Basic Biographical Details

Name: John Watson (junior)
Born: 6 April 1903
Died: 8 June 1977
Bio Notes: John Watson Junior was born on 6 April 1903, the son of John Watson, senior partner in the firm Watson & Salmond, and his wife Elizabeth Cumming. In 1920 he was articled to Burnet Son & Dick where he worked on the Zoology Building at the University of Glasgow, and where Sir John Burnet, a friend of his father, took a personal interest in his development. While at Burnet's Watson Junior studied at the Glasgow School of Architecture, Glasgow School of Art and the Royal Technical College. There he won several medals and bursaries, including a minor scholarship which enabled him to spend four weeks in France in 1924-25, and the John Keppie Travelling Scholarship which funded a year's study in Italy, France and Spain in 1925-26. In 1926 he settled in London as a senior draughtsman to Niven & Wigglesworth, but because of the dissolution of that partnership he moved in the following year to the office of Sir John William Simpson, and in 1929 to that of Emanuel Vincent Harris. Whilst with Harris, he travelled again to Italy, and to Sicily and the south of France, for seven weeks in 1930; and served as editor of the RIAS Quarterly in 1931 and 1932.

He enjoyed his London years and it was with some regret that he returned to Glasgow in 1933 with a view to taking up the partnership being vacated by Salmond, who was fairly well-off and planning to retire. Watson Junior became a partner in 1934. After the death of his father in 1936 and of the third partner James Henry Gray in 1938, Watson Junior became sole partner at the age of thirty-five, having been effectively in full charge of the practice since 1936; and at about that time he took over the practice of Alexander Nisbet Paterson on his retirement.

Watson Junior was a convinced classicist of the late Burnet-Vincent Harris school throughout his career. He was admitted ARIBA sometime before 1939 and was elected FRIBA on 16 November 1943, his proposers being William James Smith, John Stewart, A N Paterson and Andrew Graham Henderson. At that time his office was at 111 Union Street, Glasgow and he was living at Old Mains, Cadzow Avenue, Giffnock, a fine mid-18th-century country house which he had, with characteristic determination, rescued from demolition when its grounds became an exclusive housing estate. He was an important collector of Glasgow School paintings and architectural books throughout his life, and he and his much taller English wife Beryl were most generous hosts. Their later years were clouded by the death of their architect son who died while still a student.

Watson Junior retired c.1970 as a result of pneumonia which left him with a damaged heart. He and his wife then gave up their house at Giffnock and moved to a large flat at Netherlee. He died at the Victoria Infirmary, Glasgow on 8 June 1977 and was survived by his wife, Beryl Edith Creswick.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 57, Church Road, Giffnock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivate1926 *  
Item 2 of 5111, Union Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1939After 1950 
Item 3 of 524, Doughty Street, London, EnglandBusinessBefore 1939 *1939 
Item 4 of 5Old Mains, Cadzow Avenue, Giffnock, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1940c. 1971 
Item 5 of 519, Beechlands Avenue, Netherlee, Renfrewshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 19711977 

* 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 5Burnet, Son & DickSeptember 1920September 1925Apprentice 
Item 2 of 5Niven & Wigglesworth19261927Senior Draughtsman 
Item 3 of 5(Sir) John William Simpson19271929Senior Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 5Emanuel Vincent Harris19291933Senior Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 5Watson, Salmond & Gray1934After 1970PartnerSole partner from 1938


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 7Andrew Graham Henderson16 November 1943for Fellowship
Item 2 of 7John Keppie29 November 1926For Associateship
Item 3 of 7Alexander Nisbet Paterson16 November 1943for Fellowship
Item 4 of 7David Salmond29 November 1926For Associateship
Item 5 of 7(Professor) William James Smith16 November 1943for Fellowship
Item 6 of 7John Stewart16 November 1943for Fellowship
Item 7 of 7William Brown Whitie29 November 1926For Associateship

