Charles Cowling

I expect there will be a number of stories like this. This one’s from this is Gloucestershire and is about Glad Stockdale’s experience of a Midcounties Co-op funeral, which all came back to her when she watched Undercover Undertaker, of which this is Gloucestershire writes:

The programme showed bodies piled up in a warehouse, instead of being kept in a chapel of rest and bungling funeral directors sending the wrong body to a funeral.

Hmph.

The last straw came when the family went to see Mrs Stockdale the day before her funeral. A plastic bag containing the underwear and clothes she had been wearing had been dumped in the coffin. The trolley she had been wheeled in on lay nearby.

After several http://www.cheapambienpriceonline.com complaints, Mid-Counties Co-Op gave them compensation of £500 to pay for a wake and a trip to scatter her ashes.

A Midcounties Co-operative Funeralcare spokesman said: “Midcounties Co-operative Funeralcare, which is not connected to Co-operative Funeralcare as run by the Co-operative Group and referred to in the programme, operates to the highest standards of professional care. Our staff are fully trained and qualified. We are members of the National Association of Funeral Directors and adhere to its exacting standards and code of conduct as a minimum.”

Well, that’s interesting. I could have sworn Midcounties had rebranded under Co-operative Funeralcare. What do you make of this screenshot of their website?

 

 

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andrew plumeclaire callenderDawnRu CallenderDavid Holmes Recent comment authors

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andrew plume
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andrew plume

and oh no, I know find that the ‘same people’ are being put to some more hard work, this time over in the Cardiff area:-

http://www.mylocalfuneraldirector.co.uk/funeralhome/jsummers-whitchurch/

it’s taking ‘the hub’ policy on to an even higher level, who would have thought?

now they really are flogging their staff, surely with £51m in the bank, they surely shouldn’t be working them so hard

andrew

andrew plume
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andrew plume

and I have much further news, yes I do on the very hard working crew at Fairways operation’s in Devon………….

yes it seems that they also cover West Sussex too – here they are trading under the former respected name of FA Holland & Son:

http://www.mylocalfuneraldirector.co.uk/funeralhome/faholland-rustington/

looks like the bonus pool will be paying out significantly for these folks (do they ever get any time off?), and where exactly are those £51m profits allocated to? It’s rather a lot of cash – hopefully the motion tabled by the Rt Hon member for Birmingham Hall Green will bring forth the answer

andrew

claire callender
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Carl Marlow, the bravest undertaker of all, I salute you

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

and I see that f’care are still separately using Fairways Partnership sites for their old branches, yes they certainly are – here’s a link to one of their East Devon shops:

http://www.mylocalfuneraldirector.co.uk/funeralhome/palmers-exmouth/

and oooooh here’s another about 20 miles away:

http://www.mylocalfuneraldirector.co.uk/funeralhome/cross-beale/

same photos, same people (actors?)- clearly demonstrating the ‘hub concept’

and dear readers, the only mention of f’care is at the bottom of the page

and gosh, here’s yet another one, this time in South Devon, and it’s the same gals and guys too:-

http://www.mylocalfuneraldirector.co.uk/funeralhome/halletts/

very had working indeed, yes, a hard working crew – should be up for bonuses

andrew

andrew plume
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andrew plume

………….and in the further interests of transparency, there’s no reason why I shouldn’t complete the list of those ‘names’ owned by Southern Coop and which trade without any (web) reference to their ‘ultimate ownership

these ‘businesses’ trade in Ascot, Basingstoke, Bedhampton, Brighton (and the surrounding area), Portsmouth, Waterloville and Wokingham and here they all are:-

http://www.andrewsfuneraldirectors.co.uk/

http://www.amongerfuneraldirectors.co.uk/

http://www.caringladyfuneraldirector.co.uk/

http://www.dashwoodanddenyer.co.uk/

http://www.jedwardsfuneraldirectors.co.uk/

http://www.jbhallfuneraldirectors.co.uk/

http://www.linesbannister.co.uk/

andrew

Dawn
Guest
Dawn

Simon, I have watched all your video links – thank you for posting them – I hadn’t seen them before. Having looked at both websites it seems to me that Charles Cowling and the Natural Death Centre are both trying to promote openness in the ‘business’ of death, and have the overwhelming desire to inform the general public of their options and indeed choices. This includes telling them where and how to save money. Why is this apparently  so scary or threatening? Apply to the Good Funeral Guide or the NDC recommended lists of Funeral Directors – if you are ‘flexible,… Read more »

andrew plume
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andrew plume

thx David

yours

andrew

Ru Callender
Guest

David, I can only assume it was Simon, despite his protestations that he ‘found’ it while searching youtube.The video has been around since the actual cremation, and I think it was available on Carl’s own website. The re posting along with the negative descriptions is what’s new.

