Blog Archives: August 2016

Richard Sage / Mark Kerby release date

Tuesday, 30 August 2016

RSage

 

Reports have reached us that the infamous fraudster Richard Sage also known as Mark Kerby is due for release on 12 January 2017. His stated intention, we learn, is to return to the Southend-on-Sea area. We have not been able to verify these reports, but our source is trusted. If you don’t know who Richard Sage is, click his name in Categories below. 

Going for Guild

Monday, 22 August 2016

Circle of friends

Hot on the heels of the unprecedented British medal success at the Rio Olympics, we think we have found a way of keeping the golden feel-good feeling going.

Over the last fortnight, like the rest of the nation,  at GFG Towers we have felt the camaraderie of sharing the joy of the British athletes as they reaped the rewards of years of hard work and dedication.

The morning after the closing ceremony, with no more ecstatic TV coverage of medal ceremonies, we bring you an opportunity to feel again that warm glow of belonging.

We are delighted to announce the arrival of The Good Funeral Guild.

Let’s get connected!

 

 

Access All Areas

Saturday, 20 August 2016

The shiniest fridge we've seen in quite some time.

The shiniest fridge we’ve seen in quite some time.

Fridges & Funeral Horses
“Come see my Daddy’s shop,” exclaimed Aoife, aged five and dressed in the loveliest summer dress, as she pulled her little friends through the front door and headed straight for the embalming room.

It was Access All Areas today for the launch of Don O’Dwyer’s lovely new funeral home in Acton, West London.  We had accredited O’Dwyer Funeral Directors as one of only six funeral directors in London with the official GFG seal of approval before he’d even officially launched.

“There’s absolutely nothing to hide here,” Don told me, as curious members of the community had a look around his new funeral premises, taking a peek inside the (brand new and empty!) fridge as they enjoyed coffee, cake and champagne and chatted to Don’s family.

The ever lovely funeral horses put in an appearance, as did local MP Rupa Huq, who was shocked to discover that the UK funeral industry is entirely unregulated, but was pleased to hear that the Good Funeral Guide is hard at work telling the public about the the good guys like Don.  One of the two Chapels of Rest was blessed by the local Catholic priest, and celebrant and funeral director Rob from Crumpton Rudd funerals conducted a mini service, funeral style, to celebrate.

Don's 1983 Daimler hearse.

Don’s graceful 1983 Daimler hearse.

O Dwyer's GFG Recommendation proudly on show

O Dwyer’s GFG Recommendation proudly on show

The star of the show!

The star of the show!

In other news…
There hasn’t been much, if any, good news from the world of crematoria recently.  Back in July, we exposed the appalling state of West London Crematorium.  We’re still awaiting comment from the General Cemetery Company, who have yet to get out the hoover and clean up the mess, according to our well-placed sources.

We’ve also had a run-in with a crematorium who refused to allow mourners their choice of music during an early morning contract funeral.  ‘Crem choice’ seems to mean no choice in a certain borough just west of London.

So it’s been refreshing to see a spirit of friendliness, openness and transparency being embraced at Mortlake Crematorium.  It’s undergoing a spring clean and a lick of paint in preparation for taking part in Open House London in September.  Superintendent Natasha Bradshaw promises it will be Access All Areas for members of the public to not only enjoy the 1930s art deco building, but also to see what happens behind that mysterious curtain.

It’s wonderful to see the good guys of the funeral industry like O Dwyer’s Don and Mortlake’s Superintendent Natasha Bradshaw embracing openness and transparency and welcoming the often sceptical public through their doors.

There’s nothing to hide, after all.

The view from the catafalque at Mortlake Crematorium, taken by Steve Biggs

The view from the catafalque at Mortlake Crematorium.  Photograph taken by Steve Biggs

 

Why Funeralbooker are backing the Good Funeral Awards

Friday, 19 August 2016

Funeralbooker at the Ideal Death Show

Guest post by Ian Strang and James Dunn, Directors of Funeralbooker

‘Dear all,

For those of you who haven’t come across Funeralbooker before, we are a website which helps connect people with the best funeral director for them.

When we decided to set up Funeralbooker and were researching the market, it was evident that the Good Funeral Guide provided the leading independent voice in the funeral community. We had spent countless hours scouring its blog for valuable insights into this new world – and so one of the first meetings we looked to set up was with its founder, Charles Cowling.

Heading down on the train to Weymouth, we felt slight trepidation over what type of character this Mr Cowling might be – perhaps a firebrand activist or maybe a dour auditor? Therefore, we were delighted to discover an incredibly amiable and engaging Charles, who escorted us to a local pub where we spent a very pleasant few hours in the sunshine discussing the industry. Tough market research indeed!

Since that time, we have continued to value Charles’s thoughts and input and have further strengthened our relationship with the GFG since the appointments of both Fran Hall and Louise De Winter.