RIBA Proposals

This proposed the following individuals for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 6Donald Forbes Armstrong25 June 1946For Associateship
Item 2 of 6Peter Lamont Burnside Borthwick5 April 1967for Fellowship
Item 3 of 6Albert Dick Cordiner10 April 1956For Fellowship
Item 4 of 6Archibald Hunter McCartney (sometimes misspelt MacCartney)12 October 1954For Licentiateship
Item 5 of 6William Charles Thyrd Wright24 June 1947For Licentiateship
Item 6 of 6Edward Grigg Wylie11 March 1947for 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 651922Royal Hospital for Sick ChildrenYorkhill GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice to Burnet, Son & Dick, working on drawings for additions to nurses' home; administration building largely designed in Glasgow office
Item 2 of 651922University of Glasgow, Zoology Building  GlasgowScotlandAs apprentice to Burnet Son & Dick
Item 3 of 651923R W Forsyth Ltd Department Store  EdinburghScotlandAs assistant to John James Burnet - west extension over site of George Washington Browne's Redfern building (see separate entry) and new building at 3 St Andrew Square with bridge over mews lane
Item 4 of 651934Biscuit Factory of Gray, Dunn & Co, Kinning ParkKinning Park GlasgowScotlandSouth block
Item 5 of 651934ChurchParkhead GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 651934Glasgow Academy  GlasgowScotlandExtensive additions, including 18 classrooms, large library, gymnasium, ancillary and administrative accommodation, monumental entrance gateway with two janitors' houses - steel-framed
Item 7 of 651934Victoria Infirmary, nurses' homeLangside GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 8 of 651935National Bank of Scotland, St Enoch Square  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction and new banking hall
Item 9 of 651935Scottish Ice RinkCrossmyloof GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 651935Victoria InfirmaryLangside GlasgowScotlandPaying patients annexe and nurses home both extended
Item 11 of 651935Victoria Infirmary, private annexeLangside GlasgowScotlandExtension
Item 12 of 651935Victoria Infirmary, X-ray department and private wingLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 13 of 6519363, 4 and 5 Claremont Terrace  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to no 3 for Woodland Nursing Home
Item 14 of 651936British Linen Bank, Orchardhill Church branchGiffnock RenfrewshireScotlandReconstruction and additions
Item 15 of 651936House for Miss SomervilleHelensburgh DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 16 of 651938British Linen BankDunoon ArgyllScotlandReconstruction
Item 17 of 651938British Linen Bank, WishawWishaw LanarkshireScotlandReconstruction and additions
Item 18 of 651938Glasgow Academy  GlasgowScotlandReconstruction of main building, dormers on main elevation, new east fašade, lodges and claire voyee railing on Holland Street
Item 19 of 651938Victoria InfirmaryLangside GlasgowScotlandScheme for future extension
Item 20 of 651939British Linen BankLesmahagow LanarkshireScotland 
Item 21 of 651939Centre Street Grain Mills  GlasgowScotlandSurvey and alterations
Item 22 of 651939Hairmyres Emergency HospitalEast Kilbride LanarkshireScotland 
Item 23 of 651939Maukinhill Filter StationGreenockRenfrewshireScotland  
Item 24 of 651939Millport Emergency HospitalMillportGreat CumbraeButeScotland 
Item 25 of 651939National Bank of Scotland, Dalmarnock Road  GlasgowScotland 
Item 26 of 651939The GarrisonMillportGreat CumbraeButeScotlandConversion to St Andrews Emergency Hospital
Item 27 of 651939Victoria InfirmaryLangside GlasgowScotlandAdaptation of ground floor of north west pavilion for outpatients department. Other additions?
Item 28 of 651939Victoria Infirmary, kitchensLangside GlasgowScotlandReconstruction and additions
Item 29 of 651940Philipshill Auxiliary HospitalThorntonhall LanarkshireScotlandExtension
