Three weeks ago I attended the funeral of Major Jos Mark, Cumbria’s most-decorated war veteran.

He fought at Normandy in 1944, helped besieged troops at Arnhem, and worked with concentration camp victims at Belsen.

The funeral was described as a celebration of Jos’s life, and it was. But it was still a solemn occasion, befitting the passing of a man who made his mark on history.

A few minutes in, someone’s mobile phone began to ring. All eyes lasered in on a woman on the back row.

There didn’t seem much urgency from her or her friends. After what felt like a very long time, the ring tone was silenced.

A few minutes later her phone rang again. Murmured voices expressed anger and disbelief. The vicar reminded us that phones should be switched off.

Soon afterwards it rang a third time. She answered it and began a conversation.The temperature soared. The man next to me was on his feet. The undertaker strode across and said something to her.

There were no more interruptions. But these incidents provoked deep frustration in what should have been a time of quiet contemplation.

This was an extreme example of the ignorant behaviour which can mar any public event.

The funeral came a few days after I’d seen folk band Blue Rose Code play at Carlisle’s Old Fire Station.

It was a superb performance, despite the man near the front who talked loudly throughout much of it.

While the singer was explaining the story behind one song, a man at the back shouted “Just get on with it!”

The rest of us cringed, without voicing our disapproval. Morons are very happy to express themselves while sensible people keep their thoughts hidden.

That’s the problem with gigs, and possibly with politics too.

I’m sure that such behaviour is increasing. But maybe it’s also something I’m noticing more.

Research has suggested that middle-aged men, such as myself, are the most miserable Brits.

In my carefree youth, an audience member at a gig could have let off fireworks during a heartbreaking ballad and I’d have smiled at the pretty colours.

Now the sound of someone coughing provokes a silent, simmering fury.

So maybe I’m the one with the problem?

No. The one with the problem is the one who heckles a comedian. The one who shouts anything out, ever. The one who stands up to film a song on their phone.

This annoys me even if the culprit is at the other side of the venue. I am annoyed on behalf of people near them who may be distracted. I am annoyed on behalf of the musicians who may regard such behaviour as disrespectful.

In fact, I’m just annoyed. I am becoming the gig police, edging ever closer to wearing a hi-vis jacket emblazoned with the word ‘Sshhh!’ and putting leaflets on every seat with instructions outlining how to behave.

These will explain that audience members should listen quietly, laugh when a comedian says something funny, and applaud when a song has finished.

Oh, and mobile phones should be switched off, crushed in a hydraulic press, and the pieces burned and buried.

It has reached the stage where I’m astonished if an event passes without someone behaving in a wildly inappropriate manner.

Last Saturday I was at a wedding. When the registrar asked if anyone present knew of any just impediment why these two persons should not be joined together, I braced myself.

Not for a claim that either of them were already married. I was just expecting a shout of “Get a bloody move on!”

I used to wonder why rich people have private cinemas and bowling alleys. Now I’m thinking of ringing a few builders for estimates.

It’s easy to assume that these things are worse than they’ve ever been. Then I see footage of The Beatles unable to hear themselves play for the audience’s hysterical reaction.

My mother saw the Fab Four at the Lonsdale on Warwick Road in 1963. She could hardly hear the music for the screaming around her.

She tells me this in a disapproving way. I like to think that she spent the concert with her arms folded, shaking her head and tutting, just like her son many years later.