TRIBUTES HAVE BEEN paid to a Forres businessman who helped bring fantastic success to the town through its hosting of the European Pipe Band Championships.
Ian Widdowson, 59, died in hospital on Monday from injuries he received in a road accident near Kinloss on New Year’s Day. He was a passenger in one of the two cars involved in the accident, which also resulted in the death of 24-year-old Lossiemouth man Daniel Gordon.
Mr Widdowson was a highly respected businessman in the Moray town and ran Travel Agency Beaver Travel in Forres and Elgin with his wife Fiona. He was president of the Rotary Club of Forres and chairman of Forres Events Ltd., the company behind the European Pipe Band Championships which have been held in Forres for the last three years.
A highly respected figure in the town, Ian was a frequent user of the Forres Group Action facilities for whom Colin Lipscombe said: “Ian will be very sadly missed. He was a man who worked so very hard for the entire Forres community and a regular user and supporter of FGA.
“The entire town was so shocked to learn of this, it is so very, very sad and on behalf of everyone at Forres Group Action I extend my condolences to his wife, family and friends.”
Joanna Taylor, Director of Forres Events Ltd., said: “This is a terrible shock. On a personal level I have known Ian a long time and am devastated by the news and heartbroken for his family who are still coming to terms with the news.
“He will be greatly missed by all who knew him but particularly by myself and all the team at Piping At Forres who had the pleasure to know and work with Ian. Our heartfelt sympathies to Fiona and the family.”
Active and prominent
Mr Widdowson’s contribution to his community was also acknowledged by local politicians, with Richard Lochhead MSP saying: “I am shocked to hear the terrible news that we have lost Ian Widdowson. I met Ian many times over the years and enjoyed our conversations and his humour.
“He was a thoroughly decent man and an active and prominent member of the local business community alongside his wife and totally committed to helping improve life in Moray.
“People will find it hard to accept that we have lost Ian so soon after losing David Urquhart given that together they worked hard over the years to establish Piping at Forres.
“I extend my heartfelt condolences to Ian’s wife Fiona and family and friends, he will be sorely missed by everyone who knew him.”
Angus Robertson MP also paid tribute to Mr Widdowson support of businesses in Forres and Elgin.
He said: “I was shocked to hear the very sad news of the untimely death of Ian Widdowson, who has been a prominent business and community figure in both Forres and Elgin for many years and who I have always had a great respect for.
“Ian put a tremendous effort into his successful travel business and into projects that supported the vitality of Moray, most recently in his role as Chair of Forres Events and in his work with Elgin BID.
“My thoughts and sympathies are with his family and the many people in Moray and beyond who knew him and who will be hugely saddened by this sad news.”
An 80-year-old woman who was driving the car in which Mr Widdowson was travelling is still in hospital with serious but non-life-threatening injuries.
Police are still appealing for anyone who may have witnessed the accident on the B9089 between Roseisle and Kinloss on January 1, and ask that anyone who may have information contact them on 101.