Adrian Pink. Or occasionally his wife Amanda. Adrian became a funeral director by chance some 30 years ago in his hometown of Cambridge, and he has spent those three decades soaking up every aspect of funeral directing. He has worked for small co-operative funeral directors and large funeral directing chains; he started a previous successful independent business, and worked as regional manager for a rapidly growing conglomerate. He has been president of the British Institute of Funeral Directors, and a member of the international disaster response team. He holds the NAFD Diploma in funeral directing and is a former tutor for the Cruse bereavement course. Now in his fifties, Adrian walked away from a comfy role in senior management because he was disillusioned by the corporate world. “The whole idea of service had been forgotten,” he said “I wanted to look after families properly, to go back to the old values of service and a personal touch.”
Town and Country Funeral Directors is the result of the distillation of those 30 years experience together with the determination to put each bereaved family at the very centre of their funeral. The business is run from Adrian and Amanda’s home; they don’t have a high street office, which enable them to keep their overheads to a minimum and therefore keeps their fees lower.
“Just like back in the day, the funeral director would go and visit each family at their house. We do that, or they can come here if they want, but most people are more comfortable in their own home. There’s no pressure, no feeling awkward in a strange office with memorials on display and dusty artificial flowers in the window. I just arrange to go and visit families whenever it suits them, in a very casual way.”
Adrian’s ‘casual way’ belies the immense reserves of knowledge and experience he has behind him. He is the epitome of calm, a steady, reassuring and easy man to be with, and would instantly make even the most anxious or distressed person feel that they were in safe and capable hands. Nothing fazes him, there’s probably very little that he hasn’t seen or dealt with before, which has imparted a confidence that is tangible even in the tone of his voice when he answers the phone. He knows his stuff, and if he doesn’t know the answer to a question, he knows the person to ask.
Adrian and Amanda do everything, from answering the phone 24 hours a day seven days a week, to collecting the body of the person who has died themselves. It will always be one or other of them that speaks to you, and they stay in close contact as the days go by. Adrian will always call to let families know that he has brought their relative into their care, and his clients know they can ring him personally whenever they want about anything. “It may not seem an important thing to us but if someone is worrying about something I would much rather they rang me so I can reassure them. We want families to know we are here for them throughout the whole time up until the funeral, and afterwards if they need us.”
There is something very important about the continuity of care that Adrian provides, from advice (which is given freely if you need it), assistance and suggestions about the shape of the funeral itself, through to the practical aspect of lifting and caring for the body of the person who has died – knowing that it is Adrian who is doing everything enables families to feel complete trust in him, as evidenced by the many very personal letters and messages of thanks he has received.
Town and Country have a converted barn, which accommodates their mortuary, workshop, and coffin storage; if families want to spend time with the person who has died this can be arranged either at a local funeral director’s chapel or in the chapel at the nearby Brookwood Cemetery. There is an additional charge for this, which is explained to the families when costs are discussed. “We don’t include this fee in our normal service charge because not everyone wants it. We don’t believe in averaging out the costs so that some families subsidise others, each of our clients pays for exactly what they want from us and nothing more.”
As a husband and wife team, Adrian and Amanda are able to combine their skills to offer clients whatever type of service and care they want. Amanda met Adrian some years ago when she was working in the finance department of a large funeral directing chain and he was one of the managers there. Formerly in the catering trade and subsequently spending time working for Surrey Police, Amanda has a background in bookkeeping and a very practical outlook on life. “I can’t see myself ever doing anything else,” she says. “I love this job. Every day is different, every family is important, every funeral I get nervous – but if I don’t get that butterfly in my tummy I’ll know there’s something wrong. I don’t ever want to get complacent, it’s too important to each family that everything is perfect.”
On the rare occasions that Adrian and Amanda take a holiday, Town and Country is looked after by a close friend and equally experienced funeral director Rob Ayling. He shares Adrian’s dedication to getting everything right, and has a similar reassuring manner and feeling of calm competence. Tony Goring, a very good funeral arranger and celebrant is also available as back up when needed. All other staff who help out with funerals are hand picked professionals who work seamlessly and unobtrusively in the background to support Adrian in his role.
