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.