Is there a connection between your work and your age at death? A recent study is inconclusive except in the case of traffic wardens.
A Mr Denzil Fitzherbert of Ipswich fell ill just before Christmas last and in early January of this year sadly passed away at the comparatively tender age of 52. Remarkably it seems, Mr Fitzherbert had booked someone for parking a Renault Clio across the forecourt of the loading bay at Argos 52 days earlier and this had astonishingly been his 52nd ticket issued as a traffic warden! Apparently, his death resulted from a heart attack whilst attempting a three-point turn in his tractor.
His lovely wife of 23 years tells us…
‘Poor Denny,’ she sobs. ‘He’d only picked up the tractor that day. If only he’d just reversed back up to the barn like I told him.’
Another story, quite similar to this, was the case of Mr Frederick Ponsonby. He’d been a warden for 5 years and loved his job. One day in Southampton, he’d noticed a Vauxhall Astra parked suspiciously in the carpark of Morrisons.
And so out came the black book and yellow ticket and the unfortunate Astra driver incredibly became Mr Ponsonby’s 61st booking as a warden!
Mr Ponsonby had just celebrated his 61st birthday. And sure enough so it was that 61 days later he fell off a ladder trying to mend a broken gutter on his neighbour’s conservatory!
Mr Ponsonby had divorced his first wife Ellen Snickland (nee) three years previous.
‘I was heartbroken to learn of poor Fred’s passing,’ she tells us. ‘We parted some years ago but we still kept in touch. In fact we were planning to visit the Titanic Museum later that month.’
Perhaps strangest of all however is the case of William Topside-Manbottom from Folkestone. He’d been a traffic warden for a mere 2 years and was only 25.
His mother tells us the tale…
‘My dear sweet William! He loved that job to bits. He’d noticed a red Ford Ka parked on double yellow lines outside McDonalds. Normally he’d let it pass but today he’d decided to have the toe-rag, and he became William’s 25th issued ticket in his two tears as a warden. And that should have been the end of it. But sadly 25 days later he fell off a cliff in Dover trying to get a closer look at a passing P and O ferry with his small binoculars I bought him for his birthday. Oh! He was a keen one with the binoculars! On the day of his funeral I remember he had 25 guests and no more.’
Statistically speaking it would seem a warden’s job carries its own portents. as this final note appears to confirm.
If you add up the ages of Fitzherbert, Ponsonby and Topside-Manbottom you get the figure 138, which is the exact number of traffic wardens that have died since 1997.
My conclusion? Work in Poundland.