Additional Papers of Sir Harold Harding

Scope and Content

Professional papers, including reports, documents, photographs, and prints relating to exploratory works mainly concerning the Channel tunnel: see box list below:

1. The New Gotthard Tunnel planned: Paper read at the World Road Congress of IRF.

[Stapled sheets] 1966

2. Rapport sur l'exploration: Du puits et de la Galerie de Sangate

[Stapled sheets] n.d.

3. Report on Sangate Shaft

[A4 sheet] 1958

4. Report on the Boring at Sangate

[Stapled sheets] n.d.

5. Raymond de Long. Visit - Los Angeles. 'Hyperion Immersed' project.Pipeline

[Folder - 6 items] 1959

6. Decca Navigator News, no.42.

[Journal] Nov, 1964

7. De Long Corporation

[Brochure] 1957?

8. The Channel Tunnel: Geology of the Straits of Dover by P. Provost and E. Leroux

[Stapled sheets] 1948

9. Channel Tunnels Study Group: Report on a Submerged Tunnel.

[Stapled sheets] 1960

10. New Yorker article on Channel Tunnel

[Photocopied article in folder] n.d.

11. Collection of newspaper, magazine and journal articles on the Channel Tunnel

[In plastic sleeve: 16 items] 1960s & 70s

12. Channel Tunnel Survey Group

[Folder: 13 items] 1960s and 70s

13. Tunnel sous la manche

[Report] 1961

14. Photo's: Channel Tunnel Survey

[Folder containing photos and diagrams: 45 items] 1958-60

15. Collection of reports, photos and newspaper and magazine articles on the Channel Tunnel

[Folder: 16 items] 1960s and 70s

16. Engineering Graphics Vol.1, no.7.

[Journal] 1961

17. Channel Tunnel Study Group 1964-65 Site Investigation

[Spiral-bound Report] 1964-5

19. Channel Tunnel Project

[Report] 1981

20. Le Procédé Seccam de transport continu: (Study and Industrial Application of the Seccam Continuous Feeder System).

[Report] 1967

21. Ports and Dredging. No.50

[Journal] 1966

22. Ports and Dredging. No.52.

[Journal] 1966

23. Proposal for Tunnel under Channel between England and France

By the Channel Tunnel Study Group.

[Report: Signed Copy] 1959

24. Engineering News-Record.

[Journal] 1961

25. Channel Tunnel: the Facts

[Pamphlet] n.d.

26. Discussion on a Paper. Published in Proceedings, February 1961: Discussion on the work of the Channel Tunnel Study Group, 1958-60. By Professor John McGarva Bruckshaw, Jean Goguel, Harold John Boyer Harding and René Malcor.

[Report] 1962

27. The Work of the Channel Tunnel Study Group 1958-60: By Professor John McGarva Bruckshaw, Jean Goguel, Harold John Boyer Harding and René Malcor.

[Report] 1961

28. The Channel Tunnel. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

[Report] 1973

29. The Channel Tunnel Project. Presented to Parliament by the Secretary of State for the Environment.

[Report] 1973

30. The Channel Tunnel. By Sir Ivone Kirkpatrick

[Pamphlet] n.d.

31. The Economic Benefits of a Channel Tunnel. By the Channel Tunnel Study Group

[Spiral-bound Report] 1960

32. Why Britain needs a Channel Tunnel. A Reference Handbook of facts about a Channel Link. By the Channel Tunnel Study Group

[Spiral-bound Report] 1962

Administrative / Biographical History

Sir Harold John Boyer Harding (1900-1986), civil engineer, was born in Wandsworth, London, on 6 January 1900, the younger son and younger child of Arthur Boyer Harding, and his wife Helen Clinton Lowe. He was educated with the financial assistance of his uncle, Jack Robinson, at Christ's Hospital, and the City and Guilds College (part of Imperial College) which he entered in 1917. He served through 1918 as an Officers' Training Corps cadet, resuming his studies in 1919. He received a BSc (Eng.) from the University of London and a Postgraduate Diploma from Imperial College, both in 1922.

In 1922 he joined John Mowlem & Co., engineering contractors. His early work concentrated on underground railway development in and around London, notably the reconstruction of Piccadilly Circus Station (1926-1929), and the construction of the Central Line from Bow Road to Leytonstone (1936-1939). He worked on the model for Piccadilly Station with a student at the Slade School of Art, Sophie Helen Blair Leighton, daughter of Edmund Blair Leighton RI, artist. They were married on 24 September 1927, and had two sons and a daughter.

During the Second World War, he was responsible for defence works and emergency repairs to underground damage in London. During air raids in 1941 he held discussions with a colleague which resulted, in 1942, in the foundation of Soil Mechanics Ltd. In 1943-4 he organized the construction of petrol barges and floating monoliths used in the Normandy landings. He was a director of Soil Mechanics Ltd (1949-1955) and also a director of the parent company Mowlem (1950-1956). From the late 1950s until 1978, he worked as a consultant and arbitrator: he was joint consultant, with René Malcor, to the Channel Tunnel Study Group (1958-1970); and a member of the Aberfan disaster tribunal (1966-1967).

Harding was an active fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, serving as president in 1963-1964. He was the founder chairman of the British Tunnelling Society (1971-1973), who hold an annual event in his honour. The event alternates between the Harding Prize, a competition for papers from members under 33 years old, and the Harding Lecture.

He was a governor of Westminster Technical College (1948-1953), Northampton Engineering College (1950-1955), and Imperial College (1955-1975). In 1952 he was elected a fellow of the City and Guilds Institute. In 1968 he was knighted, and became a fellow of Imperial College. He received an honorary DSc from City University in 1970. In 1976 he was elected a founder fellow of the Fellowship of Engineering. In 1981 his autobiography 'Tunnelling History and my Own Involvement' was published by Golder Associates.

He died in Topsham, Devon, on 27 March 1986.


Currently arranged as received. The papers will be merged into the main sequence but the box list will be retained on the accession record.

Conditions Governing Access

Usual EUL arrangements apply.

Acquisition Information

Transferred from the University of Exeter Engineering Department.

Other Finding Aids

Box list, partial.

Archivist's Note

Description compiled by Christine Faunch, Archivist, with biographical information from the Online 'DNB' on 29 Sept 2007.

Conditions Governing Use

Usual EUL restrictions apply.

Appraisal Information

These papers will be integrated into the main sequence and duplicates removed.

Custodial History

It is thought that these papers were given to the University of Exeter Engineering Department by Sir Harold Harding in c.1980 and kept in the Harrison Library for teaching purposes, but were not discovered until closure of the Harrison Library in July 2008.


No further accruals are expected

Related Material

See also MS 337.


It is not known whether these papers have formed the basis for publication.