|Alan Snr, believed during his apprenticeship in Walter & WG Galbraith CA|
Alan commenced his CA apprenticeship with the Glasgow firm of Walter & WB Galbraith in 1938. In addition to his own signature, the Indenture of Apprenticeship was signed by partners in the firm at that time William Brodie Galbraith, Alexander Pyper and Thomas Dunlop Galbraith. Muriel Birch & Isobel Wright, typists with the firm, witnessed the partners' signatures. Alan's father, Charles John Thomson Runciman, was also required to sign the indenture. The 2 Runciman signatures were witnesssed by Hugh Steele Murdoch Duncan, quarrymaster, Gourock & William Kenneth Swanson Dumigan, Cashier, 17 Binnie Street, Gourock.
The quarrymaster's signature is interesting and may well reveal a former employer of Alan. I do recall knowing that on leaving school my father was employed as a bookkeeeper in a quarry office. After a short time the quarrymaster had told his young employee that he was far too able for the quarry office job and he should consider becoming a chartered accountant. Given the success my father made of his future accountancy career I fervently hope that the witness's signature was indeed that of the very same quarrymaster. It is also possible/likely that the second witness is the cashier within the quarry company which Alan had joined, and therefore Alan's immediate boss.
Apprenticeships lasted 5 years combining practical audit work in the office and at clients’ premises. This practical side was complemented by professional examinations set by the Institute. These consisted of several test papers covering a range of subjects. Alan’s Form of Indenture was registered with the Institute on 9 December 1938 and the Discharge was registered by them on 27 February 1943.
I have no trace of written records but I was told that my father had a period of employment with the School of Accountancy. I don't know whether this was looking after its finances or whether it was in a tutoring role.
Alan joined another Glasgow professional firm, Chrystal McIntyre & Co, in 1947 as its chief assistant. The offer letter, dated June of that year, also confirmed that 'if you prove satisfactory we shall offer you a partnership in about a year's time with a share of profits approximating to one quarter'.
|Offer of Employment|
Alan was indeed 'satisfactory' and was admitted to partnership on 3 June 1948:
At that time the existing partners were William Y Chrystal and Jas Yorke McIntyre. By 1955 Chrystal had retired (or perhaps died - not researched) and the two remaining partners admitted to partnership Mr McIntyre's son, Ian Mackenzie McIntyre. The 3 partners signatures on the new Partnership Agreement were witnessed by Jean Dickson and Andrew Nichols Dunn. Dunn was described as a company secretary 119 Fettes Street, Glasgow, E1. The cause of his availability as a witness to the signatures is not known. Possibly he is an employee to the firm's solicitors who drew up the agreement, documented to be FJ Mackenzie, Reid & Donaldson, Glasgow. On the other hand, Jean Dickson's availability is easily understood. She was a loyal member of the CMcI staff. Although recorded as cashier I knew of her (later, as I became a teenager) as my father's secretary. 'Mrs Dickson' (I never heard her referred in any other way, even in conversation between my parents, and to her face) was Alan's secretary right up to his untimely death in 1968.
The 1960s was a period of great change for the accountancy profession worldwide and Scottish firms played a significant role. As a backdrop, Scotland was noted from the 1600s - 1800s as the most literate and educated country in the world. During this period accountancy developed and advanced in Scotland ahead of any other country, creating professionals with a global reputation for financial integrity. Accountancy firms started in Glasgow & Edinburgh merged with each other throughout the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s. As a result Scottish firms tended to be well set up and eyed as reputable & attractive vehicles to launch global ventures; some went on to form many of the international accounting names. Names such as McLelland, Moore, Peat, Marwick, Gordon etc all had Scottish roots. Then, post-WW2, a new business culture arrived. Manufacturing companies expanded their operations worldwide at an unprecedented rate & by the 1960s the accountancy profession witnessed a mutual 'merge & chase' race for a global presence to serve their existing & potential clients with international ambitions.
In the early 1960s Chrystal McIntyre were in the middle of this mixing pot of Scottish firms. The firm firstly merged with J Wylie Guild & Ballantine to become Wylie Guild & McIntyre. Alan was a partner in the merged firm. (If I remember correctly, 2nd senior). In 1968 WGMcI had sealed its big strategic move, a merge into Binder ? (the full name escapes me but was abbreviated & known as BDO), the leading Dutch firm operating internationally. The agreement appointed Alan as the senior partner for its Scottish operations comprising a half-dozen offices or so. It was scheduled for merger in June of that year but Alan died suddenly in the preceding February at the tragically young age of 48 and so never lived to see the fulfilment of that final step to a global presence.
Anyone who has been through a Due Diligence process knows how wearing & stressful and all-consuming the process can be. One wonders if the stress of the Due Diligence workload contributed to Alan's heart attack?
Alan Runciman, eldest son, 2012
|Alan & Catherine Runciman, wedding guests in Glasgow, Scotland, 1950s|
Alan lived in only two residences before his marriage. The tenement flat in which he was born was 37 White Street, Partick, Glasgow. The family moved to Gourock when his father gained employment in the 'Torpedo Factory' in Greenock. This date is unknown but it will have been before Alan left school, as his first job was in the Gourock quarry. We can estimate therefore the move was before 1935.
Alan's address on marriage was given as the Gourock address so he hadn't moved to Glasgow as a young man to be nearer his employment.
On marriage in September 1945 housing in Glasgow, like many major industrial cities in the UK, was very scarce. A huge post-war building boom followed. In the meantime the newly-weds lived with a maiden aunt of Alan's, Mary Thomson Runciman, a primary school teacher at Holmlea in Cathcart, Glasgow. She lived at 7 Leefield Drive, Netherlee, Glasgow.
It took about 18 months for the first move into their own home, 99 Lomondside Avenue, Clarkston, Glasgow. From the living room window one could look across the south side of Glasgow which looked particularly interesting when the lights of the city shone in the darkness. The foghorns on the busy river Clyde was a haunting sound on a winter's night. The rear garden backed on to Cathcart Castle Golf Club.
Some 10 years later the couple's final move together was made. This took them further out in south-side Glasgow, 'Firlee', 37 Beech Avenue, Newton Mearns. This was a solid detached villa built, I think, in 1937 (certainly the 30s) by one of Scotland's leading housebuilders, MacTaggart & Mickel. Its name derived from having a wood between it and it's neighbour which ran down the full length of the garden and beyond. The house was large enough to accommodate Alan's parents in their own double bedroom and my parents had the maid's room extended into a sitting room for my grandparents to have their own living space. Charlie & Lizzie sold their Gourock home in 1958 & moved in to Newton Mearns.
Thank you to Alan Runciman for creating WikiTree profile Runciman-798 through the import of Alan & Catherine Runciman couple.GED on Aug 30, 2013. Click to the Changes page for the details of edits by Alan and others.
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