A defiant removal firm boss slammed ‘busybody’ residents over a poison pen letter that told his drivers not to leave vans outside their homes at night.
Michael Whitworth was shocked to spot warnings on the two branded vehicles he leaves overnight on an ‘adjacent road’ to his house in Stockport on Monday morning.
The aggressive note written in block capitals claims homeowners are ‘fed up’ of looking out of their windows to see the sides of Marriott Removals’ vans every night.
It then warns operation manager Michael, 35, ‘will be responsible for any damage’ if he doesn’t stop parking them on their street – ending the note with the red-lettered demand, ‘move your vans’.
‘Annoyed’ firm owner Ryan Marriott, whose face was mocked in the note, posted the angry note to Facebook and joked ‘the animated man is a very good looking chap’, while slamming the unknown author or authors as ‘busybodies’.
The 33-year-old’s post has since earned more than 400 interactions with many branding whoever wrote the note as ‘ridiculous’, while Ryan admits he thought he wanted to ‘get it online’ as soon as he saw it.
However, Michael has since admitted he and colleagues have parked the vans in the same spot outside people’s homes for ‘at least a month’ and use it as a meeting point each morning.
Michael confessed that the high-sided vehicles are ‘bigger than usual because it’s a furniture removal van’ but stressed that he was not blocking anyone’s driveway or on double yellow lines.
Despite admitting that having two large vans parked outside their homes is ‘awkward’ for residents, the dad-of-one defends parking away from his own home as ‘necessary’ and claims he has permission from the man who lives closest to them.
Michael, from Burnage, said: “I got a WhatsApp saying that I’ve got a note on my van then I came out to see the same quite vicious note on my windscreen. I was like ‘oh my god’.
“This person’s taken all this time to print a letter off, when our number’s on the side of the van and all they had to do was phone the number and we would have moved it.
“It is a bigger van than usual because it’s a furniture removal van and yes the cartoon has quite a chirpy face. It’s nothing offensive as such, so I think someone’s just got a bee in their bonnet.
“Due to training purposes I have to keep the vans in the general vicinity so staff are there in the morning. I’ve parked them there now for at least a month.
“Because I’ve been training people, I’ve been trying to keep people coordinated in the mornings. It’s just one easy place to meet. They can park their car on the nearby sports pitch.
“Where one of the vans is parked, one of the gentlemen asked me if I could park there to stop the people going to the sports pitch parking there in the evening.
“I’m not blocking anyone’s corners off, I’m not blocking anyone’s access off, I’m not on a double-yellow line, it’s not on private land.
“In hindsight it could look a little bit awkward having two vans parked outside your house, but they’re never there any earlier than around 7pm at night then the lads are back in them at 6.20am.
“I never saw the issue. Considering the amount of cars that are usually parked there for the sports pitch, I thought I’d done them a favour.
“It didn’t start my day off well. I’ve never had any issues around here and I get on with all my neighbours.”
Michael says he can’t park the vans outside his home because his wife’s car is there and it would hinder visibility going round the corner they live on.
He claims he used to park on the nearby sports pitch during lockdown but since it’s opened again they’ve been asked to leave the 13-staff-strong company’s vans elsewhere.
Dad-of-two and Marriott Removals’ owner Ryan has backed his coordinator’s parking routine and sought to mock the poison pen letter’s ‘sad’ attempts to shame his firm.
Ryan, from Withington, said: “I found it funny they called me a ugly fool, but it’s not nice really. I’m just a family man trying to make a living so I find it funny that people try to tarnish something like that.
“They’re busybodies who are probably not happy with someone trying to move forward in life. He was just parking on his street so he can go to work in the morning.
“It’s a bit worrying for us. It’s not something that we want. I was annoyed at first and we’re going to get some 360 cameras to put on the vans, but we shouldn’t have to do that.
“They’ve definitely spent a week thinking about it. It makes it even more sad. I respected the part they put in red and ‘attention’ being in bold got me shivering.
“I find it funny, but in a way they’ve said they’re happy to smash the van up so I understand why Michael and his wife feel threatened.
“I’m taking no notice of it because we’re parking legally, but it’s not worth angering them because I’ll have no wheels. They might run out with walking sticks and I don’t want that.”
Michael is considering contacting police about the issue, while Ryan, who also owns a cleaning and waste disposal company, joked he’d happily send the whole fleet of vans to park in the area in future.
The owner’s Facebook post on his personal profile had racked up more than 170 comments in just three hours since he posted the note.
Ryan’s post said: “One of our lads takes his van home and today we received this on the window screen.
“To be fair I get what they are saying, it’s a residential street, but people take their work vans home.
“Ours are just bigger work vans that have signs on. You can drive all of our vans on a normal license making it a normal sized vehicle.
“Big threats like this with no contact number or address. But let’s get something straight on here. The animated man on the side of the vans is one good-looking chap.”
One person commented: “How ridiculous. If a vehicle is taxed and insured it can be parked wherever you like.”
Another suggested: “I’d say go and stand next to the van one evening waving at them all. [You’ll] see who’s big enough to come and say something.”
A third added: “The fact they have taken their time to type this up nice and neat on a computer really says a lot about their life. Move your window. Simple.”
Ryan replied: “This is so true. It’s not our fault their window needs moving five meters.”
Another poster said: “Omg. People seriously have nothing better to do! No one’s asking them to keep looking at your face. They sound obsessed to me.”
One neighbour said: “The animated man always makes me smile from my lounge window.”
The letter titled ‘attention’, said: “The local residents are fed up with looking out of their windows at the sides of your vans with that ugly fool plastered there.
“This is a residential street and not a commercial vehicle park. Please stop parking here and park on your own street, if you dare.
“If you continue to park her then you will be responsible for any damage that you suffer.
“Be warned – patience has been exhausted. Move your vans.”