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Permanent Memorials at Roadside Accident Spots

(103 Posts)
NanaEm Fri 27-Jul-18 10:29:11

I’ve just driven back to Ireland from a break in Wales and England and am surprised at the number of memorials I’ve seen by the roadsides marking the deaths of accident victims. Some of these were quite elaborate granite headstones, some were wooden crosses with brass plaques. I feel so sorry for the families bereaved in this way but also feel our public roadsides are not the place for these permanent memorials. Am I being unreasonable for not agreeing with this?

paddyann Fri 27-Jul-18 10:39:59

I suppose it might make others drive more carefully but I'm with you.I dont like them or the masses of flowers from all and sundry that appear on the streets after theres been an accident etc.
Mind you I dont buy flowers for graves either..or visit them .Once your dead your dead as far as I'm concerned and as my late mother used to say dont wait until I'm gone before you visit with flowers come while I'm alive and can enjoy your company.
I 've kind of gone with her thinking ,we had her ashes scattered at the crematorium as dads were ,they weren't her, when the light left her eyes she was gone .

Greyduster Fri 27-Jul-18 11:21:15

I’m afraid I would rather not see permanent roadside memorials. We have one halfway round a walk that we do. A young man came off the road in his car at speed, crashed through two fences and down a steep embankment. There is now a permanent brick structure incorporating a seat and a place to plant flowers. I have no objections to his friends and family gathering there to commemorate him, but they tend to leave a mess behind when they do and it becomes unsightly. They obviously feel that it is someone else’s job to clear it up. I don’t know why there are not planning regulations governing the erection of these permanent memorials.

Maybelle Fri 27-Jul-18 11:23:37

I agree, and on a similar note have instructed my family not to put a bench with my name on a plaque when I die.

goldengirl Fri 27-Jul-18 11:27:34

I wouldn't mind a bench overlooking the sea or a beauty spot - but not a memorial beside a busy road; that is neither useful or beautiful to paraphrase William Morris

Anniebach Fri 27-Jul-18 11:33:24

We don’t have them in Mid Wales, we are in a National Park and so many restrictions.

JackyB Fri 27-Jul-18 11:36:06

On the road between Bury and Newmarket there was always the "Shepherd Boy's Grave" - it had been there for ever - maybe even 100 years. Fresh flowers always appeared magically on it every week. This was before the present day custom arose as described in the OP.

Perhaps, though, there should be an official limit for such memorials - and I would also suggest that they shouldn't be in stone - surely the person who was killed there has a grave or urn somewhere as well?

JackyB Fri 27-Jul-18 11:39:15

Gosh - I've even found something about that Boy's Grave. It's called the "Gypsy Boy's grave" here. Brings back childhood memories!

Jane10 Fri 27-Jul-18 11:43:18

Years ago a young man crashed his car into a tree near us. Sadly he died. Someone, possibly his mother, must have planted hundreds of crocus bulbs in the ground round the tree. They flower every spring. That always reminds me of the young man who we knew peripherally. It seems a nice thing to do. I don't suppose younger people even wonder why this carpet of flowers blooms in a small area though. But we do.

MamaCaz Fri 27-Jul-18 11:43:57

A memorial in stone at a site where someone came off the road because they were going too fast? It sounds downright dangerous to me, because the next person to come off in the same place for the same reason (though not necessarily going as fast) could crash into it and lose their life purely because of it. I have already heard some driving groups saying that the ridiculous number of road signs in some places poses a similar hazard!

Newatthis Fri 27-Jul-18 11:44:28

My birthday is Christmas Day and I would be horrified to think that my family are visiting my grave on this day to place flowers when they should be having fun which is why I will be cremated. People like to remember their loved ones in different ways and I think it's important to respect that.

MamaCaz Fri 27-Jul-18 11:45:40

Sorry - I have re-read the post that I was responding to, and have realized that the memorial in question is probably not at the roadside.

lemongrove Fri 27-Jul-18 11:52:23

Have only seen flowers ( usually wilted) left in plastic wrapping on roadsite ‘memorials’.
I think it’s unsightly and a bit macabre tbh.

Nonnie Fri 27-Jul-18 11:52:36

My family know I don't want roadside flowers if I die in a crash but I like useful memorials, benches, trees etc. and if they have a discreet plaque showing who is being remembered that is fine by me.

humptydumpty Fri 27-Jul-18 12:00:17

I find roadside tributes distracting, too, when driving, which is surely the opposite of a good thing.

SueDonim Fri 27-Jul-18 12:11:00

There is one of these memorials on a road I sometimes take into town. Two people were killed in separate accidents some 12/15 years ago but I don't know who is commemorated there.

The whole area has been turned into a business park and the memorial seemed to shift about a bit. The park is finished now and the memorial has acquired a granite cross as well as rose bushes and fresh flowers. It does seem a bit odd by the side of a busy road with no pavement.

I wonder if such things have become more common because religion & burial play less of a part in people lives now? Things like this and 'death benches' are used in place of graves and church.

GrannyGravy13 Fri 27-Jul-18 12:16:22

In France (or it could have been Germany) we noticed black one dimensional figures of varying sizes roadside where people had died. Very macabre and distracting.

Nandalot Fri 27-Jul-18 12:22:39

Yes, GrannyG. I’ve seen those in France. A whole line of them at the place I am thinking of. Very macabre as you said but I suppose it could shock drivers into slowing down.

humptydumpty Fri 27-Jul-18 12:30:30

Not long ago, a cyclist was killed and a 'ghost bocycle' (i.e.epainted entirely white) was left at the spot.

sodapop Fri 27-Jul-18 12:38:55

I like the crocus idea Jane10 that was a lovely thing to do.
I do dislike the sprays tied to fences or lampposts which are just left to rot, same with the horrible plastic flowers left at the site. I really don't see how that honours a memory.

Greyduster Fri 27-Jul-18 12:48:46

There is another memorial quite close to the one I mentioned upthread, but it was commissioned by the small nearby community that the people came from. It is three lifesize laser cut steel figures; one of a man who was well known in his community for helping people, one of a young soldier who was killed in Afghanistan, and one of a well known boxer. They are placed at the side of the Transpennine Trail at a point where people often stop to sit and have a breather, and are not intrusive. The only floral tribute I have ever seen are a couple of poppies which are placed each year on the soldier’s figure. I try not to be judgemental about these things, but for some reason, one embarrasses me, and the other doesn’t.

GillT57 Fri 27-Jul-18 13:38:01

I can't say I have noticed any permanent roadside memorials, but like you lemon I dislike the bunches of flowers, usually in plastic, left to wither and die at the side of the road. To me, the fact that the flowers are dead and withered, and the teddies are soggy and faded just looks as if nobody cares enough to tidy them up. Not the case I know, and I am not being judgemental, but I find them sad.

Iam64 Fri 27-Jul-18 13:42:31

Its a long standing tradition in Ireland, as it is in Greece. Ive always associated it with the strong religious faiths in those countries and have no negative feelings about it.

So far as the growing tradition of road side memorials in the UK, I wonder if its partly because we're an increasingly secular society. It's more common for there to be a cremation after which, some families scatter the ashes of their loved ones. Others have them placed in their local Church graveyard, which means there is a place to 'visit' your loved one, leave flowers, take care off the graveside and so on.

OldMeg Fri 27-Jul-18 13:45:38

What a judgemental lot of posts. Try not to be so unkind as you have not walked in their shoes.

tanith Fri 27-Jul-18 13:50:48

There was one for a long time on a very busy main route out of London eventually the police told the family that it was distracting drivers and had led to further accidents and they did eventually stop laying flowers and other things there.