The most emotional part was the messages written on the back of every ones T-shirts, the majority of people were walking for loved ones who had died, pictures and messages brought a lump to my throat and as I watched the many take the last steps in honour of their loved ones I watched tears well up in their eyes, it was heartbreaking, yet inspiring to watch.
As my family crossed the line and we talked I noticed so many different walks of life sharing in the same horrific story. I watched Police officers standing and clapping, nurses who do the most amazing job, hugging participants and even watched an 80 year old man with a walking stick with a picture of his wife cross the line, it was breathtaking and humbling to watch.
The parking in this area is not great, but people had been sensible and left room for free flowing traffic to pass up the many side streets by parking with their wheels up on the verge, nobody was effected by this and everyone got to watch their loved ones do something great and remember those who have been taken by the horrible illness of cancer.
Time to Q Sutton council parking wardens to act in a manner that appalled me.
This was a prime opportunity to give tickets out to as many cars as possible, I was gobsmacked at the insensitive, uncaring, money grabbing actions of two wardens. They were almost running between cars to slap on the £100 fine (£55 if you pay it quick) with a smiles on their faces.
I approached them and pointed out what was happening and why there was so many cars, they did not care, indeed so rude was one particular warden he didn't even look up at me as I talked or listen to my plee to show some leniency.
Community, trust and faith in those that run our communities and country start with the little acorn, in this case my local council. No wonder the country is pissed off, no wonder we have lost all faith in the political system, no wonder we do not trust the powers that are put in place to protect us. People had spent months raising money for a great cause, trained hard to walk the walk and carried pictures of lost family and friends on their backs, they cried as they crossed the finish line and hugged their nearest and dearest, then they returned to their vehicles (And their were lots) to find a ticket slapped on thier windows.
Sutton council and the parking wardens should hold their heads in shame.
I will pay my £55 happily, I was after all parked with two wheels on a grass verge (on a single yellow line) to avoid congestion (How bloody small minded of me!) and I broke the law! I would however rather throw this £55 at the charity than feed the greed, insensitivity and small mindedness of two men dressed in green armed with a pocket full of parking infringement tickets.
Really, the wardens should have put down their pens and joined the police oficers, nurses, families and friends and clapped the amazing people who marched 14 miles to give a little back, by doing this next time you gave out a ticket, the community might just remember what a selfless thing you did and not be so anti you, that's too easy though right?
How heartening and sensitive would it have been for the wardens to leave a message such as this on the many windscreens;
"Dear Driver, We can see you have committed a parking infringement today but Sutton council parking wardens understand what an amazing effort you have given today and we wish to applaud you rather than penalise you. Congratulations on your inspiring effort.
Much respect. The traffic warden."
To think outside the box is to grow, seriously the worker we all love to hate could have gained the respect back from the very public it serves. How? By doing the same as the very people they were penalising - Giving back and just for one fleeting moment, thinking of others!
The actions of these two wardens is where our communities are simply doomed and it is all born out of greed!
Sutton council, you should be ashamed of yourself!