HAWARD, Birkin (1912-2002)

1912 - 2002

Birkin Haward 1912-2002

Birkin Haward, was born at 93 Hatfield Road, Ipswich on 7 October 1912, son of Arthur William Haward (1882-1942), an insurance clerk, and his wife Elsie Emily née Birkin [Haward q.v.]. Educated at Ipswich, Felixstowe and Norwich and articled to Ipswich architect Henry Munro Cautley (1875-1959) and in 1932 at the Bartlett School of Architecture, London, qualifying in 1934. Birkin worked at the office of Mendelsohn and Chermayeff, in Oxford Street, London and in 1935, he went to Palestine, where Mendelsohn had a number of commissions and worked on several major buildings. Although the partnership ended in 1936, Haward remained for Chermayeff's solo projects until 1938. Although a member of the Communist Party, Birkin volunteered in 1943, and saw action in France after D-Day with the 82 Assault Regiment of the Royal Engineers. In 1946 he joined Ipswich architect, Martin Slater [q.v.], which in 1953 became Johns, Slater and Haward and their work included Rushmere Infant School, which won a Festival of Britain architectural award in 1951. One of his best buildings was his own timber house in Westerfield Road, Ipswich (1960), the year that he became the senior partner. His mother had been on the committee of the Ipswich Art Club and Birkin was a member from 1946 and exhibited regularly with the Club in the decade after World War Two, he was also a member and exhibitor at the Norfolk & Norwich Art Circle 1949-1952 from Ipswich. A trustee of the Ipswich Art Club from 1955 and at the Centenary exhibition in 1974, he exhibited a watercolour 'Salhouse Church, Norfolk' and in 1977 exhibited from 108 Westerfield Road, Ipswich two works 'Marshes, Salthouse' and 'Church Lane, Salthouse'. He had a productive retirement, researching and publishing on Victorian church stained glass in Norfolk (1984) and Suffolk (1989), making measured drawings of medieval church arcades (1993) and, with Cynthia Brown and Bob Kindred, compiled a 'Dictionary of Architects of Suffolk Buildings 1800-1914' (1991). He married at Holborn, London in 1936, Ipswich born Muriel A. née Wright (29 July 1913-1956), an artist by training. Birkin died at Ipswich on 9 February 2002 and was survived by his three sons, including Birkin [q.v.] and Bill (William) [q.v.], and a daughter.