Privilege to work with architect

Hastings Observer letters
Hastings Observer letters

From: Humphrey Atkinson, Fern Road, St Leonards

I was delighted to see Ion Castro’s article featuring Henry Ward, Hastings’ ‘forgotten architect’.

When I left school in 1959, I joined the practice of Henry Ward & Partners and worked there as a trainee architectural assistant for seven years.

By this time, Henry Ward’s eldest son Henry D Ward L.R.I.B.A A.I Struct. E was semi retired and the practice was run by new partners.

The office had moved from Bank Buildings to Havelock Road.

Most of the design work was of a domestic nature, although I recall, in the early 1960s we did a scheme for refurbishment to part of the De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill.

There was a store room in the office with wooden racks holding many dusty paper rolls of archive drawings tied up with string.

Presumably they contained many of the architectural gems referred to in Ion Castro’s article and others such as The Buchanan Hospital, Hastings and Bexhill Town Halls, alterations to Royal Victoria Hotel and many more.

I wish I had untied some of those rolls and had a look! I guess some years later they were all disposed of. What a pity if that was the case.

On reflection, it was a great privilege to start my architectural career with a practice that had helped shape the town and left buildings we can all be proud of.