1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Findlay, Sir George

FINDLAY, SIR GEORGE (1829–1893), English railway manager, was of pure Scottish descent, and was born at Rainhill, in Lancashire, on the 18th of May 1829. For some time he attended Halifax grammar school, but left at the age of fourteen, and began to learn practical masonry on the Halifax railway, upon which his father was then employed. Two years later he obtained a situation on the Trent Valley railway works, and when that line was finished in 1847 went up to London. There he was for a short time among the men employed in building locomotive sheds for the London & North-Western railway at Camden Town, and years afterwards, when he had become general manager of that railway, he was able to point out stones which he had dressed with his own hands. For the next two or three years he was engaged in a higher capacity as supervisor of the mining and brickwork of the Harecastle tunnel on the North Staffordshire line, and of the Walton tunnel on the Birkenhead, Lancashire & Cheshire Junction railway. In 1850 the charge of the construction of a section of the Shrewsbury & Hereford line was entrusted to him, and when the line was opened for traffic T. Brassey, the contractor, having determined to work it himself, installed him as manager. In the course of his duties he was brought for the first time into official relations with the London & North-Western railway, which had undertaken to work the Newport, Abergavenny & Hereford line, and he ultimately passed into the service of that company, when in 1862, jointly with the Great Western, it leased the railway of which he was manager. In 1864 he was moved to Euston as general goods manager, in 1872 he became chief traffic manager, and in 1880 he was appointed full general manager; this last post he retained until his death, which occurred on the 26th of March 1893 at Edgware, Middlesex. He was knighted in 1892. Sir George Findlay was the author of a book on the Working and Management of an English Railway (London, 1889), which contains a great deal of information, some of it not easily accessible to the general public, as to English railway practice about the year 1890.