Sidmouth architect under research

PUBLISHED: 15:11 30 November 2008 | UPDATED: 11:46 17 June 2010

A WOMAN who worked and now lives in the former offices of Sidmouth architect R W Sampson, is researching his life and wants to contact any relatives still living nearby.

A WOMAN who worked and now lives in the former offices of Sidmouth architect R W Sampson, is researching his life and wants to contact any relatives still living nearby.

Sylvia Brownlee of Fortfield Chambers, Station Road, Sidmouth, has lived in houses built by Robert William Sampson for the past 32 years.

Through working and now living at his former offices for 28 years, Sylvia is now

busy producing a pamphlet about the architect, who lived from 1866 to 1950.

This would be available to visitors through Sidmouth Museum, of which she, as a member of Sid Vale Association's executive committee, is a trustee.

"Time is now of the essence as I am keen to complete the project," said Sylvia, whose researches have been assisted by the museum and various other Sidmouth people and publications.

"I want to do it because I have lived in Sampson-designed houses since moving to Sidmouth in 1976 and there has been very little information collected together about him."

She has gathered about five A4 sheets of information and a list of the houses he designed.

She also has photographs of him and his family and his involvement with amateur dramatics in the town.

"I have spoken to quite a few Sidmouth worthies, some of whom remember him.

"However, I know very little about his family and there is a delightful photograph of him in the museum saying that it is his family.

"I found today that his name was Robert William Sampson - Kelly's Directory 1910."

She believes she has the longest connection so far with Fortfield Chambers, which Mr Sampson built in 1928, being associated with it longer than even his partner, Mr Dingwall.

Sylvia, who "retired" in 2006, enjoys singing in Sidmouth's Cameo Singers; which has a concert today, being a ranger leader, secretary of Sidmouth Chamber of Commerce and youth contact for Sid Vale Association.

As well as caring for her 86-year-old mother, she also enjoys sailing with husband Lawrie.

If you can help put her in touch with any of R W Sampson's family or know about the architect's life and work, please contact Sylvia at Sylvia.brownlee@me.com or (01395) 514011.

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