Back to Top

W. J. Farrier & Son Ltd.

W. J. Farrier.JPG
161 London Road, Dover CT17 0TG, United Kingdom
37 Bouverie Road West, Folkestone CT20 2SZ
161 London Road Dover England CT17 0TG GB

The Farrier family – Lynda, her son James and daughters Sarah and Julie. Lynda and James took over the family business when Lynda’s husband Derek Farrier died in 2013, after serving for more than 50 years in the funeral company started by his parents. The Farrier family values are embedded in the business today and are almost tangible when you walk into the Dover premises, a former chemist shop directly opposite the house in London Road where the business began back in 1948.

As the youngest child of Derek who was ‘a stalwart in the profession’, James has the tricky task of maintaining the traditional values that have made the business so well established in Dover, while at the same time adapting to the changing needs and demands of their clients.

James had no interest in the family business when he was growing up until he went with his father to collect someone who had died on Christmas Day. He was just 14 at the time.

Personable and friendly, James has had a steep learning curve since Derek died – his father was quite old school and didn’t share much about how the business was run, nor did he use computers!

The focus for James in the last three years has been to get the business on a solid footing ready to go forward, whilst Lynda, Sarah and Julie have maintained the all important personal contact with every family that comes to them. Each funeral is arranged and conducted by a Farrier family member, and out of office hours one of the Farriers will answer any calls.

Lynda has a unique gift in giving clients the time and support needed and regularly spends a lot of her time talking with families about their loved one.

Sarah oversees the orders of service and the pre-paid funeral plans; which the company has won several awards for.

The Farrier family are assisted by ten members of staff including James’ wife, Sharn and Sarah’s husband, Paul.

The Dover branch is in the original premises where Farrier’s began, and is about to undergo a complete refurbishment. James has great plans to make it more accessible and practical in the public areas, and to create two arranging rooms downstairs rather than the one they currently have. There will be new chapels of rest and Lynda’s office is getting a change of wallpaper, (although this is almost obscured by the whiteboards and arrangement forms suspended on the walls giving everyone sight of what is going on at a glance).

The building itself is huge; it goes back and back with a large open mortuary area with refrigeration for almost 30 people towards the rear. Upstairs there is a coffin display room, a staff room, a coffin store (with a purpose built lift) a room with shelves containing ashes that the company are storing (“I like them to be where people are and not shut away in a cupboard” says James “They’re still people to me and I think that it’s right they’re where other people are.”) There are also offices, a kitchen and a changing room.

Down in the yard the highly polished Jaguar Daimler hearse and one of the limousines are garaged, and a private ambulance and ‘hearsette’ are also parked. Staff going about their business come and go, all immaculately dressed and all equally polite to the stranger looking around their premises.

The Folkestone branch has just had a refurbishment and is quite different from Dover – airy and bright with sumptuous furnishings and a fresh modern décor. Behind the public area there is a large open space under a high roof – a purpose built cold room has been built here with plenty of space for keeping the Folkestone folk who are awaiting their funerals in their hometown rather than their being kept in Dover.

Julie oversees the running of the Folkestone office and is assisted by Debbie, who’s been with the company for eight years and can’t imagine working anywhere else. She joined W. J. Farrier after her father died – “The worst thing I’ve ever experienced. I started wondering what had happened to him when he wasn’t in the chapel of rest, where was he? So I got in touch with Lynda and asked if I could come and see her and talk about it. And she was just lovely, and showed me where Dad had been. That meant such a lot to me.”

Debbie’s a natural. When she saw a dead person for the first time before she was offered the job her reaction was “Oh, bless his heart!” She’s just the sort of person you would want looking after your mum or dad. You’d know they were in good hands.

Specific Gravity

Good, solid, traditional values of treating every client as if they were a family member are at the heart of this business. There is a real pride in the Farrier history and the traditions handed down through three generations, and a hugely loyal staff who all understand what is important. If it’s a traditional funeral you want then Farriers is the company for you. If you prefer a less formal approach then just tell them, they’re happy to adapt and can offer you any alternative vehicle or style of funeral available. Every single funeral receives the same attention, whatever your budget. “Everyone is equal, no matter what their background or circumstances”.

