Dennis Hitch, architect

Dennis Hitch
Dennis Hitch
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Dennis Hitch, who has died at 80, was one of the east coast’s leading architects, whose many buildings include the new entrance to Scarborough Cricket Club, the former Scarborough Building Society headquarters and the residence of businessman Don Robinson, which overlooks the North Bay at Scalby Mills.

Born at Burley-in-Wharfedale, near Ilkley, he moved to the coast as a teenager, and his family established a guest house business.

Attending Scarborough Boys’ High School at Westwood, he excelled at art, maths and science, and foregoing an initial opportunity to pursue commercial art as a career, undertook training in building construction and science at the Technical College in the valley.

Qualifying in 1965 at the end of a seven-year course at Leeds School of Architecture, he worked the Scarborough architect Edgar Allen, before founding his own practice in Alma Square.

His portfolio of projects included the former Opera House, Waterscene and the Olympia Ice Rink, and he was noted for mentoring many students who passed through his studio. He retired from the practice only five years ago.

A gifted musician, he was a stalwart of the Scarborough music scene, playing regularly in Ted Armstrong’s Dixieland Pipers and the Mike Lancaster Band, and acting as resident drummer in the Roger Dean Band at the Royal Hotel and for the Scarborough Jazz Club for more than three decades.

He is survived by his first wife Pauline, son Simon, four grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, widow Jane and daughter Emily.