Don’t worry – this isn’t the start of a slightly off-the-wall new series: it is merely a round-up of several grave matters which have come to our attention today.
Firstly, try not to die in Tower Hamlets. They’ve run out of room to bury people, and are in fact paying families to inter their loved ones elsewhere, in neighbouring Newham or Redbridge. This situation has been looming for several years: the government reckons that within 12 years there will be no space left within London for burials, and that within 30 years it will be impossible to die in England unless you go with cremation. And of course demand is growing: not only is the population increasing, the number of people living in the UK who simply find cremation unacceptable (Jews, Muslims, Zoroastrians – practically everyone except the C of E, in fact) is also on the rise. What to do, what to do…. Suggestions have ranged from re-using old graves so the bodies are stacked to burying people standing up: Londonist likes the idea of blasting our dearly departed into space, although as Scotty found out, what goes up sometimes comes down again.
News of further funereal frolics reaches us from Croydon, where it would seem that next month the country’s funeral parlours are going for an absolutely huge, er, undertaking: a cavalcade of more than a hundred hearses, to set a new world record. With dead seriousness, Mr. Pink, President of the British Instititute of Funeral Directors, says he hopes the parade will help the trade slough off its staid image and attract newcomers to the profession. At the very least it will, um, breathe a bit of life into their annual conference. There’ll be horses and motor-bikes and all sorts – Londonist reckons it’ll be pretty spectacular.
Anyway, we don’t like to dwell on these matters. Have a cheerful weekend.
Millais from freeparking’s flickr stream under the Creative Commons Licence. Londonist likes Millais.