Leading figure at Rosyth dockyard and president of the Munro Society

Born: June 17, 1944;

Died: November 20, 2018

DAVID Batty, who has died aged 74, was a former finance director at Rosyth Royal Dockyard PLC, a past president of Scottish Engineering and a president of The Munro Society.

He was born in Manchester in 1944 where his father fought in boxing booths to supplement the family income. Moving with his mother to Scotland on his father's early death, David went to school at Eastwood Secondary School in Clarkston in Glasgow.

After an accounting apprenticeship with R S McColl, he was recruited by the finance director of Babcock and Wilcox at Renfrew. He rose quickly in the finance department, at one point being responsible for paying out in excess of £1million in cash on every Friday pay day with the constant threat of an armed raid and much alarm whenever a helicopter passed over on its way to Glasgow Airport. Some years later he was awarded an MBA from Strathclyde Business School.

In 1986 he was invited to join the team from Babcock and Thorn EMI preparing a bid to manage Rosyth Dockyard which was to be privatised. The bid was successful and Mr Batty became finance director of Babcock Thorn Ltd, setting up the commercial structure under which the dockyard would operate.

In 1990, under Mr Batty's guidance, Babcock bought out the Thorn EMI interest and the company operated as Rosyth Royal Dockyard PLC, paving the way for the subsequent construction of two new aircraft carriers, the Queen Elizabeth and the Prince of Wales, the largest ships ever built for the Royal Navy. During his ten years at Rosyth, Mr Batty played a leading role in the achievement of more than £50 million company profit.

He was president of Scottish Engineering (the voice of engineering and manufacturing in Scotland) during 1997 and 1998 and also served as vice chair of the board of management at Lauder College between 1998 and 2002.

On moving to Kirkliston, he joined the Rotary Club of South Queensferry, serving in various capacities, latterly as club archivist. He was awarded a Paul Harris Fellowship, one of Rotary's highest honours. He also served for several years on the board of Queensferry Churches Care in the Community (Queensferry Care). Only days before his death he gave a fascinating talk to the Rotary Club on Scaling the Heights, the book he had co-authored to mark the centenary of the death of Hugh Munro who listed Scottish mountains over 3,000 feet in the 19th century.

Retirement allowed him more time to indulge his passion for hill walking. He completed the Munros for the first time on Beinn na Lap in 1994 and joined the Munro Society in 2007. For the past decade, he served on its executive committee, holding the posts of treasurer, secretary and vice president before becoming president this year - the centenary of Hugh Munro's death.

As well as contributing to the commemorative book, he was involved in preparing an exhibition on Munro in the AK Bell Library in Perth. Over the years, Mr Batty also completed rounds of the Corbetts, Munro Tops, Donalds and Furths.

An expert photographer, he built a remarkable visual record of the peaks he had climbed. He cared deeply about the traditions and ecology of the mountains and was acutely aware of the threats posed to Scotland's mountain landscape by forestry, badly-sited windfarms, unsightly access roads and local hydro-electric schemes, all of which could have been more sympathetically planned to preserve the environment. He died while walking with friends in the Dumfriesshire Hills. The Scottish mountains and the Munro Society have lost a great friend.

David Batty is survived by his first wife, Margaret, his daughter Elaine and son Stuart and grandchildren Melanie and Oscar. His second wife, Jane, predeceased him.