Adshead was considered to be one of the founding fathers of the profession of town planning and he wrote a number of standard texts including Town Planning and Town Development (1923) and A New England: Planning for the Future (1941). He came to Liverpool in 1909 to fill the newly created chair of civic design at Liverpool University, the offer having come from his one-time colleague C.H. Reilly, professor of architecture. He remained in the post until 1914 when he moved to a similar post at University College London. Besides designing a number of housing projects around England Adshead visited Northern Rhodesia in 1930 in connection with the establishment and planning of the capital, Lusaka. His daughter, Mary, was a noted artist.
One of his smallest design items was the small metal box which was given to British service men in France at Christmas 1914 containing chocolates and cigarettes. When the Liverpool Repertory Company embarked upon the re-design of the Star Theatre to became The Playhouse, Adshead was given the commission for designing the auditorium and downstairs foyer.
His home in Liverpool was at 67 Hope Street L1.
Adshead would have had a fine view of the first stages of the Anglican Cathedral's construction.
The box designed by Adshead and Stanley Churchill Ramsey given to servicemen at Christmas 1914 by Princess Mary
There is a comprehensive entry for Adshead in the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography. There are numerous references to him in C H Reilly's autobiographical work Scaffolding in the Sky [Routledge 1938]
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