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History of Muir Walker and Pride Ltd.


Jesse Hall was born in 1820 at Bowden, Roxburghshire and in 1850 set up an architectural practice in St Andrews. In 1862 Hall took on as an assistant David Henry, born in Carnoustie in 1835, who had previously been apprenticed as a cabinetmaker. After a period gaining wider experience in Edinburgh, Henry became a partner in 1874 but Hall withdrew from the partnership in 1884 to concentrate solely on his responsibilities as Superintendent of Buildings for the government and from 1890 onwards for the University Court. He retired in 1905 and died in December 1906. Henry continued the practice until his death in February 1914.


William Hill Walker was born, the son of James Walker, farmer of Kingsbarns and his wife Jessie, later of Dauphinhill, St Andrews. He was an assistant with Hall & Henry of Church Square, St Andrews when he was taken into partnership by David Henry, the surviving partner of the practice, in 1913.


Frank Pride is born on 28 March 1896, the son of Robert F L Pride, secretary of the linen and jute firm of Cox Brothers, and later (from 1921) of Jute Industries. He had been articled to Leslie Ower (a family friend) and his partner David Lindsay Allan in July 1912, attending Patrick Hill Thoms’s classes at Dundee Technical College from 1913.


World War 1 begins and both William Hill Walker and Frank Pride go into service. William Hill Walker was promoted sergeant in the 1/7th Black Watch in 1919 and was awarded the Belgian Croix de Guerre for his role in the advance on Ypres. Frank Pride served with the Royal Engineers from 1916. He had been commissioned 2nd Lieutenant and awarded the Military Cross for constructing a fort bridge over the Escaut River in the Schildt in October 1918


After World War 1 the office still at Church Square, was reopened and it was in the name of William Hill Walker only. His practice at first consisted mainly of police stations and houses and domestic work, mainly alterations.


Frank Pride returns home and he joins Thoms’s firm of Thoms & Wilkie at 21 South Tay Street, Dundee, which had taken over the Ower & Allan firm on Leslie Ower’s death in 1916. In 1925, by which time Wilkie had effectively retired from practice, Pride had been sent to St Andrews to take over the practice of the completely unrelated Captain William Walker who had died in February 1923


Pride had completed the work in hand to Thoms’s entire satisfaction, supervised the construction of Thoms & Wilkie’s County Buildings in Cupar, and begun to attract new business but Thoms had had no interest in continuing the St Andrews branch office. This resulted in Pride commencing practice on his own account in April 1927, and merging it with Walker’s long-established one as Walker & Pride in the same year.


New branch is opened at at 8 Catherine Street, Cupar. Pride was admitted LRIBA in late 1931, his proposers being Thoms, William Salmond who was then president of the Dundee Institute of Architects, and the then secretary of the same Institute.


William Hill Walker retires, being bought out by Pride, who continued the practice as sole partner but retained the practice title of Walker & Pride.


The office was closed in September when Pride was re-commissioned in the Royal Engineers and was in charge of a bomb disposal squad during the Merseyside blitz.


Frank Pride’s son Glen L Pride was taken into partnership and the office moved to the former Conservative Club at Mercat House, 1 Church Street, St Andrews, but because of national service Glen did not return to the office until 1955.


Frank Pride retries with the practice averaging 100 per year inspections and valuations of properties on behalf of building societies, insurance companies and banks between the mid-1950’s and his retirement.


With Glen L Pride being the only sole partner the practice merges with Muir Associates and becomes Muir Walker and Pride Ltd.