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British Industrial History

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Vernon Hope

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Vernon Hope (c1877-1949) of Parmiter, Hope and Sugden

1950 obituary.[1]

Vernon Hope, J.P., who died at Macclesfield on the 6th December, 1949, at the age of 72, devoted his energies to three main subjects— high-rupturing-capacity fuses, local government, and cricket. He was a Cheshire man, educated at King's School, Macclesfield, and apprenticed to the Manchester firm of electrical contractors, Donnison, Parmiter and Barber. This business he acquired in 1899; Mr. Parmiter dropped out but his name remained, the firm then trading as Parmiter and Hope. In 1901 Mr. Hope was joined by Mr. Sugden, and the firm became Parmiter, Hope and Sugden.

Mr. Hope took out his first patents for the Fluvent fuse in 1913-14, following with the Aeroflex fuse in 1923, and many other patents. He was undoubtedly a pioneer in the enormous developments in the use of electricity that have taken place in the past quarter of a century, h.r.c. fuses made to his specifications being used for the protection of consumers on the Grid for duties up to more than 25 MVA—a field quite unthought of with earlier types.

For many years he was one of Macclesfield's best known public men, and in the 1920's and 1930's was actively engaged in local government. He joined the Town Council in 1919, was Mayor in 1926, and continued in office until 1932. He used his technical knowledge in the town's service as Chairman, in turn, of the Water, Gas and Electricity Committees; being probably best remembered locally for the way in which he carried through the entire reconstruction of the gas works. He was appointed a Justice of the Peace in 1938.

His many friends will long remember his keen interest in cricket. Before the First World War he was Captain of Cheetham Hill, and played for Manchester and Lancashire Second; and after returning to Cheshire, played for Bollington, Macclesfield, being Captain of the latter, and Cheshire County for several years, until he retired from the game in 1925. That he was no mean exponent of the game may be judged by his score in Club and Minor County Cricket, of 23,500 runs and 2,300 wickets. Sheer determination, patience and inspired brilliance brought his cricket up to first-class standard, and under his leadership Macclesfield was put on the cricket map of the North.

He joined The Institution as an Associate Member in 1926 and was elected a Member in 1939.

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