Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||George Hay |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||5 July 1911 |
|Died: ||5 December 1986 |
|Bio Notes: ||George Hay was born in Edinburgh on 5 July 1911, the son of Frank Hay who was a skilled metal worker, and his wife Louisa Robertson. He was educated at the James Clark School and became an apprentice draughtsman with Scott Morton & Company at the age of fourteen in February 1926. There he came to the notice of Lorimer & Matthew to whom he transferred in 1928 as an architectural apprentice, taking evening classes at Edinburgh College of Art under John Begg. At Lorimer & Matthew's he spent much of his time on the King's Buildings, and whilst there he also studied at Heriot-Watt College. |
At the end of his apprenticeship in October 1933 he transferred to the Scottish headquarters of H M Office of Works in Edinburgh, working mainly on the ancient monuments estate under John Wilson Paterson and James Smith Richardson. His time there was not altogether a happy one because of Paterson and Richardson's 'silly quarrels' but with Lindsay he quickly developed a close working relationship, his superb draughtsmanship becoming vital to the work of the office. Although their physical appearance and background were so very different - Lindsay was well over six feet tall, his friends mainly landed gentry, Hay was in Ronald Cant's words 'small neat and purposeful' with strongly held opinions - they had other shared interests; the self-taught Hay had learned Gaelic and several Continental languages the better to understand Scotland's relationship with northern Europe in medieval and Renaissance times, and both had an intense interest in all things traditionally Scottish.
Hay achieved a distinction for his thesis on Scottish Architectural Woodwork of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was very much a Scottish Renaissance man. He passed the qualifying exam in December 1936 and was admitted ARIBA on 8 March 1937, his proposers being Begg, John Fraser Matthew and Matthew Montgomery Ochterlony. Shortly thereafter he joined the practice of Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay.
At the outbreak of the Second World War Hay was called up and served with the Gordon Highlanders before being commissioned in the Royal Engineers. His travels had included North Africa, Sicily, Italy and finally Austria, greatly widening his knowledge of European architecture.
The survey work carried out for the Department of Health was the background for the comprehensive publication in 1957 of 'The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches'. Hay was finally taken into parnership with Lindsay and Schomberg Scott in 1952 as Ian G Lindsay & Partners, based on the ground floor and basement of 17 Great Stuart Street. After Schomberg Scott withdrew his place was taken by John H Reid, previously with the Ministry of Public Building and Works, initially principally to deal with the new-build side of the business and bring it more in tune with the times. But John Reid and George Hay were very different people: and in 1960 Hay regretfully withdrew to return to the H M Office of Works to be sure of retaining Lindsay's friendship which had begun to seem increasingly at risk. Hay's decision was deeply regretted by Lindsay who more than once observed: 'Can't say I miss Scott but I miss Wee Doddie (Hay) dreadfully.' Fortunately by that date the main work on Iona and Pluscarden had been done.
Hay died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 5 December 1986, leaving a widow, Dorothy Joan MacDairmid, living at 29 Moray Place, Edinburgh. He had been awarded a DLitt from the University of St Andrews in the late 1970s and an MBE.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|9, Crichton Street, Edinburgh, Scotland||Business||1937 *|| || |
|82, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1939 *||After 1950|| |
|29, Moray Place, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||Before 1970||1986|| |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Glendinning, Miles||1997||Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75 || ||Tuckwell Press Ltd||p8 Iona Abbey; 'Little Houses' programme|
p9 Image of Iona Abbey
|RIBA||1939||The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1950||The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951|| ||London: Royal Institute of British Architects|| |
|RIBA||1970||RIBA Directory 1970|| || || |
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|George Hay's widow.||Information via Christine McWilliam|| || |
|H M Register House||Death Register|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A no6330 (combined box 133)|