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Ian Scobbie was a remarkable man - originally from Scotland, he became a mature student at the University of Bradford, on a translation and interpreting course which is where I met him back in the late 1970s. Subsequently we worked together in a translation and information department in the public sector. Ian was a brilliant linguist, fluent in Russian and German, but far more than this: a pianist, poet (compiling, in particular, hilarious and scurrilous verse about colleagues), DIY enthusiast, cook and foodie, lover of musicals in which he performed, devotee of Dusty Springfield, Kiki Dee and others; Master of Ceremonies at Burns Night parties; a wit and raconteur, and most of all, a warm-hearted and supportive friend.
In 1986, knowing he had AIDS but not wishing to share this knowledge with others, Ian emigrated to Germany and died there not long after starting a new job and moving into a flat there.