Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Fairweather
Born: 5 February 1867
Died: 13 January 1942
Bio Notes: John Fairweather was born at 11 Franklin Terrace, Anderston, Glasgow on 5 February 1867, the son of John Fairweather, a farmer, draper and mercantile clerk in the wool trade who came from Alyth, and his wife Elizabeth Brown Fyfe who came from Leuchars. He attended the College of Science & Arts (Glasgow?) in 1881, and was articled to James Milne Monro from 16 January 1882 until 1887, remaining as chief assistant thereafter and studying at Glasgow School of Art and the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College. He passed the qualifying exam in March 1894 and was admitted ARIBA on 11 June that year, his proposers being William Forrest Salmon, Campbell Douglas and Thomas Lennox Watson. At that time he was still working for Monro and resided at 41 Buccleuch Street, and prior to that he had spent a total of five months on sketching tours throughout Scotland and in England, in particular in Yorkshire and London.

He commenced practice on his own account in 1895, initially at 11 Bothwell Street, and his early independent work consisted largely of plain tenements for J & T McNair, builders, in the east end of the city. He made his name with the East End Exhibition buildings in Duke Street, Dennistoun of 1903. By the time of his admittance as FRIBA in early 1916, for which his proposers were Monro, John Watson and William Gardner Rowan, he was practising from 136 Wellington Street and was living at 'Glengarry', Stepps, near Glasgow.

In 1922-23 Fairweather visited the USA on behalf of George Green to study theatre and cinema design in which he had specialised since becoming architect to Green in 1913. Whilst there he studied in particular the work of the Scottish-born cinema specialist Thomas Lamb.

Fairweather had married Evelyn Ronaldson in 1906 and their son William John Fairweather, born on 28 April 1907, joined his father as an apprentice in September 1925, commencing his studies at Glasgow School of Architecture two years later. He graduated BSc in October 1931, passed the Professional Practice exam in Edinburgh in December the same year and received his diploma in architecture in June 1932. This enabled him to be admitted ARIBA late that year, his proposers being his father, Thomas Harold Hughes and William James Smith. His nomination papers state that he had travelled to Holland in 1927, to Belgium in 1929 and to Belgium and Germany in 1930. He became his father's partner in 1936 or 1938 (sources vary), probably having continued as his assistant prior to that date.

John Fairweather was killed as a pedestrian whilst crossing Cumbernauld Road in Stepps, during the wartime blackout, on 13 January 1942 and was buried in Bedlay Cemetery, Moodiesburn. He was survived by his wife and his son, who was on active service in India at the time, having joined the armed forces in 1940. William returned to the office in 1945 and continued the practice under the same name of John Fairweather & Son until 1947, after which he appears to have used his name alone.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 84, Scotia Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1881After 1883 
Item 2 of 841, Buccleuch Street, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1891 *  
Item 3 of 811, Bothwell Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1895After 1900 
Item 4 of 8Merlewood, Stepps, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1900After 1911 
Item 5 of 8136, Wellington Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1905After 1914 
Item 6 of 8Glengarry/5, Whitehill Avenue, Stepps, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1915After 1942 
Item 7 of 8182, Trongate, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessBefore 1920After 1936 
Item 8 of 829, Renfrew Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1939 *  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 2James Milne Monro18821887Apprentice 
Item 2 of 2John Fairweather & Son1936 or 19381942Partner 

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 10Thomas Gilchrist GilmourMarch 1902July 1903Assistant 
Item 2 of 10James Napier5 December 19051910Apprentice(?) 
Item 3 of 10James Monteith McLeanc. 19081914ApprenticeRemained as assistant until 1914
Item 4 of 10William John FairweatherSeptember 1925September 1927Apprentice 
Item 5 of 10Frank Flood MacDonald19261929Assistant(?) 
Item 6 of 10William John FairweatherAfter 1927(?)1936 or 1938(?)Assistant(?)Probably assisted for at least some of this period, prior to partnership
Item 7 of 10Daniel MacKay (or McKay)19291929Assistant 
Item 8 of 10James Bunyan19301931Senior Draughtsman 
Item 9 of 10Alexander Budge Reid19301935Apprentice 
Item 10 of 10William Scott Munroc. 1930c. 1939  


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Campbell Douglas11 June 1894for Associateship
Item 2 of 6James Milne MonroEarly 1916for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6William Gardner RowanEarly 1916for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6William Forrest Salmon11 June 1894for Associateship
Item 5 of 6John WatsonEarly 1916for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6Thomas Lennox Watson11 June 1894for Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 11John BarbourEarly 1911for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 11Thomas Barclay13 August 1940for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 11Andrew Rennie Crawford20 July 1911for Licentiateship
Item 4 of 11John Glen DunnLate 1920 or early 1921for Fellowship
Item 5 of 11William John FairweatherLate 1932for Associateship
Item 6 of 11Alexander Gardner30 November 1925for Fellowship
Item 7 of 11James Murdoch Dalziel HendersonLate 1921for Associateship
Item 8 of 11Frank Flood MacDonald21 October 1941for Licentiateship - sole proposer
Item 9 of 11Charles James McNair22 April 1912for Licentiateship
Item 10 of 11James Napier16 December 1918for Associateship
Item 11 of 11Alexander Budge Reid17 June 1941For Licentiateship

