Tributes to Justin Booth and Mike Evans

Tributes to Justin Booth and Mike Evans

After a weekend of Remembrance in the UK, we at LABC are remembering two of our surveyors who sadly passed away recently.

Justin Booth

Justin Booth was a manager at Bradford City Council Building Control for many years before moving to Harrogate Building Control.

justin booth

Justin is described by his colleague and friend Mike Terry as “a gentleman of great charm, of the highest moral character, bright, articulate, quick witted, of vast and expansive knowledge of construction practice and building control law. A man who made, built, and sustained deep friendships with all; carried his privilege with grace and a lightness of touch and in return was held in great affection by so many, across so many fields.” He says, “We have all lost a colleague, wonderful companion, a respected professional peer, and a cherished national building control expert.”

Justin was the grandson of a mill owner in Wilsden, Bradford, the family owned Wilsden Hill and at a young age, Justin was sent to private school in the southwest, being transported to and from school at the beginning and end of term by the chauffeur in Grandad’s Rolls.  He read surveying and construction and graduated with a good degree, before taking a job as a labourer, much to the chagrin of his father and grandfather alike; but Justin’s passion was sailing, ocean racing off the coasts of Britain, a familiar face at many regattas and in many a yacht club bar and bunk. Eventually parental pressure led to him looking for a ‘proper job’ and in the early 1980’s Justin joined the City of Bradford Metropolitan District Council as a Building Control Surveyor, progressing to Senior Surveyor, Principal and in partnership with Tony Raby, lead the day to day Building Control Service in Bradford for many years. 

Upon retiring from Bradford, he moved to Harrogate District Council where he still worked, supporting the other team players with kind works, organisation and that encyclopaedic knowledge and depth of experience only a surveyor in Bradford can develop;  in April this year becoming part of the North Yorkshire Unitary Authority, where Building Control is so ably lead by Rob Harper, but where Justin’s experience and gentle touch proved so useful to all.  

Justin had a talent for telling tales, which included many an accent and was always rewarded with howls of laughter and delight. As a lecturer he was always well received and was obviously, head of the bill when with Dave Pickles and others, he made the annual presentation to the West Yorkshire Fire Safety Group, always going down a storm.

There could be no better companion or friend through life, work or at any Building Control “do”, from the pub, conference, lecture hall, train carriage and even the haunts of Bridlington and yet foundations and dpcs were never far from the conversation, or anecdotes from characters in the building industry, always, of course, with an accent thrown in for good measure.

Justin was for many years Chair of the LABC Management Services & Legislative Working Group, carrying the heavy burden with ease as reflected his wit, intellect, and ability to communicate; often supporting the LABC Chief Executive of the day, Paul Everall with complex and thorny issues.

Another friend and colleague, Basil Parylo, says “Justin was the first person I ever spoke too in building control back in 1988 when I had my first job as a plan drawer. Even back then he was a legend. Roughly 15 years later I got to meet the legend at my first LABC Yorkshire Awards after I joined Building Control. In 2009 I was then privileged enough to be involved with him through LABC Yorkshire and we regularly travelled together to various meetings across the region. We have sadly lost a legend, however his legacy in building control will continue for decades to come and we will never forget the work he has done for Local Authority Building Control.”

Justin leaves his wife Judith and their daughter Izzy.  

Mike Evans

Mike Evans passed away on Saturday 21st October 2023, just short of his 64th birthday, after a long and difficult battle with cancer.

Mike started his career in 1976 as a Trainee Building Control Officer with Cardiff City Council and he joined Teignbridge District Council as a Surveyor in 1989 progressing to Team Leader and Operations Manager with Devon Building Control Partnership.

Mike evans

His colleagues and friends at Devon Building Control Partnership say “Mike was a kind, popular man with a great sense of humour, always willing to offer help and advice. He will be sorely missed by his colleagues and friends.

A devoted father, husband and proud Welshman, Mike was passionate about his loves outside Building Control too. He was a volunteer with the Diesel and Electric Preservation Group (DEPG) based in Williton, Somerset. Mike had been an active member of the team for many years and was often to be found working on a Class 14 ‘Teddy Bear’, or more recently on Class 52 D1010 ‘Western Campaigner’, as his love for diesel-hydraulics was legendary. 

Alistair Denholm, a client, described Mike as “the best Building Inspector I've known after 44 years in the building industry. Always sensible, practical, helpful, and knowledgeable. Already greatly missed”. 

His friend and colleague Deborah Ramm says “Mike was always helpful, always kind and never had bad word to say about anyone. He brightened the office up with his humour and looked on the bright side, right until the very end.”

Lisa Lake, another friend and colleague says “Mike was Mr Helpful – always willing to assist in any way he could.  If he didn’t know the answer, he would make sure he found it.  He had a great sense of humour – often referring to himself as ‘The Welsh Git’ which always made me chuckle.  I’ll miss him, his humour and stories.  Rest in peace Mike.” 

He was also a proud Liverpool Football Club supporter so naturally his friends and family left his funeral to the strains of ‘You’ll Never Walk Alone’.

Mike leaves his wife Ann and sons Christopher and Neil.


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