Basic Biographical Details

Name: Arthur Randell Hutton Bott
Designation: Architect
Born: 26 July 1928
Died: 3 March 2013
Bio Notes: Arthur Randell Hutton Bott was born in Preston, Lancashire on 26 July 1928 but moved to Scotland with his parents when he was seven. He was educated at George Watsons College and studied architecture and town planning at Edinburgh College of Art. He was elected ARIBA in 1951 and ARIAS 1956. Early in his life he developed a passion for the sea and sailing. Throughout his working life he maintained a careful life/work balance in order to pursue this love of sailing.

His national service was spent with the Royal Corps of Engineers, carrying out surveying work in Egypt and Kenya, where his commanding officer found in Randell a willing volunteer to teach other soldiers to sail on some underused dinghies there.

After two years in the army he entered the Professional Civil Service and started work in the Scottish Development Department in Edinburgh. In due course he was promoted to the post of Deputy Director of Building Control Division and was appointed Director of the innovative Hospital Centre attached to the Western General Hospital in the city. He assimilated the experience and requirements of health professionals with the technical requirements of a building which he used to effect in the design of hospitals. This was pioneering work and led to a spell in New Zealand in 1971-72 where he advised on hospital development.

Bott’s duties as Deputy Director involved redrafting and developing building regulations. He wanted to make a difference in his job, colleagues remember, but not at the cost of his life outside.

In 1964 he married Trudi Sidler in her native Switzerland. He introduced her to sailing and she would later crew for him on his Shearwater Catamaran. Together they won many trophies. They lived in South Queensferry initially in West Terrace but from 1965 in Station Road.

Bott was a founder member of the Queensferry Boat Club in 1957 and helped organise regattas, which attracted over 100 dinghies from around the Forth in the 1950s and ‘60s. His Dormobile with attached dinghy trailer, not to mention white overall waterproofs, were a signature feature of his early racing scene.

He built an OK-type dinghy, “Mistress”, in Queensferry Boat Club, which needed to be launched through the window onto the beach. He later had “Windsong” and lastly “Midnight Hustler”, a UFO-class, 31-foot racer. Randell thrived on racing and also loved days sailing on the Forth with his family and friends, as well as cruising in the summer with friends on their boats on the West Coast of Scotland. Besides sailing Bott loved classical music with a particular interest in Strauss, Mahler, Vaughan Williams and Wagner. He had also developed a love of Switzerland from his wife and she introduced him to skiing.

Bott took early retirement in July 1988, a by-product of the Thatcher Government’s spending cuts and reduction of senior civil servants. His staff presented him with an outboard motor as a leaving present.

Bott continued to sail until about 2011 when illness forced him to give up. He died on 3 March 2013, survived by his wife, his son and his daughter and two grandchildren.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 33, Abercromby Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1950After 1956 
Item 2 of 3Priory House, South Queensferry, West Lothian, ScotlandPrivate1960 *  
Item 3 of 310, Station Road, South Queensferry, West Lothian, ScotlandPrivate19702013 

* 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 1Department of Health for Scotland (Scottish Board of Health; later Scottish Development Department)  Architect 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 2 of 4RIBA1954RIBA Kalendar 1953-54   
Item 3 of 4RIBA1961Kalendar 1960-61   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Scotsman13 March 2013  Obituary

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Interview with Eric Davidson, 20 October 2010Information to Yvonne Hillyard   
Item 2 of 2RIAS, Rutland SquareRecords of membership