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British Industrial History

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Ralph Atkinson Copperthwaite

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Ralph Atkinson Copperthwaite (c1872-1938)

1938 Obituary [1]

RALPH ATKINSON COPPERTHWAITE had a life-long connection with the North Eastern Railway, of which his father was engineer for the Southern Area. After receiving his education at Giggleswick and Barnard Castle, he entered the locomotive shops of the North Eastern Railway at York, and served a three years' apprenticeship, terminating in 1891. He was then transferred to the drawing office at Gateshead and in 1893 he returned to York as assistant foreman.

Subsequently he was placed in charge of locomotive running sheds at Bridlington and Tyne Dock, and in 1898 he was promoted to be district foreman at Newport (Middlesbrough). After holding similar posts at Darlington, Shildon, and Hartlepool, he was appointed assistant to the locomotive running superintendent at Darlington, and was subsequently transferred to Gateshead in a similar capacity. In 1908 he took charge of the Walkergate carriage and wagon works; he was afterwards appointed manager of the locomotive works at Gateshead, and later took up a similar position at Darlington works.

On the merging of the North Eastern Railway into the London and North Eastern group in 1923, Mr. Copperthwaite was placed in charge of all locomotive workshops at Gateshead, Darlington, and Hull, and five years later he was appointed assistant mechanical engineer for the North Eastern Area of the company, with headquarters at Darlington.

In 1933 he retired and travelled, finally settling in Hampshire; his death occurred in Winchester on 2nd June 1938, in his sixty-sixth year. He had been a Member of the Institution since 1899.

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