Basic Biographical Details

Name: (Miss) Bessie McDowall
Born: 26 January 1915
Died: 11 November 1981
Bio Notes: Miss Bessie McDowall was born on 26 January 1915, the daughter of John McDowall, gamekeeper and his wife, Mary Eliza Perkins. In September 1936 she enrolled in the Certificate Course at Glasgow School of Art continuing to the post-Certificate Course. During this period she was employed in the Lanark County Architect's office and worked on schools, hospitals and police stations. In 1944 she moved to a similar post in the Burgh of Paisley where her responsibilities included housing and planning.

She moved to the County Architect's Department in Dumfries in early 1946. Having passed the external final exam in Edinburgh 'despite war difficulties', she was admitted ARIBA in June of that year, her proposers being William James Smith, Alexander Nisbet Malcolm and Andrew Graham Henderson. In 1950 she was staying in lodgings in Cupar, Fife. She had presumably moved to a post with Fife County Council. She would appear to have taken a post with Midlothian County Council sometime before 1964. Before her retirement she worked for Lothian Regional Architect's Department. She retired from the RIBA in January 1980.

Bessie McDowall died from cancer at Perth Royal Infirmary on 11 November 1981. She was unmarried. Her sister who lived in Pitlochry registered her death.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this :
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 336, Rae Street, Dumfries, Dumfriesshire, ScotlandPrivate1946  
Item 2 of 3c/o 17, Millgate, Cupar, Fife, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *After 1954 
Item 3 of 38, Pentland View, Currie, Midlothian, ScotlandPrivateBefore 1963 *1981 

* 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 3Lanarkshire County Architect's Department19351944Assistant 
Item 2 of 3Paisley Public Works Department1944 Assistant 
Item 3 of 3Dumfries County Council Architect and Master of Works Department1946 Architect 


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 3Andrew Graham Henderson25 June 1946For Associateship
Item 2 of 3Alexander Nisbet Malcolm25 June 1946For Associateship
Item 3 of 3(Professor) William James Smith25 June 1946For 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 21954Ballingry SchoolBallingry FifeScotlandN extension
Item 2 of 21972RC Primary School, DedridgeLivingston West LothianScotlandAs Architect with Midlothian County Architects Department


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this :
Item 1 of 4McWilliam, Colin1978Lothian (The Buildings of Scotland)  p311
Item 2 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 3 of 4RIBA1964The RIBA Kalendar 1963-64   
Item 4 of 4RIBA1970RIBA Directory 1970   

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this :
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no8708 (Combined Box 215)