Wednesday, March 27, 2019

Unkown Joey and his famous memorial


If you'd like to be remembered long after your death, forget our modern notions of ashes from the mortuary or a smart grave somewhere.
At least, that's the impression I get from the memorial to a local lad who died on London's southern
A3 boundary.
Joey Evans was just 22 driving a pick-up truck when he was caught in a pileup with two HGV lorries and a van.
A home-made memorial is mounted beside the A3, presumably near the scene of the fatal crash.
Each time I cycle to or from New Malden I see the memorial and wonder about its details. Currently, a board covered in simulated grass hosts a plaque that shows Joey's portrait and brief details.
It tells passersby that Joey was killed back in December 2004. Presumably, the memorial has been there more or less ever since.

Astounding

The astounding point is that it is constantly refreshed, and at least each time I pass by bunches of flowers on it are fresh - or nearly so.
Who is this fellow, this stranger to most of us, who is remembered for so long afterwards, and comparing the time, very much longer than most road accidents victims seem to be mourned, at least in public?
A look online produced a report from the Surrey Comet, dated 31st December 2004.
Joey, it reveals, gained fame as a boxing champ at school. He worked as a roofer, lived at Swallow Park travellers' site in Hook Rise North.

1,200 Mourners

The newspaper reported, 'A glass hearse, pulled by four white horses, led a procession of more than 20 black limousines and trucks, from Tolworth to the church where over 1,200 mourners gathered.’
Joey has me paying respects every few months, but doubtlessly every day thousands of thoughts are aimed his way from cars and lorries. The daily number is likely to be in the tens of thousands, and all through each night as well.
Continues on the blogs for my ocean adventuring book, Sailing to Purgatory, at
http://sailingtopurgatory.com/index.php/feeds/370-unknown-joey-and-his-best-known-memorial

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