Adrian’s style as a funeral director is whatever his clients prefer. Traditional mourning attire, country tweeds, casual suits, different coloured ties – he adapts his appearance to complement the requirements of each family. His usual vehicle is a silver MPV, but he can obtain any style of hearse and as many limousines as required. He has discrete photographs on an Ipad of coffins he has supplied previously to show clients so they can see exactly how different coffins look rather than just choosing from a brochure, and he has endless ideas or suggestions for families who need some inspiration in making their funeral special. He can suggest celebrants whose style will fit in with particular families, and has a variety of local small businesses that he can suggest to help with flowers, service sheets, catering or other additional features.
Costs are kept low by the lack of overheads in the business and by requiring full payment in advance from each client. This means that the company carries no bad debt, and enables them to continue offering a very personal service at a very modest rate.
As a recent testimonial wryly observed: “I think your organisation do a superb job at a fraction of the cost of using local undertakers. I can see that once the general public gets to know this you will put a lot of these people who charge large sums of money for the same out of business.”
Wholly flexible, completely professional but entirely the choice of each family. If you want a traditional top hat and tails with Adrian paging a gleaming hearse, that’s what you’ll get. If you prefer a pageantry-free affair then he’ll make that happen for you. He’ll wear whatever you want him to wear – even a clown suit if that’s what you decide. He’s entirely at your service, and that’s evident from the start. He believes that the funeral should be whatever the client wants it to be, and is constantly listening to families and reacting to their needs and wishes.
Personal service. From start to finish, the service you receive from Town and Country is bespoke and entirely committed to you and your needs. They don’t want to expand and take over the world, they don’t want to open a shop on the high street, they feel they’ve got it just right the way they are doing things now because they are keeping the focus on each family they serve.
The combination of Adrian’s wealth of experience and his fresh, modern approach to the job he has loved for so long. He has the gravitas you would expect of someone so well qualified, but an instinctive awareness of the evolving changes in funerals, and a determination to stay abreast of them. Adrian feels the way he is able to work now is going back to the best of the old ways, before someone invented the ‘funeral industry’. He’s a 21st century, old-fashioned undertaker, in the very best sense.
This small company is making a big difference to the families who use it. Low cost and high value, Town and Country Funeral Directors are an example of how a different approach to funeral directing can give clients exceptional service at a reasonable cost. Totally professional but genuinely warm and human, Adrian is a safe pair of hands who will ensure that everything goes impeccably well for you. We like their sense of camaraderie with other small businesses too; they help other small funeral directors whenever asked and are always willing to lend a hand to other independent businesses. Top marks.
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 5th October 2017 at 08.54am
On behalf of myself and all the family and friends who attended yesterday, a very sincere and heartfelt thank you for the professional, compassionate and caring service you provided for my Gramps. It was absolutely faultless and we would highly recommend Town & Country to others, in their time of need.
Please pass on our thanks to Robert, Lenny and the rest of the team. I will also send a personal thank you to Tony.
Sunday 18th July 2017 at 15.26pm
Thank you so much for your wonderful service in the arrangement and delivery of Shelagh’s funeral.
Whilst it was a very sad time for all the family, we couldn’t have found a better company to help us through the last few weeks. You were sensitive, understanding, extremely helpful, guided us well through all the
areas we needed to think about and even remembered the finer details that made such a big difference.
When compared with other funeral directors, you were also excellent value for money.
We would have absolutely no hesitation in recommending you to family and friends.
Janet and James
Tuesday 27th June at 14.40pm
Adrian was instrumental is arranging my father’s funeral at Woking Crematorium in May 2017
Adrian has a wealth of experience on which to draw and this is a huge asset for bereaved families during a difficult time.
He is very understanding, personable, down to earth & totally professional.
I am confident to say he will assist you to arrange a funeral to your specifications and budget.
I would highly recommend the services of Adrian Pink and Town & Country Funeral Directors.
Friday 2nd June 2017 at 11.27 am
Thank you so much for making the funeral of our Mum such a calm experience, it really felt like you and your staff behaved in such a respectful way. Also you have been such a help in all the complexities of the ‘system’ – which I have to say is not straightforward, and not very ‘user friendly’!
Monday 24th April 2017 at 5:30 pm
I would not hesitate to recommend Adrian. The advice, support and service he provided to our family in very difficult circumstances was exemplary at all times.
