Humberside Geologist No. 14

Obituary - Donald Beveridge

Donald Kenyon Beveridge was a long standing member of the Hull Geological Society, which he joined in 1964. Donald was an active member having served on the Committee in the past and was a regular supporter of the field meetings and the lectures held at the University of Hull. His primary geological interest was in the rocks and minerals with perhaps a lesser interest in the palaeontology. Donald's affection for the composition and structure of the rocks no doubt influenced his decision in later years to build a very fine rockery and pond in his garden, a project which he was very proud of and was a source of much pleasure and interest to him and his family. One of the outstanding projects managed by Donald and his friend Harry Thompson was the design and erection of a steel structure to protect the unique geological exposure of Jurassic and Cretaceous rocks situated in Rifle Butts Quarry near Goodmanham, East Yorkshire from weathering and erosion. This project was funded by English Nature, the Curry Fund of the Geologists Association and the Yorkshire Wildlife Trust. The site is designated as a Site of Special Scientific Interest and Donald's exceptional expertise and technical ability in overseeing the completion of the steel structure along with the placing of mullions to prevent further collapsing of the quarry face and the erection of display panels serves as a lasting memorial to his dedication in seeing the project through from start to finish.

Donald' s professional life was in ship building. His early interest in ships started at the age of 15 when he became an apprentice at ship builders Cammell-Lairds of Liverpool. He later progressed to become a naval architect working for the Board of Trade as a civil servant inspecting ships for seaworthiness and other related aspects, a job he found to be too quiet and although a very secure professional position, Donald decided to move to Hull and take up a position as the Managing Director of a boat building firm, The Yorkshire Dry Dock based in Lime Street Hull owned by John H. Whittaker. He soon started to build up the business and over a period of many years built numerous coasters, barges and small tankers. Most of the ships were launched sideways into the River Hull and the huge splash caused by the launches were featured on numerous occasions in the Hull Daily Mail. Donald also obtained orders from the west coast of Africa, Zimbabwe and Egypt. Two luxury pleasure boats built at Yorkshire Dry Dock still provide exclusive cruises along the Nile.

A man of many interests Donald was also a member of The Small Ship Builders committee in London. In retirement he became an advisor to the North Ferriby Parish Council and a member of the A63 interchange committee. He had an interest in industrial archaeology and also played for the local bowling club.

He was a fine and friendly man, always helpful and supportive and very much liked by all who knew him. Donald who died on the 20th March 2004, aged 79, is survived by his wife Joan, son Peter and daughters Gillian and Dianne.

Felix Whitham (July 2004)

(c) Hull Geological Society 1999 + 2007