Penarth Dock, South Wales - 150 years - the heritage and legacy  
Penarth Dock, South Wales - the heritage & legacy . . .

Index to Volume Seven - The People - Dock Family Trees - Engineers, Artisans & Doers . . .

James Rowe - (1841-1916)

The following is the text of the obituary published within 'The Engineer' issue of 20th October 1916. [015]

The death is announced as having taken place on Tuesday, the 10th inst., of Mr. James Rowe, managing director of the well-known firm of Edward Finch and Co., Limited, of Chepstow. Mr. Rowe was born at Buckfastleigh, in Devonshire, and received his early education at Chepstow and Abergavenny.

In 1857, when sixteen years of age, he was apprenticed to the late Mr. Finch, the founder and managing director of the Chepstow business bearing his name, and very soon the young man showed signs of such promise that Mr. Finch made him his own personal assistant, and it was by his expressed wish, when he retired in 1873, that Mr. Rowe, who was then only thirty-two years of age, was appointed to succeed him as managing director, a post which he continued to hold with distinction until he retired in 1911.

During his period of management he was responsible for the construction of many important works, among which may be mentioned the viaduct, 800ft. long, over Braydon water at Great Yarmouth ; a bridge for the Taff Vale Railway, over the river Ely at Penarth ; a heavy five-span bridge on the Avonmouth doubling line for the Midland and Great Western Joint Railways; a bridge at Stratford-on-Avon for the Great Western Railway, and numerous dock caissons and gates, as well as many other works.

He was recognised as being a leading authority in this branch of civil engineering, and his expert advice was frequently sought. He also did a considerable amount of ship building, producing, amongst other vessels, steamers up to 3000 tons. Mr. Rowe was a justice of the peace for the county of Monmouth.

 
A rather faded advertisement for Edward Finch & Company Limited of Chepstow published within an edition of 'The Engineering Journal. An Illustrated Weekly Journal' around 1910.

A rather faded advertisement for Edward Finch & Company Limited of Chepstow published within an edition of 'The Engineering Journal. An Illustrated Weekly Journal' around 1910. The company had prior connections with the Cardiff area as, during 1886, for example, the company were contracted to construct a twin-screw tug / salvage steamer for the Bute Docks at Cardiff and even earlier, in 1883, they built the steamship 'Radyr' for John Cory and Sons of Cardiff. The work was undertaken at one of the four shipyard berths at the Bridge works, Chepstow. [520] [20200426]

 
The shipyard of Edward Finch (1916) Limited in September 1919.

The shipyard of Edward Finch (1916) Limited in September 1919, by which date they had been bought out by the Standard Shipbuilding Company. This photograph is probably of the new yard downstream and operating under the new company name. A photograph from the collections of the Chepstow Museum. [781] [20200426]

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