Basic Biographical Details

Name: Weddell & Inglis
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1932
Ended: c. 1942
Bio Notes: James Wilkie Weddell was born in January 1879, the son of James Weddell, civil engineer and Angela Muirhead Houston. He was educated at Rosemount Academy, Uddingston from 1885 to 1891, and at Glasgow High School from 1891 to 1894. Unusually he studied at Glasgow School of Art in 1896-97 prior to commencing a shortened apprenticeship in May 1899 in the office of John Burnet & Son. He studied at the School of Art again in 1900-01 and probably also attended classes at the Glasgow and West of Scotland Technical College whilst still in Burnet's office. In Burnet's own words 'by his industry and thoughtfulness [he] made a position for himself on the staff'. Within a few years he had become a respected senior assistant with a great deal of responsibility when Burnet was in London, being assistant-in-charge on the Cumberland Infirmary in Carlisle; the extensions to the Western General Hospital and the buildings of the Sick Children's Hospital in Glasgow; and the extension of Kilmarnock Infirmary. He was admitted LRIBA in the mass intake of 20 July 1911, proposed by John Bennie Wilson and the Glasgow Institute of Architects, which he had joined earlier that year. He remained with Burnet until July 1916 when he appears to have been requisitioned for war work, Burnet observing that 'when other members of my staff, both in Glasgow and here [London] have been called off, Mr Weddell has remained with me and borne the stress occasioned by their absence'.

In 1920 Weddell opened his own office at 19 Blythswood Square moving to 65 Bath Street in 1923 and 261 West George Street in 1925. In 1932 Weddell merged his practice with that of the cinema specialist and entrepreneur William Beresford Inglis who had also commenced independent practice c.1920. The newly formed partnership was based at 216 Bath Street which Inglis had occupied since 1926. At the time of the merger, Inglis was the owner of the North British Theatres Ltd, formed to build the Andalusian atmospheric Boulevard Cinema in Knightswood. Inglis ran it himself and booked his own films.

Immediately after the formation of the partnership Inglis promoted a second company, the Toledo Picture House Company, to build another atmospheric cinema at Muirend. This company ran into financial difficulties and was sold to ABC a year later. Shortly thereafter, ____Taylor was very briefly a partner, the practice becoming Weddell, Inglis & Taylor.

In 1937 Inglis promoted Glasgow Hotels Ltd, of which he was managing director, to build the 180,435 Beresford Hotel on Sauchiehall Street, the immediate commercial objective being to accommodate visitors to the Glasgow Empire Exhibition of 1938. To help finance it North British Theatres and the Boulevard was sold to Singleton Cinemas Ltd. George Singleton found Inglis 'curious' and recorded that 'he found cinemas too stressful' complaining of 'film renters, booking agents and problems with staff'. The Beresford Hotel proved to be a greater drain on his time and it a welcome relief when it was requisitioned during the Second World War.

The Weddell & Inglis partnership ended with the war during which, in 1942-43, Weddell took over the practice of Baird & Thomson following the retirement of William Aitken Thomson. In 1948 Weddell took into partnership John David Moore Thomson, the son of David L Thomson, who continued to run the family practice of Thomson & Menzies until his death in 1955. Its remaining business was then absorbed into the Weddell & Thomson practice. In the same year Weddell took over the practice of Denny & Blain, Blain having been a close friend of Weddell from the days when they were senior assistants together in the Burnet office.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 1216, Bath Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusiness1932c. 1942 

Employment and Training

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architectural practice (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 4James Wilkie Weddell1932c. 1942(?)PartnerAccording to the RIBA Kalendar of 1950-51 he was a partner in Weddell & Inglis in 1950.
Item 2 of 4William Beresford Inglis1932c. 1942(?)Partner 
Item 3 of 4John McClure1937 * Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 4Robert SutherlandJuly 1937September 1938Apprentice 

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Buildings and Designs

This architectural practice 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 111930s(?)Boundary BarSpringburn GlasgowScotland 
Item 2 of 111932Toledo Cinema, MuirendCathcart GlasgowScotland 
Item 3 of 111933Ferrari's Restaurant  GlasgowScotland 
Item 4 of 111933St Charles RC School  GlasgowScotlandWorking with William McCaig, architect to the Glasgow Education Department
Item 5 of 111933St Cuthbert's Primary SchoolPossilpark GlasgowScotland 
Item 6 of 111935House for Dr J Stuart RossBearsden GlasgowScotland 
Item 7 of 111935Rogano's Oyster Bar  GlasgowScotland 
Item 8 of 111936Locomotive FactoryAnniesland GlasgowScotland 
Item 9 of 111937Beresford Hotel  GlasgowScotland 
Item 10 of 11c. 1937129 Princes Street  EdinburghScotlandRedesign of interior for Cleghorn's department store
Item 11 of 111938Samuel Dow's Bar  GlasgowScotlandLounge and cocktail bar added


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 5McKean, Charles1987The Scottish Thirties: An Architectural Introduction Edinburgh: Scottish Academic Press 
Item 2 of 5Peter, Bruce1996100 Years of Glasgow's Amazing Cinemas Edinburgh: Polygon 
Item 3 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1914    
Item 4 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1923    
Item 5 of 5Who's Who in Architecture1926    

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architectural practice:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 3National Monuments Record of Scotland/NMRS, RCAHMSWeddell and Thomson Archive Summary Material (Handlists, Job lists etc) Copy of letter of reference provided by John J Burnet 21 June 1916
Item 2 of 3Professor David M Walker personal archiveProfessor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material Personal information from the late Alfred G Lochhead
Item 3 of 3RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers L v21 no1667