AN INFLUENCING force in architecture across Moray, the Highlands and North of Scotland, Walter Ashley Bartlam (right), has died at the age of 95.
Bill, as he was known, was born on February 14, 1917 at Erdington, Birmingham, where he was educated at King Edward High School.
His desire to go to university to study architecture was delayed by World War Two, when he enrolled in the Army at the beginning of hostilities and went to France with the Military Police as part of the British Expeditionary Force.
He came back through Dunkirk and transferred to the Royal Engineers, where he was sent to Pinefield Camp in Elgin prior to being commissioned. It was here that he trained in pontoon bridging from the RE base at Findhorn, now part of the Findhorn Boatyard. In those days the troops marched from Elgin to Findhorn, as traffic was scarce.
During his posting to Elgin, he met Isabel Junner from a well-known Elgin business family, and married her in 1942.
Mr Bartlam was commissioned into the Royal Engineers at Aldershot in 1941, and prior to the D-Day invasion, he was posted to Aberlour House to take part in the engineering aspect of the invasion, and was involved in some of the many invasion exercises that took place along the coast from Nairn to Burghead.
He embarked at Southampton on June 4, 1944 for the invasion, and after the surrender of the Germans, was involved in the run-down of PoW camps, which now housed Germans rather than Allies. He returned to the UK and was demobbed in 1946.
He immediately enrolled as a veteran at Birmingham University to study architecture, and during the holiday periods he would stay in Elgin with his wife and two young daughters and work for Elgin architect A.J. Morrison.
After completing his degree course in 1949, the job Mr Bartlam had hoped for with Morrison did not materialise, so he set up his own practice at 106 High Street, Elgin.
He became an increasingly influential character in architecture in Moray, but also the Highlands and North of Scotland.
His business grew over the years and eventually became the Ashley Bartlam Partnership, a name that is still in business at 41 Moss Street today.
He was one of the first architects to introduce the English practice of appointing a main contractor, through which the project architect worked for all major jobs, instead of the traditional Scottish practice of managing all the individual and sub-contractors.
He pioneered the concept of open-plan offices for the HIDB office in Inverness, and gained three civic awards. He was a recognised architect for the Highlands and Islands Development Board, SDA and many local councils, including Rothes, where he was the borough architect.