Charles Cowling

 

From the Oxford Times:

The former owner of Oxford’s last independent funeral directors has spoken of the difficult decision she made in selling the business.

S & R Childs, which has four branches in the city, is now part of Dignity, the UK’s biggest provider of funeral services.

Sandra Homewood was one of the founders of the business in 1997 and said: “Selling a business that you have nurtured and developed over many years is not a task to be undertaken lightly.”

She said Dignity had assured her that it would be “business as usual” for the company, which will continue to trade in the same way.

Full story here

News just in from Taunton: Thomas Brothers are in negotiation with Dignity plc.

 

18 thoughts on “Call it quits

  1. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    I think they’re on to it now, Andrew!


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      andrew plume

      ………should be, I tipped them off

      best

      andrew


      Charles Cowling
  2. Charles Cowling
    andrew plume

    I’m pleased to report that a strong Oxon based Indy has just opened in Headington, Oxford as an alternative to the F’care/Dignity combo that are pretty well dominating Oxford:-

    http://www.dlhancock.co.uk/

    good luck to them

    andrew


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      Charles Cowling

      Thanks a lot for that, Andrew. Most encouraging. One small caveat: my antivirus software is presently very scared of it and tells me urgently not to go there! I’ll give them a ring.


      Charles Cowling
      1. Charles Cowling
        andrew plume

        thanks Charles

        there is a problem with their IT at the Oxford end, as I’ve found

        best

        andrew


        Charles Cowling
  3. Charles Cowling
    andrew plume

    Hi Charles

    Thomas Brothers now appear on the Dignity http://www…………….and I see that you’ve removed them from ‘the recommended list’

    best

    andrew


    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling
    Andrew Hickson

    The very best of luck to you Lucy. I know I’m a little way away, but if I can be of any help before (or after) you get your premises sorted, please just ask.


    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Evelyn

    Lucy, every good wish for your venture – it sounds like a great, personal and thoughtful service that you are offering. Good Luck!


    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling
    Lucy

    Thanks Rosie,

    Yes, I will be launching The Individual Funeral Company this weekend at the Kicking the Bucket Festival!
    We are in the process of negotiating a lease on the premises, but our aim is that we are open in the next 4-8 weeks.
    We will be the newest and only family owned funeral director within Oxford City.
    Until the premises is ready to recieve clients, I will still be able to arrange funerals in clients homes or another place the client specifies. I am also avalible to hire per hour or per day to deal with any matters families feel they are unable to do themselves if they are doing a DIY funeral.
    I look forward to seeing some of you in Bonn Square this Saturday!


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      andrew plume

      Lucy, this is terrific

      ……….particularly since I bemoaned the loss of Oxford’s (excepting the northern ‘burbs) only Indy

      Oxford badly needs a ‘corporate’ challenger, Funeralcare are way too strong there, thankfully where I am, they are pretty well non-existent, being consistently caned by a much loved Indy

      my best

      andrew


      Charles Cowling
    2. Charles Cowling
      andrew plume

      Hi Lucy

      an ‘update’ (hate the use of that expression personally…) on your new business is much anticipated, the hold that Funeralcare have on Oxford is, imo, unacceptabe and we now have Dignity at last mounting some kind of a challenge……….albeit corporate

      regards

      andrew


      Charles Cowling
      1. Charles Cowling
        Lucy

        Andrew…I have only just seen your post, but four months late is better than not at all!

        We opened our doors in September 2013 and we have already received some excellent feedback from our clients on Funeral Advisor.

        It has been a pretty challenging few months, but we are going strong! We have added our first fulltime member of staff…our French Bulldog Joplin!

        I don’t think anything ever fully prepares you for owning a business and the challenges you face every day. It can be a pretty lonely experience, but I have been so lucky with all the help I have and continue to receive from others in the industry.


        Charles Cowling
  7. Charles Cowling
    rosie

    I have some fantastic news!!

    There is a new undertaker about to open her doors in Oxford.

    ‘The Individual Funeral Company’ Will be launched this Saturday at the ‘Kicking the Bucket Festival’ exhibition in Bonn Square.

    I hope regular bloggers will come and say hello, I’ll be in the NDC or ANBG stand.

    Cheers
    Rosie


    Charles Cowling
  8. Charles Cowling
    Charles

    Precisely! I was waiting for someone to say that!


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      andrew plume

      Hi Charles

      as I ‘read it’, Thomas Brothers (who I appreciate have ‘been recommended’ on here) haven’t been doing that many for a little time, there are three other established Indy’s in Taunton (including one in particular) who have the majority of the local trade

      Dignity (with two shops, I belive) and Funeralcare with one, do very little

      thankfully, something different than when compared to Oxford

      regards

      andrew


      Charles Cowling
  9. Charles Cowling
    David Holmes

    I wish them well – but why do people selling-up always say ‘nothing will change’ when they know full well that almost everything will change?

    Incredible that no family owned funeral director now trades in Oxford. Surely they have created a gap in the market for someone..


    Charles Cowling
    1. Charles Cowling
      andrew plume

      David

      exactly, substitute that with “……nearly everything will change…………”

      as I live around 18 miles north of Oxford, I follow ‘the local market’ as closely as I can – I’d known for a few weeks that she had sold out……I believe that previously she worked for Dignity in another role, so I had been anticipating this for sometime

      Funeralcare are very large, in fact too large in the greater Oxford area, whereas prior to this deal, Dignity weren’t great shakes at all in Oxon

      there is one Indy within the Oxford catchment area, Jerrams Bros in Woodstock and Kidlington but Oxford rents are high so that may hinder a new Indy starting up but the area badly needs one. Oh and on top of all of this corporate stranglehold, Dignity own the Crem too

      regards

      andrew


      Charles Cowling

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