Basic Biographical Details

Name: Shearer & Annand
Designation: Architectural practice
Started: 1952
Ended: 1994
Bio Notes: James Grant Shearer was born at Morton Lodge, Dunfermline on 6 April 1881, the eldest son of James Shearer, variously described as a linen manufacturer and damask pattern designer, and his first wife Agnes Donaldson Smith. The Shearer family originated from Craigellachie, Banffshire, Shearer's grandfather, also James, moving south and settling in Dunfermline sometime before 1854. Shearer was educated at Dunfermline High School and apprenticed to Thomas Hislop Ure in September 1897. Through the recommendation of Francis H Newbery, Director of Glasgow School of Art and art consultant to the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust he secured a place as assistant in the office of John Burnet & Son in Glasgow in November 1901, becoming a senior assistant in the following year. While there he studied at Glasgow School of Art. He remained in the Glasgow office until March 1906 when he left, partly for health reasons, partly to widen his experience. It is not clear what he did immediately thereafter as he did not commence practice at 1 Bonnar Street Dunfermline until February 1907.

Shearer's practice was immediately successful, gaining commissions for a shop and bakery at Lochore, a warehouse for Dick's Co-operative Institution and an office and warehouse for R E Walter Reid & Co. In 1908 he took on his younger brother Thomas Smith Shearer as an apprentice and subsequently assistant. By 1912 he was sufficiently prosperous to undertake a study tour in Germany and in 1913 he was commissioned by the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust to build a large extension to James Campbell Walker's library in Dunfermline, a former colleague in Burnet's office, Herbert Lewis Honeyman, being recruited to help detail it.

In 1914 Shearer married Jessie (known as 'Jen' or 'Jennie') Gorrie, the daughter of a Dunfermline solicitor Donald Gorrie who had been a client of Ure's and built a house at Crossford. In the same year he prepared the 'Report on Local Housing Conditions with Preliminary Sketch Plans and Suggestions in Support of a Scheme of Municipal Building' commissioned by Dunfermline Town Council at the suggestion of Andrew Carnegie but in August 1916 Shearer was called up for military service, initially with the Royal Highland Regiment at Norwich but from 1917 with the Royal Engineers, and the scheme fell into abeyance.

Shearer recommenced practice at Bonnar Street after his release in February 1919 but moved to Queen Anne Street c.1920. He was formally appointed consultant architect to the Carnegie Dunfermline Trust and the Carnegie United Kingdom Trust in 1922, the former commissioning the Carnegie Birthplace Memorial in 1925, Carnegie himself having died in 1919. It led to a visit to the United States to visit Mr Carnegie and the several Carnegie institutions in Pennsylvania in February to March 1925. The appointment did not however, prove exclusive as Jamieson & Arnott were commissioned to design the Louise Carnegie Memorial Gates and the rival Dunfermline architect John Fraser the Tea Room and Music Pavilion in Pittencrieff Park in 1927-28.

In 1931 Shearer's practice moved to 11 Maygate; on his father's death in that year he also moved house from Crossford to Morton Lodge. In 1935 he designed the Fire Station at Dunfermline which showed that he had kept abreast of developments in the practice of Burnet Tait & Lorne, although most of his work was to remain of a traditional character. The Town Council appointed him town-planning consultant in 1938, Clackmannan following with a similar appointment in 1944. He was also Consulting Architect to the Scottish Youth Hostels Association from 1940 until at least 1943.

Shearer was active in professional life. He was an active Fellow of the RIAS from 1922 and was a member of its Council, serving on its Education Committee and being its representative on the ARCUK Board of Architectural Education and on the RIBA Board of Education in 1943-4. 1943 was also the year of his election as ARSA, and it was not until this year that he sought membership of the RIBA. Somewhat surprisingly he was not immediately admitted as a fellow, becoming licentiate on 16 November 1943 his proposers being Charles Geddes Soutar, John Ross McKay and the Scottish Office architect John Wilson. In June of the following year he successfully applied for Fellowship, his proposers being Alfred Hugh Mottram, Joseph Weekes, the Dunbartonshire County Architect and an old colleague from Burnet's office, Alexander Wright. In 1946 he was invited to join the North of Scotland Hydro Electric Board's panel of architectural advisers, leading to major work at Shin in Sutherland, Conon in Ross and Cromarty and Affric-Beauly in Inverness-shire, all of rugged masonry construction but stylistically with echoes of Burnet's work in the early 1920s and of the Dutch architect Willem Marinus Dudok: Shearer visited Dudok at Hilversum early in 1952 representing the Royal Scottish Academy which had elected him full Academician in 1948.

