“Nice guys”, they say, “don’t win ball games.” Well, maybe they don’t – but they certainly make nice coffins. Here’re two of them.
First, come with me to Scotland to the tiny fishing village of Johnshaven (above) and meet Robert Lawrence and his wife, Charlotte. In his workshop Robert, artist and lover of wood, makes the Honest Coffin. It’s a plain, pine box. It’s made from Scottish larch. No chemicals, no polish, no stain. No screws, either: Robert uses oak dowels. And it’s strong – strong as can be. Robert describes the making process as creative, not production line.
What got him into coffins? He went to some funerals, didn’t much like what he saw and decided to do better. We rather think he has.
Robert sells only through the trade except to families acting as their own funeral director, to whom he will sell direct.
Come with me now to Woodbridge in Suffolk and meet Martin Wenyon, another lovely person. He’s a naval architect who’s had an eventful life which, recently, entailed looking after forests and castles in Bohemia. He makes his coffins from imported timber, but he’s soon switching over to native timber. They’re almost, possibly just not quite, as eco-friendly as Honest Coffins. Martin’s are painted, and lend themselves to decoration, which is why he is currently forming partnerships with artists and marketing a range of Coffins by Artists.
Martin sells his coffins direct to the public. £485 + free delivery within 100 miles of Woodbridge.