Obituary: Harold Waterman

Born Liverpool, November 11, 1925. Died London, October 11, 2008, aged 82.


Consulting engineer Harold Waterman created the structural design for such London landmark buildings as the Rolls Royce headquarters and the Chelsea and Westminster Hospital.

He was the second of five children of Myer and Sarah Waterman. Myer, an immigrant's son, had a cabinet-making business; Sarah was a teacher.

Harold Leon Waterman gained a first in civil engineering from Liverpool University. After a brief spell with the Kellogg engineering company, he set up HL Waterman & Partners -now Waterman - in Richmond, Surrey, in 1952.

The post-war shortage of building materials meant that a licence was required for all new buildings. Anderson shelter parts were used for welded girders. Harold's energetic, no-nonsense approach delivered cost-effective solutions within strict time limits.

As his small company grew, he set up highly focused teams to handle the increasing number of high-profile projects at home and abroad. He was respected as much for his business sense as for his engineering expertise.

Other landmark designs include Cutlers Gardens (a City of London office complex), the Thames-side Hays Galleria, No. 1 Canada Square - currently the UK's tallest building - and a unique suspended building in Euston Road.

The firm's history is documented in David Souden's 2002 book, Ingenuity and Engineering. The company is now the 10th largest UK-registered consulting engineer, employing over 2,000 staff in 49 offices in 15 countries. Harold was senior partner for 31 years and consultant until retiring in 1988.

As master of the Worshipful Company of Fletchers in 1983-84, he helped design its livery hall. In the 1980s he was deputy chairman of Redditch Development Corporation, Worcestershire.

An active member of the New West End Synagogue, he was passionate in his religious beliefs and support for Israel and Jewish charities. He was also a keen and successful golfer.

He married Beryl Pomeroy in 1949. After her massive stroke in 1993, he worked tirelessly to ease her life until her death in 2006 .

He is survived by his daughter Janis, son Greville, and three grandchildren.

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