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Sketchbooks 63 & 64

Summer 2020

Some signs that lockdown’s ending: ‘carport cinema’ with Amy & Ali.
People coming to visit (in the garden): my mum.
A garden visit from Nicolas the physio.
A trip to Lucinda, Stuart & Tommy’s in Dunbar, the furthest we’ve been in months.
With them on Belhaven Beach.
Out in cafes drawing the world again, this time in Broughton Street.
And to cap it all, a holiday. We stayed for a week in Culloden and made some trips. This is Dunrobin Castle.
Fraser & Innes gaming in beautiful Dornoch.
At Chanonry Point, opposite Fort George, dolphin watching.
Cawdor Castle
Julie reading on the beach at Nairn.
We stayed in the Station Master’s house in Culloden. It had been used by Murdoch Paterson, engineer, to oversee the construction of his masterpiece: the adjacent Culloden Viaduct.
A friendly rail engineer took me out onto it as he closed the line for engineering works. A spectacular sight from above and below.
Another view of the cottage.
Some signs that not all is back to normal: I turned up at the wrong hospital for a long awaited appointment. They just took me anyway as there was absolutely nobody else about.
Our Tuesday talks are still online.
That’s quite hand for sketching them though.
This is the view from Derek’s good value tea cabin in Granton. It was demolished not long after I did this sketch so this one is a historical reminder.
A ‘Morrison’ bike I bought. I’ve been keen on bikes forever but never knew they sold Raleigh’s in New Zealand as ‘Morrison’s’. Delighted to get my hands on one.
One last go at fixing my original Brompton.
Family stuff. Eileen, Michael and Janice at Anna’s third birthday party.
My mum at Dunfallandy.
Alastair at Dunfallandy
Some of the veg we grew in the garden.
When I planted these I thought we might run out of food. They’re a bit earthy for my tastes so I’m very glad things didn’t work out that way.
Socialising at the Patersons. We stick to the garden, they get to go inside. Life’s better, but it’s by no means normal.

Sketchbook 58 September ’19

Craig Jones Rowley
Craig Jones Rowley making lunch at HTA Design in Edinburgh. The sketch ended up in a cook book we’ve made that celebrates our culture, our work, and the food we’ve being feeding everyone for 50 years.
This is the London office lunch queue.
Some drawings of the family. This is Michael, or ‘Grumpy’ as the kids know him.
Isla sitting in a box
In the livingroom
Watching the kids skiing at Hillend.
I cooked 50 burgers for the kids, undercooked a couple for the adults.
I went to Knockhill to watch Michael Crees.
Local man Rory Butcher won.
Nic Hamilton’s Ford Focus being prepared for the final race.
Speaking in Glasgow City Chambers to an interesting audience of German and Scottish construction professionals. I was talking about off site manufacture, and how it’s changing everything.
I learned some basic first aid with the Scouts. One of those things where you wonder why you didn’t learn it years ago.
With HTA Sketchclub in Leith. We sketched a few things: I liked this SuHuHa project and it’s proximity to different neighbours.
Ben handing over his RIBA Presidency to Alan Jones after an excellent two years.
Listening to Phil Jupitus interview David Mach.
Getting the bike out around Perthshire with Balfour Beatty and our hosts Synergy Cycles.
The HTA team round the coffee point. A good spot to catch up on wha’s happening.

Sketch Book 55 – April 2019

The theme is maybe years, or numbers. Seven kids in the rain in a hot tub at Tom Bent’s birthday bash.

At the Macallan distillery. Twelve year old for me.

We cycled round Loch an Eilean with the three kids and stopped to hear the echo from the island castle.

Innes losing his first tooth.

Sketch One from the excellent Highland Folk Museum in Kingussie.

Sketch Two

Isla racing up the Landmark climbing rock.

Peabody talking about numbers, huge financial ones, and how you reconcile them with a social purpose.

Three Crabs in Henry’s Cellar Bar.

Helping at the 30th Craigalmond Scout Coffee Morning.

On the DLR. I think  it’s far harder to sketch on the DLR than it was six months ago. We have thousands of new passengers from Londons new housing developments, and there’s no longer any space.

Two memorials commemorating the 36,000 who died in the First and Second World Wars with no grave but the sea.

Four blocks nicely composed into a West Edinburgh housing development.

Julie sorting our summer holiday.

Three judges and one of our team at the AJ100 Awards judging.

In York Station waiting for the last train home.

At Silverknowes with about eighty Scouts, Cubs and Beavers.

DLR sketch two.

Soderberg in Soho. The first outside Edinburgh I think. Very nice too.

That’s a sketchbook, minus a bunch of drawings of what we might do the house, and I’m not putting them up here.


