© All rights reserved. Margaret Makins with the Department of Public Works Staff in Tanganyika.  Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins. © All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins. © All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins.  

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Basic Biographical Details

Name: Margaret Findlay Makins
Designation: Architect
Born: 16 June 1913
Died: 18 August 1980
Bio Notes: Margaret Findlay Makins was born on 16 June 1913 and attended the diploma course at Glasgow School of Architecture from 1933. During her summer vacations she worked in the office of James Munro & Son in 1934 and in that of Burnet Son & Dick in 1935, 1936 and 1937, and spent June to September of the latter year assisting James Miller & Son on the restoration of the Holy Rude Church, Stirling. She gained her diploma in June 1938, and the following month was engaged by the Scottish Building Centre on alterations of their new showrooms in Glasgow. That October she obtained an appointment in HM Office of Works (Chief Architect's Division), passing the Professional Practice exam a month later. She was still in HMOW - at Rhyl, Denbighshire, Wales, where she may have been from the beginning of her appointment with them - when she was admitted ARIBA on 20 May 1941, her proposers being T Harold Hughes, A Bulloch and Maurice Lyon. She also at some point (the date is not yet known) obtained a qualification in town planning.

After working in Rhyl, Wales, she took a post with the Colonial Office and moved to Dar es Salaam, Tanganyika Territory (now Tanzania) in 1948. She was responsible for town planning for the territory in an age when women were not common in professional jobs, even less so in the male-dominated Colonial Office.

In 1960 she moved to Mauritius and became the Chief Architect for the island, staying there until 1966.

In 1966 she returned to England and bought Step Cottage, Witley, a 16th Century cottage in the old part of the village. She restored this completely. From 1966 to her death in 1980 she worked for Alexander Gibb and Partners, first in their London office and then in Reading when the firm moved there. She was primarily involved in the design of hospitals in the Gulf, as well as working on the town planning of Selebe Pikwe, a new mining town in Botswana.

She died on 18 August 1980 in Witley, Goldaming, Surrey.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 211a, Garford Road, Rhyl, Denbighshire, WalesPrivate1941 *  
Item 2 of 2Step Cottage, Witley, Godalming, Surrey, EnglandPrivate1980 * Address at time of death.

* 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 7J M Monro & SonMid 1934Mid 1934Apprentice(?)during summer vacation, while studying
Item 2 of 7Burnet, Son & DickMid 1935Mid 1935Apprentice(?)during summer vacation, while studying
Item 3 of 7Burnet, Son & DickMid 1936Mid 1936Apprentice(?)during summer vacation, while studying
Item 4 of 7James Miller & SonJune 1937September 1937Assistant 
Item 5 of 7Burnet, Son & DickMid 1937Mid 1937Apprentice(?)during summer vacation, while studying
Item 6 of 7H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)October 1938After 1941 in Rhyl, Denbighshire office - Chief Architect's Division
Item 7 of 7(Sir) Alexander Gibb & Partners19661980Architect 

RIBA

RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Archibald Bulloch20 May 1941for Associateship
Item 2 of 2Thomas Harold Hughes20 May 1941for 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 2June 1937Church of the Holy RudeStirling StirlingshireScotlandAssistant to James Miller for restoration.
Item 2 of 2July 1938Scottish Building Centre  GlasgowScotlandAs assistant for new showrooms

References

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Courtesy of Jonathan Makins, nephew of Margaret Findlay Makins. Information sent via 'Contact Us' on website Sent January 2014
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no 787* (combined box 199)

Images

© All rights reserved. Margaret Makins with the Department of Public Works Staff in Tanganyika.  Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins. 

© All rights reserved. Margaret Makins with the Department of Public Works Staff in Tanganyika. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins.

© All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins. 

© All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins.

© All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins.  

© All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Jonathan Makins.