Charles Meik

From Academic Kids

Charles Meik (born? - 1923) was an English engineer and part of a minor engineering dynasty. His father Thomas Meik was also an engineer, as was Charles' brother Patrick Meik.

Both boys were born in Crow Tree Road, Bishopwearmouth.

Charles was apprenticed to Sir Thomas Bouch, then an engineer of some repute. However, Bouch's career was finished by the Tay Bridge disaster on 28 December 1879 in east Scotland when the 13 high girders forming the central part of the bridge crashed into the river carrying a train and 75 men, women and children with it. Rather than stay in Britain, Charles Meik went to Japan and worked as a port designer for the Japanese government, returning to work in London with his brother Patrick in 1894.

After Thomas Meik retired in 1888, his firm (renamed Thomas Meik & sons) had passed into the hands of his sons, and in 1896, it was renamed PW Meik and CS Meik.

Charles then assisted Patrick on the firm's first venture into Wales, a massive commission to construct docks and a railway at Port Talbot, followed by an equally ambitious scheme to expand the port of Seaham, officially opened in 1905. The Meiks' expertise saw port and railway designs developed in many parts of the British Empire, including Christmas Island, India, Burma and Mozambique.

The firm was then commissioned to design the Kinlochleven hydroelectric scheme in the Scottish Highlands. This was a huge undertaking at the time and it was to lead to an even greater hydroelectric project, the Lochaber Water Power Scheme. Unfortunately, Charles Meik died before construction started, leaving the project's completion in the hands of William Halcrow.

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