Blue plaque to recognise work of town architect

PUBLISHED: 06:30 01 May 2016

Budleigh Salterton Public Hall. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 5404-10-12AW

Budleigh Salterton Public Hall. Picture by Alex Walton. Ref exb 5404-10-12AW


A plaque paying tribute to a former Budleigh Salterton architect who designed more than 50 buildings in the town is set to be put up.

Colonel William Hatchard-Smith designed buildings in Budleigh between World War One and World War Two.

The plaque will be put up on the outside of the Public Hall, in Station Road, which is one of the buildings he designed.

Fairlynch Museum and the Otter Valley Association (OVA) have funded the project, which was spearheaded by OVA founding member Anita Jennings.

She said: “I am very pleased that Mr William Hatchard-Smith is going to have a plaque up, in his memory, on the Public Hall.

“My parents-in-law asked him to design alterations to their house, which has been my home for 51 years.

“Watch Hill, in Cricketfield Road, designed by William Hatchard-Smith, is the largest and most impressive house.”

A spokesman for Fairlynch Museum said: “The elegant houses that William Hatchard-Smith designed in Budleigh Salterton form an important and very recognisable part of the town’s architectural heritage.

“One of Fairlynch Museum’s most valuable resources is the archive devoted to his work, and we were delighted to contribute to the cost of this blue plaque.

“We felt that some kind of public recognition of his achievements was long overdue.”

Roger Saunders, chairman of OVA, said: “The OVA is proud to co-sponsor the blue plaque in recognition of Budleigh Salterton’s celebrated architect William Hatchard-Smith.

“Hatchard-Smith designed over 50 buildings in Budleigh during the ’20s and ’30s, including the Public Hall.

“These buildings have a significant impact on the way that Budleigh Salterton looks today.

“The houses he built are notable for their good design and high-quality construction – indeed, estate agents today are always quick to note “Hatchard-Smith” on the property details.”

The blue plaque, which will read ‘Architect of the Public Hall and over 50 private residencies’, will be fitted later this year.

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