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 - Railway and Dock Company Officials . . .

Thomas Hurry Riches - (1846 - 1911)

1908 - Thomas Hurry Riches, Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Taff Vale Company.

1908 - Mr. Thomas Hurry Riches, Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Taff Vale Railway Company. A photograph and account of his life and work taken from the 1908 South Wales Coal Annual. [039]


ENGINEER TO THE TAFF VALE RAILWAY. 'The excellence of the shipping appliances at the Penarth Docks is due largely to the great engineering skill of Mr. T. Hurry Riches, M.I.C.E., J.P., the Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendent of the Taff Vale Company.

Mr. Riches received his training in the Locomotive Works of the Taff Vale Railway Company, which he joined in 1863.

Following the completion of his apprenticeship in 1868, he added to his experience by work at sea, and spent some years in obtaining a varied experience of engineering.

He twice won the Whitworth Scholarship, and in 1871 re-entered the service of the Taff Vale Company.

In 1872 he was appointed Locomotive Superintendent, and has held this important post for thirty-five years, during which period the Taff Vale Yard has become known as one of the best locomotive building training grounds in the country.

One of the leading authorities of locomotive construction in the United Kingdom, Mr. Riches has occupied the position of President of the Association of Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendents of the United Kingdom, and of the South Wales Institute of Engineers.

In 1907 he was made President of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, a position which counts amongst its previous occupants such names as Stephenson, Fairburn, Whitworth, and Lowthian Bell.

In 1908 he received the signal honour of re-election ; and in the same year was appointed President of the Mechanical Engineering Section of the Franco-British Exhibition.' [039]


1891 - Listed under : Engineers - Riches, Tom, Hurry, 8 Park Grove, Cardiff - within Daniel Owen & Co's. Cardiff and Suburban Commercial Directory. [298]


1895 - Within the 1895 edition of Daniel Owen & Co's. (Wright's) Cardiff Directory, Mr Riches was listed as the Locomotive Superintendent and a Penarth Dock Official at their Administrative Offices in Queen Street, Cardiff. [298]




left : 1906 - An article from the Cardiff Times in August 1906. Mr. Tom Hurry Riches was at that date vice-president of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers. - Cardiff Times [019] 4th August 1906.

1901 - New Coal Tips at Penarth - Mr. T. Hurry Riches, M.Inst. C.E., Cardiff, Engineer

1901 - New Coal Tips at Penarth - Mr. T. Hurry Riches, M.Inst. C.E., Cardiff, Engineer. - The Engineer [015] [016] 2nd August 1901.

See also : Investment in Efficient Coaling Facilities at Penarth Dock.

Tom Hurry Riches.
Tom Hurry Riches was born in Cardiff on 24th November 1846, being the son of the late Mr. Charles Hurry Riches, of that town. He was educated at Trices' Academy, Cardiff, and at the age of seventeen he entered the locomotive works of the Taff Vale Railway as an apprentice, under the late Mr. Joseph Tomlinson. He spent five years in the shops and drawing office of the company, pursuing his studies at the same time with such success at Science and Art classes that he gained in 1868 a scholarship at the Royal School of Mines. On the completion of his apprenticeship he went to sea for several months, serving as second engineer on the S.S. "Camilla"; and on his return from abroad he attended the Royal School of Mines where he obtained the Science and Art and also the Whitworth scholarships. Subsequently he became manager of the Bute Iron Works and of the Bute Old Works, under the trustees of the late Marquis of Bute, with whom he remained for three years. During this period he designed and built many iron roofs and bridges, and assisted in the general supervision of all the engines, machinery, steamers, and dredgers belonging to the Trust. In 1872 he re-entered the service of the Taff Vale Railway as chief locomotive foreman; and in the following year was appointed locomotive superintendent, in succession to Mr. Fisher, who followed Mr. Tomlinson. He was then the youngest locomotive superintendent in the Kingdom. That appointment he retained until his death, although ill-health had rendered it necessary for him latterly to relinquish some of the active duties connected with the position. During his superintendence the locomotive stock was more than doubled, and the importance of his office was increased in even greater proportion, for, in addition to the locomotive department, his responsibility was extended to embrace the carriage and wagon work, the hydraulic and dredging machinery, dock machinery, gates, etc., as well as the coaling appliances belonging to the company. As a locomotive engineer he was held in high esteem by his fellow superintendents, and though connected with one of the smaller railway companies, he ranked professionally with the leading members of the engineering world. He was at one time President of the Association of Locomotive, Carriage and Wagon Superintendents of the United Kingdom, and was also a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers, the Iron and Steel Institute, and other societies. His most valuable services to technical societies were rendered to this Institution and to the South Wales Institute of Engineers. He became a Member of this Institution in 1874, was a Member of Council from 1885 to 1898, a Vice-President from 1899 to 1906, and President during 1907 and 1908. When the Summer Meeting of this Institution was held in Cardiff in 1906 under the Presidency of the late Mr. Edward P. Martin, he was largely instrumental in securing its success, taking a very active part as joint secretary of the local Reception Committee. His contributions to the discussions were numerous, and in addition to his Presidential Address in 1907 (Proceedings, page 495), he was the author, or joint author, of six Papers read before the Institution. The first one, read in 1877, described the "Tynewydd Colliery Inundation." In this connection he was presented at the Mansion House, London, by the Lord Mayor, with a piece of silver plate "in recognition of his bravery " in rescuing the miners after 240 hours' entombment. In 1880 he contributed a Paper on "Automatic Action in Continuous Railway Brakes," and in 1904 "Some Notes on Testing Locomotives." At the Cardiff Meeting, in 1906, as joint author, he presented "Mechanical Appliances used in the Shipping of Coal at Penarth," which was followed later in the same year by "Railway-Motor-Car Traffic"; and at the Bristol Meeting in 1908, he was joint author of a Paper on "Forced Lubrication for Axle-Boxes." He took a considerable interest in the South Wales Institute of Engineers, and was President of that Society in the two years 1901-2 and 1902-3. In 1900 he was appointed reporter to the International Railway Congress, for Great Britain and the Colonies, on the subject of "Express Passenger-Engines," and in 1910 he held a similar office, the subject then being "Railway Motor-Carriages." He was a great advocate of high-speed hydraulic machinery, having had considerable experience of its working. He took a very kindly interest in all young engineers, and insisted that his apprentices should take steps to improve their theoretical knowledge of engineering by attending technical classes. For a short time he was a member of the Town Council of Cardiff, but after nine years he was unsuccessful in obtaining re-election. In view, however, of his valuable services to technical education, he was immediately co-opted, being appointed Chairman of the Technical Committee of the County Borough of Cardiff, which position he held for twelve years. He was a Justice of the Peace and Governor of the National Museum of Wales, of the Court of which he was a Member, and he was also a Member of Council of the University College of South Wales and Monmouthshire. During the last few years his health had prevented him from leading so active a life as before, and his death from heart failure occurred on 4th September 1911, in his sixty-fifth year. [599]  [178]
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