his wife Mary Frank and brother of John Dixon (1835-1891) and Raylton Dixon.

1930 Obituary[1]


Mr. Waynman Dixon, whose death occurred at Great Ayton on Friday, January 24, at the age of 85, was associated with his brother, Mr. John Dixon, and Mr. (afterwards Sir Benjamin) Baker in the work of bringing Cleopatra's Needle from Egypt to London and of erecting it in its present position on the Thames Embankment. The operations involved were fully described in Engineering of March 16 and September 21, 1877, and September 13, 1878, copies of which in pamphlet form were deposited in the pedastal of the Needle, but it may be recalled that they included the enclosure of the obelisk in a cylindrical vessel, which was then towed into the Thames. Mr. Waynman Dixon’s part in this work was to build the cylinder, which had been constructed at the Thames Iron Works and forwarded to Alexandria in pieces, around the obelisk and generally to prepare it and its cargo for launching. This was successfully accomplished on September 8, 1877, and after some delay the Cleopatra, as she was named, started in tow of the steamer Olga for England. Some six weeks later, however, she was lost in the Bay of Biscay during a heavy gale, but was subsequently picked up and taken' into Ferrol. She remained in this port for some three months, finally arriving in the Thames on January 20, 1878, where the shell was stripped off and the obelisk erected. The cost of this Work was entirely borne by Mr. (afterwards Sir) Erasmus Wilson, and the indifference, and even hostility, of the Government authorities, the Press, the salvors, and nearly'everybody else, were the subject of racy comment in our columns at the time.

Mr. Dixon was the son of a civil engineer*, who for many years worked with George Stephenson in the construction of the Stockton and Darlington Railway and was, himself, for many years connected with another brother, Sir Raylton Dixon, in the management of the Cleveland Shipbuilding Company, Limited, of Middlesbrough. For a period he also acted as Vice-Consul for Japan in Middlesbrough, and played a leading part in that town’s activities. Among his publications was a hook entitled “ The Intimate Story of the Origin of the Railways.”

* NB in fact it was his uncle, John Dixon (1796-1865), who was the first Chief Engineer of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, and was associated with George Stephenson in making the original surveys for that work.

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