Tributes pour in for tragic ‘true gentleman’ Luke Coles

Luke Coles pictured at Scarborough's Open Air Theatre last year.
Luke Coles pictured at Scarborough's Open Air Theatre last year.

Friends have paid tribute to a popular 21-year-old Scarborough man who was tragically killed after his car was in a collision with a bus in Edinburgh.

Luke “Colesy” Coles, of Princess Street, was well-known on the town’s theatre circuit, working as a rigger and lighting technician on production crews at the Open Air Theatre, Stephen Joseph and the Futurist.

He was also a member of the Sea Cadets and in 2008 he received a special accolade at the first Mayor’s Big Thank You awards for his volunteer work with Scarborough Disabled Swimming Group.

His boss and friend Phil Laycock, director of P&L Sound and Lighting, in Falsgrave, described him as a “true gentleman”.

He said: “We worked together all last season at the Open Air Theatre doing all the major shows. I have only known him a couple of years but we became really close friends.

“He loved working in theatre - he lived and breathed it. He just absolutely loved going to the shows and being a part of everything. As well as shows in Scarborough, he worked on a number of touring productions in cities such as London.

“He was just a really all-round nice, genuine guy. He was a true gentleman and would help anybody. He was popular, good fun and had a great sense of humour. He was a colleague and a great friend and we worked and played together and had good times. It’s such a shock. He will be very sadly missed.”

The former Graham School pupil died at the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh on Thursday after his Fiat Punto collided with a bus in the Scottish capital during Monday morning rush hour.

It is believed he was travelling to work when the accident happened on Old Dalkeith Road, north of its junction with Newton Church Road.

Speaking on behalf of the Futurist, the theatre’s manager Andrew Nesbit said: “Our condolences go to Luke’s family. We are very saddened that this has happened. He last worked at the theatre on the Gary Barlow show. He was always a pleasant and amicable member of the crew and obviously it is a great loss.”

Former Scarborough Mayor, Cllr Janet Jefferson, who presented Mr Coles with his special under 18s “Champion Award” in 2008, said: “I think it’s really very, very tragic because he had such ambitions for the future. I’m very saddened by the news and my sincere condolences go to his family.”

Tributes have also been pouring in from family, friends and colleagues on Facebook, with more than 100 messages left on Mr Coles’ profile page.

Andy Murrell said: “I don’t have the words right now to fully express my sadness. A truly wonderful person enjoying work and life to the full. What a tragedy.”

Luke Child commented: “I can’t believe this has happened. Speechless and devastated and my thoughts are with Luke’s family and all those who knew and loved him.”

Production manager Phil McAndish, of open other end, wrote: “The world has lost one of its good guys and our industry has lost a gem. I am lost for words all I do know is that you will be sadly missed by many.”

Friends have also paid tribute on Twitter using the hashtag #lukecoles.

Actress Josefina Gabrielle said: “what a terrible waste of a beautiful young life. So sad. RIP dear Luke.”

Simon Oliver wrote: “A fine young man who would have gone on to greatness. You will be missed by a great many people.”

A spokesman for Lothian and Borders Police said: “Anyone who may have been in the area at the time and saw what happened should contact us on 101.”

• Leave your own tribute messages for Mr Coles in the comments section below.