Charles Cowling

In recent months there’s been quite a bit of interest in Britain’s bentest undertaker, Richard Sage. A glance at the search terms people use to find my website tell me that, since June ’10, 330 have been hunting ‘Richard Sage’ and another 110 ‘Richard Sage Funeral Director’. That makes him almost as popular as coffins.

Run out of Manchester in October 2009, Mr Sage resurfaced in nearby Burnley where he set up as J Kendal and Sons. All the while, his online cut-price undertaking service, Direct Funeral Services, continued to trade from an address at which another online cut-price funeral director, Nationwide Funerals, was also registered.

At the time of his departure from Manchester, Mr Sage had this to say to the Manchester Evening News: “In regards to my past, yes I have been convicted and served my sentence. Now I have rehabilitated myself back into society and that is what I now call my past – a past that I have learnt from and have moved forward, being a better person.”

This was not the impression formed by the GFG’s North of England Correspondent. He has kept me well-informed of nefarious goings-on. And in his most recent report he informs me that Mr Sage has upped sticks and done (another) runner. He says: “Just been to see his garage where he kept all the hearses and such, its completely empty and the signs off the windows and on the front are all gone, he still has the sign on the side door, which says J. Kendal and Sons Funeral directors and such, but i been keeping close eye on that place … I also been up to the funeral home and it is bare empty and up for sale the signs are still on but its up for sale.”

Whither has he flown this time? Chances are he’s battening down the hatches in his pad on the Costa del Sol. We shall see. But I think he may have learned a lesson, this time, about the power of the internet to disseminate information, enabling people to keep tabs on him. If that’s the case. I am pleased to think the GFG may have played a part.

If it has, then I’d like to say a big thank you on behalf of all of us to the GFG’s North of England Correspondent. I can’t name him, obviously. But I raise my glass to you, sir.

For more background on Richard Sage simply google ‘Richard Sage funeral director’.

9 thoughts on “Sage concern

  1. Charles Cowling
    Gareth Light

    Richard Sage is now in Bridgewater Drive, Westcliff-on-Sea, Essex, where he operates under the trading name of “Meyer – Funerals”, and he calls himself Mark Kerbey. He is still trying it on, and for my late uncle’s funeral in February, before we knew of Sage’s history, he charged our family for the funeral and then charged our solicitors an even higher amount again, i.e., double-invoicing. Threats of legal action from our solicitors eventually resulted in the refund we were looking for – after two-and-a-half months…!!!! It would appear that Sage /Kerbey preys on people when they are at their most vulnerable.

    Charles Cowling
  2. Unwanted man | The Good Funeral Guide

    […] he did a runner from Burnley we put the Despatches TV people onto his trail. They set an ex-News of the World hound to track him […]

  3. Charles Cowling

    Not only does this vile man rip me off I fear he has ripped the DSS off too. Sadly I have no way of checking this without causing further misery.

    Charles Cowling
  4. Charles Cowling

    Not only does this vile man rip me off I fear he has ripped the DSS off too. T

    Charles Cowling
  5. Charles Cowling
    Charles Cowling

    Quite so, Echo. The pattern of reoffending is both well established and repetitive. I very much regret that I was unable to persuade the Burnley Express that it was in the public interest for them to investigate and report. They said they could not find legally watertight corroboration of new allegations. This is disputable. And in any case Sage has enough previous to have made his arrival in town a noteworthy event.

    Charles Cowling
  6. Charles Cowling

    Mr Sage has in no way learned from his past or reformed. I am yet another person who has been ripped off by this man in 2010

    Charles Cowling
  7. Charles Cowling

    Thanks, Nick. He really has pulled the plug, hasn’t he? Yes, a code of conduct is probably even more important for ‘virtual’ undertakers than it is for terrestrial ones.

    Charles Cowling
  8. Charles Cowling

    As an avid follower of Charles’ blog, I’ve also, naturally, been aware of the saga of Richard Sage. Who (in the micro-world of undertaking) hasn’t.

    Interesting then, that “Kendal’s” phone number has an announcement saying the firm has “ceased trading”.

    If you dial the “Direct Funeral Services” number, you hear the message that the number is “unobtainable”.

    The Nationwide number boasts an answerphone. Their video message has also vanished from their website.

    I sincerely hope that no clients have been “left inconvenienced” by what might appear to be the “disintegration” of the firms I’ve mentioned.

    My apologies if I have somehow misunderstood, and the firms are still intact and trading as normal.

    However, over the last few weeks, I’ve spoken to officers of both the NAFD and SAIF regarding internet undertakers, of which I am one.

    I’ve suggested that there is a need for both associations to extend their code of practice to both advise and restrict the operations of prospective “internet active members”.

    There are areas of operation that can be easily managed by an appropriately experienced firm. There is, however, a line that must not be crossed, because there comes a point where you have insufficient control over an “arms-length” situation.

    No industry professional wants to see any family become a victim of inappropriate arrangements.

    Through your blog, I urge the industry to format a revised code, to include the future internet funeral providers.

    Here’s hoping….


    Charles Cowling
  9. Charles Cowling

    very nice blog charles, i can bet the GFG’s north of england is still doing his part to track down mr sage for us and will keep us informed

    Charles Cowling

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