Richard Fearnley, Dip FD, Dip FMA, JP. If it’s true what they say, that good funeral directors are born not made, then Richard is living proof of this. He told us: “In 1975, aged 8 years of age, I attended my grandfather’s funeral. After meeting the funeral cortege on my own at the top of the road, I guided them to the house. The coffin was brought into the house for the viewing, which was very interesting, resulting in lots of questions. When it was time to leave, there wasn’t any room for me in the following limousine, so I went with the undertaker in the hearse alone. When I got home, I built my own crematorium out of Lego and all I ever talked about from that day was about becoming a funeral director.”
Richard joined a corporate business when he was 16 and rapidly passed all available exams. He progressed so fast he was reckoned too young to promote any further for the time being, so at 21 he set up on his own. He’s never looked back. He likes never to be too busy to give his clients his full attention. For this reason, he has never sought to expand.
He is very much a one-man band with a core of loyal and longserving casual staff to call upon when he needs them – including his Mum and Dad. Richard says, “ I’ve never had to advertise, and they never leave.” Richard is well-known and well-liked in this tight-knit community. As we drove round the town together, a good many people waved cheerily at him.
Richard’s wife, Sally, has her own hairdressing business and comes in to help out, applying her skills to those who have died. She did the hair of many of them when they were alive, so she knows just how they like it. Richard likes to protect his work-life balance. He is a dedicated follower of Huddersfield Town FC. He enjoys golf, fishing on the Wharfe and a bit of shooting with his two Labradors. He is also a Justice of the Peace.
If it’s a formal funeral you want, Richard is your man. He has a Daimler XJ8000 hearse and limousine, contemporary classics, and he understands the importance of an immaculate and splendid turnout. If you would like something a little less formal, then he is very happy to dress down. He’ll always put your wishes and values first.
For Richard, his work is all about “the satisfaction of doing the very best I possibly can for the person who has passed away and their family, providing a friendly flexible service, which is very much focused on the personal wishes of the family concerned.”
It makes no difference if you have lots of money to spend or you are on a tight budget: Richard will give you his 100 per cent focus. He offers a range of options for those of limited means which are both incredibly generous and also remarkably inexpensive. Whatever price you pay, Richard will enable you to have a high-value funeral. He’s a careful listener, he’ll never hurry you. The quality of personal service here is outstanding.
A number of features make Richard’s funeral home different from others. First, the small size of his business enables him to keep overheads down and eliminate staff salaries. For you, this translates into highly competitive fees.
Second, he is keen that you should feel under no pressure to make your choices. So after you have finished talking things over with him, he will give you a big binder full of information to take home where, together, perhaps, with other members of your family, you can make your final selections of services in your own time and, hardest of all, select a coffin.
Third, when you receive your estimate, it will benchmark the cost of the funeral you have chosen against his least expensive funeral. We have never seen this before, and it is your assurance that you have not been upsold. You should always compare fees and services from a range of local funeral directors; frankly, we’d be surprised if any can rival the prices you’ll find here.
Fourth, if you wish to spend some time with the person who has died, Richard will offer you the key to the shop and let you come and go as you please, day or night. We have only encountered one other funeral director who does this — and he’s in Kent.
Your call will be taken by Richard or Sally, his wife, or by Richard’s Mum, Nancy, or Dad, Trevor.
Richard will be there for you from beginning to end.
He will come and see you at home to make arrangements — it’s what he normally does.
He is very happy for you to come in and wash and dress the person who has died.
Richard is keen on embalming because, he reckons, it gives you a much better experience when you visit. He will discuss this with you and, of course, if you don’t want it, that’s perfectly all right. If you choose it, there is no charge.
He will gladly work with anyone who wishes to care for their person who has died at home.
He has a same-sex funeral director to lay out the person who has died if you wish.
Good secular celebrants on his books.
Very happy to work in accordance with all funeral customs.
Direct cremation is now £1,157.00 inclusive of cremation fee and doctors’ fees. Simple funeral at £1,857.00 inclusive of cremation fee, officiant fee and doctors’ fees — one of the least expensive we have seen. If you opt for this, you must find all the money before the funeral. If you are applying for the Social Fund Funeral Payment, Richard will reimburse you when it is paid.
For everyone else, you will need to pay third-party costs (disbursements) upfront and the balance within 30 days — but there’s the very attractive incentive of £100 if you pay in full before the funeral.
Richard does not carry any bad debt. It’s one way he keeps his overheads and prices down. He is utterly transparent in his pricing. If your budget is tight, or you want to keep costs right down, he offers a coffin within a coffin, known as a Coffin Cover: “The simple and practical internal coffin is the only item that a family need to purchase for the funeral because the outer Coffin Cover can be used again and again. The internal coffin is very low cost to produce and the savings are passed on to the family.” Find out more here: http://www.funeralsearch.co.uk/coffin-cover.php
If you want flowers, Richard can help you get best value for money: his next door neighbour is a retired florist and will do your flowers for a very good price.
If you want catering, Richard’s wife Sally will do you a high quality, delicious spread at a very favourable cost. He can also suggest venues for your funeral tea which are not costly.
We have inspected behind the scenes at the funeral home and we have every assurance that Richard looks after those who have died with the greatest care and respect.
The scale of his business enables Richard to offer you all the personal service you need plus very competitive fees. He loves his work and he’s very good at it. He is kind, compassionate — a thoroughly nice, sincere man; very much ‘one of us’. Everything he set out to be, in fact, when he was 8.
Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.
Thursday 27th August 2015 at 12:19 pm
May we take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your excellent, professional services that you provided throughout our recent bereavement. Your compassion and finite attention to detail were second to none and greatly appreciated. The funeral arrangements, flowers, catering and the after service that you provided were of the highest standards, all which helped our family through this emotional time. At times like this, it is heartening to know that someone like yourself can be trusted to provide such an excellent service throughout. Your assistance in every aspect has helped relieve both the agony and pressures put upon our family during Dads bereavement.
Mrs Joan Wilson, Ian & Gary Wilson
Sunday 26th October 2014 at 3:06 pm
My father passed away in mid October, ’14 and coming from east Northants I didn’t have much local knowledge, certainly not of Funeral Directors, so can only say how incredibly fortunate we were to have selected Richard H Fearnley to look after all of the funeral arrangements. There was very little for us to worry about, in fact pretty much everything was taken care of and the service he and his team provided was a most professional and caring service. As regards cost, not being an expert in these matters I can only pass on comments from my father-in-law who was amazed at the low cost. If I lived in west Yorkshire I would strongly recommend my family and friends to use Richard H Fearnley.
Thursday 17th July 2014 at 10:21 am
Richard has organised the funeral services for both my parents, my father who passed away 18 months ago and my mother last month. On both occasions I can honestly say that all aspects of the funeral were conducted in a compasionate and caring manner and no area was overlooked. Although our budget was limited Richard and his team provided a top class service. We had a coffin cover on both occasions and this helped us to keep costs down – but nobody was even aware that we had done this. A close friend of ours passed away the week before and we attended that funeral – with a different funeral director – It cost my friends partner double what it cost us with Richard and there was no difference in the quality provided – in fact there was a differnce in that Richard’s personal touch and genuinely caring personality made it easier for us. It is very difficult to make phone calls, to funeral directors, when somebody close to you passes away – but ringing Richard Fearnley is not. He won’t give you the hard sell, he won’t pester you, he will help you to get the funeral that is right for you and your loved ones. After my Father’s funeral I didn’t even consider anybody else for my Mother’s and i didn’t regret it.