Today I went to a celebration in Basingstoke of the life of my friend Alec Gillies, who died suddenly last month. He was joint head of architecture at Hampshire County Council; fellow architects spoke keenly about his work. He loved books and stored up quotations. I like this quote from Nelson Mandela on leadership, which Alec had noted down and which his family included in the Order of Service: It is better to lead from behind and to put others in front, especially when you celebrate victory when nice things occur. You take the front line when there is danger. Then people will appreciate your leadership.
Bob Wallbridge, his colleague, said of Alec’s leadership He taught me not to close things down too soon.
If you visit the Historic Dockyards in Portsmouth I believe you will soon be able to see a project on which Alec worked: the structure permitting visits to the First World War monitor M33. I’m afraid I only have a picture of it from March, wrapped.