Basic Biographical Details
|Name: ||Chessor Lille Matthew |
|Designation: ||Architect |
|Born: ||22 February 1913 |
|Died: ||15 September 2011 |
|Bio Notes: ||Chessor Lille Matthew was born at Smiddyseat, Tyrie, near Fraserburgh, on 22 February 1913, the son of William Matthew, master joiner, and his wife Helen. He was educated at schools in Tyrie and Strichen. He was articled to George Watt of Aberdeen in 1929, attending evening classes at the School of Architecture, Robert Gordon's College. From 1932 to 1935 he attended day classes at the School, receiving his diploma in July the latter year. He was then awarded the Byrne Scholarship which enabled him to remain at the School for a further year's post-graduate study. He was admitted ARIBA on 11 May 1936, his proposers being James Brown Nicol, T Scott Sutherland and R Leslie Rollo, the latter describing him as an 'outstanding student'. His nomination papers do not give a business address but at that time he was living at Whitewell, by Fraserburgh. In the same year he took up a post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture, where he remained until 1941. During this period he spent three weeks studying in Italy and spent his vacations in the offices of Ashley & Newman and E Vincent Harris. |
From 1942 to 1944 Matthew worked as a Planning Officer in the Air Ministry Works Directorate. In 1946 he returned to the Welsh School of Architecture as senior lecturer. He passed the Town Planning Institute's final exam in 1948 and was elected an Associate of the latter Institute in 1950. In the previous year he and other staff of the Welsh School of Architecture had secured permission to engage in limited private practice, and he subsequently carried out a number of works in Cardiff.
Matthew remained at the Welsh School of Architecture until 1957, spending his final year there researching the growth of urban development in East Glamorgan and publishing a series of articles on the development of the piazza. He then succeeded John Needham as Head of the School of Architecture at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art, part of the Dundee Institute of Art and Technology. He was elected FRIAS and FRIBA in 1958.
Matthew was very dynamic and an exceptionally able administrator, serving as a representative of the RIAS's Dundee chapter by 1964. His articulate and incisive style won the confidence of the governors of the Dundee Institute in a way that the astute but more philosophical painter Hugh Adam Crawford, the College of Art’s Principal, had never quite been able to do; and although an architect as the principal of a Scottish college of art was unheard of at the time, they unhesitatingly appointed him principal when Crawford retired in 1963. Immediately on appointment, or perhaps even before, he set out the administrative staff required for the way ahead, something the overworked Crawford had always been denied. The College grew rapidly and following a two-year enquiry, the Institute was split into two separate colleges – Dundee College of Technology and Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art – in 1974. This resulted in the Schools of Architecture (under James Paul) and Town and Regional Planning (under Roger Roscoe) becoming departments of a new Faculty of Environmental Studies at the University of Dundee, although still housed within the buildings of the College of Art. The University appointed Professor Stanley Jones of the Department of Geography as first Dean of Faculty with the intention of developing new undergraduate courses in Environmental Sciences, but this proved hard to achieve in competition with established courses elsewhere.
The college's Matthew building was erected during his tenure of the post as principal. He retained the post until his retirement in 1978, after which Town & Regional Planning became a faculty on their own, Geography reverting to the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences.
Outwith his work, Matthew pursued various interests which included a love of France, spending several weeks in the Alpes Maritime each year, fine wines, gardening, DIY and old cars. David Walker remembers him as ‘not tall, but he had extraordinary energy. He impressed from the moment of first meeting with an incisive mind which went straight to the core of whatever was under discussion, and as a manager was both immediately persuasive and decisive. These were very necessary qualities in the difficult financial conditions of his last five years as principal in 1973–8.’
Matthew died on 15 September 2011. He was predeceased by his wife, Margaret, whom he had married in 1939, but is survived by his son Stuart, his grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Private and Business Addresses
|The following private or business addresses are associated with this architect:|
| ||Address||Type||Date from||Date to||Notes|
|Whitewell, Fraserburgh (near), Aberdeenshire, Scotland||Private||1936 *|| || |
|Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff, Wales||Business||1936||1957|| |
|Sch of Architecture, Duncan of Jordanstone Coll., Dundee, Scotland||Business||1957|| || |
|Tiscarra Lodge,/105, Monifieth Road, Broughty Ferry, Dundee, Scotland||Private||1958 *|| || |
|Craigmore, Fairfield Road, West Ferry, Dundee, Scotland||Private/business(?)||1964 *|| || |
* 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):|
| ||Name||Date from||Date to||Position||Notes|
|George Watt||1929||1932||Apprentice|| |
|Ashley & Newman||After 1936||Before 1941||Assistant||Only during holidays from his post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture|
|Emanuel Vincent Harris||After 1936||Before 1941||Assistant||Only during holidays from his post as lecturer at the Welsh School of Architecture|
Buildings and Designs
|The following books contain references to this architect:|
|Municipal Annual||1964||Scottish Municipal Annual||1964-1965|| || |
|The following periodicals contain references to this architect:|
| ||Periodical Name||Date||Edition||Publisher||Notes|
|Builder||16 August 1957|| || ||'Appointment' p346|
|Builder||28 August 1964|| || ||p411|
|Herald, The||8 November 2011|| || || |
|Scotsman||1 October 2011|| || ||Obituary|
|The following archives hold material relating to this architect:|
| ||Source||Archive Name||Source Catalogue No.||Notes|
|Professor David M Walker personal archive||Professor David M Walker, notes and collection of archive material|| ||Recollections of David M Walker|
|RIAS, Rutland Square||Records of membership|| || |
|RIBA Archive, Victoria & Albert Museum||RIBA Nomination Papers|| ||A no6052 (stored under F5330, combined box 71); F no 5330 (combined box 71)|