JOHN WHEATLEY - 30 AUGUST 30 – 18 AUGUST 2019
John Wheatley was one of the earliest members of the WCCA, attended the inaugural meeting at which the fledgling company was launched. His membership number was 10, he joined the Court within a year of its establishment and, following the grant of Livery in 1988, he quickly rose to be Master in 1990 being the first to do so who did not have connections with the City or another livery company. He died in a nursing home at the end of August after a period of increasing frailty.
John was a Director of the major commercial practice Covell Matthews Wheatley (formerly the Covell Matthews Partnership) who were one if the first practices to be listed on the London Stock Exchange when this became possible in 1987. He was responsible for a number of significant projects not just in the City but also in Reading and Cambridge. He would have been amused to know that, in recent years, his most notable building - the blue glass office headquarters building for Samuel Montagu Bank on a site adjacent the original Billingsgate Fish Market on Upper Thames Street- is to be found featured on a post card on sale in the RIBA bookshop. Other major projects included several business parks in the UK, Sony UK's headquarters at Brooklands, Weybridge and British Aerospace's headquarters on Farnborough Airfield.
The floated practice did not flourish and John retired to carry out modest developments on his own account on the south coast. He also made time to indulge his great love for modern classical music – a subject on which he was most knowledgeable to the extent that he was the guest on an episode of Private Passions on BBC3 and gave numerous talks. He was particularly interested in the relationship between music and architecture and the natural environment.
He was, by all accounts a good cricketer playing at just below county level in his native Essex and he was very good company in any social setting. John’s wife Pam died in 2009 and John is survived by their two children.