HINTON, Christopher, Baron Hinton of Bankside 1901-1983. Engineer. He lived at Tiverton Lodge, Dulwich Common from about 1965 until his death. Born in Wiltshire the son of a village schoolmaster, in 1925 he obtained a first-class degree in engineering at Trinity College, Cambridge in two years. He joined a company that was later to become a part of ICI and became chief engineer at the age of 29. During World War Two he worked for the Ministry of Supply organising the construction of ordnance factories, from 1942 as deputy Director-General.

After the war he was appointed to head the construction of nuclear power plants, including Harwell, Windscale (now Sellafield) and Calder Hall. All were opened on time and within budget; Calder Hall, opened in 1956, contained the first plutonium-based nuclear reactors in the world to feed electrical power into a national grid. In 1956 he was appointed chairman of the new Central Electricity Generating Board established to supply electricity in bulk to the retailing area boards. In retirement he chaired a world energy conference, advised the World Bank, was the first Chancellor of the University of Bath, and played an active role in the House of Lords.

The Dictionary of National Biography describes Hinton as ‘one of Britain’s relatively few truly great engineers’. He was knighted in 1951, made a Fellow of the Royal Society, granted a life peerage in 1965 and in 1976 awarded the Order of Merit.

Patrick Spencer