Let’s start off with some questions to break you in gently. So, Bill what nicknames do you have? At School I was known as Vince, the Gopher, who was the cartoon character in Deputy Dawg who couldn’t see very well and that was me till I got glasses. Billy Boy which is what most of my chums call me when we meet up.
Which 3 words describe you best? Ordinary, average and try to keep my head below the parapet
Do you have any hobbies? Yes woodturning, scroll saw work, pyrography and working with wood in general
What gives you enjoyment from your hobby? Therapeutic, creative and artistic
Would you like to take the hobby further in the future? Its an interest that never stands still!!
If you could invite five famous or noted people (past or present) to dinner who would you choose? Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Matt Busby, Tom Petty and Roseanne Cash
If you were a flower which one would you be and why? A thistle, because they survive under all conditions
Can you tell me one thing about yourself that not many people know …… My Father was a professional footballer and Mechanical Engineer by profession and my Mother was from a family of German Builders who emigrated in the 19th century to the North East of England to construct buildings for the mining industry
What job did you want to do when you grew up? An artist but then I became a realist
What have some of your previous jobs been? Structural Engineer, Estates Surveyor, Commercial Garage Owner and owner of a Computer Aided Design company which supplied Apple, Hewlett Packard, Graphisoft ArchiCad software and Xerox products amongst others to Architects, Structural Engineers, Construction Industry and Graphics professionals throughout the UK
What was it that made you get in to design? I have always had an interest in making and designing things, whether mechanical, artistic or in building construction.
When you did get into design what were some of your favourite projects you’ve worked on so not just the most expensive but ones you’ve enjoyed. Designing a space frame rear sub frame for the original mini only for Ford to bring out the Escort Mexico which put paid to that!!
Assisting with the design of phosphor bronze rocking bearings for steel railway bridges
Recently we converted an 1860 Sheriff Court House in Linlithgow to a Boutique Hotel
You don’t work in office with us, but what would you say a strength of yours you have that maybe others in the team might not have. Probably because I am considerably older than most in France and Associates, I have the advantage of been there, seen it, done it and got the T-shirt so I don’t get too fazed by life in general
As a company we specialise in adaptations for people who have suffered catastrophic life injures etc, what is it that gives you the most enjoyment from working with this calibre of clients? I have designed adaptations over the years for a number of Clients and the satisfaction comes from giving someone a solution to allow them to have a better standard of life despite their physical disability
Can you tell me about the job we have in Scotland that you’re looking after? It is quite a challenging project due to the Client needs, however solutions are being found which will give a positive outcome for all concerned
Is there anything specific in the world of architecture that you want to see change, not only for ourselves but other practices all over the UK i.e conserving buildings design in the era they were made etc.. As the years have progressed, the technology involved in construction products has developed and as a result, selection of products in some areas has become more complicated. This has not been as beneficial as might have been hoped for and has, in my opinion, caused confusion. The Grenfell Tower fiasco is an example of this.
Thank you for taking the time for everyone to get to know you a little better, and we look forward to meeting up soon.