Bay City Rollers' tree in Edinburgh's Meadows should be just the start of living monuments to city's favourite personalities – Susan Dalgety
Tonight, a 71-year-old man will relive his youth in front of a live audience.
Former Bay City Rollers front man, Nobby Clark, will serenade diners at a city centre restaurant, taking them back to a time when we thought we would keep on dancing forever.
I’m not sure I fancy a spot of Shang-a-Lang with my starter or Bye Bye Baby with my dessert, but I was touched by another tribute to the world’s greatest tartan boy band, revealed in this newspaper a few days ago.
American businessman Paul Malouf has donated a cherry blossom tree to the city on behalf of his wife Yoshiko, a long-time Rollers fan. The tree, which is in the Meadows, bears the legend, “Dedicated to the Bay City Rollers, whose Scottish tartan pride was displayed for all to see. Their music brought joy and happiness to the world.”
Mr Malouf’s gift got me thinking. Wouldn’t it be lovely if the city had a special arboretum dedicated to other Edinburgh personalities who have brought joy and happiness to the world?
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There would definitely have to be a pair of Scots pines for Ian Rankin and his much-loved creation John Rebus. A stout oak for Sean Connery whose James Bond remains the best. Magical willows for Harry Potter and JK Rowling of course.
I think author Muriel Spark, and her girls, deserve a row of cherry blossom trees, and how about a grove of sweet chestnuts for Hibs and Hearts? Their fans could enjoy a conker derby every autumn, and Hibs might even win for once.
And rugby fans could mark their devotion to legends such as Andy Nicol and Gavin Hastings with a scrum of gorse bushes.
According to the charity Tree Time Edinburgh, which planted the Rollers’ tree, there were 11,000 street trees in Edinburgh in the 1990s. Today there are only 8,550, a 22 per cent decline.
And five per cent of Edinburgh’s surviving trees are said to be in a critical condition or dying. Dutch Elm disease kills 1,000 trees every year, and other diseases, including sudden oak death, threaten to destroy even more.
What better way to bring back some green to our city than planting trees to celebrate our favourite Edinburgh folk?