“Liberal lion” Ron Waddell has died

We are losing so many brilliant liberals at the moment.  Ron Waddell,  who was Chief Executive of the Scottish Liberal Democrats back in the 90s, died suddenly on Sunday.

Somewhere in the middle of Saturday night , I was scrolling through Facebook. A photo posted by Ron on Saturday afternoon, of a cloudy saltire in the blue sky above his Derbyshire home, made me smile. Not least because Ron hardly ever posted on Facebook and it was lovely to see.

It was about 12 hours later that his wife Sandra posted the awful news.

In every single conversation I have had with people about Ron in the past two days, the words kind and gentle have featured very highly. He was a lovely man, always wise and one of those people who could instantly calm a frazzled situation or, dare I say, bruised egos.

He was one of the best humans, gone way too soon.

After working for the party, Ron was a Geography teacher, then deputy head and finished his career in Scotland working for the City of Edinburgh Council, firstly as an adviser on education to the LIb Dems and then as a senior manager in the Education Department. There, he often worked with my husband who was involved in health and safety for schools. Bob always found him helpful and supportive.

He stayed active in the party, keeping the western part of the South of Scotland  in particular going. He was my election agent when I stood in Carrick Cumnock and Doon Valley in the Holyrood election of 2003.

He and his wife Sandra Grieve moved to Derbyshire in 2016 to be closer to family. Ron became a school manager at a local Steiner school and his and Sandra’s lives were filled with joyful adventures with their grandchildren. Sandra’s often hilarious and brilliantly written accounts of their holidays both with the grandchildren and their dear friends Rae and James Grant should really be made into a book. For decades, Rae worked at the Scottish Lib Dem HQ and she and Ron were a great team.

Alex Cole-Hamilton and the Scottish Lib Dems’ Twitter paid tribute to Ron.


Please feel free to share any memories of Ron in the comments.

Our love and sympathy goes to Sandra and all their family. I’m thinking particularly of the young people and children who will be missing their Papa.

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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This entry was posted in Op-eds.


  • David McDonald 20th Jul '22 - 5:42pm

    So sad to learn of Ron Waddell’s sudden passing. Such a lovely unassuming guy. Always had time for everyone. A true Liberal taken too soon.Thoughts are with Sandra and family at this sad time.

  • Yes, another one of the good ones gone. I can’t add to the words everyone is using: Kind, gentle, wise, Liberal. Very sad news this. My thoughts are with Sandra and the many people Ron was close to in the Scottish party and beyond.

  • John Barrett 24th Jul '22 - 1:23pm

    It was a shock to hear this sad news, as I had not seen Ron for some time. He was a lovely
    man, always thoughtful, considerate and good company, with the time to spend with those who wanted to discuss whatever they were concerned with. David and Tony have mentioned some more of the great qualities of this man, who will be much missed by family and friends, and all who were fortunate enough to have met him.

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