My understanding of the law is that if you are a volunteer raising cash for a local charity, or selling Remembrance Day poppies, then you must stand like a statue, avoiding eye contact with passers-by, perhaps occasionally rattling your collection tin in a self-conscious way.
But not the case if you’re a professional chugger soliciting money by text message.
Then, you can hunt in packs, obstructing vulnerable punters as they walk down the footpath, or driving them across the road into the net of a strategically-placed fellow stalker.
When I recently advised one of them to get a job, he replied with an incredulous ‘This is my job’.
Now that the retailing lobby has achieved its aim of free parking in Morpeth, it might redirect its ire at the chuggers.
I know that I can’t get off Bridge Street quickly enough when I see them leaping around in their red anoraks.