In the 1920s Shearer had run his office very economically with only one or at the most two assistants, but in the 1930s there were none until Peter Macdonald joined him from John Fraser's office in 1934. Printing from tracings was equally economical, still being done by an outdated ammonia-based light-sensitive process. But in 1949 he recruited George Annand, born 1915 and formerly of Burnet Son & Dick's office. He was taken into partnership in 1952. James Armstrong joined the practice as an apprentice in 1944, followed by Shearer's son James David Shearer and Edward D Armitage in 1946, Marcus Johnston joining only slightly later.

Shearer was belatedly appointed OBE in 1959 and continued to be the lead designer in the practice right up to the time of his death at Morton Lodge on 20 December 1962. He was then being cared for by his sister Nan, his wife having died in c.1930. He was buried with her at Warriston Cemetery. Annand died less than two years later in 1964 and Armstrong left for Edinburgh in 1967. The practice was continued by Shearer's son James who had previously worked for his father-in-law in Sheffield and subsequently in the London County Council/GLC Architect's Department but he too died prematurely of a cerebral haemorrhage in 1974. The practice was then continued by Marcus Johnston with Graham Withers from 1974. In 1990 it moved to 50 Bruce Street Dumfermline and they amalgamated with the practice of Mercer Blaikie which had been established about 1979 to become Blaikie Johnston Withers until its closure in 1994.

To the end of his life Shearer remained a very Edwardian-looking figure very slim and clad in a brown suit, old-fashioned high-laced boots and a broad brimmed felt hat, probably acquired for his trip to the USA in 1925. He was a very heavy smoker and spoke with a slight burr; he had a dry and sometimes pawky sense of humour which extended to verse. He was musical and played the cello. Despite the modernism of the Dunfermline Fire Station the office was deliberately kept shabby and was to remain so even after his death. In Shearer's later years the practice acquired a dyeline printer and even had a car, a yellow Austin which Shearer never learned to drive himself.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architectural practice:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 311, Maygate, Dunfermline, Fife, ScotlandPrivate/business1950 *After 1980 
Item 2 of 3Dunfermline, Fife, ScotlandBusiness1952  
Item 3 of 3167, Brook Street, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, ScotlandBusiness1980 * Branch office

* earliest date known from documented sources.

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 7James Grant Shearer19521962Partner 
Item 2 of 7George Annand19521964Partner 
Item 3 of 7James Brown Armstrong19521967Assistant(?) 
Item 4 of 7Marcus MacDonald Johnston19521967Assistant 
Item 5 of 7James Daniel Shearer19621974Partner 
Item 6 of 7Marcus MacDonald Johnston19671994Partner 
Item 7 of 7William Gordon Withers1974 Partner 

