Basic Biographical Details

Name: Blyth & Blyth
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1913
Ended: After 1957
Bio Notes: Benjamin Hall Blyth junior, eldest son of railway engineer Benjamin Hall Blyth, gained the degree of MA from Edinburgh University and entered his father's firm as an apprentice in 1867. He was taken into partnership in 1871, at which point the practice was being run by his uncle Edward Laurence Ireland Blyth and George Miller Cunningham, his father having died from overwork in 1866 leaving just over 56,000. Edward retired in 1886 and David Monro Westland, who had joined the firm in 1863 and had risen to the post of chief assistant, was taken into partnership, the practice title changing to Cunningham, Blyth & Westland. When Cunningham retired in 1893, the firm was renamed as Blyth & Westland. It remained thus after 1909 when Benjamin Hall Blyth junior's nephew Benjamin Hall Blyth III was taken into partnership, but adopted the final title of Blyth & Blyth when Westland retired in 1913.

Benjamin Hall Blyth junior was elected a Member of the Institution of Civil Engineers in 1877, a member of the Council in 1900, and Vice-President in 1911, and in 1914 had the distinction of being the first practising engineer in Scotland to be elected President of the Institution. At the time of his death in 1917, his nephew was in France, serving as a Colonel with the Royal Engineers, having enlisted on the outbreak of the First World War. The firm's chief assistant, James Simpson Pirie, was then made a partner, Benjamin Hall Blyth III returning to the partnership at the cease of hostilities.

There was very little construction work in hand between 1918 and 1927, but thereafter the firm became involved in the extensive new programme of reconstruction of the country's roads and bridges instigated by the Ministry of Transport and the Local Authorities. They also became consultants to many industrial concerns such as mills, factories and breweries.

In 1930 James Reed, who had graduated BSc at Edinburgh University and subsequently trained with Redpath Brown & Company and Balfour Beatty & Co before becoming chief assistant in the Blyth firm in 1927, was taken into partnership. Pirie retired in 1935, Blyth and Reed continuing in partnership thereafter. Throughout the latter changes the practice title remained unchanged as Blyth & Blyth.

Blyth III was appointed Lord Dean of Guild of the City of Edinburgh in 1946, but was forced to resign on account of ill health in 1947. He continued in practice but the following year his failing health and an increase in business led to a decision to take into partnership Miss M I Fergusson, who had graduated BSc in Civil Engineering at Edinburgh University and had served as an apprentice and latterly assistant to the firm since 1936.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1135, George Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1913After 1948Blyth & Blyth, MICE, listed at this address in Builder 1957/02/01 p252 (W & A Gilbey Warehouse)

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 6Benjamin Hall Blyth II19131917Partner 
Item 2 of 6Benjamin Hall Blyth III1913After 1948Partner 
Item 3 of 6James Simpson Pirie19171935Partner 
Item 4 of 6James Simpson PirieBefore 19171917Chief Assistant 
Item 5 of 6James Reed19271930Chief Assistant 
Item 6 of 6James Reed1930After 1935Partner 

