Basic Biographical Details

Name: Boston, Menzies & Morton
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: Before 1893
Ended: After 1940
Bio Notes: Very little is known about Boston, Menzies and Morton as they neither joined the RIBA nor provided information to 'Who's Who in Architecture'. John Boston was a native of Coatbridge and was articled to James Baird of Glasgow but went to Greenock in c.1877 to join the Office of Public Works as assistant at 18 Hamilton Street. It would appear that one of his older brothers, James, who was a butcher by trade, moved to Greenock about the same time. By 1881 he had opened a shop at 5 West Blackhall Street. John Boston held the post of assistant in the Office of Works for seven years. His house at this time was 4 Finnart Street.

He commenced business on his own account as architect, measurer and surveyor in 1884 from an office at 11 William Street. His home address by this date was 73 Nicholson Street. Possibly due to poor health his brother James emigrated to Melbourne, Australia but died three days after he landed there. John too suffered from poor health and had been ailing for some time before his early death on 11 October 1889. He had taken an active part in the social life of Greenock being a a member of the cricket club and of the choral society. He was not married.

His business was taken over by William Menzies of Bonhill, Dumbartonshire and George Morton of Greenock who formed partnership with offices both in Greenock and Bonhill and later Alexandria in Dumbartonshire. Boston's name was retained in the practice title which remained unchanged until at least 1940. William Menzies lived at Overvale, Bonhill, Dunbartonshire in the 1890s, moving to Smollett Street in the early 1920s. The firm then had an office at 17 Bank Street Alexandria which appears to have been run concurrently with the Greenock one, presumably with George Morton in charge of one and William Menzies of the other. George Morton lived in Greenock in the 1890s at 86 Union Street.

They were very able, the Greenock Masonic Temple being quite Burnetian and the Queens Hotel at Kirn inventive Arts and Crafts with Art Nouveau touches. A strong Art Nouveau influence is also present in the flowing tracery of Clune Park Church at Port Glasgow. Their offices from 1920s at leas, were at 11 William Street, Greenock.

Boston was probably related to William James Boston of Burnet & Boston as in 1898 Arthur James Stewart later of South Africa moved from Boston Menzies & Morton to Burnet & Boston.

As regards the subsequent history of the firm, it appears that the business which was run in the 1940s by a Mr Stirling at the same address in William Street was merged with Stewart Tough & Alexander. Sometime early in the 1940s Douglas Lindsay Crawford who had been an assistant since 1928 was made a partner and he was joined in 1944 by John Tonner. James Neil joined the firm in 1950, the name changing at this point to Crawford & Neil.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Bonhill, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness1890 or 1891 *  
Item 2 of 511, William Street, Greenock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1904After 1940 
Item 3 of 524, Gilmour Street, Alexandria, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness1911  
Item 4 of 5Ferry Brae, Dunoon, Argyll, ScotlandBusiness1911  
Item 5 of 517, Bank Street, Alexandria, Dunbarrtonshire, ScotlandBusinessc. 1920  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 13Arthur James Stewart18931898Apprentice 
Item 2 of 13George MortonBefore 1893 Partner 
Item 3 of 13William MenziesBefore 1893Before 1937Partner 
Item 4 of 13William Kerr19041906Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 13John McNeillOctober 19041910Apprentice 
Item 6 of 13John McNeill19101911Chief Assistant 
Item 7 of 13James Tyre McNeillNovember 1911August 1914Apprentice 
Item 8 of 13William Higgins Henry15 November 192015 November 1925Apprentice 
Item 9 of 13William Higgins Henry15 November 192515 August 1929Draughtsman 
Item 10 of 13John Tonner3 September 19283 September 1933Apprentice 
Item 11 of 13John Tonner3 September 19331935Assistant 
Item 12 of 13J Sterling (or Stirling)1934 *   
Item 13 of 13John Tonner19351937Chief Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 431894North Public SchoolAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandAdditions
Item 2 of 431897St John's Masonic TempleGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 3 of 431899Yoker Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 431900Vale of Leven Constitutional ClubAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 5 of 431902Music HallGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 6 of 431902North Public SchoolAlexandria DunbartonshireScotlandAdditions
Item 7 of 43190423 Roxburgh StreetGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 8 of 431905Alexandra TheatreGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 9 of 431905Clune Park Church and hallsPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 10 of 431905Queen's HotelKirn ArgyllScotland 
Item 11 of 431907Dunoon Grammar SchoolDunoon ArgyllScotlandAdditions
Item 12 of 431907Greenock AcademyGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 13 of 431914Bonhill Primary SchoolBonhill DunbartonshireScotlandAdditions
Item 14 of 43After 1920Alexandria Gas Company showroomsAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 15 of 43After 1920Babtie & Craig officesDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations
Item 16 of 43After 1920Bakery for Port Glasgow Co-operative SocietyPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions
Item 17 of 43After 1920Bandstand and layout of public gardensGourock RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition design
Item 18 of 43After 1920Bowling and Tennis ClubhouseGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 19 of 43After 1920Clune Park Church and hallsPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotlandSuite of halls
Item 20 of 43After 1920Garage for Port Glasgow Co-operative SocietyPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 21 of 43After 1920Gourock Golf ClubhouseGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 22 of 43After 1920Gourock War MemorialGourock RenfrewshireScotlandCompetition design
Item 23 of 43After 1920Greenock Provident BankGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 24 of 43After 1920Greenock Provident Bank, Greenock West branchGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 25 of 43After 1920Housing schemeGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 26 of 43After 1920Mid KirkGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandAlterations, redecoration and new choir stalls
Item 27 of 43After 1920New Theatre Company LtdGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 28 of 43After 1920Pavilion Theatre and Dance HallGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandPlans
Item 29 of 43After 1920Port Glasgow Fire StationPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 30 of 43After 1920Private house(s)Greenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 31 of 43After 1920Private house(s)Gourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 32 of 43After 1920Private house(s)Alexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 33 of 43After 1920Public Hall and Baths for the Dyers AssociationAlexandria DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 34 of 43After 1920Reinforced concrete retaining wall for River LevenDumbarton DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 35 of 43After 1920Sandbank UF ChurchDunoon ArgyllScotlandAlterations and redecoration
Item 36 of 43After 1920Sandbank War MemorialDunoon ArgyllScotland 
Item 37 of 43After 1920Shops for the Port Glasgow Co-operative SocietyPort Glasgow RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 38 of 43After 1920Warehouse and showrooms for Messrs ShannonGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 39 of 431929House, 19 Havelock StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 40 of 431931Messrs Gilchrist's premisesGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 41 of 431934Fifty housesGourock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 42 of 43Before 1945Lady Alice SchoolGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandJohn Tonner as assistant either to Boston, Menzies & Morton or to Greenock Corporation
Item 43 of 43Before 1945Watt Memorial SchoolGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandUnspecified work - John Tonner as assistant either to Boston, Menzies & Morton or to Greenock Corporation


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 3Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 2 of 3Post Office Directories     
Item 3 of 3Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p108, p124, p127