Funeral cancelled by snow

Joseph Bulmer

KINGSNYMPTON resident Jenny Goldsmith is ‘furious’ with the highways authorities after being forced to call off the funeral of her 100-year-old mother as she cannot get out of her village.

The funeral should have taken place yesterday (Tuesday) at the North Devon Crematorium in Barnstaple.

But Jenny is stranded in her home on the outskirts of the village and blames the authorities for inadequate gritting.

She lives just outside the village, said Jenny. Gritting had taken place up to the village and then stopped.

This was despite the road being a busy route between South Molton and Chulmleigh and the fact that this was the second year this had happened, with parts of the village cut off for up to 10 days last year in similar circumstances, she said.

It was particularly annoying that she had been able to drive back to her home all the way from North Wales this week only to hit problems in the last four miles from South Molton and having to abandon her car two miles from home. Luckily a young neighbour had helped with a lift in their 4x4.

Her mother’s funeral had had to be cancelled because she could not get out and relatives from North Wales would not be able to get in, said Jenny. “There is absolutely nothing moving here now except, perhaps, a tractor has been past.”

Complaint to Devon County Council had brought the reply that they had 2,000 miles of roads and could not grit them all, she said.

“But it seems to me that the decision to grit is a random choice. This is a busy route and a lot of people are involved. I am so cross that they don’t seem to get their act together.”