Heart-wrenching song lyrics go viral after man drops them off for Sheffield crash victim

Flowers marking the spot where a woman was knocked down in Sheffield have inspired a heart-wrenching song, which is now bringing comfort to her grieving relatives.

Monday, 27th January 2020, 5:06 pm

The floral tributes are lovingly attached each January to railings opposite Hillsborough Leisure Centre on Penistone Road, where the fatal collision happened in January 1996.

Peter Fearnley passes them every day on his way to work and was moved by their appearance, and the story they spoke of loss and unflinching devotion, to pen the song Flowers on the Railings.

His beautiful lyrics describe how the flowers embody a ‘love that won’t let go’ and every time he sees them ‘I’ll say a little prayer for the one who put them there’.

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Flowers on the Railings, by Peter Fearnley, was inspired by the floral tributes left to the victim of a fatal crash on Penistone Road in Sheffield
Flowers on the Railings, by Peter Fearnley, was inspired by the floral tributes left to the victim of a fatal crash on Penistone Road in Sheffield

“But come the year there are no flowers, I know what I will do,” the song concludes.

“I’ll tie a bunch of flower on the railings just for you.”

The 61-year-old, of Deepcar, who is a research administrator at Sheffield Hallam University, recorded the song around three years ago but this month – in his own small act of remembrance – stopped to tie a copy of the lyrics to the railings.

A few days later fresh flowers appeared and the lyrics were removed, with Peter warmed by the thought they might bring some solace to the family at such a difficult time.

The lyrics to Flowers on the Railings, by Peter Fearnley

Then the lyrics were shared on Facebook by the woman’s sister, Emma Smedley Eason, who told how her mother – who places the flowers there every year – was so touched by the ‘lovely gesture’ that she was determined to find the person responsible.

That post went viral, with the story melting countless hearts, and Peter was soon tracked down and shared an emotional phone call with the family.

Peter, who plays with the Stocksbridge-based band Red House, said: “I just wanted to show the person placing those flowers there that somebody cares, because when you’re driving past on a miserable wet morning seeing them there makes you realise someone's maybe having a harder time than you.

“It was an easy song to write because every line is from the heart, and I’m just really pleased if my words have brought some comfort to the family.”

Peter Fearnley
Penistone Road in Sheffield, where the fatal crash happened in 1996 (pic: Google)