Real Lives: John led the way in Scots tech success

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John Livingstone, an IT expert and entrepreneur who started one of Scotland’s most successful information technology companies, has died, aged 62.

John Fletcher Leitch Livingstone was always known as Jack at home, but professionally as John. He started work in Edinburgh as a travelling salesman in computers. In 1966, he joined the Border knitwear company Ballantyne as a designer of sportswear.

Three years later he decided to retrain and enrolled as a trainee computer operator with the Edinburgh University Computing Service, from where he would steadily work his way through a variety of posts until, in 1989, he was appointed computer systems and communications manager. In 1990, he joined Edinburgh Portable Computers in a similar capacity.

Mr Livingstone met his wife Wanda in the Capital’s Casablanca Club in 1969. They were married the following year at the Edinburgh University Catholic Chaplaincy Centre in George Square and set up home near Easter Road. They also spent some years at Greenlaw in Berwickshire before returning to Edinburgh.

In 1993 the couple set up ACCESS Computing. The company provided hardware and software solutions for computer installations. They hand-picked an able workforce and with their shrewd management and knowledge of the computing industry, they were able to sell the company in 2006, allowing him to retire.

Mr Livingstone was a man of many interests. He travelled Europe extensively, enjoyed hill walking and fishing and was a keen member of the Scottish Malt Whisky Association. A major interest throughout his life was European history.

He also had an abiding love of aeroplanes and had a large collection of model planes, which he had assembled. For a number of years he organised flights over the tall ship races in the harbour of Aberdeen.

Mr Livingstone was connected with several Polish charities, most notably the Polish School of Medicine at Edinburgh University. He was also a founder and member of Polish Connections Charity Group.

His wife died last year and Mr Livingstone is survived by his daughter Genevieve and son John.