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Like other Embertons, Joseph went to the local primary school and then on to Woolstanton Grammer. After which he was articled with a local architects firm in the Potteries. Later on he would attend the Royal College of Art in London to study architecture, but he wasn't to be fond of his spell there, and his dislike of academia is well documented. His route into the architects profession was more via apprenticeship rather than the present day way via university.

Audley Primary School

With other pioneers of modern architecture we can often see a common school or university grouping, especially of course in those architects from The Bauhaus. Perhaps Emberton can be more easilly compared for example with the engineer Owen Williams (the designer of The Daily Express Building, and The Boots factory) as being more of a self-taught modernist.

Part of Joe's background are his experiences in the trenches in WW1. I remember his widow telling me how he had recurring nightmares for the remainder of his life after then. Rosemary Ind in her book suggests that his interest in logic as a source of inspiration in architecture is a natural reaction to the war, along with a a hopeful and optimistic view of the future - which was his trait.

Emberton's career was of course to be based in London and his family life henceforth would be in the South East. But some contact with Audley would continue. His sister Dorothy in Audley collected newspaper cuttings about his projects, and in 1939 a new house he designed for her and her husband Clement Eardley called Greenbanks was built in Audley.

Greenbanks (1939)

Following his Mother's death Joseph designed this gravestone for both his parents and his brother Samuel. I suppose you could say it has the usual care with the lettering he pursued in his architectural career.

Gravestone designed by Joseph Emberton for his parents, Audley Churchyard

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