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Long serving RTPI staff member, Charles Herd, passes away

08 December 2015

Mr C. Herd

Charles Herd who worked at the RTPI for 39 years and retired in 1986 died on 21 November less than a month before his ninetieth birthday. He made a profound contribution to the development and growth of the Institute as Secretary, Internal Affairs.

He started working at the Institute at the suggestion of an architect friend in 1947 after leaving the merchant navy. During his time at the Institute he saw membership grow from 1,732 in 1947 to 13,600 when he retired in 1986. He worked across the organisation, initially in membership and subscriptions, then for the Research Committee and then in accrediting planning schools.

The Institute offered Charles more than just a fulfilling career, it was where he met his wife, Ruby (who died in 1996). She had worked at the Institute as a secretary.


George McDonic, RTPI Past President (1986-87), said:

“Charles will be remembered as loyal and respected member of the TPI/RTPI for 39 years. During that time he held different roles in the office but will be specially remembered for his work as Secretary for Education.  Throughout his service he was enthusiastic in  supported of the Institute.  He was highly respected by those who came into contact with him and brought extremely high knowledge of cricket and music to the office.”

In his tribute to Charles upon his retirement (The Planner, May 1986), Jim Amos wrote:

“1947 was a good year for planning, not just because of the minor matter of that Planning Act of Parliament, but because it was when Charles decided to leave the merchant navy to become a ‘land-use lubber’.”


After retiring he indulged his passions of classical music, cricket and travel – visiting over 100 countries. Charles is survived by his son Geoff and his family.

Andrew Taylor, Chair RTPI Board of Trustees has written to Geoff to express gratitude for the great contribution Charles made and convey condolences on behalf of the Institute.