Roadside Memorials

Discussion in 'UK and Europe' started by Simonb, Feb 29, 2004.

  1. Simonb

    Simonb Guest

    There is currently a fashion for marking the roads with flowers and memorials where someone died. If
    someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery that
    caused it. If someone collapses and dies from a heart attack, we don't place his photo on the
    pavement where he fell. So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?

    Is this Diana synrome in action?

    I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    location of her death.

    Simon
     
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  2. Simonb wrote:
    > There is currently a fashion for marking the roads with flowers and memorials where someone died.
    > If someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery
    > that caused it. If someone collapses and dies from a heart attack, we don't place his photo on the
    > pavement where he fell. So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?
    >
    > Is this Diana synrome in action?
    >
    > I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    > location of her death.

    Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal accidents
    to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.
     
  3. >Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal
    >accidents to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.

    When driving in Italy, one road I remember as at periodic intervals there were cut-outs (full-size)
    of coffins placed at intervals down the side of the road. A sign said each one represented a death
    on that particular road. Yes, a bit morbid!

    And whilst yes, it's important to remember a person's life, I do think it's important not to forget
    the 3500+ who are killed on our roads each year. Currently it's very acceptable to forget that it's
    *people* who are indeed killed, when those responsible seem to get away with a metaphoric slap on
    the wrist of a paltry fine and a few licence points, when witnesses say the driver was driving like
    a bat out of hell - such as in the recent case here in Norfolk..

    That is *not* to say all drivers involved in collisions where someone is killed are always at fault,
    but IMO, it seems that in the UK, it's dealt with way too leniently when the driver *is* at fault.

    I'd love to know what it does take to get more drivers to take responsibility for their actions
    when driving.

    Cheers, helen s


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  4. Whingin' Pom

    Whingin' Pom Guest

    On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 10:26:21 +0000, Zog The Undeniable
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal
    >accidents to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.

    The police here have employed people to stand at known speeding areas dressed as the Grim Reaper in
    an attempt to raise awareness.

    http://tinyurl.com/3cyuk

    Personally, I'd be well hacked off if anyone stuck a cross up at the place of my death. Another type
    of less Christian memorial, yes, but not a cross, ta.

    --
    Matt K Dunedin, NZ
     
  5. > There is currently a fashion for marking the roads with flowers and memorials where someone died.
    > If someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery
    > that caused it. If someone collapses and dies from a heart attack, we don't place his photo on the
    > pavement where he fell. So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?
    >
    > Is this Diana synrome in action?
    >
    > I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    > location of her death.

    With the filling up of local churchyards and the greater distance of crematoriums etc from peoples
    homes I guess it's impractical to get there for many people. Add to this the fact that many people
    might think the family may prefer the grave kept private and personal to the family. The site of the
    death thus becomes the focal point for the flowers 'cos it's easier to get to and has none of the
    feelings of intrusion associated with the gravesite. Most people will also know where it is, but not
    know where the grave is, and not know other members of the family to ask about it.

    My friend died later in hospital, so the flowers I laid a few months ago were not even at the place
    of her death. The flowers by the roadside cheer the place up a bit, are in a place where those who
    knew her will see them and will be reminded of her and just maybe they might make some c*nt think
    next time before he gets behind the wheel.

    Flowers at the roadside are both a physical sign of our remembrance and celebration of that person's
    life but not a veneration of the place of death. I wasn't thinking of a small patch of tarmac when I
    laid the flowers by the roadside.

    Mark.

    ---
    Outgoing mail is certified Virus Free. Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
    Version: 6.0.596 / Virus Database: 379 - Release Date: 26/02/2004
     
  6. Sandy Morton

    Sandy Morton Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, Simonb
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    > So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?

    In Greece they build little shrines at the roadside with fruit and flowers inside them.

    --
    A T (Sandy) Morton on the Bicycle Island In the Global Village http://www.millport.net
     
  7. Marc

    Marc Guest

    In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > The site of the death thus becomes the focal point for the flowers 'cos it's easier to get to
    >
    Apart from the muppets that have started doing it on Mways! :-(
     
  8. Marc

    Marc Guest

    In article <[email protected]>,
    [email protected] says...
    > Is this Diana synrome in action?
    >
    Yep!

    But I place it's origins a bit further back at the Sheffield stadium deaths , IMHO it's just
    organic litter.
     
  9. Graeme

    Graeme Guest

    "Mark Thompson" <[email protected] (change warm for
    hot)> wrote in news:[email protected]:

    > Flowers at the roadside are both a physical sign of our remembrance and celebration of that
    > person's life but not a veneration of the place of death.

