John Berry Thornley
- Born : 5 March 1867, at Bolton-le-Moors.
- Married : 17 December 1888 to Helen Green, of Westhoughton at St Bartholomew, Westhoughton.
- Died : 30 October 1932 at Darwen
John Berry Thornley was born on 5 March 1867, the son of William and Mary Thornley of Bolton and was educated at Bolton High School before serving his articles with an architect and mining engineer at Bolton. Early in his career he entered into partnership with Johnson Lomax Crumblehulme under the style of Thornley and Crumblehulme at 1 Manchester Road, Nelson. This partnership was dissolved in 1891 after which he practiced in Darwen. About 1900 he entered into partnership with his brother William with offices at Darwen and Wigan. This partnership appears to have been effectively dissolved about 1911 (although not formally until 1922), after which John Berry Thornley continued to practice on his own account from the Darwen office. A staunch Methodist, he obtained many of his commissions through this association, advertising in the Methodist Who’s Who:
JOHN B. THORNLEY, 45, Market Street, Darwen, Lancs., Architect, Specialist in Chapels and Schools. Has many examples of tasteful and economic planning of Churches and Sunday Schools throughout the Connexion. Inspection of sites and preliminary sketches free of charge. Due regard given to financial considerations. [The Methodist Who’s Who 1912 page 256 –advertisement]
Among his most significant works were the Joseph Cross Convalescent Memorial Home for Weavers at Poulton-le-Fylde; the head office of the Manchester Unity of Oddfellows, Manchester; the Carshalton Methodist Church, London, the Carnegie Library, Ashton in-Makerfield, and number of churches, public buildings, cinemas, buildings and housing estates in different parts of Lancashire. His last church - Highfield Congregational at Darwen – was opened days before his death.
He was elected to the Darwen Town Council on 4 February 1904 and remained a member until his death. For several years he was an alderman and chairman of the Electricity Committee. He was vice-chairman of the Darwen Divisional Liberal Association, a trustee of the Railway Road Methodist Church and was appointed a borough magistrate in September 1919. He was a founder member of The Central Subscription Bowling Club at Belgrave, Darwen and partner in the firm of the Glossit Company, polish manufacturers of Bank Top, Darwen, ending his association with the firm in 1924.
John Berry Thornley died on 30 October 1932 at Darwen. He was survived by his widow and two married daughters, his son, Norman, having been killed in the First World War. The practice was continued by his widow, Helen, together with Annie Brown and Irene Mary Hunt under the style Thornley and Partners, still at 45 Market Street, before being transferred to John Rutherford Johnson.
1891 Thornley and Crumblehulme 1 Manchester Road, Nelson (London Gazette)
1894 J B Thornley. Market Street, Darwen (British Architect)
1899 J B Thornley. 45, Market Street, Darwen (British Architect)
1901 J B and W Thornley. Powell’s Chambers, Millgate, Wigan
1912 29 City Road, London EC (Methodist Who’s Who)
1913 J B Thornley 14 Birley Street Blackpool
1923 Mr John B Thornley. 45, Market Street, Darwen
1924 John B Thornley. 45, Market Street, Darwen
1934 Thornley and Partners 45, Market Street, Darwen
1891 John Berry Thornley, Highfield Road Darwen (London Gazette)
1897-1932 John Berry Thornley, Ivy Dene Belgrave Road, Darwen, Lancashire
Reference London Gazette 12 June 1891
Reference London Gazette 16 March 1934 Page 1809
Reference The Methodist Who’s Who 1912 Page 224
Obituary Lancashire Evening Post 31 October 1932 page 6
Buildings and Designs
|Thornley J B and W||Architectural practice||1901||1920||Wigan|