John Leyden obituary

John Leyden...devoted his time to helping others in Law and further afield
John Leyden...devoted his time to helping others in Law and further afield

JOHN (Ian) Leyden, who died recently, was born in October 1922 in the mining village of Rosewell in Midlothian.

His father, a foreman in a coal mine, moved the family to Law where Ian grew up, attending Law Primary then Wishaw High School.

As a teenager, he started working at Traction House in Motherwell, where he was to be a maintenance engineer for about 40 years, serving for a number of years as a Shop Steward.

He met his future wife, Margaret, on his embarkation leave before setting off for Bangalore, India, for his National Service during World War Two.

On his return, they married and had two daughters.

As well as being a loving husband and father, Ian found time to give much to the village of Law.

With the late Tom Craig, he co-founded Law Meals on Wheels and the Law OAP Welfare Association, to which he remained committed for over 30 years, on one occasion sleeping overnight along with the late Willie Dobbie in the then Welfare Hall to guard all the donations for the annual Autumn Fayre.

He was also on the Board of Law Church.

A long-time member of the Labour Party, Ian devoted many hours to local and national politics, including terms as a District Councillor and as a Community Councillor.

He also served for many years as a J.P.

He took up many campaigns, being the embodiment of the saying that ‘the Pen is mightier than the Sword’ writing to newspapers as well as politicians on a variety of issues. and in particular he was a leading figure in the campaign for justice in the bus company pension scheme.

Despite many frustrations Ian was never downtrodden, but was always tenacious in keeping up the pressure.

Most recently, he featured in the Gazette expressing concern about the withdrawal of busses from Law to Wishaw General Hospital, making it difficult for people in the village to get to appointments or to make afternoon visits to friends or family.

Ian’s 92nd birthday was spent working in his beloved garden and having a meal with his wife and daughter.

The next day, he suddenly and peacefully passed away, after a long life, well lived.