Item 30 of 651940Victoria Infirmary, boiler houseLangside GlasgowScotland 
Item 31 of 651944Grogarry Lodge South UistInverness-shireScotlandAdditions
Item 32 of 651944Property, Hamilton RoadCambuslang LanarkshireScotland 
Item 33 of 651944The Devon Bar  GlasgowScotlandAlterations
Item 34 of 651945Premises, Torrisdale Street  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 35 of 651947Bank of England, St Vincent Place  GlasgowScotlandProposed alterations and additions
Item 36 of 651947Victoria InfirmaryLangside GlasgowScotlandOutpatient and casualty block - design (executed 1966)
Item 37 of 651948Bakery for R A Peacock and Son  GlasgowScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 38 of 651957Cardross Crematorium and CardrossCardross DunbartonshireScotland 
Item 39 of 651958Store For A Guiness & SonsFinnieston Glasgow Survey
Item 40 of 651960sBritish Linen BankAyr AyrshireScotland 
Item 41 of 651960sBritish Linen BankPrestwick AyrshireScotland 
Item 42 of 651960sBritish Linen BankMotherwell LanarkshireScotland 
Item 43 of 651960sBrodick CastleBrodickArranButeScotlandRestoration
Item 44 of 651960sCairds Yard FactoryGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 45 of 651960sCaledonian Insurance Building  EdinburghScotlandAlterations? additions?
Item 46 of 651960sCaledonian Insurance Company Offices  LondonEngland 
Item 47 of 651960sCarntyne Industrial EstateCarntyne GlasgowScotland 
Item 48 of 651960sCooperage for Teachers (Distillers) Ltd  GlasgowScotland 
Item 49 of 651960sCraigbank Senior Secondary School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 50 of 651960sFactory for Gray Dunn  GlasgowScotland 
Item 51 of 651960sGovan District AsylumGovan GlasgowScotlandTreatment block; laboratory block, mortuary, units for intensive case and paraplegics, twin theatre unit. (Some or all of these - the RIBA Directory is vague.)
Item 52 of 651960sHolmwood HouseCathcart GlasgowScotlandRestoration
Item 53 of 651960sIndustrial EstateKilwinning AyrshireScotland 
Item 54 of 651960sOffices for Arthur Guiness  GlasgowScotland 
Item 55 of 651960sOffices for P & W MacLellan  GlasgowScotland 
Item 56 of 651960sPremises of John G Kincaid & Co Ltd (Engineers), East Hamilton StreetGreenock RenfrewshireScotlandNew works? extension to old works?
Item 57 of 651960sResidential Spastics SchoolLittle Corseford, Johnstone RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 58 of 651960sRoyal Bank of ScotlandRutherglen LanarkshireScotland 
Item 59 of 651960sRoyal Bank of ScotlandGreenock RenfrewshireScotland 
Item 60 of 651960sRoyal Bank of ScotlandDumfries DumfreisshireScotland 
Item 61 of 651960sSt Margaret Mary's RC Senior Secondary School  GlasgowScotland 
Item 62 of 651960sThornliebank Industrial EstateThornliebank GlasgowScotland 
Item 63 of 651960sVictoria InfirmaryLangside GlasgowScotlandTreatment block; laboratory block, mortuary, units for intensive case and paraplegics, twin theatre unit. Also coronary unit and ward upgrading.
Item 64 of 65Before 1964(?)Dollar Academy, Playfair blockDollar ClackmannanshireScotlandRestoration
Item 65 of 651968Dumfries HouseCumnock (near) AyrshireScotlandRestoration. Dining room (proposed reduction in size, not carried out, coffering in Venetian window alcove which was executed)


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 3Murray, Ian (parts written by John Watson Junior) The Victoria Infirmary of Glasgow 1890-1938  p88
Item 2 of 3RIBA1939The RIBA Kalendar 1939-1940 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 3Watson, John Recollections Unpublished manuscript in DMW archive 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this :
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder22 May 1959  mentioned in 'Notes of the Week' p912

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 A no4034 (box 5); F no3983 (box 31)