Local Big Issue legend dies

Meadows Big Issue seller John White has died at age 69.

John White: Middle Meadow Walk’s singing, rhyming, cheery Big Issue vendor has sadly passed away at the age of 69.

The Big Issue celebrated their 1000th issue this year and John was awarded ‘Self Publicist of the Year’ at the celebrations.

Mr White's old haunt.

Our legend’s old haunt

A familiar voice to many, just a couple of weeks ago you could have heard his unique and enthusiastic rhyming sales techniques:

“Can I interest you in a Big Issue! Good news good news it’s the Big Issue! Don’t be shy give it a try, it’s the Big Issue!”

Mr White died of cancer on Monday after being admitted to hospital less than a week beforehand.


If you’ve lived in Marchmont – in fact, if you’ve been to Middle Meadow Walk at all- then you’ll have seen him there tirelessly in his high visibility jacket.

You may never have bought a magazine from him (shame on you), but he was always there singing away, brightening the walk to university for lots of us.

We may all be broke students, but perhaps next time you walk past a miserable Big Issue vendor, or past one of Edinburgh’s many beggars, his memory might stir you to be more generous with your time and money.