Mrs Stitch on Parking Etiquette

The Lady magazine in a recent installment of its Guide to Modern Manners series offers advice to its readers on parking. The column opens with this example of Julia Stitch’s answer to the parking problem:

Lady Diana Cooper, the grand socialite and beauty, was famous for her notes to parking attendants: ‘Dearest Warden, Front tooth broken off; look like 81-year-old pirate, so at dentist 19a. Very old – very lame – no meters.’ Evelyn Waugh depicted her in Scoop as Mrs Stitch, who avoided a traffic jam in London by driving her small car into an underground station, across the ticket hall and up the other side.

Mrs. Stitch may well wield considerable expertise in dealing with parking wardens, but the story of her driving through an underground station is not quite accurate. In Scoop, Chapter 2, Part 3, she drives into an underground gentlemen’s lavatory in Sloane Street “looking for a man I’ve been wanting to speak to for weeks and I thought I saw him popping in here.” And rather than driving out the other side, she and the car had to be extricated on the shoulders of six men for whom the police cleared a passage up the stairway.

The Lady goes on to suggest that while it may be appropriate to wrangle with the authorities, one has to park properly–no occupancy of two spaces or parking at an awkward angle.


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