Club Commodore and architect dies


A keen sailor who designed and built a new clubhouse at the Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club has died aged 93.

Ken Bourne, who moved to Lewes in 1963 with his wife Cherry and three sons, was a renowned architect, sailor and artist.

One of three brothers, Ken was born in Colwall, Herefordshire in January 1922 and spent his youth in Worcester. Following the war, where he served in the Royal Engineers, he graduated from the Oxford School of Architecture in 1949.

He then joined the Gloucester County Architect’s Department, after which he took up an architect’s post in Crawley New Town Development Corporation in 1953.

He worked on the planning and design of the town and neighbourhood centres, housing, and helped make this new town a success.

In 1962, he became a partner in Fitzroy Robinson in Brighton, which later became Miller Bourne.

Between 1962 and 1987, he worked on the Crawley Housing Schemes, NatWest Bank buildings, shopping centers in Haywards Heath and Brighton Square, and the prestigious Seeboard Headquarters.

His project in the Brighton Lanes was at the time considered a major breakthrough and paved the way for more sensitive conservation architecture throughout the country.

He was also commissioned to design Brighton Town Hall and worked with Sir Basil Spence on this and Sussex University.

From 1968, Ken was a keen sailor and joined the Newhaven and Seaford Sailing Club, where the whole family raced regularly. He was Club Commodore from 1975 to 1979 and designed and built a new clubhouse. After the boys left home in the late 1970s, Ken took a co-ownership of a racing yacht “Great Bear”, moored at Newhaven and later moved to Shoreham Yacht Club and took part ownership of a new Hi-Uforia yacht .

During this time, Ken was part of a great crew of close friends that were still sailing well into their 80s, winning many races and series including cross-channel races to Fecamp and Dieppe.

During retirement in Lewes, Ken became a regular member of a Life Class at Paddock Studios and held numerous exhibitions of his art work in local galleries and ART WAVE activities.

In retirement, Ken and his beloved wife Cherry, who was a physiotherapist at Lewes Hospital, travelled widely.

Ken is renowned for producing an annual Christmas Card including a sketch or two of his trips overseas that year, which as a collection, provides an amazing record of his life and travels.

Ken passed away peacefully on December 23, 2015, at St Peter and St James hospice at the age of 93. He is survived by three sons, eight grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

A Thanksgiving Service for his Life will be held at St Anne’s Church, Lewes on his birthday, January 29, at 2pm.

The family ask that no flowers be brought, but if anybody would like to make a donation, they do so to St Peterand St James Hospice c/o Cooper & Son Funeral Service, 42 High Street, Lewes BN7 2DD. Any queries should be made through Cooper & Son by calling 01273 475557.

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