'Voracious attitude for life' - Funeral takes place for 'much loved' 36-year-old Edinburgh cyclist James Harrison who died after collision with van

The funeral has taken place today for a "much loved" 36-year-old cyclist who was killed after a collision with a van in Liberton.

The funeral of James Harrison took place on Friday, July 10th.
The funeral of James Harrison took place on Friday, July 10th.

The family of James Harrison gathered at Mortonhall Crematorium this morning to celebrate his life after the accident on Mount Vernon Road, at the crossroads junction with Gilmerton Road, early on Thursday, June 25. He died from his injuries two days later.

Minister and family friend Rolf Billes opened today's service by describing Mr Harrison as having a "voracious attitude for life," adding: "He was a very much loved son, grandson, brother, husband, daddy, brother in law, uncle, friend and colleague."

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During the poignant service he spoke about how James and his wife Rowan met, James’s love for his children, his vital work as a lead cardiology nurse with NHS Lothian and recent volunteering in a Covid-19 intensive care ward, as well as his many sporting achievements and love for the outdoors.

Among his top achievements were competing for Great Britain in the triathlon and duathlon in earlier life.

He was also a distance runner with a love of hill running and cross country and in December last year was part of Corstorphine AAC's men's team that won the East of Scotland cross country championships.

James was also qualified as an official for Scottish Athletics and was one of their up and coming start team members.

Mr Billes said: "He was a man who lived life to the full and who was always happy to help and was modest to his own achievements."

Last week, dozens of mourners gathered at the spot of the collision to pay their respects with a minute's silence.

Council officials overrode the traffic lights at the junction, stopping traffic temporarily to allow people to gather there safely.

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During today's service, a recorded musical tribute was also played on the harp and clarinet to a Radiohead song and the funeral ended with Elton John's 'Circle of Life' from the Lion King, with the minister adding: "It sums up James's attitude for life and his place now in the nature of all things."