Grace's Guide

British Industrial History

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Joseph Willcock

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Joseph Willcock (c1836-1874) of the Bowling Iron Co

1874 Obituary [1]

In our issue of March 13th we published engravings of a fine pair of reversing rolling-mill engines, for driving a new plate mill at the Bowling Iron Company's Works, Bradford. The engines and the mill were built from the designs of Mr. Joseph Willcock, chief engineer to the company, under whose able superintendence many important improvements have been effected at the Bowling Works within the past two years. Mr. Willcock had passed from this life before we introduced the designs to our readers. He died at Bowling House, Bradford, on the 25th February, after a brief illness, at the early age of 38 years.

No man in his profession more deservedly enjoyed the confidence of his employers, and the affection of the workmen under him. To talent of a high order he united an unassumed modesty, and his amiable disposition gained him friends wherever he went. The respect and sincere regard in which he was held at Bradford were strikingly evidenced at his interment, which took place on February 28th, at the Undercliffe Cemetery. Many of his old companions came long distances to pay their last tribute of respect to his memory, and to offer their condolence to his bereaved wife.

Mr. Willcock was the author of a valuable work, "Five Hundred Mechanical Movements." At the last meeting of the British Association in Bradford, he contributed a paper giving an interesting history and description of the Bowling Iron Works. Before his engagement by the Bowling Company, he was employed for some years at the Prospect Foundry, Bradford, where he also left evidences of his ability and good management.

At an earlier date he filled the post of manager of the Berrisford Engineering Company (Limited), Stockport, the directors of which, on his resignation of the appointment, passed a resolution putting on record "their high estimation of his talents, both theoretical and practical," and expressing "their admiration of his personal qualities as a gentleman."

He frequently received, in the form of valuable presentations, testimony to his social worth and none were more prized by him than those which expressed the goodwill and attachment of the workmen over whom he had been placed.

Mr. Willcock lived abroad for some years, during which he enlarged his professional experience. He was a man of refined and varied tastes, and his industry was unceasing. Some years since, in the interest of his health, he had thoughts of seeking a warmer climate but circumstances led to his remaining in England. His death 1s deeply deplored by a wide circle of friends and fellow workers.

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