In particular, we view several elements of the GFG’s ethos as mirroring ours:

  • • A relentless pursuit of what is best for customers – particularly through empowering them to make their own decisions
  • • Championing the great work done by the many outstanding funeral directors
  • • “Openness” to new ideas, innovation and change

We allow consumers to quickly and easily understand who the best funeral director is for them – using clear pricing entered by funeral directors themselves and reviews from actual customers who have used the platform.

For the funeral director, we provide a way to easily reach a whole new set of customers that they might not usually be able to serve. Before we launched, people who searched online would typically end up with the larger chain companies, and we can compete against that, increasing visibility for the smaller, independent funeral directors.

Last year, as wide-eyed newcomers, we attended the Ideal Death Show and Good Funeral Awards at the very last minute with only a hastily designed banner and some preliminary designs of what our website might look like when we had finished building it.

A year on and we return as proud sponsor of this event, with almost 500 funeral directors signed up with us and our website helping people connect with these great independents every day. These awards provide a fantastic way to celebrate all that is great within the funeral industry and sponsoring them is a very proud moment for us.’

To find out more about Funeralbooker visit their website here: funeralbooker.com/

The Longest Long List Ever

Friday, 5 August 2016

Papers

The judges’ desks are looking not dissimilar to this…

Finally, we can reveal the successful contenders who have made The Long List for the 2016 Good Funeral Awards 

This year we have received more nominations than ever before, and with 24 categories, there are over 170 individuals or companies who will be considered for a chance to win one of the most covetable accolades in Funeralworld.

We don’t envy the judges their task this time around; the standard of entries is extraordinarily high, and the supporting testimonials that have been pouring in are heartfelt and often deeply grateful – many hundreds of people have taken the time to write in to tell us about the kindness, the skill or the care they received from their nominee when they were bereaved, and how much this meant to them.

Every letter or e-mail received in support of those named on the Long List will be handed over next week for the final decision making by the Good Funeral Awards judges, those eminences whose identities remain a closely guarded secret.

Their final choices of the winning entrants will be revealed at the glittering lunchtime Awards Ceremony on September 8th, which is being hosted by comedian and author Shappi Khorsandi at London’s grand Porchester Hall – an event made possible by the generosity of our main sponsor Funeralbooker,  a donation from our good friends at Greenfield Creations and the support of our individual category sponsors (shown  below).

Everyone is welcome to come along, whether or not you were nominated, or are on the 2016 Long List. The Good Funeral Awards are a day to celebrate the changing world of funerals and the wonderful people that inhabit it. And this year it’s going to be a very stylish occasion. Wear your best frocks. There will be cameras and journalists a-plenty; a London awards ceremony for the funeral industry is intriguing the media!

If you haven’t already booked your place at the best party in town, click here to order your ticket for the Awards Lunch, or e-mail us for an invoice.

And if you have made it to the 2016 Good Funeral Awards Long List, congratulations. Really, really well done. You should be immensely proud to see your name below.

 

The 2016 Good Funeral Awards Long List

1. Minister of the Year 

Revd. Canon Gill Behenna (Chaplain among Deaf people in the Diocese of Bristol)

Revd. Kate Bottley (Vicar of the churches of Blyth, Scrooby and Ranskill and Chaplain to North Notts College)

Revd. Richard Mitchell (formerly of the Parish Church of St. Paul, Shurdington, now Canon Precentor at Gloucester Cathedral)

Revd. Melanie Toogood (Former Vicar of St. George & All Saints, Tufnell Park)

2. Celebrant of the Year (sponsored by Civil Ceremonies Ltd.)

May Andrews

John Banks

Tina Bowden

Gill Coltman

Janice Cubis

Emma Curtis

Christine Cuzick

Tiu De Haan

Tamara Dickson

Rebecca Dinsdale

Victoria Fisher

Stevie Glover

Diana Gould

Vashti Hodge

Pauline Hyde Coomber

Rosalie Kuyvenhoven

Jane Morgan

Kate Spohrer

Rosemarie Teece

Frances Tulley

Claire Turnham

Angela (Basira) Ward

Sally Ward

Pat Winslow

3. Embalmer of the Year

Steve Fooks

Andy Holder

Angie McLachlan

Matthew Newton

4. Coffin Supplier of the Year (sponsored by ECoffins)

Colourful Coffins

Greenfield Creations

J. C. Atkinson

Musgrove Willows

5. Florist of the Year

Colonnade Florist

Dazzle Me Daisy Do

Debbie Western Flowers

Flower Workshop

Flowers By Susan

Flowers on Main Street

Louise Taylor Flowers

Inspired Flower Design

Old English Rose

Passionate Flowers

Flowers By Rosie Orr

Tuckshop Flowers

6. Gravedigger of the Year

Ivor Davies (Caerphilly County Borough Council)

Martin House (Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground)