He went to considerable lengths to make things less traumatic for the children in particular and the sensitive manner in which Adrian handled everything was in marked contrast to the usual high street operations.
Thank you for making what was always going to be an emotional day a special and fitting tribute to my brother.
Peter E & Family
Saturday 4th March 2017 at 1:55 pm
I am very happy to recommend Town and Country Funeral Directors. I was looking for a traditional, independent, family business for my father’s funeral, having seen what I considered to be indifferent service from other undertakers. My choice was fully vindicated. What is written in this website is absolutely delivered in practice. Personal, sensitive, discreet service always with the same contact person. Smart, competent, respectful bearers for the funeral service. Good local business contacts for flowers and printing of high quality. Very fair pricing based on what you want, not a flat rate fee. I would use them again.
Thursday 23rd February 2017 at 10:54 am
Yesterday I attended the Committal at Woking Crematorium, our friends and neighbours also attended the Service in Brookwood Cemetery Chapel, they were full of praise for the whole service.
Having retired fifteen years ago and sadly having to attend many Funerals, yesterday’s Funeral was somewhat different in that there was calmness and serenity, the pall bearers were very approachable and helpful at all times the hearse was different to what I have been used to but very welcome, the Wicker coffin was beautiful it was a refreshing occasion.
Monday 16th January 2017 at 7:36 pm
On behalf of myself and my family, I wanted to say an enormous thank you for going above and beyond to ensure my grandmother’s funeral went smoothly and exactly how we wanted it to be. Your calming manner and sensitivity is very much appreciated and you made us all feel as much at ease as possible. We felt very cared for by you and Amanda and we were happy that Nan was in the best hands. Thank you for your prompt responses to my endless emails and last minute requests. I cannot recommend you highly enough.
Annie and family
Friday 13th January 2017 at 10:28 am
Just want to say thanks again for yesterday. It was a lovely day – just as it should be. Rosie and Alison both did a fantastic job as did you. I wanted the day to be relaxed and informal and that’s exactly what it was. It was definitely the send off I wanted to give Mum.
Thank you again
Tuesday 10th January 2017 at 5:44 pm
What a fantastic service you have provided for us Adrian. Only now do I truly understand that when you go through the turmoil of a family loss, you need a support service around you which combines absolute professionalism with sensitivity and instilling heaps of confidence so that…..if there is a question (of which there were many!) you will be listened to (no matter what it is), the answer is likely to be right there and you have absolute confidence that it will be dealt with so we were free to focus on the things that mattered to us at that time. You delivered this in spades from the moment you came out to see us with virtually no notice, to some of the things you have done for us which absolutely ‘go the extra mile’ – brilliant!
Thanks you so much for everything
Tuesday 10th January 2017 at 11:50 am
Adrian I wanted to thank you and Amanda on behalf of all my family. You guided us and supported us through a difficult time and the funeral could not have gone any better. It was the perfect send off. Your calming manner was a perfect fit for us!
I can’t thank you both enough.
Friday 2nd December 2016 at 2:11 pm
I would like to thank you very much for arranging and organising the funeral of my mother, Joan.
From the beginning phone call to your wife, to your visit to us at home, to the many phone calls with me when I had questions, to the actual day and how lovely you made that for us. You treated everything with such sensitivity but also humour and were so practical and helpful to us. You helped us over the minefield of new experience and we came out the other side. All our guests said what a lovely funeral is was and it was a memorable occasion for us too
with grateful thanks
Sunday 2nd October 2016 at 8:48 am
Dear Adrian and Amanda,
Thank you so very much for making our Mum’s funeral such a beautiful.occasion. You came to see us, talked us through the process and helped us to make our ideas work. You enabled us to make all the decisions, and then did absolutely all you could to help us to achieve our special day; the result was such a fitting tribute to our Mum.
Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Monday 20th June 2016 at 8:45 pm
Thank you for the picture of the flowers that you took to Brookwood. It was kind of you to send it and meant so much to us.
Last week is, of course, still an emotional memory, however I would like to say that the help, support and highly professional service that you provided to myself and my family was faultless and deeply appreciated. One thing above all else stands out, that you took the trouble to come to our home to help us through such a difficult time.
With best wishes