John Hawthorne Thomson

John Hawthorne Thomson was the first of four generations of Thomsons to operate as plumbers in Preston. Thomson was a qualified mechanical engineer who left England in 1870 to establish himself in the new country. In 1879 he moved into Preston and set up a irrigation and steam pump business, catering to local farmers. His products also found a ready market in the tanning, brick making and ham and bacon industries.

In 1906 Thomson’s son John Edward took over the family business and relocated it to 223 High Street, Preston. John Edward Thomson was a keen sportsman, representing the Preston premiership football team in 1900-01, serving as the clubs Honorary Secretary and participating in the Angling and Bowling Clubs.

After 32 years running the company, John Edward Thomson handed the business over to his son John H. Thomson. Amongst the large jobs undertaken by John H. included work on the Olympic Village, National Art Gallery and the M.C.G. Like his father, John Edward was a keen sportsman and was a committee member of the Preston Football Club and the first President of the Reservoir Bowling Club. In 1954 John Edwin Thomson, the fourth generation of plumbers, joined the family business. 

Preston Historical Society (1968). Brief biographies of prominent Preston People. Preston, Vic: Author.