Basic Biographical Details

Name: James Miller
Designation: Architect
Born: 27 June 1906
Died: 13 November 1979
Bio Notes: James Miller was born on 27 June 1906, the son of James Morris Miller, engineer, and his wife Helen Pollock Galbraith. He commenced his architectural training on 1 March 1921 in the office of Launcelot Hugh Ross of Glasgow. After two years there he moved to the office of Ninian Macwhannell, where he spent five years before joining Wylie, Wright & Wylie as draughtsman. In 1932 he became a draughtsman to James Taylor Thomson. By this time he had completed the certificate course at Glasgow School of Architecture, and he passed the qualifying exam in Edinburgh at the end of that year, enabling him to be admitted ARIBA in early 1933, his proposers being Thomas Harold Hughes and William James Smith.

Miller had a family connection with the Dundee area and he moved to work there about the start of the Second World War as an assistant to James McLellan Brown, Dundee City Architect. Kyle McKibben, Miller's nephew, tells this story from his uncle's early days in Dundee: 'I remember an anecdote from this time, which involved him being sent to make a sketch plan of a potential industrial estate beside the Tay, and his arrest as a possible German spy. Someone had to come down from the city architect's office to vouch for him before he was released'.

He was called up for War Service and spent the war designing barracks and other structures for the Army in India. After the War he settled in the West of Scotland becoming Dunbartonshire Deputy County Architect about 1945, moving to the Lanarkshire County Architect's Department (possibly as County Architect) from 1950-1953 and subsequently returning to Dumbarton as County Architect in which post he remained for the rest of his career.

He resigned his RIBA membership in 1977 and died in the Victoria Infirmary, Helensburgh on 13 November 1979, survived by his wife Mary McDonald MacKenzie.

Private and Business Addresses

The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:
 AddressTypeDate fromDate toNotes
Item 1 of 823, West Abercromby Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivate 1979 
Item 2 of 8Allanbank, Greenloaning, Perthshire, ScotlandPrivate1933 * This was a fishing hotel which Miller's father had taken over after his early retirement.
Item 3 of 8Roseangle, Dundee, ScotlandPrivate1939  
Item 4 of 818, Park Circus, Glasgow, ScotlandPrivate/business(?)1950 *  
Item 5 of 8Lanarkshire House/191, Ingram Street, Glasgow, ScotlandBusinessc. 1950c. 1953 
Item 6 of 8Radnor Park School, Clydebank, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness(?)1958 *  
Item 7 of 8Ferry Road, Old Kilpatrick, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandBusiness1959(?)  
Item 8 of 82, West Abercromby Street, Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, ScotlandPrivatec. 1977  

* earliest date known from documented sources.

Employment and Training


The following individuals or organisations employed or trained this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 7Launcelot Hugh Ross1 March 19211923Apprentice 
Item 2 of 7Ninian Macwhannell19231928Apprentice(?) 
Item 3 of 7Wylie, Wright & Wylie19281932Draughtsman 
Item 4 of 7James Taylor Thomson19321933Draughtsman 
Item 5 of 7James McLellan Brownc. 1939c. 1940AssistantIn Dundee City Architect's Department
Item 6 of 7Dundee City Architect's Departmentc. 1939c. 1940AssistantUnder James McLellan Brown, City Architect
Item 7 of 7Dumbarton County Architect's Office1945  Initially working as Deputy County Architect. Returned later as County Architect, per Builder 17 April 1959 p758.

Employees or Pupils

The following individuals were employed or trained by this architect (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate fromDate toPositionNotes
Item 1 of 1George S Shanksc. 1930 * Assistant 

* earliest date known from documented sources.


