The Bellinghman (bellinghman) wrote,
The Bellinghman

On evolving etiquette

One thing that has appeared over the last few years in this country is the 'flower shrine' - a spontaneous laying of flowers at sites associated with unexpected deaths, particularly road accidents.

Three and a half weeks ago, a toddler was struck down and killed by a car on Kneesworth Street here in Royston, and a stack of flowers appeared strapped to a nearby lamp post. Perhaps because it was in town, and thereby easily accessible, or perhaps because it was a small child, or perhaps because the victim and family were well known by the people nearby, the stack was particularly massive, forming a pyramid about six foot in height.

(Parenthetically, the family appear to be of Malaysian Chinese origin, so incomers.)

Today I saw that the flowers were gone.

Is there an accepted period during which flowers are left? Is it till the funeral has happened and there's a grave available? At what point does the council feel it right to take the left flowers away? Who feels they are permitted to lay flowers? Can anyone do it? Who feels they are required to lay flowers?


In a somewhat sad sequel, there is now a large arrangement of flowers on Melbourn Street, and workmen are repairing the lights of the pedestrian crossing there. This appears to be due to some teenagers losing control of their car early Monday morning after being asked to stop by the police. We didn't even hear it, despite being only a couple of hundred metres away.

(The two streets named are both millennia old, considerably pre-dating the town which was founded at their crossing point. In Roman times, it would have been a major but remote crossroads, with no water supply anywhere near.)

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