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British Industrial History

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William Marriott

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William Marriott (1857-1943) was the engineer, locomotive superintendent and traffic manager of the Midland and Great Northern Railway (M&GN)

1857 Born at Basel, Switzerland where his father was a professor of English at the University of Basel.

1868 Orphaned and was brought to live in Bideford, receiving an education in England and on the continent.

1875-79 Served an apprenticeship with Ransomes and Rapier

1881 Became an assistant engineer with Wilkinson and Jarvis completing a six week unpaid trial period on the Yarmouth and North Norfolk Railway at Yarmouth. He was offered a permanent post which he accepted.

1883 Became the civil engineer

1884 Appointed the locomotive superintendent of the Eastern and Midlands Railway. This company was the amalgamation of all the Wilkinson and Jarvis lines in Norfolk, including both the Yarmouth and North Norfolk Railway and the Lynn and Fakenham Railway. At the time he was possibly the youngest engineer of a public railway since the 1850s.

1893 When the Midland Railway and the Great Northern Railway jointly purchased the Eastern & Midlands Railway , from which time it was known as the Midland and Great Northern Joint Railway, he was expecting to become Traffic Manager as well, but was passed over in favour of an outside appointment. After many years service improving the line and developing the use of reinforced concrete, he was finally appointed as the railway's traffic manager in 1919, in which post he remained until his retirement on 31 December 1924.

1943 November 17th. Died in Sheringham

The Marriott's Way, a long-distance footpath, cycle-path and bridleway between Norwich and Aylsham, was named after William Marriott who was the chief engineer of the Midland and Great Northern Railway for 41 years.

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