    These thing are really common here in Australia. Whilst they may be a sign of rememberance and
    celebration of a person's life, I still find it weird that people choose to do so at the sight of
    their often violent and sudden death.

    I know that if I were to be killed in such a fashion, I would much rather that if people feel like
    building a wee memorial, then they did so somewhere I loved or had had good memories of, like beside
    a river or on a mountain [1]. Mind you, as a canoeist and hill walker it is possible that either of
    these could be where I kick the bucket, but you get the idea.

    There was a thread on URC last year sometime around this subject (or at least it ended up on this
    subject). I'm sure a quick Google will give you other people's views.

    Graeme

    [1] and if it does happen, then they make sure it is very small and unobtrusive, preferably only
    visible if you know it is there [2], unlike some of the other memorials I have seen. From memory
    there is a small glass/perspex dome at the base of Schiehallion that seems just not quite right.
    It may be what the grieving friends/relatives want, but it imposes on other people's experiences
    irrespective of the fact that they may have gone there to forget about such events.

    [2] I'd prefer just my ashes to be scattered. I'm undecided between tossed of the top of Buchaille
    Etive Mor or thrown in at the top of the falls at Killin.
     
  10. JohnB

    JohnB Guest

    marc wrote:
    >
    > In article <[email protected]>, [email protected] says...
    > > The site of the death thus becomes the focal point for the flowers 'cos it's easier to get to
    > >
    > Apart from the muppets that have started doing it on Mways! :-(

    These piles of flowers often seem to be placed just where any distraction is not required - brows of
    hills, sharp bends, and the like. They may well cause further crashes. Those who place them should
    be prosecuted for littering.

    John B
     
  11. Debbie

    Debbie Guest

    On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 09:12:30 -0000, "Simonb"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >There is currently a fashion for marking the roads with flowers and memorials where someone died.
    >If someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery
    >that caused it. If someone collapses and dies from a heart attack, we don't place his photo on the
    >pavement where he fell. So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?
    >
    >Is this Diana synrome in action?

    See http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,8363,1154031,00.html

    Debbie
    --

    Debbie Urban Theology Unit, Sheffield Views expressed in this email are my own and are not
    necessarily those of the University of Sheffield or UTU.
     
  12. >See http://society.guardian.co.uk/health/news/0,8363,1154031,00.html
    >
    >Debbie

    I read that article and have some disagreements with it. Firstly there is no right or wrong way to
    express grief. We are all different. It's okay to be "stiff upper-lipped" about it and it's okay to
    be more open with grief. One could argue, I suppose, that for so long, it's been considered
    "British" to display the stiff upper-lip, and that open displays of grief were frowned upon. It is
    also known that bottling things up inside can have adverse side effects on the health of the person
    doing the bottling-up. So perhaps it's no bad thing that we Brits are more open about showing grief
    these days?

    I also listened to a Radio 4 discussion on the same - representatives of charities said that since
    the "Diana syndrome", yes, people may well be more open about their grief, but they did indeed
    back it up with cash to charitable causes. So the open display of grief was not, in reality, an
    empty gesture.

    I also listened to a representative of the organisation that produced the original report. What a
    sanctimonious twit he was. He effectively slated any open display of grief as being empty and
    devoid of meaning. Basically he was insisting his way was the *only* way to show grief - which was
    to not show it.

    There is no right or wrong way for a person to be affected by the death of another person, be that
    an member of your family, friend or other loved one, or simply someone you admired. We are all
    different.

    Cheers, helen s

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  13. On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 09:12:30 -0000, "Simonb"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >There is currently a fashion for marking the roads with flowers and memorials where someone died.
    >If someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery
    >that caused it. If someone collapses and dies from a heart attack, we don't place his photo on the
    >pavement where he fell. So why do these memorials only appear at the sites of road deaths?
    >
    >Is this Diana synrome in action?
    >
    >I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    >location of her death.
    >
    >Simon
    >

    If some bastard runs me over (fatally, next time) I want a speed camera erected as my memorial.
     
  14. BenS

    BenS Guest

    On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 16:01:25 +0000, "[Not Responding]"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If some bastard runs me over (fatally, next time) I want a speed camera erected as my memorial.

