Basic Biographical Details

Name: James ('Jim') Ferguson Dickson Dinwoodie
Designation: Architect
Born: 25 February 1919
Died: 3 March 2012
Bio Notes: James Ferguson Dickson Dinwoodie (known as Jim) was born on 25 February 1919 in Haddington, the son of Robert Dinwoodie, colliery clerk (and a Lance Corporal in the Royal Engineers) and his wife Helen Williamson Dickson who had married in 1917. When Jim was still a small child, the family moved to Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, his father owning and running Ventnor Market garden and nurseries in nearby Ventnor Terrace. Jim attended the Royal High School, winning the dux in art, and commenced his architectural training as an apprentice in the firm of Rowand Anderson, Paul & Partners, based at Rutland Square.

During the Second World War he served initially as a lieutenant and then as a captain in the Royal Engineers in India for two years. In 1942 he was on board a troop ship bound for Singapore when it was diverted after the colony was seized by the Japanese. He was subsequently posted to the Middle East and finally, in 1944, to Italy, where he fought in the bloody battle of Monte Cassino. By the time the war was over, a third of his former Royal High School classmates had perished.

After the war he completed his architectural studies at Edinburgh College of Art. In December 1947 he married Ina McTaggart, whom he had met when she was working near to the Rowand Anderson & Paul Office before the war, and the couple set up home in Queensferry Road. Dinwoodie was admitted ARIBA in 1949 and ARIAS the following year. In c.1950 they moved to a family home in Maidencraig Crescent designed by Dinwoodie himself.

In the years around 1960 the Dinwoodies lived in Stirling, where Jim was employed by the County Council. Thereafter they returned to Edinburgh where he worked for James Miller & Partners before accepting an appointment as senior lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art towards the end of the decade. Whilst in this post, he also carried on a private architectural practice. He retired in the early 1980s.

In later life he became interested in genealogy, and set up a business researching family trees for clients in the UK, Canada and USA, which he continued for some time after retirement. His love of history resulted in a deep knowledge of his native city and country, and he volunteered for many years as a National Trust guide in the Georgian House, Edinburgh, where he was delighted to provide a tour for Princess Grace of Monaco when she visited. His faith was of great importance to him throughout his life; he was a member and elder of Palmerston Place Church, which benefited from his practical help in building-related matters. In character he was modest and unpretentious, but with a keen sense of humour. His obituarist recalls his amusement on an occasion when he gave a lecture in the United States on the castles of Mar in north-east Scotland, and realised that the high level of attendance was to some extent due to a typographical error: it had been publicised under the title ‘The Castles of Mars – an audio-visual presentation’, and the additional ‘s’ had caused it to pique the interest of members of a UFO society, who were to be sorely disappointed in its content.

He died on 3 March 2012. His wife had predeceased him in 2005, but he was survived by their children Iain, Anne and Kenneth, as well as several grandchildren.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 8Haddington, East Lothian, ScotlandPrivate1919Early 1920sPlace of birth
Item 2 of 8Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1920s1930sDuring childhood.
Item 3 of 8Queensferry Road, Blackhall, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1947c. 1950 
Item 4 of 822, Stoney Bank Terrace, Musselburgh, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivate1948 *  
Item 5 of 85, Maidencraig Crescent, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)c. 1950After 1954 
Item 6 of 85, Rosebery Place, Stirling, Stirlingshire, ScotlandPrivate1960 *  
Item 7 of 846, Clermiston Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1964 *After 1970 
Item 8 of 81, Manor Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1980s  

* 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 3Rowand Anderson, Paul & PartnersMid 1930s1939Apprentice 
Item 2 of 3Stirling County Council Architects' Department1960 *   
Item 3 of 3James Miller & PartnersAfter 1960c. 1968 Given in his obituary as 'James Millar & Co'; presumably this firm?

* earliest date known from documented sources.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 5RIBA1948The RIBA Kalendar 1948-1949 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 5RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 5RIBA1961Kalendar 1960-61   
Item 4 of 5RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   
Item 5 of 5RIBA1979Directory of members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman10 March 2012  p.43: obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2National Archives (via Scotlands People)Statutory births  
Item 2 of 2RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership