JH Silley: Born: c. 1872 at Tutshill, Chepstow, Monmouthshire, S
Died: January 31, 1941 at Port Navis, Cornwall, England. The following
information comes from Mr. Silley's obituary in an Epping Newspaper:
"John Henry Silley was born at Chepstow, Monmouthshire, in
1872 and gained his first engineering experience as an apprentice
with Messrs. Edward Finch and Co., of that town. He came to London
in 1892 and went to sea in a vessel belonging to J. P. Cory and
Company's Star Line, attaining the position of chief engineer in
the middle twenties. His practical experience afloat was of great
value to him later and helped him to appreciate the problems of
the sea-going staffs. Before he was 30 he came ashore and, displaying,
as was his wont, immense energy, started an engineering business
on his own account. His interests were then merged with R and H
Green, Ltd., who claim to be the oldest shipbuilders in the country,
and a new company was formed entitled R. and H. Green and Silley
Weir, Ltd., of which john Silley became chariman and managing director.
This firm undertook a great deal of repair work for leading shipping
companies on the Thames under the general direction of Mr. Silley.
During the last war (WWI) he was closely identified, in conjunction
with the late mr. Allan Hughes, with important developments at Falmought
as a ship repairing centre, and he became a director of Cox &
Co. (Engineers), Limited, Falmouth, and of the Falmouth Docks and
Engineering Company. It was during the last war he had the O.B.E.
conferred on him. In recent years he divided hid time between supervising
the work at the companies' yards on the Thames and in Cornwall.
He was made an Underwriter of Lloyds in 1918, and in the following
years was elected a member of the Baltic Exchange.
Mr. Silley was a member of the Institution of Naval Architects,
a member of the North East Coast institution of Engineers and Shipbuilders,
and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was elected a Liveryman
of the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights in 1908. In 1892, he joined
the Institute of Marine Engineers as associate, and in due course
became a member of the council, vice president, and then president.
He was awarded the Denny Gold Medal in 1901 for a paper on the treatment
of boilers under forced and induced draught."
In the verbal history that has been handed down to me, it is my
understanding that Mr. Silley was a committed Christian, and paid
for the construction of the YMCA (and / or?) the Red Triangle Club.
He also had the homes built for the pensioners who worked at the
Silley Wier Company and those are still being administered today
by one of the Silley family.
"In 1939 a society, financed by John H. Silley, was formed
to provide homes for aged persons with incomes not exceeding 15/s/.
a week. Eight houses for married couples and twelve single dwellings
were built, let at 2/s/. 6/d/. and 1/s/. a week respectively. The
Epping Urban District Council, in return for half
the shares of the society, undertook to make good any deficit.
the rules relating to incomes and rents were altered to meet new
economic conditions. The society was confirmed in possession of
houses, which are in Margaret Close and Margaret Road, off Lindsey