Earlier this year, I was delighted to be invited back to Honor Oak to see, not only the newly refurbished conveniences, but the refurbished crematorium as a whole. The chapel, waiting room, memorial rooms and gardens have all been renovated, making the most of a calming light blue and grey colour scheme throughout. There’s even Dyson air blade hand dryers.
Honor Oak is an Italianate crematorium, built in 1939, with a chimney that resembles the cathedral campanile at Venice. It was designed by Borough Architect William Bell and Maurice Webb, son of Sir Aston Webb, whose company had designed the adjoining Camberwell New Cemetery. The crematoria around South East London mostly and unusually have descending catafalques, and Honor Oak is no exception.
Just don’t lean any floral tributes against the base of the catafalque before it descends and the lid meets the floor. I learnt that the hard way.
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