Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Reid
Born: 17 July 1893 or 17 August 1893
Died: 12 October 1984
Bio Notes: George Reid was born on 17 July 1893 (nomination Paper) or 17 August 1893 (Death Register), the eldest son of David M Reid, commercial traveller, and his wife Margaret. He was articled to Scott Morton & Co from 1910 for five years, attending classes at Edinburgh College of Art where he obtained firsts in each year of his studies as well as two bursaries. Whilst serving his apprenticeship he was seconded to the offices of Robert Lorimer, George Washington Browne and James Bow Dunn.

Reid joined the Royal Scots at the outbreak of the First World War. He was wounded in France in January 1916. In 1914 he had a design hung at the Society of Artists and in 1915 exhibited a 'colour design' was hung at the Royal Scottish Academy. At the cease of hostilities he returned to Edinburgh and in 1919 joined forces with Reginald Francis Joseph Fairlie and James Sheills Forbes, in a short-lived but productive partnership Fairlie, Reid & Forbes. The firm appears to have been formed to compete for the post-1919 Housing Act council housing contracts in Edinburgh. The competition, judged by Sir John Burnet, concerned schemes in Wardie, Saughtonhall, Craigleith and Willowbrae Road. They achieved an honourable mention with their plans for the Saughtonhall area and were judged third in their proposals for Willowbrae Road, behind the successful AK Robertson & T.Aikman Swan and Charles E Tweedie. However, as the Council’s Town Planning and Housing Committee decided no one firm should carry out more than two housing schemes, Fairlie, Reid & Forbes were awarded the Willowbrae commission, designing over 400 houses while in partnership, a mix of tenements, flatted blocks and cottages. The proposals were exhibited at the RSA who commented on the ‘admirable’ layout plan and perspective drawing which suggested a ‘pleasing and picturesque ensemble’. A great deal of work went in to creating an interssting plan and a series of different designs and interesting use of materials – sadly not followed by later interwar council schemes. The Buildings of Scotland describe their design and compositions as outstanding, and the centrepiece to their scheme, Northfield Gardens (1921), a handsome crescent of three storey rubble stone tenements, was listed in 1987 – a rare but welcome recognition of ‘homes fit for heroes’. Willowbrae, also known as Abercorn or Northfield, can be viewed as an early prototype for Ebenezer MacRae’s inter-war work in Edinburgh, and MacRae’s predecessor as Director of Housing, Adam Horsburgh Campbell, may also have borrowed elements.

By 1925 Reid and Forbes had formed their own partnership, with Fairlie continuing on his own account, although Fairlie, Reid & Forbes are recorded as supervising the erection of the Scottish American War Memorial in Princes Street Gardens as late as 1927

The first major project by the new firm, and one which would mark their future specialism in educational buildings, was the neo-Georgian St John’s RC Primary School in Hamilton Terrace, Portobello, opened in December 1926, and only recently demolished. This was closely followed by education offices at St Boswells, and a school extension in Jedburgh. In 1928 they received the major commission for Leith Academy Secondary School. At this stage the firm was designing Neo-Georgian school buildings, albeit with the introduction of Art Deco Egyptian and renaissance detailing. A good example of this style is the school annexe at George Heriot’s school on Lauriston Place (1933).

Although there would still be Neo-Georgian work, the firm increasingly became known for a series of modern movement schools, an early example being Inverness High School, designed in 1931 and opened in 1937. Other examples include Kelso Academy, (1936-9) and Niddrie Marischal Intermediate School (1936) which has unusual American-inspired Art Deco decoration on its tower. Chirnside (1937), a category A listed building, is landmark in the village.

In December 1931 Reid, along with Forbes, was elected a Fellow of the Edinburgh Architectural Association. The firm were probably the best inter-war school specialists in Scotland.

Reid was admitted FRIBA in 1955. Forbes retired from practice in 1961. Reid was appointed Lord Dean of Guild about this time and sold the office building to Cairns & Ford who also took over the major part of the commissions in hand, notably Edinburgh's new Royal High School, with Reid acting as consultant for a limited period.
His former partner Forbes died in Edinburgh in 1976.

Reid died at Bournemouth on 12 October 1984.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 69, Almondbank Terrace, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate/business1918 * Gave this address in the RSA exhibition in 1918. This was the family home from before 1911 (see 1911 Census).
Item 2 of 67, Ainslie Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1919c. 1930Still listed here despite being no longer in partnership with Fairlie
Item 3 of 617, Great Stewart Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusinessc. 1931  
Item 4 of 6Lufra House, Granton Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1955 *  
Item 5 of 6116, Hanover Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1955 *Early 1960s 
Item 6 of 6Flat 8/Canford Court/7, Cliff Drive, Poole, Dorset, EnglandPrivate1970 *  

* 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 6Scott Morton & Co (later Scott Morton & Tynecastle Co Ltd; finally Scott Morton Ltd)19101915Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6George Washington BrowneAfter 1910Before 1915ApprenticeBrief secondment during apprenticeship to Scott Morton & Co
Item 3 of 6James Bow DunnAfter 1910Before 1915ApprenticeBrief secondment during apprenticeship to Scott Morton & Co
Item 4 of 6(Sir) Robert Stodart LorimerAfter 1910Before 1915ApprenticeBrief secondment during apprenticeship to Scott Morton & Co
Item 5 of 6Fairlie, Reid & Forbes1919c. 1926Partner 
Item 6 of 6Reid & Forbes19261962Partner 

