Chumps hit a bump

Charles Cowling



Fury in abundance is currently being vented by the good people of Portsmouth against the bungling dolts of The Co-operative Funeralcare. The citizenry is furious that Effcare intend to upgrade their branch in the residential district of Copnor by converting offices into a ‘chapel of rest’ where dead people can be visited by their relatives. 

Residents have put up ‘Stop dead bodies coming to Tangier Road’ posters in their windows and a petition has been gathered with 300 signatures.

Lesley Wood, 64, who lives next to The Co-op funeralcare office, said: ‘I don’t want my grandchildren looking at dead bodies.’

It’s the customary response of any community faced with this sort of thing, and of course it tells us things about societal attitudes to mortality which may not be entirely adult.

After that, things get very odd:

Julie Coleman, 50, of Tangier Road, said: ‘We’ve been told that we won’t see any bodies being put in the parlour because they’ll be covered by a white cloth.

Can anyone tell us what’s going on here, please?

That Effcare should have failed to foresee this and defuse criticism with some sort of pre-emptive charm-and-info campaign defies belief. Or not, as the case may be. 

As for that term chapel of rest…

Full story here




8 thoughts on “Chumps hit a bump

  1. Charles Cowling
    james showers

    Having recently encountered a similar outpouring from my own neighbours, I find my sympathies entirely with the Co-op on this occasion.
    The reaction from people who had come to visit their dead relatives and friends was heartening – “they are not just ‘bodies’ they were my mother and my father”. This quieted the shrill phobic indignation that is so viral if not counterbalanced with a humane perspective.
    One should support this wherever possible, even if one does not approve of the Co-op.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling

    Gosh yes. There is more merriment in Funeralworld than anywhere else on earth. Who was it who said that humour proceeds not from happiness but from sorrow? Spot on.

    Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling

    Agree. An important sociological document.

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    Jon Underwood

    After reading this I am really tempted to jump in a train to Portsmouth with my video camera and interview the protesters. I’m sure their views would make fascinating viewing.

    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Kathryn Edwards

    But the press article’s a Photoshop job, or I’m a Dutchman: there no way that crew is actually standing outside the shop.

    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    Kathryn Edwards

    Am lovin the ‘invisibility jackets’.

    Fascinating comments in response to the press article. Heartening, too, to see so many of them scoffing at the protesters’ blinkered NIMBYism.

    Charles Cowling

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