Basic Biographical Details

Name: Frank Sproson
Designation: Architect
Born: 19 November 1919
Died:  
Bio Notes: Frank Sproson was born on 19 November 1919. In 1936 he was articled to Walter Marsh, Union Bank Chambers, Congleton, Cheshire. The following year he commenced the part-time course in architecture at Burslem School of Art which he completed in 1939. His studies were interrupted by the Second World War but in 1946 he began the full-time diploma course at the School of Architecture, Robert Gordon’s College, Aberdeen. Initially in the vacations he worked as an architectural assistant with Tarbolton & Ochterlony in Edinburgh. In 1948 he was elected a student member of the RIBA (indicating he had passed the intermediate exams). In the session 1948-49 he worked as an architectural assistant with Fife County Council Planning Department. He passed the final exams in June 1950 and on 3 July of that year he began as a junior architect with Glenrothes Development Corporation. He was elected ARIBA on 10 December 1950, his proposers being E F Davies, John Donald Mills and James Shearer.

Sproson remained with Glenrothes Development Corporation for a year and then moved to Fife County Council where he was a senior assistant in the Schools Section. In 1954 Sproson was asked by Anthony Wheeler to join him in the practice which Wheeler had established two years before.

The practice took on a great variety of work in central Scotland which included housing for local authorities and the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works, the development of small towns and restoration work for the National Trust for Scotland, hospital extensions and alterations, churches and ancillary buildings, commercial central area redevelopment, new public houses and alterations to old ones, factories and industrial laboratories, educational buildings, shops and offices. The practice was awarded a number of prizes which included a Saltire Housing Award in 1969, two commendations for Local Authority house design in Dundee and four Civic Trust Awards and Commendations.

Within the office Sproson was responsible for job management and the business side of the practice which included office administration and finance, contract procedures and management, the preparation of contract documents, specifications etc. He was an external examiner for the RIBA external exams and acted as assessor for the Civic Trust, being assessor for Clackmannanshire in 1968 and for the City of Dundee in 1969.

By 1970 the practice had grown and had a staff of 45. There were offices in both Edinburgh and Kirkcaldy. Sproson was elected FRIBA on 4 February 1970, proposed by Anthony Wheeler, Donald McInnes and Donald E Sutton. In 1977 Sproson was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Silver Medal. He retired in 1982.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 3Sailors Walk/441-447, High Street, Kirkcaldy, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1970 *  
Item 2 of 320, Albany Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1970 *  
Item 3 of 3Monk's Walk/112, Hepburn Gardens, St Andrews, Fife, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1970  

* earliest date known from documented sources.


