Charles Brooking’s passion for architectural detail began back in 1956 when he was
just three, and fascinated by the stylised 1930’s Bakelite house numbers he saw on
neighbours’ front gates.
In the years since then he has allowed nothing to stand in the way of his determination
to preserve telling mementos of Britain’s built heritage. A lack of transport was
no obstacle when he rescued the heavy iron Regency hob grate from Elizabeth Barrett
Browning’s bedroom in London. He brought it back by taxi and a crowded commuter train.
A taxi came in useful once more when he retrieved a fine glass Adam fanlight from
the Chinese Embassy in Portland Place. After he did succeed in buying a car, Charles
has never since knowingly driven past a builder’s skip without stopping to examine
its contents for items of interest.
Neither has he kept his growing knowledge to himself. For 24 years he was Senior
Lecturer in Architectural Detail at the University of Greenwich, teaching aspiring
students and architectural professionals from all over the world. Joint winner of
the National Art Collections Award in 1987, he is a widely-recognised consultant
in his field. Rarely does a day go by when he does not receive a call for advice
from major government establishments, local planning authorities or leading architects
Often interviewed on TV, radio and in the national and local press, Charles has an
abiding interest in bringing his knowledge to the widest possible public. He is a
frequent contributor to specialist books and magazines, and a comprehensive book
on the history of window development in Britain is now on the stocks.