Will Pearce

D. T. H. Burial & Churchyard Service

7. Cemetery of the Year

Blandford Cemetery

Dewstow Cemetery

Eden Valley Woodland Burial Ground

Greenacres Woodland Burials Chiltern

Higher Ground Meadow

Moulton Cemetery

Gardens of Peace Muslim Cemetery

Porchester Memorial Gardens

St. Woolos Cemetery

8. Crematorium of the Year (sponsored by Scattering Ashes)

Thornhill Crematorium, Cardiff

Gwent Crematorium

Kettering Crematorium

Mortlake Crematorium

Redditch Crematorium

9. Best Internet Bereavement Resource

Death Goes Digital

Funeral Stationery 4U

Muchloved

Once I’ve Gone

Social Embers

The Grief Geek

10. Best Funeral Caterer

Claret Catering

Rocket Catering

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

Tea & Sympathy

11. Best Alternative to a Hearse

Bon Voyage Citroen Hearse

Harrison Funeral Home Electric Vehicle

Leverton’s Eco-Hearse

Morris Minor Hearse

Respect Bentley

12. Best Green Funeral Product

Bellacouche Leaf Shroud

Brahms Electric Hearse

Eco Urns

Respect EveryBody Shroud

Sacred Stones

Secure Haven

13. Most Significant Contribution to the Understanding of Death (sponsored by Final Fling)

Lucy Coulbert

Jane Duncan Rogers

Lucy Talbot & Sarah Troop

Claire Turnham

Sandy Weatherburn

Beyond Goodbye

Bristol Culture

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

The Corpse Project

The Natural Death Centre Charity

14. Best Maker of Hand Carved Memorials in an Indigenous Material

Bierton & Woods

The Cardozo Kindersley Workshop

Stoneletters

15. Low Cost Funeral Provider of the Year

Coulbert Family Funerals

Evelyn’s Funerals

Funerals on a Budget

Only With Love

Express-Burials & Express Cremations

Secure Haven Cremations

Wallace Stuart Funeral Directors

16. Green Funeral Director of the Year (sponsored by The Association of Green Funeral Directors)

Higher Ground Family Funerals

Only With Love

The Green Funeral Company

Woodland Wishes

17. Funeral Arranger of the Year

Angela Bailey at Harrison Funeral Home

Emma Fisher at Colin Fisher Funeral Directors

Sarah Lee of Holmes & Family Funeral Directors

Sarah Wolsey at Daniel Ross Funerals Ltd.

18. Most Promising New Funeral Director (sponsored by The Church of England)

Chloe Middleton (Rosedale Funeral Home)

C. S. Boswell Independent Family Funeral Services

Compassionate Funerals

Crumpton Rudd

Dandelion Farewells

Divine Ceremony

Edd Frost & Daughters

Final Journey Funeral Directors

The Modern Funeral

Youngs Independent Funeral Services

19. Modern Funeral Director of the Year (sponsored by The Natural Death Centre Charity)

A Natural Undertaking

Albany Funerals

Bewley & Merrett

Compassionate Funerals

Harmony Funeral Care

Harrison Funeral Home

Heart & Soul Funerals

Mark Catchpole

Only With Love

Respect Direct Funeral Services

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

The Individual Funeral Company

Town & Country Funeral Directors

Wallace Stuart Funeral Directors

20. Traditional Funeral Director of the Year (sponsored by A. R. Adams Funeral Directors)

David Crayton of John Lucas Funerals

Suzan Davies of Abbey Funeral Services

Oliver Holmes of Holmes & Family Funeral Directors

Albany Funerals

Leverton & Sons

Tamworth Co-operative Funeral Service

The Individual Funeral Company

Trevor E. W. Hickton Ltd.

Wallace Stuart Funeral Directors

21. Most Innovative Death Public Engagement Event

Louise Winter

Bristol Culture

Brum YODO

London Society of Death

Respect Drivers Pageant

22. Mortuary Assistant or Team of the Year (including Anatomical Pathology Technicians)

Wayne Day at T. E. W. Hickson Ltd.

Lara-Rose Iredale at Guys & St. Thomas NHS Foundation Trust

Louise Milligan at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust

Hannah Nutbeem at Heart & Soul Funeral Directors

The team at The John Radcliffe Hospital

23. Crematorium Assistant of the Year

Steve Biggs at Mortlake Crematorium

Roy Paget at Solihull Bereavement Services

Gary Paterson at Breakspear Crematorium

Paul Rayner at Solihull Bereavement Services

Carolyne Reeve at Teesside Crematorium

The entire team at Golders Green Crematorium

The entire team at Redditch Crematorium

24. Lifetime Achievement Award

Nicholas Albery (posthumously)

Anne Barber

Anne Beckett-Allen

Lucy Coulbert

Howard Hodgson

Rosie Inman-Cook

Susan Morris

Richard Putt

Josefine Speyer

Susan Thompson

Jon Underwood

Tony Walter

 

Look what’s waiting to land in your e-book library…..

Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Adventures in Funeralworld

Fresh out of the box and ready for reading, here’s the e-book that is essential for the library of anyone with an interest in anything funereal.

Or actually anyone with an interest in life.

Enough said.

Published today.

Buy it here.