Uniquely, this company doesn’t ask for any payment at all in advance, they send out the full invoice a week after the funeral, judging that this approach works better for families than requiring a deposit up front. “We put the families first and sort the money afterwards,” says James.

It seems to work for most.

What's Important?

Really close attention to detail and genuine warmth from the people working here combine to give a feeling of great confidence that you are in extremely good hands. Farrier’s is part of the fabric of the town and their way of doing things seems to work very well indeed. Traditional and formal but gradually changing and modernising, this business is adapting to changing needs while retaining everything that has worked so well for them and the families they’ve looked after in the past.

What's Different?

Everyone we met was genuinely warm and lovely – real, down to earth normal people who have a great pride in everything they do. Their prices are very reasonable, with their professional charge including everything involved other than a coffin (collection and care of the deceased, visiting the chapel of rest, providing a hearse or estate car, staffing etc.) so the costs are easy to understand. They don’t advertise their prices online deliberately, considering that ‘this goes against the ethics of the profession’, but will happily provide price information or an estimate if asked.

Services
  • Your first call will be answered by Carol or Debbie, or one of the Farrier family. Lynda, James, Sarah or Julie will meet you to make the funeral arrangements, and will be there for you throughout.
  • Home visits – yes, very happy to make arrangements either at the funeral home or at your home.
  • Family participation – yes to you coming in and laying out and dressing the person who has died. Or any other involvement you want. It’s your funeral and the company are there to support you.
  • Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, no problem.
  • Embalming – James is very keen on embalming because, he reckons, it gives you a much better experience when you visit the person who has died. He will discuss this with you and, of course, if you don’t want it, that’s perfectly fine. Embalming is free if you want it by the way. That’s how much the company value it.
  • Ethnic specialism ‘We serve all ethnic groups and learn as much about their customs as we can to ensure the funeral is carried out as per their specific requirements’
  • Home arranged funerals – the Farrier family will work with you to look after the person who has died at home if this is what you want.
  • Local celebrants – Excellent local celebrants to choose from if you don’t want a religious funeral.
  • Website – a work in progress – some good information but some pages need updating. No prices but the reason for this is explained and you are welcome to call up or e-mail for price information.
  • Client support – very good. Continuity of care throughout and a small team means that clients only deal with one or two staff and are always welcome to pop in anytime after the funeral.
  • Money matters – good value for a quality service. Farrier’s understand that money can be an issue and are flexible and adaptable in accommodating lower budget funerals. They can assist with applications to the DWP if needed, just ask for their help.
  • Parking – Some parking spaces in the yard behind the Dover branch, and parking bays outside. (As the branch is located on a one way road it could be easy to miss the turning into the yard if you’re not familiar with it, and then have to go round the block to get back to it). Off street parking available in front of the Folkestone branch.
Remarks

Lovely, lovely people, a professional service from a capable and experienced company – and very good value.

This is a funeral home that has gained a well-deserved reputation over the years for upholding the family values so dear to Walter (Jack) and Olive Farrier.

 

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.

