Charles Letts was the last remaining member of the Letts family still working at the historic diary-producing firm based in Dalkeith, Midlothian, which was founded in 1796 and created the world’s first commercial diary in 1812.
His sudden death from a suspected heart attack in his driveway after a cross-country run near his home close to Duns came as a shock to family, friends and the 300 Dalkeith employees of the firm, now trading under the name FLB Group (Filofax, Letts, Blueline).
They described him as extremely fit and sporty, he enjoyed riding, stalking, fishing, polo, tennis, marathon running and skiing, and he was a keen fan of rugby and of Chelsea FC and he ran the New York marathon in 1996.
Charles Letts was born in Lowestoft, Suffolk in 1965. After leaving Edinburgh’s Fettes College in 1983, he travelled in Australia for two years, working in several jobs including at a cattle station, before a brief spell back home as a trainee merchant navy officer.
He joined the army in 1985, training at Sandhurst before being commissioned into what was then The Queens Own Hussar’s, a light cavalry regiment, in 1986 serving in what was then West Germany, Canada and Northern Ireland during the Troubles.
In the latter, as the youngest officer in the regiment.
Always a keen skier, he organised and led a ten-man regimental ski team which competed in races in Austria and France. He also taught rock climbing and led an expedition of fellow soldiers on climbing and trekking exercises, including in Sardinia.
According to friends and fellow soldiers, he was always fond of a wee dram. An army friend recalled that he was once given three “extras” (effectively three shifts of night duty) after the army dentist smelled a whiff of whisky on him one morning.
After studying at evening college, he got an MBA and joined the family company in 1990, aged 25, and worked his way up to become a key and popular member of management, red corduroys and all.
Following in the footsteps and hoof prints of his father, who was a hound-breeder and MFH (Master of Foxhounds), Charlie Letts walked, stalked, hiked, climbed and rode the College Valley in the Borders where his father was a major figure.
More than anything else he was a content, positive, happy and loving family man who will be very much missed by many.