Leonard Stokes

More on our Parish Church, Our Lady Help of Christians - The architect for the church was Leonard Stokes, who also designed: St Clare's Church, Arundel Avenue, Sefton Park, Liverpool - which is my part of the world as I was born in the Wirral, and you can see some of the similar architectural features. Leonard Stokes was born in Southport, Lancashire, the brother of painter Adrian Stokes and the engineer Sir Wilfred Stokes, he trained in London with a number of important architects, including G E Street, T E Colcutt and G F Bodley. From 1878, he studied at the RA Schools, winning the Pugin Prize, 1880, which enabled him to complete his studies in Germany and Italy, 1881-2. He was a noted church architect and designed colleges and houses. After marrying the daughter of the National Telephone Company's General Manager, he also designed twenty telephone exchanges throughout the UK, including the Rose Street exchange, Edinburgh (1901-3) and one in Aberdeen (1908-9).

Stokes - The man (from the St Clare's website) says : He was remembered as a rugged personality with great originality of feeling. His presidential portrait of 1910 shows Stokes in characteristic pose:a rather scowling figure, standing with clasped hands, in a dressing gown.
Stokes was a devout catholic and had an impulsive temperament, which was notorious. It was remembered by a member of staff that the atmosphere in Stoke’s office was sometimes alarming. His pupils and assistants(“damned colonials” and”damned scotsmen”) were his two main descriptive labels and many frequently felt the whip of his tongue. One day he was swearing at the top of his voice – and the ceiling in his office fell in. He fell on his knees, prayed and crossed himself, gave cheques to all his assistants – and was worse the next morning


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