Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Charles Edwards Tainsh
Designation: Architect
Born: 11 June 1923
Died: 7 November 2105
Bio Notes: James Charles Henry Tainsh was born in Crieff on 11 June 1923, the son of Alexander Black Tainsh, plasterer, and his wife Christian Anne Edwards who had been married in Crieff in 1921.

He was educated at Morrison's Academy in Crieff where he developed his skills in art and design. He served his articles with Perth County Council Architect's Department and at the same time attended the part-time course at Dundee College of Art.

His studies were interrupted by war service. After officer training he joined the 3/10 Gurkha Rifles and was involved in the fierce battles to halt the Japanese advance towards Assam and to cover the withdrawal of the 17th Indian Division which included the 1/20 GR. During his war service he travelled to South Africa, India and Burma and the Middle East. In March 1994 Tainsh was seriously wounded by friendly fire and evacuated back to the UK. Because his recovery took a long time, he did not return to the Gurkhas but joined his county regiment, the Black Watch, in Scotland.

From September 1947 he attended the full-time diploma course in Dundee, completing the course and being awarded his diploma in January 1951. He was elected ARIBA that year, proposed by John Needham, Thomas Hill Thoms and Graham Connacher Young. He gained experience during his vacations with Perth & Kinross County Council and Dundee Town Planning Department. In the summer of 1950 he travelled to Sweden and Denmark. The following year he took a post as assistant architect with Gauldie Hardie Wright & Needham.

Later that same year, 1951, he moved as assistant to the architects' department of East Riding of Yorkshire County Council where he remained until 1954. During part of this time he taught part-time at Hull School of Architecture.

In 1954 he moved to a post as senior architect with Warwickshire County Council, being promoted two years later to group architect. In 1961 he moved again this time to Berkshire County Council to the position of Deputy County Architect. There he shared with the County Architect full control of a large local government department with 141 staff for capital work. He was mainly responsible for the education building programme. He remained in this post until at least 1969, the year in which he was elected FRIBA, proposed by R C N Paul, Albert H Goodwin and Leslie F Dring.

In the (early?) 1970s he returned to Warwickshire as County Architect.

Tainsh supported the Gurkhas in many ways throughout his life. He attended the opening of the Gurkha Memorial at the National Arboretum in September 2014. For his 92nd birthday he organized a party at the Crossed Kukris Restaurant in Nuneaton which raised 500 for the Gurkha Welfare Trust. he had hoped to join the Gurkha marching contingent at the Service of Remembrance at Whitehall in 2014 but he died the day before the parade on 7 November. His wife Pamela whom he had met during his time with the Black Watch in Scotland had predeceased him in 2014. He is survived by his daughter Deborah and his grandson Edward.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Cairndhu, Addison Terrace, Crieff, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1923 Parents' address at time of his birth
Item 2 of 6Springhill, Crieff, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1951  
Item 3 of 6The Knock, Upper Warren Avenue, Caversham, Reading, EnglandPrivate1969  
Item 4 of 6Winton House, Parkside Road, Reading, EnglandBusiness1969  
Item 5 of 6Shire Hall, Warwick, Warwickshire, ScotlandBusiness1984 *  
Item 6 of 6Bluff Edge, Barford Hill, Barford, near Warwick, Warwickshire, EnglandPrivate1994 *  

* 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 8Perth & Kinross County Council Architects' Department19401942Apprentice 
Item 2 of 8Dundee Town Planning Department19481949AssistantVacation work
Item 3 of 8Gauldie, Hardie, Wright & Needham1951 Assistant 
Item 4 of 8East Riding of Yorkshire County Council Architects' Department19511954Assistant Architect 
Item 5 of 8Warwickshire County Council Architect's Department19541956Senior Architect 
Item 6 of 8Warwickshire County Council Architect's Department19561961Group LeaderDescribed as 'Group Architect' in Nomination Paper
Item 7 of 8Berkshire County Architect's Department19611969Depute Chief ArchitectDescribed as 'Deputy County Architect'
Item 8 of 8Warwickshire County Council Architect's DepartmentEarly 1970s Chief Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Leslie F Dring4 June 1969For Fellowship
Item 2 of 6Albert H Goodwin4 June 1969For Fellowship
Item 3 of 6John Needham11 December 1951For Assocxateship
Item 4 of 6Richard Charles Newcomb Paul4 June 1969For Fellowship
Item 5 of 6Thomas Hill Thoms11 December 1951For Associateship
Item 6 of 6Graham Conacher Young11 December 1951For Associateship


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 2RIBA1984RIBA Directory of members   
Item 2 of 2RIBA1994A Directory of RIBA Members   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Leamington Courier20 November 2015   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2 Brigade Association website  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination PapersA 13348, F 6807 (Comb Box 167)