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 6Walter Marsh19361939Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6Tarbolton & Ochterlony19461947Assistant 
Item 3 of 6Fife County Architect's Department19481949Assistant 
Item 4 of 6Glenrothes Development Corporation (or Glenrothes New Town Development Corporation)19501951Architect 
Item 5 of 6Fife County Education Architect's Department19511954Senior Assistant 
Item 6 of 6Wheeler & Sproson19541982Partner 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Edward Foulkes Davies10 December 1950For Associateship
Item 2 of 6Donald McInnes4 February 1970For Fellowship
Item 3 of 6John Donald Mills10 December 1950For Associateship
Item 4 of 6James Grant Shearer10 December 1950For Associateship
Item 5 of 6Donald Eric Sutton4 February 1970For Fellowship
Item 6 of 6(Sir) Harry Anthony Wheeler (or simply Sir Anthony Wheeler)4 February 1970For 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 121 Boots the ChemistSt Andrews FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 2 of 121 Development for the British Sailor's Society with residential accommodationGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 3 of 121 Development for the British Sailor's Society with residential accommodationGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 4 of 121 Falkland PalaceFalkland FifeScotlandConversion of part of the Palace into private quarters for Major Crichton Stuart.
Item 5 of 121 Group of cottagesFalkland FifeScotland 
Item 6 of 121 Housing development in Broad StreetCowdenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 7 of 121 Stirling Road housing (42 houses)Milnathort Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 8 of 121 The reading room cottageFalkland FifeScotlandConversion to electricity substation
Item 9 of 121After 1855116 houses for Leslie Town CouncilLeslie FifeScotland 
Item 10 of 1211954112-114 Hepburn GardensSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 11 of 1211954Burntisland redevelopment (including 128 houses)Burntisland FifeScotland 
Item 12 of 1211954Sailor's WalkKirkcaldy FifeScotlandMajor repairs
Item 13 of 1211954The Bowery housing estateLeslie FifeScotland 
Item 14 of 1211955Somerville Square and Somerville Street RedevelopmentBurntisland FifeScotland 
Item 15 of 1211957Lochgelly Central Area redevelopment (including 308 houses and 2 Laundrettes)Lochgelly FifeScotland 
Item 16 of 1211957Priory AcresSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 17 of 1211958Dysart redevelopment (including 162 houses)Dysart FifeScotland 
Item 18 of 121Early 1950sAuchmuty High SchoolGlenrothes FifeScotlandGavin McConnell and former colleagues attribute Phase 1 of this school to Sproson who was leader of one of the teams.
Item 19 of 1211960s263 housesGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 1211960sH M Detention Centre and Staff housingAlloa ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 21 of 1211960sMarried quarters for MPBWRosyth FifeScotland 
Item 22 of 1211960sResearch laboratory and offices for Tullis RussellMarkinch FifeScotland 
Item 23 of 1211960St Columba's Church and hallsGlenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 24 of 12119615, 6, 7 Rumford and 54 High StreetCrail FifeScotlandRestoration (one of the first buildings restored under the National Trust's Little Houses Scheme). Nos 5 & 6 Rumford made into one house.
Item 25 of 1211962Housing development, PrinlawsLeslie Fife  
Item 26 of 1211962Kinghorn redevelopmentKinghorn FifeScotland 
Item 27 of 1211962Kinghorn redevelopmentKinghorn FifeScotland 
Item 28 of 1211962The Gyles housingPittenweem FifeScotlandRestoration and new buildings
Item 29 of 1211963Houses in School PlaceUphall West LothianScotland 
Item 30 of 1211964Hill Court HousingSouth Queensferry West LothianScotland 
Item 31 of 1211964Housing in old Buckhaven (180 houses)Buckhaven FifeScotland 
Item 32 of 1211964Housing, Oxgangs Avenue, Oxgangs Drive and Oxgangs Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 1211964Married officers quarters for MPBWElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 34 of 1211964Married quarters for MPBWRhu DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 35 of 1211964Married quarters, CoulportCoulport ArgyllScotland 
Item 36 of 1211964Royal Navy Base, Married quarters for MPBWFaslane ArgyllScotland 
Item 37 of 1211964Torbain Parish ChurchKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 38 of 1211964Whitburn AcademyWhitburn West LothianScotland 
Item 39 of 1211965Boghall Parish ChurchBathgate West LothianScotland 
Item 40 of 1211965Housing development, Langlee EstateGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 41 of 1211965RNAS Pinefield, BarracksElgin MorayshireScotlandMarried quarters
Item 42 of 1211965Springfield Housing Development (144 houses), West BarnsDunbar East LothianScotland 
Item 43 of 1211965The AnchorageDysart  FifeScotlandRestoration and new houses
Item 44 of 1211966Bannockburn Heritage CentreStirling StirlingshireScotland 
Item 45 of 1211966Youth and Community CentreBlackburn West LothianScotland 
Item 46 of 1211967Balbirnie Paper MillMarkinch FifeScotlandAlterations to water purification plant; new research and physics laboratory added; alterations to offices
Item 47 of 1211967Grangemouth Central Area redevelopment with shopping centreGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 48 of 1211967The TowersDysart FifeScotlandRestoration as housing
Item 49 of 121Before 1967West Fife Infectious Diseases HospitalDunfermline FifeScotlandExtension
Item 50 of 1211968Adamson HospitalCupar FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 51 of 1211968Blackburn Town CentreBlackburn West LothianScotland 
Item 52 of 1211968Broxburn Old Town redevelopment (250 houses)Broxburn West LothianScotland 
Item 53 of 1211968Fife and Kinross District AsylumSpringfield, Cupar FifeScotlandPsychiatric inpatient unit for adolescents. administration and central blocks, classrooms and dormitory wing
