Basic Biographical Details

Name: George Hay
Born: 5 July 1911
Died: 5 December 1986
Bio Notes: George Hay was born in Edinburgh on 5 July 1911, the son of Frank Hay who was a skilled metal worker, and his wife Louisa Robertson. He was educated at the James Clark School and became an apprentice draughtsman with Scott Morton & Company at the age of fourteen in February 1926. There he came to the notice of Lorimer & Matthew to whom he transferred in 1928 as an architectural apprentice, taking evening classes at Edinburgh College of Art under John Begg. At Lorimer & Matthew's he spent much of his time on the King's Buildings, and whilst there he also studied at Heriot-Watt College.

At the end of his apprenticeship in October 1933 he transferred to the Scottish headquarters of H M Office of Works in Edinburgh, working mainly on the ancient monuments estate under John Wilson Paterson and James Smith Richardson. His time there was not altogether a happy one because of Paterson and Richardson's 'silly quarrels' but with Lindsay he quickly developed a close working relationship, his superb draughtsmanship becoming vital to the work of the office. Although their physical appearance and background were so very different - Lindsay was well over six feet tall, his friends mainly landed gentry, Hay was in Ronald Cant's words 'small neat and purposeful' with strongly held opinions - they had other shared interests; the self-taught Hay had learned Gaelic and several Continental languages the better to understand Scotland's relationship with northern Europe in medieval and Renaissance times, and both had an intense interest in all things traditionally Scottish.

Hay achieved a distinction for his thesis on Scottish Architectural Woodwork of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. He was very much a Scottish Renaissance man. He passed the qualifying exam in December 1936 and was admitted ARIBA on 8 March 1937, his proposers being Begg, John Fraser Matthew and Matthew Montgomery Ochterlony. Shortly thereafter he joined the practice of Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay.

At the outbreak of the Second World War Hay was called up and served with the Gordon Highlanders before being commissioned in the Royal Engineers. His travels had included North Africa, Sicily, Italy and finally Austria, greatly widening his knowledge of European architecture.

The survey work carried out for the Department of Health was the background for the comprehensive publication in 1957 of 'The Architecture of Scottish Post-Reformation Churches'. Hay was finally taken into parnership with Lindsay and Schomberg Scott in 1952 as Ian G Lindsay & Partners, based on the ground floor and basement of 17 Great Stuart Street. After Schomberg Scott withdrew his place was taken by John H Reid, previously with the Ministry of Public Building and Works, initially principally to deal with the new-build side of the business and bring it more in tune with the times. But John Reid and George Hay were very different people: and in 1960 Hay regretfully withdrew to return to the H M Office of Works to be sure of retaining Lindsay's friendship which had begun to seem increasingly at risk. Hay's decision was deeply regretted by Lindsay who more than once observed: 'Can't say I miss Scott but I miss Wee Doddie (Hay) dreadfully.' Fortunately by that date the main work on Iona and Pluscarden had been done.

Hay died at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary on 5 December 1986, leaving a widow, Dorothy Joan MacDairmid, living at 29 Moray Place, Edinburgh. He had been awarded a DLitt from the University of St Andrews in the late 1970s and an MBE.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 39, Crichton Street, Edinburgh, ScotlandBusiness1937 *  
Item 2 of 382, Priestfield Road, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivate1939 *After 1950 
Item 3 of 329, Moray Place, Edinburgh, ScotlandPrivateBefore 19701986 

* 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 9Scott Morton & Co (later Scott Morton & Tynecastle Co Ltd; finally Scott Morton Ltd)February 19261928Apprentice 
Item 2 of 9Lorimer & Matthew1928October 1933Apprentice 
Item 3 of 9H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)October 19331937AssistantIn Edinburgh office under J Wilson Paterson and J S Richardson
Item 4 of 9John Wilson PatersonOctober 19331937AssistantIn H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 5 of 9James Smith RichardsonOctober 19331937AssistantIn H M Office of Works, Edinburgh
Item 6 of 9Orphoot, Whiting & Lindsay19371940Assistant 
Item 7 of 9Orphoot & Lindsay19451952Assistant 
Item 8 of 9Ian G Lindsay & Partners19521960Partner 
Item 9 of 9H M Office of Works (later Ministry of Works, Department of the Environment and Property Services Agency)1960 Assistant 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3John Begg8 March 1937for Associateship
Item 2 of 3John Fraser Matthew8 March 1937for Associateship
Item 3 of 3(Sir) Matthew Montgomerie Ochterlony8 March 1937for Associateship

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 211928University of Edinburgh, King's Buildings, Department of ZoologyMayfield EdinburghScotlandAs apprentice to Lorimer & Matthew
Item 2 of 211948North Leith Parish ChurchNorth Leith EdinburghScotlandRestoration of Burn's original scheme for pulpit etc
Item 3 of 211951Old Greyfriars Church  EdinburghScotlandRecasting of communion table.
Item 4 of 211952Iona Abbey IonaArgyllScotlandRestoration of monastic buildings - begun by Lindsay under earlier partnership
Item 5 of 211953St Andrews Parish ChurchGolspie SutherlandScotlandPews
Item 6 of 211953St Mahew's RC ChurchCardross DunbartonshireScotlandReconstruction
Item 7 of 21c. 1953ShelterStraiton AyrshireScotland 
Item 8 of 211954Houses, Cathedral StreetDunkeld PerthshireScotlandRestoration of houses on north side - except 7 which is a replica and 12-14 and 17 which filled gaps
Item 9 of 21195515 High StreetDunkeld PerthshireScotlandRestoration
Item 10 of 211956Airlie CastleAirlie AngusScotlandRepairs
Item 11 of 211956Arniston House, Sundial  MidlothianScotlandPedestal
Item 12 of 211957Culross Town HallCulross FifeScotlandRefurbishment
Item 13 of 211957Town's Churches, Old St Paul's  DundeeScotlandFont, lectern and screen
Item 14 of 211958Balmanno CastleGlenfarg PerthshireScotlandExtension to service wing
Item 15 of 211958Canongate Manse  EdinburghScotlandRestoration
Item 16 of 211958Druminnor Castle  AberdeenshireScotlandRestoration
Item 17 of 211959Cramond VillageCramond EdinburghScotlandRestoration
Item 18 of 211959Tulliebole Castle  PerthshireScotlandRestoration
Item 19 of 211960Ardchattan Priory, the Conventual buildingsLoch Etive ArgyllScotlandRestoration
Item 20 of 211963Terrace of cottages, 43-57 Union StreetLochgilphead ArgyllScotland 
Item 21 of 211968Palace of Holyroodhouse  EdinburghScotlandCeiling of picture gallery renewed - as architect in the Ministry of Public Buildings and Works


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp8 Iona Abbey; 'Little Houses' programme
p9 Image of Iona Abbey
Item 2 of 4RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3George Hay's widow.Information via Christine McWilliam  
Item 2 of 3H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no6330 (combined box 133)