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 51 Holyrood School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 2 of 511918Design for Chancel Finishings    Staff Sergeant George Reid - Builder reference
Item 3 of 511918Suggested design for the entrance hall and main staircase in a public building     
Item 4 of 511919Northfield Housing Estate  EdinburghScotland 
Item 5 of 51After 1921Bank of Scotland, Marchmont BranchMarchmont EdinburghScotland 
Item 6 of 51After 1921Coldstream Secondary SchoolColdstream BerwickshireScotland 
Item 7 of 51After 1921Housing schemeTranent East LothianScotland 
Item 8 of 51After 1921Housing scheme  EdinburghScotland 
Item 9 of 51After 1921Primary and Secondary SchoolsInnerleithen PeeblesshireScotland 
Item 10 of 51After 1921Richmond Congregational ChurchCraigmillar EdinburghScotland 
Item 11 of 511924St John's RC School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 12 of 511924St John's RC SchoolPortobello EdinburghScotlandDemolished
Item 13 of 511926Jedburgh Grammar SchoolJedburgh RoxburghshireScotlandNorth-west extension
Item 14 of 511928Edinburgh Castle, Bruce and Wallace Memorial  EdinburghScotlandIn collaboration with Clapperton, Lorimer & Carrick
Item 15 of 511928George Watson's College  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not selected, but awarded 100-guinea premium
Item 16 of 511928Leith Academy Secondary SchoolLeith EdinburghScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 17 of 511928Lodge Roman Eagle no 160  EdinburghScotland 
Item 18 of 511928Offices for Roxburghshire Education CommitteeNewtown St Boswells RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 19 of 511929RC College and Schools, Melville Grange FarmGilmerton EdinburghScotlandNamed as architect responsible after winning competition
Item 20 of 511930Victoria SchoolNewhaven EdinburghScotlandExtension
Item 21 of 511931Alexander's garage  EdinburghScotland 
Item 22 of 511931Primary SchoolMorebattle RoxburghshireScotland'Buildings of Scotland' say Forbes responsible
Item 23 of 511931Royal High Primary School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 24 of 511932Inverness High SchoolInverness Inverness-shireScotlandWon competition and secured job
Item 25 of 511932St Mary's RC Cathedral  EdinburghScotlandReconstruction of nave with aisles; also pulpit
Item 26 of 511932Union Bank, West Maitland Street and Palmerston Place  EdinburghScotlandBank - remodelling?
Item 27 of 511933Bank of Scotland, North West Circus PlaceStockbridge EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 28 of 511933Eldin HouseBonnyrigg/Lasswade MidlothianScotlandAddition of dormitory and school block
Item 29 of 511933George Heriot's School, Preparatory Department and technical classrooms  EdinburghScotland 
Item 30 of 511933Kelso AcademyKelso RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 31 of 511934Maxime's Ballroom  EdinburghScotland 
Item 32 of 511934Niddrie Church and HallsCraigmillar EdinburghScotland 
Item 33 of 511934Trinity Primary SchoolHawick RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 34 of 511935Broughton SchoolBroughton PeeblesshireScotlandExtension, also gates and railings
Item 35 of 511935Eyemouth High SchoolEyemouth BerwickshireScotlandExtension
Item 36 of 511935Jedburgh Grammar SchoolJedburgh RoxburghshireScotlandAdditions
Item 37 of 511935LaundryStenhouse EdinburghScotland 
Item 38 of 511935Niddrie Marischal Junior Secondary School  EdinburghScotland 
Item 39 of 511935Wardie Hotel  EdinburghScotlandExtension
Item 40 of 511936Primary SchoolHobkirk/Hopekirk RoxburghshireScotland 
Item 41 of 51c. 1936Peebles High SchoolPeebles PeeblesshireScotlandExtension and reconstruction
Item 42 of 511937Central SchoolChirnside BerwickshireScotland 
Item 43 of 511937Wilkies Buildings, Shandwick Place  EdinburghScotland 
Item 44 of 511938Primary SchoolWest Linton PeeblesshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 45 of 511938St Joseph's RC SchoolInverness Inverness-shireScotlandLarge extensions
Item 46 of 511938Tanfield Primary School  EdinburghScotlandCompetition design - not successful
Item 47 of 511949George Heriot's Hospital  EdinburghScotlandAdditions and repairs to war memorial
Item 48 of 511951Moredun Church and Halls  EdinburghScotland 
Item 49 of 51c. 1955Dalkeith High SchoolDalkeith MidlothianScotlandLater school. Now demolished
Item 50 of 511956Coldstream Primary SchoolColdstream BerwickshireScotland 
Item 51 of 51Before 1962Royal High School  EdinburghScotlandCairns & Ford who took over the practice mainly responsible.


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 2Johnston, W T2003Artists of Scotland Officina Publications CDROM 
Item 2 of 2RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Edinburgh's 1919 Act Housing by Steven Robb (2020)2020 Municipal Dreams websiteMunicipal Dreams website

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 4Census records onlineCensuses  
Item 2 of 4Courtesy of Mr William TerrellInformation via 'Contact Us' on website Sent February 2015.
Item 3 of 4Courtesy of Neill GilhooleyInformation sent to Dictionary Sent November 2015
Item 4 of 4RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers F no5107 (combined box 57) (filed with note indicating that Reid died before May 1985)