Sir Edgar Beck and Joseph Murphy, both leading construction industry figures, died last week.

Sir Edgar was the former chairman and honorary president of John Mowlem; Murphy founded Joseph Murphy Structural Engineering.

Sir Edgar was widely credited with generating a period of rapid growth for Mowlem during his 19-year tenure as chairman, which lasted from 1961 to 1979.

He was involved in many of the firm’s best known projects, including Millbank Tower, then London’s highest building, and the NatWest Tower. He was also responsible for developing new lines of work in road building and public housing.

The firm also rebuilt Downing Street, but Sir Edgar was unimpressed by its creator, Sir George Downing. He called him a “jerry-builder” after seeing how much underpinning was required.

He is survived by his second wife Anne and five children.

Multimillionaire contractor Joseph Murphy died last week after a two-year battle with cancer.

Along with his elder brother John, Murphy arrived in the UK from Ireland before the outbreak of the Second World War.

They worked as labourers at first and then began subcontracting, cashing in on the post-war construction boom. Both brothers were multimillionaires by the 1960s and their green vans became a familiar sight around London.

His last public appearance was in 1999 when he was called to give evidence to the Flood Inquiry into alleged bribes paid to politicians and council officials in Ireland during the 1980s.

Murphy was allowed to address the tribunal in private from his home in Guernsey because of his failing health.