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BEALL, Walter John

Born: 1876
Died: 1948 02 17


Was articled to T Brownlow Thompson in Hull, England for three years from 1891 until 1894. He then joined Charles Hadfield's office in Sheffield where he remained for a period of four years, 1894 to 1898 before setting up practice on his own account. After several years of independent practice he left Britain to come to South Africa in 1901. He worked first as a draughtsman for the Natal Government Railways in Pietermaritzburg and by January 1902 was working as an assistant architect in Natal Public Works Department under the architect AE DAINTON, who appears to have left the department during recession/retrenchment some time in 1907/1908. With the post-Anglo-Boer War re-organisation Beall was promoted to permanent employment in the Natal Civil Service in 1903, with offices in the Midlands office in Pietermaritzburg. Beall retained his job in spite of the 1908 retrenchment and was appointed to the post of architectural draughtsman in April 1908, receiving a salary increase (he recorded this in his papers for associate membership of the RIBA in 1910: 'the architect and his staff, with the exception of self, being 'retrenched'). In the same papers his former employer Hadfield commended Beall for 'his character, energy and perseverance.'

In 1908 Beall was appointed Architect of the Natal PUBLIC WORKS DEPARTMENT. By 1910 he was assisted by two draughtsmen: HW SPICER and GF EDMONSTONE and in the same year acted as an assessor for the Council of the Technical Institute for the competition drawings for the Natal Technical Institute. Following further reorganisation of the Natal Public Works Department on Union (1910), Beall was appointed to the then most responsible architectural post in the Public Works Department, Natal Province in 1912, that of Assistant Architect. In 1917 he was appointed Assistant District Engineer, District of Cape Town where he remained for two years. He went on to hold the same post successively in Pretoria, Johannesburg, King William's Town, Middelburg and Ladysmith. Ultimately he served as District Engineer for Natal in the seven years prior to his retirement in 1932. Following his retirement Beall was a member of the Natal Townships Board from 1945 to 1948.

ARIBA 1910. (ARIBA nom papers (1910) 2078; Hillebrand 1975, 1986; NAD MSCE 329/1948; Natal civil service lists 1905-1908; NPA arc; PSL 1914:213; PSL 1921; RIBA biog file (inf Miss Beall, PMB))

All truncated references not fully cited in 'References' are those of Joanna Walker's original text and cited in full in the 'Bibliography' entry of the Lexicon.

List of projects

With photographs
With notes

Boys' School, Havelock Rd: 1910. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Bulwer Park School: 1910. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Girls' School, Berg St, adds: 1910. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Matthew Nathan House, Maritzburg College: 1909. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect
Natal Government Asylum, Home for Private Patients (North Park), Town Hill: 1910. Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal - Architect

Books citing BEALL

Brown, SM. 1969. Architects and others: an annotated list of people of South African interest appearing in the RIBA Journal 1880 1925. Johannesburg: Unpublished dissertation, University of the Witwatersrand. pp