You see a hearse with a coffin laid out nicely in the back coming towards you. You see several cars containing the mourning family and friends of the deceased following the hearse at a slow, respectful pace. Do you
a) take off your hat and bow your head as the cortege passes?
b) pretend not to see it and carry on as you were?
c) whip out your little notebook, start recording all the number plates you see and wait for the cars to stop before pouncing on them with parking tickets?
It was widowed pensioner Doreen Randall's extremely bad luck to encounter the Most Heartless Traffic Warden In The World on the day of her husband's funeral on 16 April this year. As the funeral service took place in St John the Baptist Church in Hampton Wick, the unidentified traffic warden began to stick penalty notices on the parked cars; he had been spotted in position before the cortege arrived and was apparently very diligent in his unpleasant little duties, according to vicar David Lund.
Seems like London ranks lower than Wigan in terms of human kindness: Reverent Lund went on record saying:
"I have never known anything like this. I have served in Liverpool, Manchester and Wigan, and they are not known for having kind parking attendants, but I have never seen this."
He didn't use the world vulture, but we're all thinking that, aren't we?
Richmond Council have, as can be expected, no comment and are insisting that only one parking ticket was issued that had any relevance to the funeral. That ticket is now being appealed against, and good luck to them in getting the parking penalty overturned: don't let it become legend that burying your husband of 53 years is still not enough to make a traffic warden act a teensy bit human.