Obituary: Randell Hulton Bott, 84

Arthur Bott
Arthur Bott
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ARTHUR Randell Hulton Bott, a yachtsman, civil servant and a founder member of the Queensferry Boat Club, has died, aged 84.

An avid sailor throughout his life, Mr Bott made his mark in hospital design and building regulations but always made time for his sailing.

He was a founder member of the Queensferry Boat Club in 1957 and helped organise regattas which attracted more than 100 dinghies from around the Forth in the 1950s and 1960s. His Dormobile with attached dinghy trailer, not to mention white overall waterproofs, were signature features of this early racing scene.

Born in Preston in 1928, he moved to the Capital with his parents at the age of seven. He went to George Watson’s College and later studied architecture and town planning at Edinburgh College of Art.

After graduating, he did his national service in the Royal Corps of Engineers, carrying out surveying work in Egypt and Kenya, where his commanding officer found him a willing volunteer to teach other soldiers to sail.

After two years in the army he entered the professional civil service and started work in the Scottish Development Department in Edinburgh.

He met his future wife, Trudi Sidle, when she was working as a home help with family friends in Barnton. He introduced her to sailing, often taking her out in his dinghy.

They kept in touch and seven years later, when he met her again in New York, he proposed and they married in 1964 in Kilchberg, near Zurich, her home town. They would often return on holiday to Switzerland, where Trudi introduced him to skiing.

She became his crew, racing his Shearwater catamaran, Madam, and often suspended on a trapeze over the windward hull, holding the boat down. They won many trophies.

The couple moved to a flat in West Terrace in Queensferry and later bought their house in Station Road in 1965.

He was later promoted to deputy director of building and director of the innovative Hospital Centre attached to the Western General, where the experience and requirements of architects, doctors, nurses and other hospital workers were pooled into the design of hospitals.

The work led to Mr Bott and his family spending a year on secondment in New Zealand to advise on hospital development in 1971.

Mr Bott retired early in July 1988. He felt his work was not done but his outside life was always there. His staff gave him an outboard engine as a leaving present.

In recent years, Mr Bott’s osteoporosis slowly hampered his mobility and finally forced him to give up sailing two years ago.

He is survived by Trudi, their two children, Martin and Susi, and two grandchildren, Lucas and Olivia.