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Victor Charles Launder, 1916-2011

9 May 2011

Victor Launder, a former architect and senior lecturer at the University of Bristol, has died peacefully in his sleep, aged 94. His wife, Ann, offers this tribute.

Victor’s early years were spent in Carisbrooke on the Isle of Wight. He then went to Newport Grammar School. His began work at Morey’s timber merchants before moving on to become an apprentice architect and surveyor at E L Smith in Sandown. Meanwhile, he continued to study in the evenings at Portsmouth School of Architecture. He finished his intermediate exams in 1938.

When World War II broke out, Victor was unable to finish his final exams. He got war work at Saunders Roe aircraft works in East Cowes designing flying boats. He was transferred to Weybridge, Surrey, where a shadow factory was set up to produce Walrus amphibious flying boats for the Fleet Air Arm. Victor was chief planning engineer until the end of the war. He then returned to his studies and worked for Portsmouth City Architects, helping to rebuild Portsmouth’s devastated infrastructure. In 1946, he became a fully qualified architect and started to teach at Portsmouth School of Architecture.

Victor met and married Ann Vowles in 1955 and they lived in Ryde on the Isle of Wight. In 1959, Victor accepted the post of Vice Principal at the Royal West of England Academy School of Architecture in Bristol. In 1963, this became a department of Bristol University, and Victor became a senior lecturer.

He retired in 1981 and continued to travel the world. In 1985, he moved to Newlyn, Cornwall, where he took an active interest in local societies and history.

He leaves behind his wife Ann, two daughters, Susan and Robina, and four grandchildren, Michelle, Benjamin, Anthony and Roland.

Ann Launder


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