Item 54 of 1211968Four houses, AbronhillCumbernauld LanarkshireScotland 
Item 55 of 1211968Macdonalds buildingsCulross FifeScotland 
Item 56 of 1211968West ChurchCowdenbeath Fife Scotland 
Item 57 of 1211968Wood's HospitalUpper Largo FifeScotlandConversion into Cottage housing
Item 58 of 121c. 1968St John's Church, LangleeGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 59 of 1211969370 houses for Cumbernauld Development Corporation, Abronhill 4Cumbernauld LanarkshireScotland 
Item 60 of 1211969Forth Road BridgeFirth of Forth   Garages for service vehicles added to administration block
Item 61 of 121Before 1969University of St Andrews, Students' UnionSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 62 of 121Late 1960s(?)Housing for SSHACulross FifeScotland 
Item 63 of 1211960s or 1970sStaff housing for Tullis Russell, CadhamMarkinch|Glenrothes Fife  
Item 64 of 1211970s(?)Aberdeen Royal InfirmaryForesterhill Aberdeen Staff housing added
Item 65 of 1211970sBoots the ChemistBroughty Ferry AngusScotland 
Item 66 of 1211970sEducational Centre for the Chartered Accountants of Scotland  EdinburghScotland 
Item 67 of 1211970sFactoryCowdenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 68 of 1211970sFactoryInverkeithing FifeScotland 
Item 69 of 1211970sHousing for Local AuthorityBuckhaven FifeScotland 
Item 70 of 1211970sHousing for SSHAGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 71 of 1211970sHousing for SSHA  DundeeScotland 
Item 72 of 1211970sHousing for SSHA  AberdeenScotland 
Item 73 of 1211970sHousing for SSHAKinghorn FifeScotland 
Item 74 of 1211970sLocal Authority housingKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 75 of 1211970sLocal Authority HousingGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 76 of 1211970sLocal Authority HousingSt Monans FifeScotland 
Item 77 of 1211970sLocal Authority HousingStrathmiglo FifeScotland 
Item 78 of 1211970sLocal Authority housing- Howden FLivingston West LothianScotland 
Item 79 of 1211970s(?)Ninewells Hospital and Medical School  DundeeScotlandStaff housing. In the RIBA Directory of 1975 this is given as 'nurses' quarters for SSHA'. Unclear if this is actually an error for ERHB or SERHB.
Item 80 of 1211970sPremises of James D BruceDunfermline FifeScotlandReconstruction?
Item 81 of 1211970sSheltered housing for Royal British LegionGlenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 82 of 1211970sSheltered housing for the Church ArmyKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 83 of 1211970sSheltered housing for Viewpoint Housing AssociationLivingston West LothianScotland 
Item 84 of 1211970sShopping centreStenhousemuir StirlingshireScotland 
Item 85 of 1211970sTelephone exchangeDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 86 of 1211970sTelephone ExchangeGrangemouth StirlingshireScotland 
Item 87 of 1211970Bank of ScotlandCowdenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 88 of 1211970Houstoun HouseUphall West LothianScotlandConversion into hotel
Item 89 of 1211971Housing, BorrowfieldMontrose AngusScotland 
Item 90 of 1211972Edinburgh College of Art, Hunter Building  EdinburghScotland 
Item 91 of 1211972St John's ChurchGalashiels SelkirkshireScotland 
Item 92 of 1211974Hawthornbank House  EdinburghScotland 
Item 93 of 1211974Housing, Harbour PlaceBurntisland FifeScotlandRestoration
Item 94 of 1211975Wood's HospitalUpper Largo FifeScotlandRestoration
Item 95 of 121Before 1975Alliance Building SocietyDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 96 of 121Before 1975Alliance Building SocietyKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 97 of 121Before 1975Factories for Fife County CouncilHillend FifeScotland 
Item 98 of 1211976Boots the ChemistBerwick-upon-Tweed NorthumberlandEngland 
Item 99 of 1211976St Peter's Episcopal ChurchKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 100 of 1211977Bank of ScotlandDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 101 of 1211977Bank of ScotlandDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 102 of 1211978Housing for Viewpoint Housing AssociationColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 103 of 1211979Tourist Information CentreStranraer WigtownshireScotland 
Item 104 of 121Late 1970sSt George's Free Church  EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 105 of 121Late 1970sTourist Information CentreJedburgh RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 106 of 1211980Bannockburn Heritage CentreBannockburn (Whins of Milton) StirlingshireScotland 
Item 107 of 1211980Bell's Brewery  EdinburghScotland 
Item 108 of 1211980Sandport Industrial Estate, factoryLeith EdinburghScotland 
Item 109 of 1211981Sheltered housing, WoodthorpeColinton EdinburghScotland 
Item 110 of 121Before 1981Boots The Chemist ShopDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 111 of 121Before 1981Forth Park HouseKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations including new Maternity wing
Item 112 of 121Before 1981Kirkcaldy Burgh Infectious Diseases HospitalKirkcaldy FifeScotlandAlterations including new A & E Department and cafeteria for visitors
Item 113 of 121c. 1981Kinmount HouseAnnan DumfriesshireScotlandConversion of N range of stable to house
Item 114 of 1211983Flats, Broughton Road  EdinburghScotland 
Item 115 of 1211983Free ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandConversion to sheltered housing
Item 116 of 121c. 1983Viewpoint sheltered housingSt Andrews FifeScotland 
Item 117 of 1211984Glamis House (Cheshire Home)Glenrothes FifeScotland 
Item 118 of 1211986Block of buildings 34 High Street  EdinburghScotlandRedevelopment for Castlerock Housing Association
Item 119 of 1211986Community outdoor and education centreLinlighgow West LothianScotland 
Item 120 of 1211988Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Students' UnionRiccarton MidlothianScotland 
Item 121 of 1211991Heriot-Watt University, Riccarton Campus, Leonard Horner Hall  MidlothianScotland 