RIBA Proposers

The following individuals proposed this architect for RIBA membership (click on an item to view details):
 NameDate proposedNotes
Item 1 of 2Thomas Harold HughesEarly 1933for Associateship
Item 2 of 2(Professor) William James SmithEarly 1933for Associateship

Buildings and Designs

This architect 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 211935Mid Craigie Housing EstateMid Craigie DundeeScotland 
Item 2 of 211950Houses and Police Station, CaldercruixCaldercruix LanarkshireScotland 
Item 3 of 211950Housing, Carn Walk  LanarkshireScotland 
Item 4 of 215 December 1952Fire Station, AbingtonAbington LanarkshireScotlandNew fire station
Item 5 of 2126 December 1952Public library, BlantyreBlantyre LanarkshireScotlandPlans in hand for additions
Item 6 of 211953Police houses and garage, ChrystonChryston LanarkshireScotlandPlans in hand for new police houses and garage
Item 7 of 211953Police houses, garage, etc, MuirheadMuirhead LanarkshireScotlandTo prepare plans for new buildings
Item 8 of 211953Public School, BlantyreBlantyre LanarkshireScotlandPlans in hand for annexe
Item 9 of 2120 February 1953Police Station, BellshillBellshill LanarkshireScotlandAlterations and additions
Item 10 of 211955Bearsden AcademyBearsden GlasgowScotlandAs Dumbarton County Architect
Item 11 of 214 April 1958Assessor's OfficeDumbarton  Scotlandaccepting tender applications per Builder p654 - CHECK role
Item 12 of 216 June 1958Divisional Police HeadquartersMilngavie DunbartonshireScotlandas County Architect
CHECK that this is correct person 'J. Miller, County A' and role - accepting tenders per Builder p1062
Item 13 of 216 June 1958Shops and Houses at HaldaneBalloch DunbartonshireScotlandas County Architect
CHECK person and role - accepting tenders per Builder p1062
Item 14 of 2125 July 1958Killermont Primary School IBearsden GlasgowScotlandaccepting tenders as County A, per Builder p165
Item 15 of 2112 September 1958Gilmour Street Secondary SchoolClydebank DunbartonshireScotlandaccepting tenders as County A per Builder p465
It would seem likely that the school designed by Harvey, Scott & Associates is this one and Miller's role is simply that of organising tenders.
Item 16 of 2112 September 1958MortuaryKirkintilloch DunbartonshireScotlandaccepting tenders as County A per Builder p465
CHECK role - also architect?
Item 17 of 2119 September 1958Roman Catholic Primary SchoolCumbernauld New Town  Scotlandas Dunbarton County A per Builder p508
CHECK role - also architect?
Item 18 of 2117 October 1958Bonhill Primary SchoolBonhill DunbartonshireScotlandaccepting tenders for timber huts as County A per Builder p675
CHECK if any design role
Item 19 of 2117 October 1958St Patrick RC High SchoolDumbarton DunbartonshireScotlandaccepting tenders as County A per Builder p675
CHECK if any design role
Item 20 of 215 December 1958Kildrum Primary SchoolCumbernauld LanarkshireScotlandaccepting tenders as County A per Builder p981
Item 21 of 2117 April 1959Twechar Canal BridgeTwechar DunbartonshireScotlandaccepting tenders as County A per Builder p758


Bibliographic References

The following books contain references to this architect:
Item 1 of 3Glendinning, Miles1997Rebuilding Scotland: The Postwar Vision, 1945-75  Tuckwell Press Ltdp172 Kildrum Primary School
Item 2 of 3Information from Kyle McKibben Information from Kyle McKibben via website  Sent December 2007
Item 3 of 3RIBA1950The RIBA Kalendar 1950-1951 London: Royal Institute of British Architects 

Periodical References

The following periodicals contain references to this architect:
 Periodical NameDateEditionPublisherNotes
Item 1 of 9Builder9 June 1950  p793
Item 2 of 9Builder5 December 1952  p852
Item 3 of 9Builder20 December 1952  There seems to be some confusion about the references for the job at Blantyre so both recorded.
Item 4 of 9Builder2 February 1953  p32. There seems to be some confusion about the references for the job at Blantyre so both recorded.
Item 5 of 9Builder20 February 1953  p321 (listed as J S Miller).
Item 6 of 9Builder15 May 1953  p776
Item 7 of 9Builder22 May 1953  p812
Item 8 of 9Builder5 June 1958  p1062
Item 9 of 9Builder17 April 1959  p758

Archive References

The following archives hold material relating to this architect:
 SourceArchive NameSource Catalogue No.Notes
Item 1 of 2H M Register HouseDeath Register  
Item 2 of 2RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert MuseumRIBA Nomination Papers A no5080 (combined box 55)