Plaque cel­e­brates en­gi­neer who took on Brunel projects

Glamorgan Gazette - - Your Views - MARTIN SHIP­TON martin.ship­ton@waleson­line.co.uk

A CIVIL en­gi­neer who was chief as­sis­tant to the renowned Isam­bard King­dom Brunel has had a plaque un­veiled in his mem­ory 200 years af­ter he was born.

Robert Pear­son Br­ere­ton col­lab­o­rated with Brunel on many of his projects, in­clud­ing the Great West­ern Rail­way.

He also built a new dock at Porth­cawl, where the plaque was un­veiled at the week­end as part of the In­sti­tu­tion of Civil Engi­neers’ ICE 200 cel­e­bra­tions,

Born in 1818, Br­ere­ton took over re­spon­si­bil­ity for Brunel’s on­go­ing projects when he died in 1859.

These in­cluded the Llynvi Val­ley Rail­way, com­ing down from the Maesteg district to Brid­gend and on to Porth­cawl.

Brunel de­scribed Br­ere­ton in 1845 as “a pe­cu­liarly en­er­getic per­se­ver­ing young man”.

The chair­man of the Corn­wall Rail­way, speak­ing in 1859 fol­low­ing the open­ing of the Royal Al­bert Bridge, de­scribed him as “al­ways ready, al­ways able, al­ways full of en­ergy”.

Un­der Brunel’s di­rec­tion, Br­ere­ton su­per­vised the con­struc­tion of the Royal Al­bert Bridge across the River Ta­mar for the Corn­wall Rail­way.

Af­ter Brunel’s death, Br­ere­ton ran his busi­ness from Brunel’s old of­fice in Duke Street, Lon­don.

Keith Jones, di­rec­tor ICE Wales Cymru said: “Civil engi­neers like Br­ere­ton are the in­vis­i­ble su­per he­roes in the UK, but if we stop to look around us we can see the im­pact of civil en­gi­neer­ing ev­ery­where.”

Robert Pear­son Br­ere­ton

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