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Saturday, 8 February, 2003, 18:33 GMT
Mobile phone broadcasts funeral
Mobile phone
The Hunters listened to the service on their mobiles
A funeral service was broadcast live over a mobile phone to members of a family hundreds of miles away after bad weather forced them to cancel their journey.

The phone was placed on the pulpit of a Norfolk crematorium so relatives of the deceased could listen to the service in Scotland.

Ian Hunter, from Paisley in Renfrewshire, was due to travel by train to the funeral of his 90-year-old mother Ruby, in Gorleston, on Monday.

But heavy snow in southern England saw him cancel his travel plans.

Instead the 58-year-old former Rolls Royce worker and his wife Mary listened to the service using their two phone handsets at home.

My sister said the vicar was quite impressed with the idea

Ian Hunter

Mr Hunter said he was relieved to be able to listen to the service after it became obvious he could not make the journey.

He said: "We got in contact with my sister to say we would not be able to come and my niece in Norfolk came up with the idea.

"Her phone was put on the pulpit, we got a phone call and heard the full service.

"The line wasn't bad, it faded slightly, but the sound was pretty good. It was very nice and we appreciated it.

"My sister said the vicar was quite impressed with the idea."

Mr Hunter added: "It hurt of course that we couldn't be there, but there was no way round it."

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