© All rights reserved. © and courtesy of Wylie Shanks 

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Ferguson Smellie Shanks
Designation: Architect
Born: 15 May 1898
Died: 2 August 1985
Bio Notes: George Frederick Smellie Shanks was born at Partick on 15 May 1898, the son of George Ferguson Smellie Shanks, engine patternmaker and his wife Eliza Jane Borthwick. In July 1915 he began as an articled pupil with Honeyman & Keppie while attending classes in building construction. In September 1916 he started the architecture course at the Glasgow School of Art. However his studies were interrupted when he was called up in World War 1 and from December 1916 to January 1919 he served with HM Forces in the United Kingdom, Palestine and France. After demobilisation he returned to Honeyman & Keppie’ s office and resumed his studies at the Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Technical College.

He completed his apprenticeship in January 1921, remaining with Honeyman & Keppie as assistant. In March 1923 he moved to a similar post with Wright & Wylie, being promoted to chief assistant in March 1924. He was awarded his diploma in January 1924 and was elected ARIBA on 5 January 1925, his proposers being Andrew Graham Henderson John Watson and John Keppie.

Shanks had travelled widely by the time of his election to Associateship. During the war he had visited France, Italy, Egypt and Palestine. In 1921 he visited Oxford and London, in 1922 Winchester, York & Durham and in 1924 Canterbury and Liverpool. In 1923 he had been awarded the Bowden Travelling Scholarship from the School of Architecture and in 1924 the John Keppie Travelling Scholarship. This enabled him to spend two weeks in Paris and four weeks in Italy in 1925 visiting Genoa, Pisa Lucca, Rome, Naples, Siena, Florence, Bologna, Ravenna, Venice, Vicenza, Verona and Milan.

Shanks remained with Wright & Wylie which became Wylie Wright & Wylie in 1928 after Frederick Robert Wylie joined as partner and after Wright withdrew in 1935, Shanks became a partner, the practice title becoming Wylie Shanks & Wylie.

By 1939 Shanks had become a Fellow of the Glasgow Institute of Architects and in 1947 FRIBA, proposed by George Arthur Boswall, Andrew Graham Henderson and Thomas Johnston Beveridge.

In 1946 Walter Underwood was taken into partnership, but the firm name was not changed to Wylie, Shanks & Underwood until sometime between October 1956 and April 1957. Underwood left in 1960 and the practice title then became Wylie Shanks & Partners.

Shanks retired in 1963. He died of heart disease on 2 August 1985 at Crosshouse Hospital, Kilmarnock. He was survived by his wife Jeannie Ritchie Kennedy.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 5198, Berkeley Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1914After 1919 
Item 2 of 5164, Nithsdale Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1936 *  
Item 3 of 5204, West Regent Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1939 or 1940 *After 1947(?) 
Item 4 of 57, Lubnaig Road, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate1946 *1947 
Item 5 of 5Summerlee [sic]/19, Summerlea Road [sic], West Kilbride, Ayrshire, ScotlandPrivate1985 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 3Wylie, Shanks & Wylie1936Between October 1956 and April 1957Partner 
Item 2 of 3Wylie, Shanks & UnderwoodBetween October 1956 and April 19571960Partner 
Item 3 of 3Wylie Shanks & Partners19601963Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Thomas Johnston Beveridge11 March 1947for Fellowship
Item 2 of 6George Arthur Boswell11 March 1947for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Andrew Graham Henderson11 March 1947for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6John Keppie5 January 1925for Associateship
Item 5 of 6George Andrew Paterson5 January 1925for Associateship
Item 6 of 6John Watson5 January 1925for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This architect proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 8Douglas Gordon McKellar Adam12 December 1950For Associateship
Item 2 of 8Gordon Buchanan Biggar31 March 1953For Fellowship
Item 3 of 8Edward Stanley Carden11 December 1951For Licentiateship
Item 4 of 8Thomas Smith Cordiner11 January 1949for Fellowship
Item 5 of 8William Jardine26 June 1963for Fellowship
Item 6 of 8Robert Govan Lindsay31 July 1952For Fellowship
Item 7 of 8James Harry Routledge7 February 1961For Associateship
Item 8 of 8John Basden Wingate4 October 1960For Fellowship

