Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Forrest Steel (or John Forrester Steel?)
Born: 1875
Died: 23 June 1967
Bio Notes: John Forrest (or Forrester?) Steel (generally known simply as John Steel) was born in Wishaw in 1875, the son of Thomas Steel. He was educated at Cambusnethan School and St John's Grammar School, Hamilton. He was articled to W H Howie & H D Walton of Glasgow from 1891 to 1896, attending classes at Hamilton Academy and Glasgow School of Art where he obtained a free studentship. At the end of his articles in 1896 he became an assistant in the office of Dykes & Robertson, but in 1897 he succeeded in obtaining a place in the office of Niven & Wigglesworth in London, remaining there until 1900 when he spent a year with Hall-Jones & Cummings. These posts enabled him to study for five years at the RA Schools and obtain its diploma. At some point before 1901 he seems to have worked for the Wishaw architect Alexander Hinshelwood but by that year he was certainly in independent practice there. He formed a partnership with the younger John King (born 1880) in January 1905 which was dissolved by mutual consent five years later. He became a councillor in Wishaw in 1908 and was a magistrate in 1909-12. He was admitted LRIBA on 4 July 1910, his proposers being George Bell, Alexander McGibbon and James Black Fulton. By that date he had travelled in France. At that time his practice was thriving with a wide range of commissions both in Wishaw and further afield and besides those listed, numerous business premises, speculative tenements, villas and cottages in and around Wishaw, working in a heavy Classical, Mannerist or Arts & Crafts style. His office address in 1910-14 was Royal Buildings, Main Street, and his home address The Chalet, both in Wishaw.

Steel was admitted FRIBA in 1921. In 1923 he was described as having work in hand for the County Council of Lanark, The Town Council of Motherwell and Wishaw, Cambusnethan Parish Council and the Lanarkshire Burghs Sanatorium Committee. In 1938 he was a member of the Local Council of the League of Nations and of the Local Council for Community Service. He retired in 1953 and died at Murieston, Cambusnethan, Wishaw 6 June 1967.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 6Hill Street, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1902 *  
Item 2 of 6Old Post Office buildings, Main Street, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusiness1904 *  
Item 3 of 6The Chalet, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1910After 1920 
Item 4 of 6Royal Buildings, Main Street, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandBusinessc. 19101939 or after 1939 
Item 5 of 611, Walter Street, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *  
Item 6 of 6Murieston, Cambusnethan, Wishaw, Lanarkshire, ScotlandPrivate1967 *  

* 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 6W H Howie & H D WaltonOctober 18911896Apprentice 
Item 2 of 6T Dykes & RobertsonJuly 18961897Junior Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 6Niven & WigglesworthOctober 18971900Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 6Hall-Jones & Cummings19001901Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 6Alexander HinshelwoodBefore 1901(?)Before 1901(?)Assistant(?) 
Item 6 of 6Steel & KingJanuary 1905February 1910Partner 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6George Bell II4 July 1910for Licentiateship
Item 2 of 6James Black Fulton4 July 1910for Licentiateship
Item 3 of 6James LochheadLate 1920for Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Alexander McGibbon4 July 1910for Licentiateship
Item 5 of 6David SalmondLate 1920for Fellowship
Item 6 of 6John WatsonLate 1920for Fellowship

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 231902Cambusnethan UF Church and hallsWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 2 of 231904Villa, Walter StreetWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 231907Masonic Temple (Lodge St Mary Coltness no 31)Wishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 231910VillaHonley, Huddersfield YorkshireEnglandBeing built
Item 5 of 23After 1910Anderson Boyes and Company's WorksWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 6 of 23After 1910Canteen and offices for the Pather Iron and Steel CompanyWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 7 of 23After 1910Muirburn SanatoriumWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 8 of 23After 1910School for Defective ChildrenWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 9 of 23After 1910Young Men's Christian Association InstituteWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 10 of 23Before 1910Cambusnethan 'homes and houses'Wishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 11 of 23Before 1910Drill HallWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 12 of 23Before 1910High SchoolWishaw LanarkshireScotlandAdditions
Item 13 of 23Before 1910Mission ChurchWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 14 of 23Before 1910Netherton Elementary SchoolNetherton LanarkshireScotland 
Item 15 of 23Before 1910Post OfficeWishaw LanarkshireScotlandAddition
Item 16 of 23Before 1910The MoundHonley, Huddersfield YorkshireEngland 
Item 17 of 23Before 1910The YettBlackheath LondonEngland 
Item 18 of 23Before 1910Wishaw AcademyWishaw LanarkshireScotlandWon competition to secure job
Item 19 of 23Before 1910Wishaw EU Church and hallsWishaw LanarkshireScotland 
Item 20 of 23After 1913Country houses  YorkshireEngland 
Item 21 of 23After 1913Shotts Welfare InstituteShotts LanarkshireScotland 
Item 22 of 231927(?)Calderhead Erskine Parish ChurchAllanton LanarkshireScotlandUncertain if this is the correct John Steel (Close et al (2016, p.117) give John Steel as architect for Allanton Mission Church, 1927-8).
Item 23 of 231938New laboratories for the Clyde Alloy Steel Company Ltd  GlasgowScotlandDesign exhibited


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 8Measurers\' Companion1911The Scottish Architects' and Measurers' Companion   
Item 2 of 8RIBA1930The RIBA Kalendar 1930-1931 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 8RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 8RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 5 of 8Scottish Biographies1938  E J Thurston (pub.) 
Item 6 of 8Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 7 of 8Who's Who in Architecture1923    
Item 8 of 8Who's Who in Architecture1923    

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Building23 June 1967  Obituary - CHECK for further info

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 1RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v2 no 133 (microfilm reel 29); F no 1829 (microfilm reel 15)