Hill Sandy and Norris
- H T Sandy : 1920-1922 - Sandy died 7 January 1922
- Ernest Bower Norris - 1920-1946 -partnership dissolved 20 September 1946
- F M Reynolds - 1930s? -1946 partnership dissolved 20 September 1946
In 1918, the Stafford architect H T Sandy acquired the offices and whatever remained of the architectural practice of Henry Oswald Hill, of Manchester, killed in action in October 1917. Initially H T Sandy was in partnership with Herbert Cecil Powell under the style “Hill, Sandy and Powell,” but this was dissolved by mutual consent on 14 October 1919. Henry Sandy then made an unsuccessful attempt to form a partnership with J H or W C Mangan of Preston, although the practice was listed as “Hill, Sandy and Mangan” in the 1920 edition of the Manchester Street Directory. In 1920 Ernest Bower Norris, ARIBA, was taken into partnership but this too proved short-lived, ended by Henry Sandy’s unexpected death in January 1922 at the age of 53. Now practising alone, E B Norris continued the Stafford office under the style of “Sandy and Norris,” and the Manchester office as “Hill Sandy and Norris.”
Known works would suggest that the Diocese of Salford provided most of the commissions undertaken by the Manchester office, which E B Norris appears to have run as a completely separate firm. In the early 1930's he took Francis Maurice Reynolds into the “Hill Sandy Norris” partnership, the latter being responsible for the running of Manchester office. This partnership was dissolved on 20 September 1946, at which time FM Reynolds set up his own practice in partnership with William Scott. Reynolds continued to occupy the same offices at 9 Albert Square, Manchester but now under the style of “Reynolds and Scott.” Meanwhile, E B Norris continued to practice under the style of Sandy and Norris at Stafford. Both Norris and Reynolds continued to specialise in Roman Catholic churches, generally in Romanesque or Byzantine styles, well into the 1960's.
Between March 1920 and March 1921 Sandy and Norris employed Norval Rowallan Paxton as their chief draughtsman. Possibly with an over-inflated sense of his own importance, he later described his role in Sandy and Norris's office as "manager and chief," claiming to have been entirely responsible in this brief period for the "design and execution of many churches, war memorials, convents and schools, the most important being the Church of the English Martyrs at Sparkhill, Birmingham and the Church of St John, Rochdale, Lancashire," two of the most important Roman Catholic churches of the 1920s both of which were not, in fact, completed until some years later. He also claimed to have been offered a partnership by Sandy & Norris but had declined because of poor health.
The various names and styles have led to some considerable confusion, their work being variously ascribed to Sandy and Norris/Hill Sandy and Norris/E B Norris of Stafford/Norris and Reynolds, etc, in both the contemporary press and subsequent architectural guides.
1919 Henry Oswald Hill, AMSA Scottish Provident Buildings, 9, Albert Square and “The Nook,” Oughrington, Lymm
1920 Hill Sandy and Mangan* 4-5 Third Floor. 9 Albert Square
1921 Hill, Sandy & Norris, 9 Albert Square, Manchester
1929 Hill, Sandy & Norris, 9 Albert Square, Manchester
1942 F M Reynolds BA ARIBA MSA, architect (Hill Sandy and Norris) 9 Albert Square
1946 Hill, Sandy & Norris, 9 Albert Square, Manchester
1948 Reynolds and Scott, architects 9 Albert Square
1954 Reynolds and Scott, architects 9 Albert Square