References

Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
 Author(s)DateTitlePartPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 5Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp14 The Bowery, Leslie; Somerville Street, Burntisland; Dysart Housing, Pittenweem Housing; Old Buckhaven
p34-5 Cumbernauld Housing
p35-6 Stirling Road
p38 Torbain Parish Church
p110-115
p156 Dysart Redevelopment
Item 2 of 5Glendinning, Miles and Muthesius, Stefan1994Tower Block: Modern Public Housing in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland Yale University Press: New Haven and Londonp381, Gazetteer 2
Item 3 of 5Miles Glendinning, Diane Watters, David Whitham Docomomo Scotland Leaflet  p228 Image of Forth Road Bridge and Dysart Housing Scheme
Item 4 of 5RIBA1979Directory of members   
Item 5 of 5Willis, Peter1977New architecture in Scotland  p8 Dysart Redevelopment
p92-5 Ninewells Hospital

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 4Architects Journal14 February 1962  p338 Dysart Housing Scheme
Item 2 of 4Architectural ReviewApril 1967  p277-9 Dysart Housing Scheme
Item 3 of 4Housing ReviewAugust 1967  7/8-1967 p107-10 Dysart Housing Scheme
Item 4 of 4Municipal Journal20 December 1953  p2759, Bowery Development

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no12070, F no6984 (Combined Box 169)