Motorists spot coffins carried on truck from Cammell Laird shipyard

RUSH-HOUR motorists spotted two coffins being carried on the back of a flatbed truck from Cammell Laird shipyard.

Eyewitnesses said the truck – with the words “Flying Squad” emblazoned across the front – was carrying the uncovered caskets as it made its way through teatime traffic.

The firm which owns the truck, shipyard painting contractor Hardacres & Smith, said it was asked to transport the caskets on behalf of the funeral director service also run by Cammell Laird bosses because they were too big to move any other way.

But motorists who spotted the unusual cargo said they could not believe what they were seeing as they made their way through city centre traffic.

One said: “I was leaving work, looked out of the window of my vehicle and there were these two proper, polished coffins on the back, with the brass plates and everything.

“I thought I was seeing things. It is not what you expect to see on the back of a painting firm’s truck.

“You could see other people straining to see if they were really seeing what they were seeing.

“It is one of the most bizarre things I have ever seen.”

Birkenhead-based Cammell Laird is currently undertaking work on the Royal Fleet Auxiliary ship the Black Rover.

Spokesman Pat Smith said the coffins were being transported between two of its sites, in Athol Street and Jason Street in the city centre, when they were spotted during Wednesday’s rush hour.

Yesterday, workers in the shipyard said they spotted the truck covered with a shroud, loaded with a cargo of flowers.

Mr Smith said the coffins were display units.

He added they were definitely not carrying corpses when they were spotted by commuters.

He said: “We sent one of the pick-ups we use around the site.

“We are not storing them in the shipyard.”

A spokesman for the National Association of Funeral Directors said: “That is not a form of transport you would consider in normal circumstances.”