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 641928Scottish Legal Life Assurance Society Office  GlasgowScotlandAs chief assistant
Item 2 of 641931House for John M Ross EsqGiffnock RenfrewshireScotlandMainly responsible
Item 3 of 641934House for Frank M Marshall EsqWhitecraigs GlasgowScotlandMainly responsible
Item 4 of 641935Messrs McKean's building (pork factory)Port Dundas GlasgowScotland 
Item 5 of 641936Wylie & Lochhead, new shop front  GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 641937Hillington Industrial EstateHillington GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 641937Holm Foundry Administration Building and Amenity BuildingCathcart GlasgowScotlandAmenity block
Item 8 of 641937Premises for George Miller & Son  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - mainly responsible
Item 9 of 641937Premises of Messrs Newman Ltd  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - mainly responsible
Item 10 of 641937Premises of Messrs Spencer Ltd  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - mainly responsible
Item 11 of 641937Weir's Welfare buildingCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 12 of 641938Carfin Industrial EstateCarfin LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 641938Factory of Messrs Anderson & Robison (or Robertson)Motherwell LanarkshireScotlandExtension - mainly responsible?
Item 14 of 641938Funeral office for Wylie & Lochhead  GlasgowScotlandMainly responsible
Item 15 of 641938Larkhall Industrial EstateLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 16 of 641938Modiste Establishment for Renee Eme Ltd  GlasgowScotlandMainly responsible
Item 17 of 641938Office block for the Law Union and Rock Insurance Co  GlasgowScotland 
Item 18 of 641938Office building for the Yorkshire Copper Works LtdBarrhead RenfrewshireScotlandMainly responsible
Item 19 of 641942Service flats  GlasgowScotland 
Item 20 of 641944Factory or factoriesCarfin LanarkshireScotland 
Item 21 of 641944Factory or factoriesChapelhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 22 of 641944Factory or factoriesNewhouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 23 of 641947Biscuit Factory, FinniestonFinnieston GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 24 of 641947Carruthers & Sons Limited Premises  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 25 of 641947Glasgow Maternity Hospital  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 26 of 641947Malcolm Campbell Ltd, Paisley Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 27 of 641947Simpson Ltd Factory Larkhall Insustrial EstateLarkhall LanarkshireScotland 
Item 28 of 64Before 1947Engineering works of Rankin & Blackmore  GlasgowScotland 
Item 29 of 64Before 1947Factory or engineering works for James P McPhie  GlasgowScotland 
Item 30 of 64Before 1947House for Abraham Russell Esq  GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 64Before 1947House for J Russell Leng Esq  Glasgow  
Item 32 of 64Before 1947House for John McKean Esq  GlasgowScotland 
Item 33 of 64Before 1947House for William McPhail  GlasgowScotland 
Item 34 of 64Before 1947Rutherglen Town HallRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandScheme for restoration - or proposal for new building?
Item 35 of 64Before 1947Stonefield House and estate  ArgyllScotlandWork on estate
Item 36 of 64Before 1947Works for Lobnitz & Co, shipbuildingRenfrew RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 37 of 641948Factory Block No 111   LanarkshireScotland 
Item 38 of 641948Factory Block No 123   LanarkshireScotland 
Item 39 of 641948Factory Block No 19, BothwellBothwell GlasgowScotland 
Item 40 of 641948New Buildings, Industrial EstateNewhouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 41 of 641949National Cash Registers (NCR) Factory  DundeeScotlandExtension
Item 42 of 641949Royal College of Science and Technology, James Weir Engineering Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 43 of 641950Colston Milton Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 641951Rolls Royce FactoryEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 45 of 641952Cranhill Parish Church  GlasgowScotland 
Item 46 of 641952Newhouse Industrial Estate buildingsMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 47 of 641953Hillington Industrial EstateHillington GlasgowScotlandTo re-erect two factories destroyed by fire
Item 48 of 641954Killearn HospitalKillearn StirlingshireScotlandAlterations and extension to wards, labs and X-ray and operating theatres
Item 49 of 641954Royal College of Science and Technology Students Union  GlasgowScotland 
Item 50 of 641954Scottish Industries Exhibition, 1954  GlasgowScotland 
Item 51 of 641957Glasgow Royal Infirmary, Pathology Department  GlasgowScotlandExtension and alterations
Item 52 of 641957Royal College of Science and Technology, James Weir Engineering Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 53 of 641957Scottish Industrial Estate, Euclid (Great Britain) Ltd, plant at NewhouseNewhouse LanarkshireScotland 
Item 54 of 641957St Paul's Parish Church  GlasgowScotlandSubdivision
Item 55 of 641958Scottish Widows Fund and Life Assurance and Junior Conservative Club  GlasgowScotlandAlterations - three balconies removed from front, attic added and interior reconstructed.
Item 56 of 641959Scottish Industries Exhibition 1959  GlasgowScotlandPlan
Item 57 of 64Late 1950sGlasgow Western Infirmary, Radiotherapy Building  GlasgowScotland 
Item 58 of 641960sEuclid/Terex factory   LuxembourgInvolved if before 1963
Item 59 of 641960sFactory for National Cash RegistersWester Gourdie AngusScotland 
Item 60 of 641960sFactory for Wrangler  GlasgowScotland 
Item 61 of 641961Factory for National Cash Registers  DundeeScotland 
Item 62 of 641962Office block for ColvillesMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 63 of 641962Warehouse for William Collins Sons & Co, Publishers  GlasgowScotland 
Item 64 of 641970Water Department Headquarters  GlasgowScotlandWith W T Deveney, engineer.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4Post Office Directories     
Item 2 of 4RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Birth, death and education dates and addresses from research by Iain Paterson
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no3784, F no4239 (Combined Box 3)


© All rights reserved. © and courtesy of Wylie Shanks 

© All rights reserved. © and courtesy of Wylie Shanks