W. J. Farrier.JPG 4 weeks ago
Showing 1 result
Sullivan & Son.jpg
12 Beaconsfield Road, Dover CT16 2LL 0.72 km
The business is owned by Paul Sullivan, Dip FD,who started in the funeral industry in 1992 when he was aged 19. He’s assisted by his brother Alex, who looks after the office management and funeral director Julie Fraser-Reid Dip FD, with Colin Meades as senior chauffeur / bearer and Alan Goodall m...
John Weir Funeral Directors.jpg
John Weir (4)
130-132 High Street, Rainham ME8 8AR, United Kingdom 53.83 km
31 Parkwood Green, Rainham, Kent ME8 9PW 57.56 km
127 Watling Street, Gillingham, Kent ME7 2YY 60.13 km
25 New Road, Chatham, Kent ME4 4QJ 54.15 km
TEL: Rainham: 01634 373111 • Chatham: 01634 408777 • Gillingham: 01634 855558 • Parkwood: 01634 386999 The business is owned by John Weir, who runs it with his wife Beverley. John has been a funeral director for 47 years (having served an apprenticeship as a young man) and he embodies the passion...
Albany Funerals.jpg
669 Loose Road, Maidstone ME15 9UX, United Kingdom 55.3 km
Johanna Loveridge. Here is a comparatively new funeral home (opened in 2009) run by a brilliant, born-again funeral director. Before she opened Albany, Jo ran a care home. Her warmth and capability have ensured rapid growth. Word is getting out; people like what she does and the way that she does...
GFG 2017 Recommended logo.jpg
Shoeburyness SS3 9DG 66.89 km
Canvey Island SS8 0LW 66.41 km
4 Commonhall Lane, Hadleigh, Benfleet SS7 2RN 56.59 km
Hockley SS5 4AZ 68.19 km
TEL: Hadleigh: (01702) 558717; Leigh-on-Sea (01702) 474389; Canvey Island (01268) 683136; Shoeburyness (01702) 293400; Hockley (01702) 206222 EMAIL: Hadleigh: hadleigh@stibbards.co.uk; Leigh-on-Sea: leigh@stibbards.co.uk; Canvey Island: canvey@stibbards.co.uk; Shoeburyness: shoebury@stibbards.co....
A. R. Adams.JPG
143 The Broadway, Southend-on-Sea, SS1 3EX 69.24 km
117 High Street, Rayleigh SS6 7QA, United Kingdom 57.88 km
AR Adams has been going since 1900 and now has the fifth generation of the family involved with Ethen Adams recently joining as an apprentice. It’s steeped in the history of your area. People researching their family tree pop in wanting to know where an ancestor is buried. Chances are the people ...
GFG 2017 Recommended logo.jpg
2 - 4 Norman Road, St. Leonard's-on-Sea TN37 6BH 60.37 km
43, High Street, Battle TN33 0EE 66.42 km
Audley House, 1, Albert Road, Bexhill-on-Sea TN40 1DG 61.81 km
Edward Towner, Dip FD. Fifth generation. The business was started by his great-great grandfather in 1875. Masses of heritage here, but absolutely none of the nothing-to-learn attitude which besets many such family affairs. Those vocational impulses Edward experienced when he was a teenager all gu...
GFG 2017 Recommended logo.jpg
Mabel's Cottage, High Street, 
Burwash, 
East Sussex
 TN19 7ET 65.66 km
The firm comprises two businesses, C. Waterhouse & Sons and also Heathfield Funeral Service. Established by Charlie Waterhouse in 1926, the family business is still based in the pretty cottages in Burwash where he lived and worked 90 years ago, and his daughter Dorothy remains fully involved ...
GFG 2017 Recommended logo.jpg
Hailsham Road, Heathfield TN21 8AE, United Kingdom 75.17 km
The firm comprises two businesses, Heathfield Funeral Service and C. Waterhouse & Sons. Established by Charlie Waterhouse in 1926, the family business still has a base in the pretty cottages in Burwash where he lived and worked 90 years ago, and his daughter Dorothy remains fully involved wit...
Chelmsford Star Co-operative.JPG
57A Main Road CM3 4NG 0 km
348 Baddow Road Essex, CM2 9RA 0 km
TEL: Braintree: 01376 551951 — Broomfield: 01245 353978 — Danbury: 01245 221444 — Great Baddow 01245 268993 — Ingatestone: 01277 350988 — Writtle: 01245 422622 — Great Dunmow: 01371 875542 Chelmsford Star Funeral Services is an example of the finest types of co...
Jane Bennett.jpg
2 High Street, Billericay CM12 9BQ 0 km
Jane Bennett is the managing director and the inspirational heart of this award winning, well-known and highly respected funeral business. She has been at the helm of Bennetts since leaving a career in the City in 1988, and is the third generation of the Bennett family to serve the local communit...
Showing 1 - 20 of 33 results