Martin and Speight

Architectural practice
Partner 2

 John Leslie Martin and his future wife,Sadie Speight, started in practice in 1933, and between 1935 and 1939 completed several conversions and small houses in the north of England. These included: extensions to a house at Brampton, Cumberland, for the art patron and collector Helen Sutherland; a house at Brampton, for another art patron, Alastair Morton of Morton Sundour and Edinburgh Weavers; the Robinson House, Ferriby, Yorkshire; and a small nursery school at Hartford, Cheshire. Martin later described this work as “modest, dispersed and built for private clients who were interested in a special problem on a special site” (Martin, 202). Unusually in the modern movement, the houses were largely built of brick with some local stone: they have weathered well. The nursery school was the first example of Martin's many investigations into a type of planning and construction of general application and, with its light frame and infill walls, almost certainly influenced some post‑war school design. During this period of pre‑war practice Martin also designed what he claimed to be the first range of unit furniture in Britain, for Messrs Rowntree of Scarborough.