After an interview with Dick Paul, I joined Buckinghamshire County Council, Department of Architecture and Town Planning in November 1961.
I worked in the section under the guidance of Ron Walker who led a group out-posted to the Aylesbury Literary Institute. It was a very happy and hardworking team which met together socially and consciously evolved the Bucks way of creating pitched roofed, brick built, well landscaped buildings who’s roofs did not leak, were liked by their users and looked even better as time went on. A great contrast to the system buildings of the 1960s produced by many local authorities. In the team, Paul Markcrow went on to be Bucks County Architect and John Sexton, Architect to City of London Hospital Board.
Initially I was given the job to design a five bay Fire Station on a very difficult site in the centre of High Wycombe. Then designed a Youth Club in the centre of Amersham.
While working on the Fire Station and following a discussion with County Architect Fred Pooley over a boiler house chimney, Fred asked me to consider the implications of building a New City for 250,000 people (see NBNC page)
I began working directly with Fred Pooley and he asked me to do a scheme for the centre of High Wycombe including a raised inner relief road over shops and a new bus station. This was later detailed and built by Malcolm Dean, the designer of the Aylesbury County Offices tower.
As the New City progressed I moved to the Town Planning Division. Fred Pooley became President of the RIBA and I helped produce many slide presentations, talks and press articles. There were also projects such as ‘Flats that grow’, Bletchley projects and work on low cost houses for sale.
I was promoted to Personal Assistant to the County Architect and Planning Officer when the New City proposal was made public in 1964.
Confidential work continued on the proposal for a North Bucks New City. In parallel with work on that I worked on other projects, A Future for Eton, a plan for Princes Risborough together with preparing talks and articles for Fred, these included RIBA talks, ideas for ‘vertical villages’, villages along the Aylesbury – Tring railway, cheap houses for sale and so on. There was also a programme of preparing a series of outline plans for areas surrounding the New City to deal with inevitable outward development pressure. These were, Newport Pagnell, Olney, Winslow and Buckingham. Also village plans for Wing, Weedon and a series of sketch plans for many smaller villages in North Bucks. Arising from previous plans and these new ones were a number of residential planning applications which required development control work on layouts and details which I undertook notably Olney, Newport Pagnell, Winslow and north-west Bletchley. A great deal of other work was done, particularly in Bletchley and North Bucks generated by the New City proposal.
I re-started working on a planning qualification at Oxford Polytechnic, but as New City work, particularly discussions with the public and the surrounding local authorities intensified, involving much evening work, I was forced to put these classes on hold.