The Good Funeral Guide Blog

Nice way to go

Friday, 21 December 2012



Congratulations to Linda Blakelock and Phil Beach, whose funeral home, Divine Departures, has, after much refurbishment, opened in Gateshead.

Linda is a refreshingly new presence in Funeralworld. She brings all the freshness of an outsider. Phil, on the other hand, is a seasoned professional of 16 years’ standing. 

It was a bad funeral which turned Linda, formerly Culture and Tourism officer with the Regional Development Agency, into an undertaker. She says:

Shortly before she died, Mam was looking at a funeral brochure and she said, ‘I don’t like anything that the funeral directors can offer me. I’ve worked all my life, brought five bairns up and I deserve better that this. I don’t want those four tatty bits of wood, I want something better. 

I didn’t know there was anything else available and we weren’t offered anything different. It actually broke my heart when I found out there were lots of alternatives out there to the standard coffin and she could have had something more fitting. 

What we do is new, bright and different. I want people to realise they have options and lots of choice. If you want a picture, wicker, or cardboard coffin and pallbearers dressed as Elvis Presley or as characters from Star Wars, we can arrange that for you.

We wish them every good fortune. 




4 comments on “Nice way to go

  1. Saturday 5th January 2013 at 8:53 am

    Congratulations. I wish you every success and with your attitude and passion I have no doubt you will be successful in your quest to improve people’s funeral experiences.

  2. Friday 4th January 2013 at 2:27 pm

    thanks for the comments, we are newbies and I know its going to be a hard slog but I love that every day is different and that we can offer so much variety thanks to all the lovely suppliers out there. And yes I do think my mam would be proud!

  3. Monday 24th December 2012 at 1:51 pm

    Hi, Linda and Phil!
    Delighted to hear its all going so well! Hope you have a great Christmas and a very successful New Year!
    Jenny and Keith (Saint and Forster)

  4. Jonathan

    Sunday 23rd December 2012 at 4:51 pm

    “…we weren’t offered anything different.” Such a sad and frequently told story.

    Linda, I’m sorry to hear it took such a grotesque misrepresentation of the simple truth – as it sadly so often does – to get you involved in the funeral revolution. But I’m glad you are, now, and I feel sure you will balance a disappointing memory for your own family with fulfilling ones for others. Your mam, I’m sure, would be proud of you. Four tatty bits of wood my foot – tell it how it is!

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