Heartless officials demand removal of roadside shrine for dead son


HEARTLESS officials contacted a grieving family on holiday in India to demand they remove a roadside shrine to their dead son.

Mark MacKenzie died in June this year after his motorbike collided with a tractor on a rural road near Biggar, South Lanarkshire.

The 26-year-old’s devastated family put up a stone shrine next to the accident spot which bore a plaque and candle.


Mark MacKenzie died after his motorbike collided with a tractor on a rural road near Biggar


But just six months later, following complaints from locals, council officials decided Mark’s parents would have to remove the shrine – or the council would take it away.

South Lanarkshire then arranged for Strathclyde Police officers to contact Edna and Forbes with the order, despite the fact they were on holiday in Goa.

An outraged Edna, contemplating her first Christmas without her son, took to Facebook from India to condemn the council.

Edna, from Edinburgh, wrote: “Council have told us to get rid of Mark’s shrine – bastards. So much for bloody Lanark council.

“It wasn’t doing anyone any harm.”

The heartbroken mother  said there was nothing she and her husband could do while in India, adding:  “Will sort it out when we get back.”


The memorial was placed at the scene where Mark had his tragic accident near Biggar

Mrs MacKenzie later said she was “disgusted” at nine members of the public who had complained about the shrine, five objecting to the candle and four claiming the stone was dangerous.

Mark’s brother, Craig, also took to Facebook to complain.

“Rage!” he wrote. “The police have phoned my parents in India to tell them that there has been complaints from the public about the memorial stone we placed out at my brother’s crash site and are asking them to remove it or the council will remove it for them.”

He added: “Whatever ‘upstanding’, ignorant, busybody, arses have complained you should have a moral transplant and seriously think about what you have complained about and grief you have caused.”

Mark’s parents, Edna and Forbes, were contacted by police while in India explaining the request to remove the memorial


The accident happened on the Biggar to Carnwath B road, which has been the site of several serious accidents. Later in June this year, a woman died in another accident on the  same road.

The message engraved on the plaque reads: “Our loving Son. Mark L. MacKenzie “Sparky”. 20/11/85- 5/6/12 (I’m Sexy and I Know it).

“I’ve gone down so many roads I never should have gone and I’ve did so many things I never should have done.

“But every mile that I’ve ridden I’d ride them all again cause I live to ride and ride to live at peace with what I am.”

Mr MacKenzie went to Leith Academy and managed his mother’s B & B in Edinburgh.

He was also part of a team which raised funds for a youth centre in Leith by completing the Tough Mudder, an obstacle course designed by British special forces.

Mark was a keen fundraiser and took part in the Tough Mudder challenge to raise money for a local youth centre

Friends of Mrs MacKenzie backed her outburst at the council. Fraser Clark wrote: “The council need a good hard kick in the arse for being so stupid!”

A spokeswoman for Strathclyde Police said: “We did not decide to remove the memorial, it was South Lanarkshire Council.

“We are only involved to contact the family and ensure compassion.”