Mr. William Ford Beatson
was born in Peckham, near London, in 1833. He was educated at a private school and at King's College, Somerset House, London. Mr. Beatson was brought up as an architect, engineer, and surveyor in London by his father, and served as a pupil for five years. He came out to Nelson per ship “Midlothian” in 1851, and
for twenty-three years was a resident in the Nelson provincial district, engaged in surveying as well as farming on his own account. He settled in Canterbury in 1873, and was for two years with the late Mr. W. B. Armson, architect, and subsequently practised on his own account for a short time. In 1876, Mr. Beatson was appointed secretary, surveyor, and collector for the Avon Road Board, which position he occupied until the incorporation of the Borough of St. Albans, when he was appointed town clerk, etc. During his long career in connection with the district, he laid out every road from Innes' road to White's bridge.