Planning Ahead – February 2017

A day by Tower Bridge, business planning.

170203 PartnersIt’s an awayday, so there are some ‘Post It’ notes on the wall and someone’s armed with a whiteboard marker.

But how do you decide what you want to do?

170208 - MetroConsult the Metro?

170221 - SupurbiaListen to ‘thought leaders’…

170207 - HTA Talksand wise heads with a life time of experience to pass on.

170213 - albert dock

Visit stimulating places,

170213 - whapping docklike Liverpool’s Albert Dock.

17161217 Train after partyChat it through with your colleagues…
170228 Coffee… and reflect over coffee.

The London Sketch Club – 30 September 2015

The London Sketch Club was founded in 1898 by a few prosperous illustrators of the day. It’s been on the go since and I enjoyed some dining and sketching in their fantastic first floor studio on Dilke Street in Chelsea.London Sketch Club - 30 September 2015It’s a club open only to those who make their living from drawing. And you have to be invited. Surrounded by silhouettes of past members, their beautiful works, and the items that make a studio a studio, I gave a talk on what I enjoy about sketching.

The rich history of the place makes for a great atmosphere and hopefully I can go back to do some life drawing one Tuesday night. Many thanks to the London Society for the invitation to talk, and the sketch club for hosting.

Cycle to MIPIM 2016 Launch – 29 September 2015

At the launch event for Cycle to MIPIM 2016.

Cycle to MIPIM - 20151450 km from London to Cannes in five days. All for good cause: children’s charity Coram. It’s in March, so bring on some Scottish winter training on the bike.

Start! – 15 August 2015

Lotus founder and all round genius Colin Chapman designed the Lotus Seven in 1957. By the early seventies it no longer fitted the more luxurious aspirations of Lotus, so Caterham bought the rights and carried on building it. Almost 60 years after it was first designed you can still buy more or less the same car.caterham 150815It’s simplicity itself. I love that it makes up for not having much power by not having much of anything at all. It’s tiny: you can walk around it in a parking space. ‘Just add lightness’ was the Chapman design philosophy and we enjoyed the thrilling results on a sunny day in Fife.Broadwick and berwick 150815In Soho in London. A little extra space on the corner of Berwick Street and Broadwick Street makes for a busy spot. People using their phones to text, talk and find their way to their next meeting. This corner gives them room to pause without being in the way and lets me watch urban life in narrow streets with lowish buildings. Lots of activity in not a lot of space.

hta london- 150819When the London office moved to Kentish Town there weren’t many cafes selling fancy and expensive coffee. There are now. Places change and something gets lost. Off to the board meeting to discuss the ethics of working in Uganda, and London.

fii 150816

Start! F & I are off to school.

A conference day – 24 June 2014

People should get more information to be able to compare the homes they’re considering buying: space, cost in use, broadband speed etc. The Housing Forum are pushing it and I went along to hear Ben Derbyshire talking us through how it would work.Performance labelling 24 June 2014

It seems like a good idea, there’s more about it here:

I was at a conference, so was quickly on to a new topic, a debate on Regeneration and particularly the accusation that it’s a process of gentrification. We need to improve the physical place but we need to improve the lives of the existing population, not just displace them. No disagreement there, but different ideas about how that can be achieved and how the approach in the south isn’t going to work for the rest of the country.Regeneration Round Table 24 June 2014Then some football watching followed by a meal with Crestel. This was generally relaxed but interspersed with some emotional discussion of the upcoming referendum.

Crestel 24 June 2014I feel fortunate to be taking part in a vote that arouses this amount of passion, a marked contrast to the parliamentary elections and the main stream parties.

Dundee Planning Committee 18 February 2014

At the Planning Committee to speak in favour of the third phase of our regeneration project at Mill o’ Mains in Dundee, It’s for 70 homes, mostly replacing old and unpopular flats with new houses. Dundee Planning Committee 18 February 2014I’ve been turning up at planning committees in Dundee since 1999, so some of the faces are familiar. Perhaps that’s why they didn’t let me speak.  I watched our democracy in action: councillors standing up for another application for housing for folk with mild learning difficulties, in the face of considerable local opposition.

They approved our proposals too. It’s another step, but there’s still along way to go to complete the transformation that the Home Group are aiming for.


Bernard’s last HTA Board 20/03/13

Slightly out of sequence, this is Bernard Hunt’s last board meeting as chairman of HTA. I’ve learned a fair bit from a number of architectural and business ‘fathers’ and I think I learned a fair bit here.  Bernard had been at the helm of the firm for 43 years. We bought him out and, on 12th April, set up HTA Design LLP. Bernard Hunt, HTAI hope the body language is be better going forwards!