Traveller funeral did not breach Covid rules confirm police

Chatteris traveller's funeral

Funeral procession in Chatteris of a much loved member of the travelling community. - Credit: Cambs Times reader

Police said that a funeral in Chatteris of a member of the travelling community complied with Covid-19 regulations.  

Residents who contacted police about the large numbers gathered in the town for the funeral have been assured guidelines were observed.  

“We were made aware of a funeral expected to take place in Chatteris on Tuesday March 9,” said a police spokesperson. 

“At about 12.45pm, we received a call from a member of the public concerned around the number of people in attendance. 

“Officers confirmed that 30 people were inside the church, as per Covid guidelines, and others remained outside.” 

Funeral of Billy West in Chatteris 

Funeral of Billy West in Chatteris - Credit: Cambs Times reader

The spokesperson said: “By 1.30pm, the service and burial had finished and those who attended had left the area. 

“No Covid fixed penalty notices were issued as a result.” 

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He added: “We encourage communities to take personal responsibility and follow Government regulations to help stop the spread of the virus.” 

One resident who contacted this newspaper queried whether Covid restrictions had been breached.  

“Cars started turning up along New Road by the cemetery at about midday,” said the resident. 

“There was parking both sides of the road and blocking side roads with poor parking.  

“At around 12:45pm a large funeral procession of in excess of 100 individuals came walking down New Road from the High Street.  

“There was the coffin at the front pulled on a horse drawn carriage, followed by a highly decorated horse drawn gypsy caravan, a large flatbed truck carrying flower arrangements and then several vintage cars.  

“I would estimate there were at least 150 individuals attending the cemetery possibly more.  

“New Road and surrounding roads were completely blocked for over half an hour causing many locals to do turning manoeuvres and find alternative routes.” 

The resident added: “Police did attend after numerous reports from locals to clear the funeral party.”  

Another resident said the funeral was that of Billy West. The resident said he was not local but had family who came originally from the town.  

“He’s buried next to some others who were from the West family but we can't make the link.  

“The flowers are beautiful though and 100s of them.” 

One family member posted on social media that it had been a send-off “fit for a king. You were loved by everyone – I hope we all done you proud today.” 

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