Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Captain) Eric Sinclair Bell
Designation: Architect
Born: 1 September 1884
Died: 15 March 1973
Bio Notes: Eric Sinclair Bell was born at Warrington on 1 September 1884, the son of Colonel William Bell of the Argyll & Sutherland Highlanders and his wife Isabella Margaret Murray McGregor. He was articled to John Burnet & Son in 1903, concurrently studying at Glasgow School of Art. In May 1910 he proceeded to John James Burnet's London office. From 1912 to 1914 he gained experience with Smith & Brewer; Gibson, Skipwith & Gordon; Herbert Baker & Edwin Landseer Lutyens; and Sir Ernest George & Yates. He returned to Burnet's London office in May 1914. He visited Belgium, France and Switzerland before beginning war service in August of the same year, serving as Captain in the Gordon Highlanders, and was wounded at the Battle of Loos in September-October 1915.

He returned from the war in March 1919 and practised in Stirling from September that year onwards. Rebecca Bailey states that in 1932 Bell joined Charles Greg in partnership as Greg & Bell. However exhaustive rsearch is unable to trace any sign of an architect under the name 'Charles Greg'. Greg is probably a misreading for Charles Henry Greig who worked in Stirling from at least 1914 if not earlier. He died in 1929 and it is very likely that Bell took over his practice at that date. Bell operated this from his house, Cranstonhill.

Bell was admitted LRIBA on 4 December 1933, his proposers being Francis Lorne, John Begg and A Nicol Bruce, the then secretary of the RIAS; and was elected FRIBA on 6 March 1939, proposed by Lorne, Thomas Smith Tait and Alexander Thomson Scott. During the Second World War, Bell was for a time commanding officer of the Air Training Corps, Stirling Squadron No.1019.

Bell was an etcher of architectural subjects as well as an architect, his nomination papers listing three published etchings: of Stirling Castle; Hanway Street, London; and the Granary Gates, London. He was architect to the Stirling Thistle Property Trust, and restored their buildings at the top of the town. He was the first President of the Stirling Society of Architects, and was a founder member of the Rotary Club of Stirling. He was also for many years a trustee of the Smith Art Gallery and Museum, and was instrumental in the formation of the Friends of the Smith in early 1973. In his private life Bell was a keen amateur golfer.

Bell died of a coronary thrombosis at his home on 15 March 1973. He was survived by his wife, Agnes Cuthill Mowbray.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Cranstonhill, Stirling, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1933After 1939 
Item 2 of 324, Allan Park, Stirling, Stirlingshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 19331973 
Item 3 of 3The Oaks/108, Henderson Street, Bridge of Allan, Stirlingshire, ScotlandBusiness1972  

Employment and Training

Employers

The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 8John Burnet & Son1903Before 1910Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8(Sir) John James BurnetMay 19101912Assistant 
Item 3 of 8Smith & Brewer1912Before 1914Assistant 
Item 4 of 8Gibson, Skipwith & GordonAfter 1912Before 1914Assistant 
Item 5 of 8Lutyens & Baker19131913Assistant 
Item 6 of 8Ernest George & YeatesAfter 19131914Assistant 
Item 7 of 8(Sir) John James BurnetMay 1914Before August 1914Assistant 
Item 8 of 8Greig & Bell1932 Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 5James Macgregor Harvey19201927Partner 
Item 2 of 5James Stevenson19221927Apprentice 
Item 3 of 5David Graham WatsonOctober 19231928Apprentice 
Item 4 of 5James Stevenson19271933Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 5James Stevenson19331939AssociateWorked in 'association with' Bell.

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 5John Begg4 December 1933for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 5Francis Lorne4 December 1933for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 5Francis Lorne6 March 1939for Fellowship
Item 4 of 5Alexander Thomson Scott6 March 1939for Fellowship
Item 5 of 5Thomas Smith Tait6 March 1939for Fellowship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 10Robert Mather Godfrey2 February 1954for Associateship
Item 2 of 10Robert Mather Godfrey7 February 1968for Fellowship
Item 3 of 10William Higgins Henry2 February 1966For Fellowship
Item 4 of 10James Stevenson6 March 1956For Licentiateship
Item 5 of 10Lawrence Henry Twigg12 November 1940for Associateship
Item 6 of 10David Graham Watson29 November 1942For Licentiateship
Item 7 of 10Alexander Abercrombie Wilkie9 July 1946For Associateship
Item 8 of 10Henry ('Harry') Wilson17 November 1942for Licentiateship
Item 9 of 10Henry ('Harry') Wilson15 June 1943for Fellowship
Item 10 of 10Thomas Ronald Wilson7 February 1968for Fellowship

Buildings and Designs

This architect was involved with the following buildings or structures from the date specified (click on an item to view details):
 Date startedBuilding nameTown, district or villageIslandCity or countyCountryNotes
Item 1 of 10 Stirling Thistle Property Trust buildingsStirling StirlingshireScotlandRestoration - date not known.
Item 2 of 101920Holy Trinity Episcopal ChurchStirling StirlingshireScotlandNew vestry
Item 3 of 101921Muir HallDoune PerthshireScotland 
Item 4 of 101927Auchentroig HouseDrymen StirlingshireScotlandRebuilding after fire
Item 5 of 101927Golden Lion HotelStirling StirlingshireScotlandExtensions
Item 6 of 101929Boys' Club, 36 St John StreetStirling StirlingshireScotlandConversion to Boys' Club
Item 7 of 101929Christ ChurchKippen StirlingshireScotlandNew hall
Item 8 of 101931Church HouseKippen StirlingshireScotlandConversion of the Grove into Church House
Item 9 of 101936Raploch Housing Estate, 66-74 Drip RoadStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 10 of 101937Khyber HouseBridge of Allan StirlingshireScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Bailey, Rebecca M1996Scottish architects' papers: a source book Edinburgh: The Rutland Pressp109
Item 2 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 3Scotsman28 May 1907   
Item 2 of 3Scotsman5 July 1907   
Item 3 of 3Stirling Observer21 March 1973  p 13 - obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L no4293 (combined box 6); F no3540 (box 25)