Death of the Man who made Hornsey

Hornsey Journal, 9 July 1948

A Borough Engineer of Distinction

Mr Edwin James Lovegrove, a former Borough Engineer of Hornsey, who died at Hove on Friday in his 87th year, carried out many important municipal schemes in the borough during its rapid development in the early years of the present century.

Mr Lovegrove was once described by the mayor of Hornsey as the “maker of the borough”. When he came in 1894 the district was practically undeveloped and its eventual layout was due to him. Long before compulsory town planning was known he was working on sound planning lines. A large share of the credit for Hornsey being regarded as a model borough belonged to him.

Municipal engineering, road-making and sewage constructions were his three life-long interests. He was a man of tireless energy and even after his retirement from the borough engineership in 1926 – a post he had held for 32 years – he took on a consulting practice at Westminster.

In addition to various public buildings erected under his supervision, he laid out Queen’s Wood, also Priory Park. Furthermore he achieved some notable scientific work. When he was presented with a silver casket by the mayor on his retirement he said he was proud to be a road maker, “My father was one,” he declared, “and my son is one.” In all he served for 45 years to four municipalities, Hornsey being the principal one.

Mr R. B. Alaway, who was chief clerk in the borough engineer’s department until his requirement some years ago contributes the following appreciation of Mr Lovegrove’s work :

He framed many new by-laws for building and drainage, and carried out main drainage work, largely by direct labour, for the remedying of the flooding of areas lying 350 feet below the uplands of Highgate. The work was carried out at depths varying from 30ft to 120ft.

He was a pioneer in the use of clinker-waste from town refuse destructors for municipal purposes. He perfected in 1895 the manufacture of hydraulic-pressed clinker-foot-way paving slabs, and in 1914 he introduced the manufacture of a clinker-asphalt and bituminous-grouting material for road surfacing.

Mr Lovegrove carried out research work into the suitability of materials for road making, and his testing-rooms and experimental areas of road surfacing were visited by deputations of highway engineers and members of municipalities from all parts of the world.

The son of a municipal engineer, Mr Lovegrove was educated at the City of London School, and his own son became a railway engineer and later an engineering inspector with the Ministry of Transport.

Also see:

Smithfield’s Square Fascinating : Past Two

Edwin James Lovegrove 1861 – 1948: Shouldn’t we Honour Him ?

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