I FIRST encountered Charles's relentless enthusiasm for architecture exactly 25 years ago, when he gave a series of guest lectures at Strathclyde University on Art Deco in Scotland. Greatly perturbed at what he rightly identified as the loss of buildings which were not yet fully appreciated, he saw it as his task to enthuse the architects of tomorrow with an understanding of worth. He was, of course, entirely correct and within a few years we began to study and protect our 20th century architectural heritage in a much more focussed way.
Charles was a key member of the conservation movement throughout his life and was more than happy to offer help and advice - sometimes with a strong dose of timely badgering - to those who required it. He enjoyed debate, to really debate the underlying issues, and to look at how we could care for our historic sites without preserving them in aspic. He stressed time and time again the need for a forward-looking vision for our architecture, converting me to his cause on the back of a fascinating list of projects from Denmark to France by way of Germany.
The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland likewise has good reason to be grateful to Charles. He served on our national committee during the early 1990s, bringing to bear his hands-on understanding of architectural importance to the campaign to protect historic buildings. He was involved in our 1984 Scottish Pioneers of the Greek Revival, regularly contributed to our annual Journal, wrote pieces for our members' magazine, organised a conference on Scottish Architects' papers, and supported our work across the country.
The shelf in my office is awash with architectural books, but those by Charles - and there are a great many - are better thumbed than most. His RIAS/Landmark/Rutland Press guides provide excellent illustrations of what has been lost as well as what still exists. His work on the Scottish Chateaux has pencil notes down the margin on points to discuss further, whilst The Scottish Thirties is a survivor from that first lecture he gave me. Looking back, I'm not sure how he ever had the time to sit down and I'm not entirely sure that I ever saw him do so.
Charles's exuberant architectural opinions and helpful advice have sustained me throughout my career. The Architectural Heritage Society of Scotland and I will both miss him greatly.
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