Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Speirs & Co (or Speirs Ltd) |
|Designation: ||Architectural practice |
|Started: ||Late 1880s |
|Ended: ||Late 1930s |
|Bio Notes: ||Very little is known about the Speirs. Speirs & Co was a design and build Glasgow-based firm which provided partly prefabricated timber framed buildings, some clad in corrugated iron, notably for the Episcopal Church. |
In 1883 John Speirs was a power loom manufacturer living at 53 Finlay Drive with his brother James who worked for the Bank of Scotland. They moved first to Granville Place in St George's Road and then to Cecil Street, Hillhead where by 1893 they had become iron church builders and fence makers. In 1895 they were listed as mill, estate furnishers and ironmongers and then two years later as engineers and railway contractors, indicating steady expansion of the business at that time. About this time the title of the firm was John Speirs & Co. In 1902 they also had an office in London and advertised that they provided iron and wood buildings for churches, schools, reading rooms, village halls, motor sheds, club houses, bungalows, cottages, hospitals and sanitoria and had facilities for erecting them in any part of the Kingdom. In 1910 they described themselves as 'Designers and Erectors of Iron and Wood Buildings'.
In about 1912 the name changed to Speirs Ltd. The offices moved to Blythswood Square. Jessie Speirs (mother of John and James ) died in 1881 leaving £1,088 13s 8d to James. James died on 29 January 1920 leaving his money to a married sister and to John, though it would appear that John had died earlier in the same month.
It should be noted that the firm had no connection with the landed gentleman architect Robert Thomas Napier Speir. The firm's name is often misspelt 'Spiers' in references.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|125, West Regent Street, Glasgow, Scotland||Business|| || || |
|53, Finlay Drive, Glasgow, Scotland||Private||1883(?)|| || |
|4, Granville Place, St George's Road, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||c. 1890|| || |
|33, Cecil Street, Hillhead, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1893|| || |
|Port Dundas, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1895|| ||Works |
|39, Victoria Street, London, England||Business||1902 *|| || |
|13, Blythswood Square, Glasgow, Scotland||Business||1912 *|| || |
* 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):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|Robert Scott Skilling||January 1914||September 1914||Assistant|| |
|This architectural practice proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):|
| ||Name||Date proposed||Notes|
|Thomas Forbes Maclennan||2 March 1903||for Associateship|
Buildings and Designs
|The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Courtesy of Margaret Lye||Information to D M Walker|| ||Sent April 2010|