Picture: Desmond Waite

Tributes have been paid to a West Norfolk architect  whose skill was behind some of the area’s prominent buildings.

Desmond Waite, who was also president of the King’s  Lynn Civic Society, died on December 20, aged 92.

His profession saw him work on hundreds of projects in the area, including sites in Lynn such as Thoresby College, Baker Lane and the Tuesday Market Place.

Mr Waite worked for the Sandringham Estate for 35 years and was made a Member of the Royal Victorian Order by the Queen.

His son Richard Waite, also an architect, said: “He worked on a lot of prestigious buildings. On Christmas Day in 1966 he designed the original shop which is still there and designed  the visitors centre expansion in 1993.

“Dad also did a lot of work on Wood Farm for the Queen and Anmer Hall for the Duke and Duchess of Kent. 

“He has had tea and cake with the Queen and the Duke of Edinbugh – it was one of his greatest pleasures.”

Mr Waite was born in Andover, Hampshire and met his wife Gloria when they were both 13 year-old evacuees during the war. They were married for 70 years. 

The couple also have a daughter Karen and 10 grandchildren.

Mr Waite qualified as an architect in Portsmouth and moved to Lynn in 1959 to work  for Harold Marsh architects.

Richard explained: “Dad took the business on and started Marsh and Waite. He kept the Marsh name as a mark of respect. He worked there for many years and then he came to work for me. He was almost 90 when he stopped working.”

Mr Waite was also clerk to the  Trustees of Trinity Hospital in Castle Rising for 50 years.

“A lot of the cards we have received have been so nice about dad,” said Richard.

“Dad was a gentleman. He thought about things carefully and was more than willing to help anyone if he could.”

Chairman of Lynn’s Civic Society Alison Gifford said Mr Waite was “one of a kind”.

“Desmond will be a hard act to replace; he had passion and skills. He gave us focus.

“He designed buildings before we had computers, it came from his intelligence and imagination. He made a great contribution to the town and will be missed.”