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 151 St Margaret's Parish ChurchDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 2 of 1511930Sligachan Hotel Isle of SkyeInverness-shireScotlandAdditions
Item 3 of 1511940Garage, Abbey Park PlaceDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 4 of 1511943Cove CastleCove ArgyllScotlandAlterations
Item 5 of 151c. 1944Carbisdale CastleCulrain, Kincardine Ross and CromartyScotlandAlterations
Item 6 of 1511945Elsick House Youth HostelStrathpeffer Ross & CromartyScotlandAlterations
Item 7 of 1511945Sligachan Hotel Isle of SkyeInverness-shireScotlandAlterations including new light fittings
Item 8 of 1511947Affric Hydrio-Electric Scheme, Loch Beinn A' Mheadhoin To Fasnakyle TunnelGlen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 9 of 1511947Gruidie BridgeConon Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 10 of 1511947Lochluichart Power StationLochluichart Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 11 of 151c. 1947Railway CottagesLochluichart (Loch Luichart) Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 12 of 1511948Loch Mullardoch To Loch Beinn A' Mheadhoin Tunnel Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 13 of 151c. 1948Logie HouseDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 14 of 1511949Fasnakyle Power Station, Transformer Station Glen Affric  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 15 of 1511949Model VillageCannich Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 16 of 1511949Villa, Garvock HillDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 17 of 1511950sGlascarnoch Power Station   Scotland 
Item 18 of 1511950sPittencrieff Park, signage, offices and stores, lighting, Goulden drinking fountain, double bridgeDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 19 of 1511950Bridge Over Allt Blar Na Gamhna Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 20 of 1511950Bridge Over Allt Innes An DraighinnGlen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 21 of 1511950Bridge Over Allt Na Creige Leithe Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 22 of 1511950Bridge Over Am Cam Allt Glen Affric  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 23 of 1511950Housing, Cannock CollieryBeauly Inverness-shireScotlandAs James Shearer & Annand
Item 24 of 1511950Lochgelly reservoir, access building and chlorination plantLochgelly FifeScotlandSurvey of access building
Item 25 of 151c. 1950Garage for the Fife Motor Company LtdDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 26 of 151c. 1951Bunanuisg Generating StationBowmoreIslayArgyllScotlandAdditions
Item 27 of 151c. 1951Lower Glendevon Reservoir and DamGlendevon FifeScotland 
Item 28 of 151c. 1951Pittencrieff Park, Rabbit HouseDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 29 of 1511952BrucefieldClackmannan ClackmannanshireScotlandFurther work (continued by practice after Shearer's death)
Item 30 of 1511952Brucefield MainsClackmannan ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 31 of 1511952Carnegie Birthplace Memorial MuseumDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations (and later)
Item 32 of 1511952Conon Valley Hydro Electric Scheme, Achanalt Power Station and Dam and fish passLochluichart (Loch Luichart) Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 33 of 1511952Glen Affric Hydro Electric Scheme, Fasnakyle Power StationFasnakyle Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 34 of 1511952Miners' Welfare SocietyBallingry, Lochore & Crosshill FifeScotland 
Item 35 of 1511952Scottish Central Library  EdinburghScotlandMajor alterations
Item 36 of 1511952Stand for Dunfermline Athletic Football ClubDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 37 of 151c. 1952Loch Meig, Dam Torr Achilty Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 38 of 151c. 1952The CochranesAlva ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 39 of 1511953Loch Shin BridgeLoch Shin SutherlandScotland 
Item 40 of 1511953St Margaret's HallDunfermline FifeScotlandFurther work? (Plans dated)
Item 41 of 1511953Strath Canaird Power StationLoch Broom Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 42 of 151c. 1953Housing SchemesMarkinch (Glenrothes?) FifeScotlandInvolved at later stages?
Item 43 of 1511954Council Housing and GaragesCowdenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 44 of 1511954General Accident Fire & Life Corporation officeLochgelly FifeScotlandSurvey and site plan
Item 45 of 1511954Glenbrittle House SkyeInverness-shireScotland 
