Sunday, April 17, 2016

Pallbearers had to push coffin up hill on trolley after hearse broke down

Pallbearers were forced to push a coffin up a hill on a trolley after a hearse broke down. The memorial service for Julie Wilson from Penryn, Cornwall, had just taken place at St Gluvias Church on Tuesday when faulty electronics on a brand new hearse belonging to Penryn and Falmouth Funeral Directors caused it to refuse to open its doors. The pallbearers, led by the vicar carrying a bronze cross, decided to push the coffin on its gurney all the way up the very steep hill round to St Gluvias Cemetery at the top.

Her husband Tug filmed the whole episode from the back of a Mercedes while following the coffin. Traffic was held up as the determined men slowly trudged up the hill while being followed by a succession of mourners in their vehicles as well as a long line of traffic. Vehicles coming from the opposite direction were confronted by the coffin and at one point there was a close shave with a Land Rover coming round the corner and they also had to avoid a large lorry. Former Royal Navy man and Julie's husband Tug paid tribute to his wife and the funeral directors who he said had really gone that 'extra' mile.

"Having been to military and civilian funerals, yesterday was sad for me but also the funniest," he said. "Julie let me know she was still with me, first by making the track of Edelweiss skip a few beats during the service and second once back in the hearse to go to the cemetery the hearse wouldn't start. I told Roy [Sanders] from Penryn and Falmouth Funeral Directors, that it was Julie and she didn't want to leave me. Unable to get the back up, Roy who has looked after Julie this last week, made the decision to walk her round to the cemetery with dignity. My thanks go to them and I would recommend his firm to anybody they go that extra mile."

Mr Wilson said it was very sad it was also very funny and Julie would have been highly amusedwhile . "I'm going to try and get it [the video] speeded up and put the Benny Hill theme over the top," he said. Funeral director Roy Sanders, who was at the back of the coffin, said it was a steep hill but it was fortunate they had the bearers there. "It was a lovely sunny afternoon. The sort of thing that if we'd planned it we would have done anyway. Being at the back of the coffin I can keep in control and know what's going on and it is what we do, we make things happen and we make things happen well." Julie, died on Wednesday, March 31 after being airlifted to the Royal Cornwall Hospital by air ambulance following a suspected haert attack. The hearse eventually had to be loaded onto a low loader and returned to the manufacturer under its warranty.

You can watch Mr Wilson's full eight-minute video here.

No comments: