Charles Scott Meik

1853 - 1923

Civil Engineer. Born in Sunderland (England), the son of Thomas Meik (1812-96), a noted civil engineer, who was working in NE England at the time, and younger brother of Patrick Meik (1851 - 1910). Meik became an apprentice to Sir Thomas Bouch (1822-80) one of the most significant engineers of the time, but who lost his reputation after the Tay Bridge Disaster of 1879. As Bouch's assistant, Meik gave evidence before the Committee of Inquiry but it became clear that he had no responsibility for the failed design. He soon left for Japan, where he designed harbours for the government, and therefore was not tarnished by Bouch's downfall. In 1894, he returned to Britain to work with his brother Patrick in the firm their father had started in 1868.

The pair built a coal harbour and a railway at Port Talbot in Wales (1897), another coal harbour at Seaham (1905) and also designed ports in Burma, India and Mozambique. In Scotland, their most notable contributions were the hydro-electric power schemes at Kinlochleven (1905-09) and Lochaber (1924-44). Meik died in London before construction of the latter began, leaving the task in the hands of his partner William Halcrow. Meik is remembered on the family memorial in Duddingston Kirkyard. The family firm continues as the Halcrow Group, now one of the UK's largest engineering consultancies with a turnover of £400 million (2008) and more than 7000 employees.

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