Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Alexander Wentworth Varcoe |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||1 September 1906 |
|Died: ||January 1988 |
|Bio Notes: ||Alexander Wentworth Varcoe was born on 1 September 1906. From 1922- 27 he was articled to H V Lynam, surveyor to Alsager Urban Development Corporation, Cheshire. In the latter year he moved to Surrey to the practice of Vincent Hooper. In 1929-30 he took the full-time course at Edinburgh College of Art. It is not yet clear where he was between 1930 and 1932 when he commenced the post-graduate course in town planning at the College. He completed this in 1934. He was awarded the Archibald Dawnay Scholarship in both 1932-33 and 1933-34. With the aid of this scholarship or another ECA scholarship he was able to make a study tour abroad. He graduated with distinction from the College. In 1935 he also spent a year travelling in North and South America to study structural design and town planning. |
He was elected ARIBA on 4 January 1935, proposed by John Begg, James Inch Morrison and Frank Charles Mears.
In 1936 took a position as assistant architect with Sandy & Norris in Stafford. In 1938 he moved to Wood & Goldstraw in Tunstall, Staffordshire as senior assistant and in 1940 to Jackson & Edwards in Birmingham where he was site architect for the construction of Henry Meadow's tank engine factory. Howevr he was obliged to leave Jackson & Edmonds because of licensing restrictions in force in 1947. From later that year to 1954 he was the Company Architect for the Dunlop Rubber Company in Birmingham and acted as group architect for factories in Liverpool and Manchester. He was posted to Brazil for two years for supervising the new tyre factory at Campina, State of Sao Paulo, and was retained for two factory development schemes for tthe Company's long-term policy.
In 1954 Varcoe left the Dunlop Company and moved to Dar Es Salaam, Tanganika to work for Cobb, Archer, Scammell & Lambert. As Lambert died within three months of his arrival he became acting partner and undertook a wide variety of work. However after the financial collapse in the country work dried up and he returned to England in 1957 and re-joined Jackson & Edmonds. An office in London was formally opened in 1957 and this was managed by Varcoe as a consultant for four years. He was taken into the firm as an associate on 15 August 1969. During this period as associate he took a team of architects to Scotland to carry out a survey of 500 acres of ground.
Varcoe was elected FRIBA on 8 April 1970, proposed by G Allan G Miller, Kenneth A Lloyd and Stuart Bentley. At this time he was redundant but was in the process of purchasing the practice of Vyvyan Salisbury in Wadebridge, Cornwall, commencing on 10 April 1970.
Varcoe died on 18 February 1988.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|1, Brunstane Road, Joppa, Edinburgh, Scotland||Private||1935|| || |
|Orchard Cottage, Teston Road, Offham, Kent, England||Private||1970 *|| || |
|Flat I, St Giles, Wadebridge, Cornwall, England||Private||February 1970|| || |
|Westgate Court, The Avenue, Beckenham, Kent, England||Private||Before 1970|| || |
* earliest date known from documented sources.
Employment and Training
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||Varcoe: A no5627, F no7046 (Combined Box 171)|