Alastair J Durie: Widely respected Scottish academic and researcher

Alastair J Durie, academic. Born Edinburgh, 4 August, 1946. Died 5 October, 2017, Larbert.
Alastair Durie, academicAlastair Durie, academic
Alastair Durie, academic

Alastair J Durie was born to a well known property lawyer, Ross Durie, and his architect wife, Kathleen.

Educated at Edinburgh Academy where he excelled academically with A and S levels, he also enjoyed school sport, particularly cricket.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He gained an MA (1969 ) and Ph.D. ( 1973) in economic ­history at The University of Edinburgh .

He then held a series of academic teaching, examination and research appointments at the Universities of Aberdeen (1971-89), Glasgow ( 1989-2001) and Stirling ( 2001-17) as­ ­lecturer and senior lecturer. At Aberdeen he became one of the first male wardens of an all-female students residence.

He taught the history of ­medicine for the Open University, the history of Sport at Stirling and supervised the post graduates of University of the Highlands and Islands.

While at Aberdeen he visited the USA and Canada to recruit students and postgraduates. He also lectured there, including giving the Mackenzie memorial lecture at the University of Guelph in Ontario.

His first research and publications were in the field of Scottish textiles, and his book, The Scottish Linen Industry in the Eighteenth Century­appeared in 1979. He also ­published essays on banking and management, transport and culture.

In recent years his primary focus was on the history of Scottish tourism. Scotland for the Holidays, Tourism in Scotland 1780-1939 was published in June 2003 and was followed in 2006 by a study of hydropathy, Water is Best.

In 2012, he edited Travels in Scotland 1788-1881 for the Scottish History Society.

He provided historical research for television and appeared with Annie Lennox on Who Do You Think You Are?, with Len Goodman on Grand Tours of Scotland and with Fred MacAulay on the history of the Stonehaven open air swimming pool.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He was a lay assessor for the Law Society of Scotland with subsequent service on their Professional Conduct and Guarantee fund, and extensive experience of the complaints process as committee member and sifter.

He was a lay preacher and very involved with church, most recently with the Church of Scotland at Kincardine. He sang in two choirs. He also served on the Bridge of Allan Sports Club Committee where he played squash. He was very experienced rough shooter with many shooting friends. In his dying days he arranged for new homes for his two Black Labrador dogs.

His funeral service was held at Holy Trinity Church, Stirling, on Monday, 16 October, attended by more than 250 friends and colleagues.

He is survived by his wife, Kate, daughter Ruth, son Alex, brother Roy and sister Gail and their families.

Roy R Durie