Obituary: Derek Lyddon, 89

Derek Lyddon was a major influence in Scottish planning. Picture: contributed
Derek Lyddon was a major influence in Scottish planning. Picture: contributed
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Derek Lyddon, the first honorary president of the Grange Association, has died aged 89.

Mr Lyddon passed away on February 7, due to ill health.

A native to Edinburgh, Mr Lyddon lived in the Grange with his wife Marian who sadly died two years ago. For most of his career he worked with charities, as a planning officer.

He became a distinguished member of the community, supporting projects to protect the area and its local history.

Throughout the 1960s to the 1980s, Mr Lyddon was a valuable member of the Scottish Planning Exchange, working closely with The Royal Town Planning Institute.

He became the Chief Planning Officer at the Scottish Office from 1967-85 and was a key player in ensuring that planning was central to huge changes that were taking place across Scotland at the time.

Pam Ewen, convener of RTPI, said: “Derek was a major influence in planning in Scotland. Our thoughts go out to his family and friends.”

From 1981-4, Mr Lyddon became the President of the International Society of City and Regional Planners. During his time there he was responsible for architectural planning in Coventry and Belfast.

He introduced the ISOCARP Bulletin, where Gerd Albers became the editor. Mr Albers said: “His sense of humour made him so special,” adding that he “enjoyed writing limericks and having fun with his colleagues”.

Mr Lyddon was also made an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society in 1996, after being recognised for his distinguished work within the society and his contributions towards the advancement of geography in Scotland.

In 1987, he went on to join the Grange Association – a charity based in Edinburgh supporting the protection of the community, it’s environment and local history.

He became chairman of the committee in 1991 and held this position until 1997, when he was elected as the association’s first ever honorary president.

As president, Mr Lyddon helped campaign to raise money for local charities, and raise awareness of environmental problems in the area.

He helped the Edinburgh Charity, The League of Friends of the Astley Ainslie Hospital fundraise, as well as helping to recruit volunteers to work with The Friends of the Hermitage on environmental projects.

He eventually retired as honorary president in 2014 due to ill health.

Mr Lyddon, known for his “ease, humour and decisiveness” leaves behind two daughters, Janet and Clare.

The family held a remembrance party at the house on Saturday, where friends and family came to pay their respects, and reminisce over times spent with Derek.

He will be greatly missed by everyone in the community.