Obituary: John Bottomley, company chairman who made Edinburgh his home

John Douglas Bottomley has died at the age of 83
John Douglas Bottomley has died at the age of 83
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John Douglas Bottomley, company director, Swedish Consul & High Constable of Leith. Born: 21 February, 1934 in Leeds. Died: 6 February, 2018 in Edinburgh, aged 83.

John Bottomley was born and brought up in Leeds. His mother, Helen Dow, died six weeks later as a complication of the birth and he was brought up by his stepmother and father, who was a businessman.

He was educated at Woodhouse Grove school then at Leeds College of Technology, where he studied engineering.

His father died when he was 15 so he came to Leith to work with his uncle’s firm Geo.A.Morrison & Co, where he worked his way up through the ranks, eventually becoming chairman in 1980. On his way he became a Fellow of the Institure of Chartered Shipbrokers in 1960, a High Constable of Leith and Swedish Consul, both in 1975. In 1987, he was appointed Consul General for Sweden and appointed Commander of the Royal Order of the Polar Star.

During his time with Morrisons they diversified into road haulage and tourism.

Morrison Tours was formed, leading to them looking after the interests of many clients at the numerous cruise ship destinations in Scotland.This business was sold when he retired and has gone from strength to strength, of which he was rightly proud

Morrisons was very much a family run business in that they had a loyal group of employees – one company director started as an office girl at 15 and was still an employee 70 years later.

In his retirement he went into publishing with the ­acquisition of Ports of Scotland – the 2018 edition has just been published.

Much to his uncle’s despair he was not a golfer but was a keen rally driver and keener skier. His love of the sea made him the ideal traveller on cruise ships and other forms of transport and he managed to get to most parts of the globe in his later years.