A LOOK BACK IN TIME: Unsightly transactions

By IW Observer.co.uk Apr 12, 2022

The editor of the Isle of Wight Observer of April 8th, 1865 made his feelings very clear about funeral corteges travelling down Ryde Pier, and put forward a suggestion to stop them!

UNSIGHTLY TRANSACTIONS. – We have been requested by gentlemen representing the wealthiest, if not the major, portion of the inhabitants, to direct the attention of the directors of the Pier Company to a practice which has lately prevailed, and to say the least of it of a highly objectionable character; we allude to the practice, lately allowed, of funeral corteges going down the pier during promenade hours. Such sights are not at all desirable in that locality even to the healthy and strong, whilst they are absolutely repulsive to the invalid; and, if they were unavoidable, nothing more need be said, but all that would remain for invalids and others would be to go elsewhere. But such a practice at such hours is not necessary; for a regulation could be made limiting such corteges to hours when they would not annoy the living. If persons wish to make a parade of Death, let them do it at hours when others are not about to be annoyed or shocked. We are confident that the directors have only to know that a wide-spread dissatisfaction exists against this obnoxious practice, and that too amongst those upon whom the prosperity of the town (and, consequently, of the Pier Company) depends, to cause them to make a regulation to avoid it; and undertakers will doubtless see the necessity of co-operating with such a regulation. For instance, during the present week, we are informed, a hearse and other paraphernalia went down the pier, and the corpse was taken out and conveyed across the chief promenade, where such an unsightly exhibition had no right to be made. We trust that there will be no repetition; and the best way to stop it will be to put on a toll of £50 from 8 a.m to 6 p.m.