Item 46 of 1511954Tower HouseDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 47 of 151c. 1954Loch Luichart Dam Loch Luichart Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 48 of 1511955Conon Valley Hydro Electric Scheme, Torr Achilty Power Station and Dam  Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 49 of 1511955Great Glen Hydro Electric Scheme, Loch Quoich Dam and Intake Gatehouse TowersKinlochhourn Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 50 of 1511955Hydro cottagesLoch Luichart (Lochluichart) Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 51 of 1511955Parish ChurchAnstruther Wester FifeScotlandSurvey plans by M J Bett - perhps while working with Shearer & Annand
Item 52 of 1511955Premises for J McLellandDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations?
Item 53 of 1511955Raasay LodgeOban ArgyllScotland 
Item 54 of 1511955Water TowerLadybank FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 55 of 151c. 1955Conon Valley Hydro Electric Scheme, Loch Vaich DamContin Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 56 of 151c. 1955Loch Vaich To Loch Glascarnoch TunnelContin Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 57 of 151c. 1955Property, The ScoresSt Andrews FifeScotlandBlock plan - unidentified property
Item 58 of 1511956Elgin CottageDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 59 of 1511957Cassley Power StationLoch Shin SutherlandScotland 
Item 60 of 1511957Duchally Weir And Power StationLoch Shin SutherlandScotland 
Item 61 of 1511957Model VillageCannich Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 62 of 1511957Scottish Hydro-electric dam and power stationLairg SutherlandScotland 
Item 63 of 1511957St Columba's Parish ChurchBurntisland FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 64 of 1511957Viewfield HouseDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 65 of 151c. 1957Hydro HousesInveran SutherlandScotland 
Item 66 of 1511958Barum HouseDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 67 of 1511958David Marshall Lodge and IndicatorAberfoyle PerthshireScotland 
Item 68 of 1511958Hydro-electric generating Station at Culligran  Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 69 of 1511958Little Loch Shin DamLittle Loch Shin SutherlandScotland 
Item 70 of 1511958Loch Chliostair Power Station HarrisWestern IslesScotland 
Item 71 of 1511958Premises of James D BruceDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 72 of 1511958Shin Hydro Electric Scheme, Lairg Power Station and DamInvershin SutherlandScotland 
Item 73 of 1511958UP Church and hallDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 74 of 151c. 1958Glenfarg Reservoir, Chlorination planthouse  PerthshireScotland 
Item 75 of 1511959Aigas Hydro-electric Power Station and DamBeauly Inverness-shireScotlandNMRS drawings
Item 76 of 1511959Bank of Scotland Buildings  GlasgowScotlandAlterations to offices for Penney & MacGeorge
Item 77 of 1511959Craigton Farm, PowmillMuckhart  PerthshireScotland 
Item 78 of 1511959Garage for the Fife Motor CompanyDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 79 of 1511959Inverawe Power StationInverawe ArgyllScotland 
Item 80 of 1511959Kilmorack Hydro-Electric Power Station (Combined Dam and Power House)  Inverness-shireScotlandDrawings in NMRS
Item 81 of 1511959Loch Beannacharan, Deanie Power Station Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 82 of 1511959Lochgelly reservoir, access building and chlorination plantLochgelly FifeScotlandChlorination building
Item 83 of 1511959Office fo Duncan Logan, builderMuir of Ord Ross & CromartyScotland 
Item 84 of 1511959Villa, Garvock HillDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 85 of 151c. 1959Cruachan Power Station and Visitor CentreLochawe ArgyllScotlandVisitor Centre
Item 86 of 151c. 1959Gap sitesDollar ClackmannanshireScotlandScheme with layouts for gap sites
Item 87 of 151c. 1959Holly Tree lodgePool of Muckhart ClackmannanshireScotland 
Item 88 of 151c. 1959Loch Beannacharan Dam Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 89 of 151c. 1959Loch Beannacharan To Culligran Tunnel Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 90 of 151Late 1950sHouses at ContinContin Ross and CromartyScotland 
Item 91 of 1511960sHousing for Kinross Town CouncilKinross Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 92 of 1511960sOffices for NSHEB  DundeeScotland 
Item 93 of 1511960sWightman's Factory (later Wilson & Wightman?)Dunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 94 of 1511960House for Mr McLelland, Gallowridge HillDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 95 of 1511960Lockups, Pittencrieff StreetDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 96 of 1511960Lynburn HouseDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 97 of 151c. 19604 Transy PlaceDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 98 of 151c. 1960Balanton, Forestry Commission officesAberfoyle StirlingshireScotland 
Item 99 of 151c. 1960Commercial developmentsDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 100 of 151c. 1960Kilmorack Hydro housesGlen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 101 of 151c. 1960Water Filter house (?)Strathmiglo FifeScotland 
Item 102 of 1511961Abbot HouseDunfermline FifeScotlandRestoration
Item 103 of 1511961High SchoolPlockton Ross and CromartyScotlandConflict of information - drawings by Shearer and Annand suggest they were responsible but Gifford gives Ross & Cromarty County Architects
Item 104 of 1511961Hillend Cemetery and Waiting RoomInverkeithing FifeScotland 
Item 105 of 1511961HotelHill of Beath FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 106 of 1511961Loch Beannacharan, Lochanside Glen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 107 of 1511961Loch Nant Dam  ArgyllScotland 
Item 108 of 1511961Loch Nant, Main Intake GatehouseLoch Awe ArgyllScotland 
Item 109 of 1511961Offices, Carnegie United Kingdom TrustDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 110 of 1511961Service Reservoir, Inlet Chamber House Saline FifeScotland 
Item 111 of 15119621 Park AvenueDunfermline FifeScotlandDraft deed plans
Item 112 of 1511962House for Mrs BirrelDunfermline FifeScotland 
Item 113 of 1511962Nant Power StationLoch Awe Argyll Scotland 
Item 114 of 1511963River Farrar, BridgeGlen Affric Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 115 of 1511963Villa, Westgarth AvenueColinton EdinburghScotlandAlterations
Item 116 of 1511964Ballingry Parish ChurchBallingry FifeScotlandExtension
Item 117 of 1511964Fisher's Close  EdinburghScotlandRestoration
Item 118 of 1511966Reid's HallLochgelly FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 119 of 151Early 1960sArea offices for the North of Scotland Hydro Electric BoardElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 120 of 151Early 1960sArea offices for the North of Scotland Hydro Electric BoardElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 121 of 151Early 1960sFoyers Power StationFoyers Inverness-shireScotlandActed as consultant architects
Item 122 of 151Early 1960sHousing Estate for councilCowdenbeath FifeScotlandUpgrade of Pre-War Council houses. Also perhaps new houses as well?
Item 123 of 151Early 1960sWardie Community Centre  EdinburghScotland 
Item 124 of 151Late 1960sGlenfiddich DistilleryDufftown BanffshireScotlandReception area
Item 125 of 151Late 1960sHousingLoch Awe ArgyllScotland 
Item 126 of 151Late 1960sHousing for North of Scotland Hydro-Electric Housing SocietyCannich Inverness-shireScotland 
Item 127 of 151Late 1960s or early 1970sHill of Beath Community CentreCowdenbeath FifeScotlandConflict of information - RIBA Directory gives Shearer & Annand
Item 128 of 151Late 1960s or early 1970sHousing for Cowdenbeath Town CouncilCowdenbeath FifeScotland 
Item 129 of 1511970sBranch library  DundeeScotland 
Item 130 of 1511970sDam, water treatment works and housing  FifeScotland 
Item 131 of 1511970sHousing and community Local Authority housing  DundeeScotland 
Item 132 of 1511970sHousing and community Local Authority housing (for the disabled)  DundeeScotland 
Item 133 of 1511970sLaboratories for the North of Scotland Hydro-Electric BoardPitlochry PerthshireScotland 
Item 134 of 1511970sSheltered housing  DundeeScotland 
Item 135 of 1511970Commercial developmentPerth PerthshireScotland 
Item 136 of 1511970Kinross Central RedevelopmentKinross Kinross-shireScotland 
Item 137 of 1511972Halfway HotelKingseat FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 138 of 151After 1975Community CentreDalgety Bay FifeScotland 
Item 139 of 151After 1975Community CentreCrosshill FifeScotland 
Item 140 of 151After 1975Community CentreLochore FifeScotland 
Item 141 of 1511976St John's ChurchKirkcaldy FifeScotland 
Item 142 of 1511979Dunfermline Building SocietyDunfermline Fife Scotland 
Item 143 of 1511979Reid's HallLochgelly FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 144 of 151Early 1970s(?)Area Office for NSHEBCruachan ArgyllScotland 
Item 145 of 151Early 1970s(?)Area offices for NSHEBElgin MorayshireScotland 
Item 146 of 151Early 1970sHouses at ContinContin Ross and CromartyScotlandNorth of Scotland Hydro-Electric Housing Society houses
Item 147 of 1511980sAbbey Church HallDunfermline FifeScotlandRestoration work
Item 148 of 1511980Dalgety Parish ChurchDalgety FifeScotland 
Item 149 of 1511982Seath Hall, Sheltered HousingDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations
Item 150 of 151c. 1982Dunfermline AbbeyDunfermline FifeScotlandRestoration
Item 151 of 1511991Seath Hall, Sheltered HousingDunfermline FifeScotlandAlterations


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architectural practice:
Item 1 of 4Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp7
Item 2 of 4Pride, Glen L1999The Kingdom of Fife2nd EditionThe Rutland Pressp14
Item 3 of 4RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 
Item 4 of 4RIBA1980Directory of Practices 1980   

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architectural practice:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 1Builder28 April 1950  p570