Tributes to bus crash victim who was top arts figure

Crash victim Roderick Lakin
Crash victim Roderick Lakin
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THE victim of a city centre bus crash was an “inspirational” arts figure who had been ­honoured by the Queen.

Roderick Lakin MBE had been in Edinburgh to oversee the Royal Over-Seas League (ROSL) Fringe concert programme when he was struck by the bus on Frederick Street.

Mr Lakin was in a critical condition for nine days before succumbing to his injuries at the Western General last week.

Mr Lakin, 65, had been director at ROSL Arts since 1984, and had worked hard to expand the organisation’s international arts programme.

He was responsible for promoting concerts, recordings and exhibitions by prize and scholarship winners both in the UK and the Commonwealth, and his passion for supporting gifted young musicians, artists and writers was well-known.

While primarily based in London, he also spent time overseas to spearhead a variety of projects and had been in the Capital to oversee Fringe concerts at the ROSL branch at 100 Princes Street.

In a heartfelt tribute, ROSL director-general, Maj-Gen Roddy Porter, said everyone at the organisation was devastated by Mr Lakin’s death.

He said: “We share his wife’s Margaret’s grief at his passing, and offer our most sincere condolences.

“Roderick was a highly valued friend and colleague to all at Over-Seas House in London and in Edinburgh, as well as to the membership of the League across the world. Roderick was held in great respect and affection by the multitude of musicians from all corners of the globe whose careers have benefited from his tireless efforts on their behalf.

“He was admired throughout the arts and music worlds for his professionalism and inspirational work.”

Maj-Gen Porter vowed that all Mr Lakin’s programmes – including upcoming visual arts exhibitions, music scholarships and the ROSL Annual Music Competition – would continue “as enthusiastically as ever” in his memory.

He added: “Clearly we all wish to mark Roderick’s life and we will give details as plans are formulated over the next weeks.

“A brilliant light has gone from our world. We will keep the flame of his memory ablaze and take his work forward.”

Mr Lakin was knocked down by a Lothian Buses 41 at the junction of Frederick Street and Princes Street on Wednesday, August 19.

He was rushed to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary and later transferred to the Western General Hospital, where he passed away on Friday evening.

Sergeant Keith Denholm of Police Scotland’s road policing unit said: “We offer our sincere condolences to Roderick’s friends and family at this sad time, and I’d like to thank the public for their continued support while our investigation into this collision continues.”

The News revealed yesterday that Lothian Buses has recommended the driver be sacked, but a final decision has yet to be made. The reasons behind the recommendation are still unknown.

It is understood that the experienced driver has not been allowed behind the wheel since the incident – and his colleagues have claimed they may stage a walk-out if he is sacked.