Buildings and Designs

This 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 501896Business premises and residenceLockerbie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 2 of 501896WestertonMilngavie DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 3 of 501897VillaDumbreck GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 50190048-52 CowgateKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 5 of 501901The Cliff, House and StablesWemyss Bay RenfrewshireScotlandAdditions and stables
Item 6 of 501903Glasgow East End Industrial Exhibition 1903|1904Dennistoun GlasgowScotlandBuildings
Item 7 of 501903Workshop, Espedair StreetPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandPlans dated
Item 8 of 501904Townhead Public LibraryTownhead GlasgowScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 9 of 501905Motor House, Glenfinlas StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 10 of 501907Riddrie Housing EstateRiddrie GlasgowScotlandSecond premiated design for layout of estate
Item 11 of 501908Cookery Centre etc for Cambuslang School BoardCambuslang LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 501908Higher Grade SchoolCambuslang LanarkshireScotland 
Item 13 of 501910Kirkton UF ChurchCarluke LanarkshireScotlandDecoration
Item 14 of 501910Public SchoolStepps LanarkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 501912Gateside Public SchoolCambuslang LanarkshireScotlandDesign selected by School Board. Obtained commission
Item 16 of 501912Stepps Parish Church HallsStepps LanarkshireScotland 
Item 17 of 501914520 Sauchiehall Street and 341 Renfrew Street  GlasgowScotlandConversion from music shop to cinema
Item 18 of 501914Andrew MillsPaisley RenfrewshireScotlandExtensions
Item 19 of 501914Green's Pavilion CinemaRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 501914Green's PicturedromeTollcross GlasgowScotland 
Item 21 of 501914King's Cinema  GlasgowScotland 
Item 22 of 501917(?)Entertainment and Roller Skating Pavilion, Boswell ParkAyr AyrshireScotlandMajor reconstruction
Item 23 of 501920Pavilion CinemaBathgate West LothianScotland 
Item 24 of 501925Capitol CinemaIbrox GlasgowScotland 
Item 25 of 501925Green's Playhouse, Renfield Street & West Nile Street  GlasgowScotlandConversion from buildings by John Gordon
Item 26 of 501927Playhouse Theatre  EdinburghScotland 
Item 27 of 501929Green's PlayhouseAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 28 of 501929Savoy TheatreCambuslang LanarkshireScotland 
Item 29 of 501930s(?)East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenLargs AyrshireScotlandDate uncertain
Item 30 of 501930Regal CinemaDalmuir GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 501931Picturedrome Burton-on-TrentStaffordshireEngland 
Item 32 of 501931Regal CinemaSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 33 of 501931Rio CinemaRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 34 of 501932CinemaLockerbie DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 35 of 501932East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenMaryhill GlasgowScotlandAlterations and extension and administration block
Item 36 of 50193341 West Clyde StreetHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotlandAlterations to shop
Item 37 of 501933Concert HallsMontrose AngusScotland 
Item 38 of 501933La Scala Cinema  AberdeenScotlandProposed rebuilding
Item 39 of 501933Warren ParkLargs AyrshireScotlandGlazed single storey lounge added
Item 40 of 501935Green's Playhouse  DundeeScotland 
Item 41 of 501935Largs Super CinemaLargs AyrshireScotland 
Item 42 of 501935Rio CinemaRutherglen LanarkshireScotlandGiven by McKean - perhaps earlier building?
Item 43 of 501936British Linen BankCalton GlasgowScotland 
Item 44 of 501936Picture House CinemaKirkconnel DumfriesshireScotland 
Item 45 of 501937CinemaWigan LancashireEngland 
Item 46 of 501938Cinema, Hall StreetCampbeltown ArgyllScotland 
Item 47 of 501939CinemaSaltcoats AyrshireScotland 
Item 48 of 501939East Park Homes for Infirm ChildrenMaryhill GlasgowScotlandFurther work
Item 49 of 501939Enterkine HouseStair (near) AyrshireScotlandStair
Item 50 of 501939Green's PlayhouseWishaw LanarkshireScotland 


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4RCAHMS1992Dundee on Record RCAHMSGreen's Playhouse, Dundee - p57
Item 2 of 4RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4Walker, Frank Arneil1986South Clyde Estuary: An Illustrated Architectural Guide to Inverclyde and Renfrew  p145

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 2Builder23 January 1942v 162 p78 - obituary
Item 2 of 2Cinema Theatre Association BulletinNovember 1982v 16  

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from William John Fairweather, 1970; additional research by Iain Paterson
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A v12 p122 (microfiche 56/G4); F no1593 (microfilm reel 13)