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 37c. 1901Bon Accord Bar  AberdeenScotland 
Item 2 of 371924Bridge, KirkcudbrightKirkcudbright KirkcudbrightshireScotlandWith Louis Gustav Mouchel as engineer
Item 3 of 371924New Bridge over River EskMusselburgh MidlothianScotlandWidened bridge
Item 4 of 371930Bridge over the River OichAberchalder Inverness-shireScotlandMears and Carus-Wilson as architects. Blyth and Blyth as consulting engineers
Item 5 of 371931New Dunglass BridgeOldhamstocks/Cockburnspath Berwickshire/East LothianScotland 
Item 6 of 371931Spey BridgeGrantown-on-Spey MorayshireScotland 
Item 7 of 371931Tyninghame BridgeTyninghame East LothianScotlandRebuilding
Item 8 of 371933Factory for Central Farmers Ltd, AberhillAberhill, Methil FifeScotland 
Item 9 of 371933Invermoriston BridgeInvermoriston Inverness-shireScotlandMears & Carus-Wilson as architects; Blyth & Blyth as enginners
Item 10 of 371933Lomond BridgeBalloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 11 of 371934Fort Augustus Bridge over the River OichFort Augustus Inverness-shireScotlandSir Frank Mears as architect, Blyth & Blyth as engineers
Item 12 of 371936Bridge of FindhornFindhorn MorayshireScotland 
Item 13 of 371938Findhorn Bridge over the River Findhorn  MorayshireScotland 
Item 14 of 371938Station BridgeGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 371939Ancrum BridgeAncrum RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 16 of 371939Johnstone BridgeAnnan DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 17 of 371939New BridgeAncrum RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 18 of 371939Wick Harbour BridgeWick CaithnessScotland 
Item 19 of 3719493 Clifton Terrace  EdinburghScotlandPlans for reconstruction
Item 20 of 371949Buildings for Riverside Milling Co Ltd, Shearer Street  GlasgowScotlandPrepared plans for alterations and additions
Item 21 of 371950Heriot Brewery premisesRoseburn EdinburghScotlandArchitects for new roof and straw shed
Item 22 of 371951East Pilton Works, Pilton DrivePilton EdinburghScotlandFor additions and alterations
Item 23 of 371951Heriot Brewery premisesRoseburn EdinburghScotlandPrepare plans for erection of cold storage room and timber store
Item 24 of 371953Bernera Bridge Great Bernera Scotland 
Item 25 of 371 February 1957Warehouse, W & A Gilbey & Co, Ltd  GlasgowScotlandBuilder p252
Item 26 of 373 April 1959Tolbooth Wynd BridgeLeith Edinburgh, MidlothianScotlandaccepting tender applications per Builder p664 - CHECK role
Item 27 of 3727 November 1959Bernard Street BridgeLeith Edinburgh, MidlothianScotlandaccepting tenders by Dec 14 per Builder p783
Item 28 of 371960(?)Western General Hospital, Neurosurgical Department  EdinburghScotlandcivil engineers
Item 29 of 377 October 1960Meldrum House  EdinburghScotlandconsulting engineers
Item 30 of 3718 November 1960University of Edinburgh, David Hume Tower (Arts Building) and redevelopment of George Square  Edinburgh, MidlothianScotlandper Builder p956
Item 31 of 371961University of Edinburgh, Department of Civil Engineering  EdinburghScotlandstructural engineers per Builder 20 Jan 1961 p82
Item 32 of 3728 April 1961Heddell's Park and Annsbrae housingLerwickMainlandShetlandScotlandstructural engineers for project per Builder p792
Item 33 of 371966Central Area Redvelopment with shopping precinct, Regent StreetHamilton LanarkshireScotlandAppointed as surveyors for Flats in Duke Street as part of this development
Item 34 of 371967Midlothian County Council Buildings  EdinburghScotland 
Item 35 of 37June 1968Office Block and Shopping Development  GlasgowScotland 
Item 36 of 37Late 1980sIbrox Park football stadium  GlasgowScotlandRemodelling
Item 37 of 371990Scottish Nuclear HeadquartersPeel Park, East Kilbride LanarkshireScotlandConsulting mechanical/electrical engineers


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 3Blyth & Blyth1948A history of the firm of Blyth & Blyth, chartered civil engineers, consulting structural engineers 1848-1948 Edinburgh: C J Cousland 
Item 2 of 3Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp16, p165-7 George Square redevelopment - Arts Tower
p168-9 Heddell's Park and Annsbrae Housing
Item 3 of 3Johnston, W T Scottish Engineers and Shipbuilders   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 7Builder4 November 1949  p595
Item 2 of 7Builder19 August 1949  p245
Item 3 of 7Builder6 January 1950  p28
Item 4 of 7Builder7 December 1951  p813
Item 5 of 7Builder4 May 1951  p640
Item 6 of 7Builder1 June 1951  p803
Item 7 of 7Builder1 February 1957  p252