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William John Cudworth

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William John Cudworth (1848-1909), chief engineer of the southern division of the North Eastern Railway

1848 Born the son of William Cudworth

1910 Obituary [1]

WILLIAM JOHN CUDWORTH, late Chief Engineer of the southern division of the North Eastern Railway, died at his residence, Butts Close, York, on the 31st December, 1909, in his sixty-first year. The son of the late Mr. William Cudworth, Chief Engineer of the Stockton and Darlington Railway, the subject of this notice was born at Darlington in 1848, and, as a member of the Society of Friends, received his education partly at Stramongate School, Kendal, and partly at Bootham, York.

In 1865 he entered the service of the Stockton and Darlington Railway Company - a section of the North Eastern Railway - as a pupil under his father.

On the completion of his pupilage, however, he left the profession of engineering, and, desiring to become an architect, he underwent a course of training, including 6 months as a working joiner. Thereafter he worked for 4 years in the office of Mr. George Somers Clarke, architect, London. But at the end of that period he returned to railway engineering, and from 1874 to 1891 served as chief assistant under his father and Mr. Joseph Cabry, on the central division of the North-Eastern Railway.

In the latter year, he was appointed Engineer of the central division in succession to Mr. Cabry, and in 1899, when, on the retirement of Mr. Harold Copperthwaite from the old southern division, the railway was divided into two, instead of three, sections, Mr. Cudworth was appointed Chief Engineer of the enlarged southern division, with headquarters at York.

During his tenure of this office many important works were carried out on the southern portion of the railway, including, besides the construction of new lines, an installation of automatic signalling on the main north line between Alne and Thirsk, equipment of all electric signalling stations, and a new signal-box at York, the latter containing the largest number of manual levers in the United Kingdom. He was also responsible for the extension of the Hartlepool docks and of the Wear Valley Railway; the construction of the new Durham coast-line connecting the Hartlepools and Seaham, and Isle of Axholme Joint Railways, the latter including a swing-bridge across the South Yorkshire Navigation; and, finally, the Selby and Goole Railway, still in course of construction.

Whilst fully occupied with his professional duties, Mr. Cudworth yet found time to devote to philanthropic and social work, particularly in connection with the affairs of the city of York. From very early days he was a strong supporter of the temperance movement, and was a Liberal in politics. His many friends esteemed him for his sterling worth of character, for the sympathy and help he was always ready to give to those in need, and for the conscientious devotion to duty which he always displayed.

Mr. Cudworth was elected an Associate Member of The Institution on the 6th March, 1883, and was transferred to the class of Members on the 7th January, 1896. Between 1903 and 1906 he served as a member of the Council.

1910 Obituary [2]

"...the death on Friday, Dec. 31st, of Mr. W. J. Cudworth, of York. Mr. Cudworth resigned in October last the position of chief engineer of the southern division of the North Eastern Railway, being succeeded by Mr. C. F. Bengough, the district engineer of the Newcastle-on-Tyne area.

Mr. W. J. Cudworth was born at Darlington in 1849, and in 1865 he entered the engineer's office of the North Eastern Railway at Darlington, but, shortly after finishing..."[More].

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