Basic Biographical Details

Name: Maurice Ewan Taylor
Designation: Architect
Born: 4 March 1915
Died: 2 January 1999
Bio Notes: Maurice Ewan Taylor was born on 4 March 1915, the son of William Taylor, agricultural implement dealer and his wife Margaret Ewan. From November 1931 he studied at Regent Street Polytechnic and at Lancaster School of Art and Lancaster Technical College. During this period he was articled to C B Pearson & Son in Lancaster. In 1935 he took a post as architectural assistant to John H Forshaw in the Miners' Welfare Commission followed by a spell with T H Mawson & Son in Lancaster. He also spent some time as town planning assistant with Northfleet Urban Development Corporation.

In 1937 he moved to Buckinghamshire and worked for Amersham & Chesham Planning Committee while continuing to study in his spare time. He passed the final exam of the RIBA in July 1938 and was elected ARIBA on 5 December that year, proposed by Charles B Pearson, John H Forshaw and J Stewart Stanley. By this time he had moved to work for the Yeovil & District Town Planning Committee.

Taylor arrived in Fife in 1945 to take up the post of Chief Planning Officer of the county. In this post he masterminded much of the development of modern Fife. He was driven by a desire to create a pleasant living environment for people. One of his first achievements was to limit the expansion of some of Fife’s smaller communities, despite the post-war housing boom. He felt that the special spirit of these communities would be destroyed by indiscriminate expansion. This meant demolition and rebuilding on confined sites but he succeeded in integrating 10,000 new houses within the existing boundaries by the mid-1970s. His greatest achievement was in the vast programme of turning derelict land in the industrial parts of central and west Fife into pleasant countryside. He began in the 1950s by removing 42 ‘eyesores’ including a pit bing covering 23 acres between Beath and Kelty. Other project followed rapidly. 100 acres at Cowdenbeath were turned back into agricultural land and a further 37 acres were reclaimed at Lochgelly. His most ambitious scheme was at Lochore Meadows where four square miles (1,400 acres) of derelict, redundant pits and bings were transformed into Lochore Meadows Country Park. Mountains of colliery waste, tumbledown buildings, slurry ponds and large tracts of ground flooded because of subsidence were reclaimed and turned into lochs, boating ponds, nature reserves, tree plantations and other recreational facilities which subsequently won a European Award.

In his spare time he wrote fictional stories and articles based on his boyhood memories of farm life. In ___ he was awarded the OBE.

He retired in 1979 by which time his post was now referred to as 'Director of Planning'. He and his wife moved to Aberfeldy. He died on 2 January 1999, survived by his children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. His wife Mary Ann Gorat had predeceased him.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5Fife, ScotlandBusiness   
Item 2 of 5Atholl House, Atholl Terrace, Aberfeldy, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate 1999 
Item 3 of 5Woodcote, Pern Hill, Somerset, EnglandPrivate1938  
Item 4 of 5County Buildings, Cupar, FifeBusiness1940s1950s 
Item 5 of 57, West Shore, St Monans, Fife, ScotlandPrivate1979  

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 6Charles B Pearson & SonNovember 1931October 1934Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6John Henry Forshaw1935 Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Thomas H Mawson and Sonc. 1936 Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Northfleet Development Corporationc. 1936 Planning Officer 
Item 5 of 6Amersham & Chesham Town Planning Committee1937 Planning Officer 
Item 6 of 6Fife County Council19451979Chief Planning Officer 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Henry Forshaw5 December 1938For Associateship
Item 2 of 3Charles B Pearson5 December 1938For Associateship
Item 3 of 3Leslie Stuart Stanley5 December 1938For Associateship

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 11949Bishop's CourtKennoway FifeScotlandAs County Architect

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1RIBA1950The 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 2RIAS NewsletterApril 1999v10, no3 Death notice
Item 2 of 2Scotsman2 February 1999