David Holmes
Guest

Thank you Andrew. Yes, they do seem very reluctant to identify themselves to the public.

As for the Youtube clip. It doesn’t look good – but I believe it appears the body has decomposed and is creating a terrible smell? To label the clip ‘a typical independent funeral director’ is legally unacceptable. Who put it there is a reasonable question – and why?

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

Nick

Yes, I’m sure that there has to be something that we (and others) are both missing here regarding what you said “….might otherwise appear to be a somewhat cunning deception…..”

yours

andrew

Nick Gandon
Guest

Andrew, Looking at that website, I see that the funeral plans they offer are the NAFD perfect choice plans. NOT funeralcare’s own offering. Call me old fashioned and cynical, but that might suggest to some people (obviously not myself, for legal reasons), that either the firm has no confidence in Funeralcare’s own plans, or, more likely, they are deliberately attempting to hide any connection with the CoOp. That’s the conclusion that your ordinary bod on the street MIGHT just probably arrive at. Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive…. Me? well I’m sure that… Read more »

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

and here’s a link to a branch near to David’s shops:

http://www.camberleyanddistrict.co.uk/

please be transparent, f’care bosses?

andrew

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

David Holmes said: “I hear a lot of Co-op staff are saying ‘it’s OK, we’re not THAT Funeralcare, as seen on TV” given your location etc, perhaps you’re referring to Southern Co op, perhaps? and oh yes, here’s a link to their site: http://www.funeralcare.co.uk/ I simply googled ‘southern co operative funeralcare’…………… maybe said employees haven’t heard? anyhow and on the interesting subject ‘of transparency’, unless I am incorrect, that’s a very interesting f’care site, yes very interesting indeed, go into the search engine and hey what do you get, yes, branches such as (and from their website):- Co-operative Funeralcare Fleet… Read more »

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

re Glad Stockdale’s unfortunate experience imo, this plus other quotes all leads to one conclusion. The hub operations are considerably understaffed for the amount of traffic – those there work hard but this is one of the areas where part of that £51m profit should certainly be earmarked. Is there also a reluctance to pay the staff at these hubs overtime so that this part of their business can be more efficiently imrpoved? Sadly, it does not reflect well on their business model, put funeral arrangers in (and their local bosses) to sell, sell, sell and cut back on the… Read more »

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

Hello Simon

Please comment on your ‘blanket saturation’ of this old youtube clip on all current topics on this blog? I am sure that those who blog and read on here are interested

and as Charles has said a lively debate is crucial

yours

andrew

andrew plume
Guest
andrew plume

Hello Charles and part of your intro, included:- “….Well, that’s interesting. I could have sworn Midcounties had rebranded under Co-operative Funeralcare. What do you make of this screenshot of their website?…” Yes, they certainly have, this is a shot of the f’care business at 122 Middleton Road, Banbury, bedecked in the f’care corporate colours, they even have the f’care flag there too, flying away on the right hand side and out of picture too and also their none too discrete ambulance (and located at this premises) is a white saloon with the wording ‘The Cooperative Funeralcare Private Ambulance’ on the… Read more »

Ariadne
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Ariadne

And so you have. Why?

Simon Irons
Guest
Simon Irons

I already have

Ru Callender
Guest

Are you going to put that video with that comment on every post SImon?

Simon Irons
Guest
Simon Irons

Searching YouTube to watch the programme again, I came across this video of independent funeral director recommended by this blog

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_HLYu6K99aA&feature=youtube_gdata_player

Now that is shocking !

David Holmes
Guest

I hear a lot of Co-op staff are saying ‘it’s OK, we’re not THAT Funeralcare, as seen on TV.’