    Even if they're not speeding?
    --
    "We take these risks, not to escape from life, but to prevent life escaping from us."
    http://www.bensales.com
     
  15. On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 10:40:45 +0000, dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:

    >>Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal
    >>accidents to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.
    >
    > When driving in Italy, one road I remember as at periodic intervals there were cut-outs (full-
    > size) of coffins placed at intervals down the side of the road. A sign said each one represented a
    > death on that particular road. Yes, a bit morbid!

    I've seen these in France, too - and morbid or not I think they're a good idea. Perhaps they should
    be put up a few hundred yards _before_ the site of the accident though, for safety + maximum effect.
     
  16. Andy Dingley

    Andy Dingley Guest

    On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 09:12:30 -0000, "Simonb"
    <[email protected]> wrote:

    >If someone dies in an industrial accident, we don't arrange flowers upon the piece of machinery
    >that caused it.

    Sometimes we do.

    A large brick-built block of flats in Liverpool, built some time in the '20s, had a bas-relief on
    the side of a huge hod-carrier with bowed head. It was a memorial to a gang of brickies who had been
    killed in building the place. When it was demolished a few years ago, I believe the memorial was
    preserved (and rightly so).

    --
    Smert' spamionam
     
  17. Sue

    Sue Guest

    In message <[email protected]>, anonymous coward
    <[email protected]> writes
    >On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 10:40:45 +0000, dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers wrote:
    >
    >>>Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal
    >>>accidents to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.
    >>
    >> When driving in Italy, one road I remember as at periodic intervals there were cut-outs (full-
    >> size) of coffins placed at intervals down the side of the road.
    >
    >I've seen these in France, too - and morbid or not I think they're a good idea. Perhaps they
    >should be put up a few hundred yards _before_ the site of the accident though, for safety +
    >maximum effect.

    There's a bit of road north of Reading that the local papers labelled "the Thirteen Bends of Death"
    (they were making up the 13 bit) where the parish council put up white (more conspicuous) crosses to
    mark where anyone had died lately.

    Oxfordshire CC removed them on the grounds they "might distract motorists" - but without waiting to
    see if the number of accidents went down or up.

    Motorists make their own distractions if none are provided (radio, mobile phone, smoking, eating,
    chat with passengers etc) so most people thought OCC were silly.
    --
    Sue ]3:))
     
  18. W K

    W K Guest

    "anonymous coward" <[email protected]> wrote in message
    news:p[email protected]...
    > On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 10:40:45 +0000, dirtylitterboxofferingstospammers
    wrote:
    >
    > >>Some people want a policy whereby permanent black crosses are erected at the site of fatal
    > >>accidents to make others think twice. It's sold as a safety feature but it's a bit morbid.
    > >
    > > When driving in Italy, one road I remember as at periodic intervals
    there were
    > > cut-outs (full-size) of coffins placed at intervals down the side of the
    road.
    > > A sign said each one represented a death on that particular road. Yes, a
    bit
    > > morbid!
    >
    > I've seen these in France, too - and morbid or not I think they're a good idea. Perhaps they
    > should be put up a few hundred yards _before_ the site of the accident though, for safety +
    > maximum effect.

    A lot worse in France, black cut outs with a red streak coming down from the top of the head. I
    doubt that the pissed teenagers who come out of country nightclubs at 5 am in powerful cars would be
    able to see them.
     
  19. Martyn Bolt

    Martyn Bolt Guest

    On Sun, 29 Feb 2004 09:12:30 -0000, "Simonb"
    <[email protected]> wrote:
    >
    >Is this Diana synrome in action?
    >
    >I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    >location of her death.
    >
    >Simon

    I know of at least one which pre dates Diana, on the Woodhead Pass from Manchester to Sheffield,
    flowers, posters and I think even some 'silverware'. to mark the spot where Jason McRoy (?)
    mountainbiker died.

    He was riding a motorcycle at the time.
     
  20. John Clayton

    John Clayton Guest

    >>Is this Diana synrome in action?
    Probably yes.
    >>

    >>I feel it's more important to remember a person's life, rather than than venerate the physical
    >>location of her death.
    There's a big(ish) one part way up Woodhead Pass to a cyclist (Jason
    Mc.Roy?) who died there about 1995. Large colour banner, life size photo of the bloke, smallish
    memorial garden, bits of bike hung on the fence, don't know if they're the dead mans bits or not.
    Near Longdendale Forest, on left going toward Sheffield.

    >If some bastard runs me over (fatally, next time) I want a speed camera erected as my memorial.
    I'd prefer a camera to record bad behaviour.

    John Clayton www.ossettmouldings.com
     
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