Cancelled: Memorial cherry blossom tree to commemorate life of Edinburgh Bay City Rollers' legend

Due to unforeseen circumstances this event was cancelled. A memorial tree dedicated to the memory of Edinburgh pop star Les Mckeown, lead singer of the Bay City Rollers, is to be planted in the Meadows this week.

Wednesday, 24th November 2021, 4:01 pm
Les Mckeown

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The cherry blossom tree, Prunus Kanzan, has been donated to the city by long-time Bay City Rollers fan Yoshiko Maluf after she contacted the City of Edinburgh Council asking if such a memorial might be possible and was delighted when a Council worker suggested that she contact Tree Time Edinburgh.

Yoshiko, who will be present at the planting, says, "I met Les’ wife last week, I mentioned to her about this project. She seemed to be very shocked and said that Les had always wanted to plant Sakura."

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Cherry Blossom

Sakuras, also known as Japanese cherry trees, generally refer to ornamental cherry trees and not those that produce fruit.

Yoshiko donated the tree through Tree Time Edinburgh, an organisation that works to plant large, prominent trees in streets and parks, ‘planting replacement landmark trees before the old ones die as well as trees in other public places and urban woodlands, new and existing’.

The Prunus Kanzan species was suggested by Edinburgh's tree officer, a straight replacement for the trees that have been removed from West Meadows.

A plaque will mark the memorial tree which will be planted on Coronation Walk, which is near the Pavilion Cafe, north of Melville Drive.

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Born and raised in Broomhouse, Leslie Richard McKeown became one of the world’s greatest pop stars and latterly, one of the hardest working entertainers in the music business, clocking up hundreds of concerts a year. He joined the Rollers aged just 16 and was still performing their hits with his own band when he died suddenly on April 20 this year.

Earlier this month a memorial bench was also unveiled to the memory of founding Roller, Alan Longmuir. The bench is in Bannockburn Cemetery where Alan, who was born and brought up at No 5 Caledonian Road, Dalry, is buried.

Commenting on the bench, the funds for which were raised by fans, his wife Eileen said, “I know Alan will be up there shaking his head in wonderment of the continuing love being shown in his memory.”

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