Peter Cambridge devoted his life to design

Peter Cambridge, who sadly passed away last month on 15 June, was one of a generation of industrial designers whose careers began in the early post-war era.

Although he started in engineering with the Bristol Aeroplane Company, Peter found his true vocation when he enrolled at the Central School of Art and Design to study the newly emerging discipline of industrial design.

Enthusiastic and passionate about the subject, he was quick to take up an offer to work for Ford’s new UK design studio in the 1950s. Here he worked in a team designing cars such as the Anglia, Consul and Cortina (pictured), making many life-long friends in the process. It was also during this time, with the blessing of Ford’s management, that Peter and other ’boys-from-Ford’s’ became involved with the design of the original Lotus Elite, where he was responsible for the interior.

Peter particularly loved transport design, especially aircraft. He recalled seeing P38 Lightnings stationed near the family home in Tywyn, mid-Wales, during the war. So it was something of a dream come true when he joined Charles Butler Associates, which specialised in aircraft, and found himself sent to Fort Worth to work on the design of the Bell Jet Ranger civilian helicopter in 1965.

Back in the UK he worked as a design consultant, based in Horsham. Then, from 1974to 1989, Peter headed up the Design Council in Wales, where he promoted and advised upon the benefits of good-quality design, visiting many locations and different types of industries across Wales. He was also keen to maintain his links with the Central School and was a visiting tutor there.

Peter will be sadly missed. He made many friends throughout his career and had an infectious enthusiasm for design which inspired others.

David Cambridge, by e-mail

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