Charles Cowling
  Posted by Charles   Did you see Britain’s Youngest Undertaker on BBC3? It’s on the iPlayer and it’s worth a look It’s a documentary which follows Mike Ryan’s funeral business in Newport through the awkward experiment of testing the vocation and aptitude of his younger daughter, Rachael. For Mike,
Charles Cowling
Over in the US, Service Corporation International (SCI) the multinational deathcare conglomerate which, here in the UK, begat Dignity, is in hot water. Again. One of its funeral homes, trading under the name of Stanetsky Memorial Chapels, mixed up two bodies. When they realised what they’d done, it seems that
Charles Cowling
Saif’s  IPSOS-Mori price comparison survey published in February 2010 was dynamite. It showed that independents are generally cheaper than two big beasts of the industry, Co-operative Funeralcare and Dignity. Had Saif got the message out to the funeral-buying public it would have hit the big beasts’ bottom line bigtime. But
Charles Cowling
Real ale made by boutique brewers has at last begun to drive down sales of lager for the first time in half a century reports yesterday’s Observer. Intriguingly, the Society of Independent Brewers (Siba) reports that while its 420 members enjoyed a combined sales rise of 4 per cent last
Charles Cowling
The following is taken from Ben Heald’s blog and so much speaks for itself that I don’t need to add another word: Nothing can prepare you for losing close family suddenly; and I don’t want to dwell on the personal loss.  What I’d like to talk about is the learning
Charles Cowling
This blog gets as tired of the sound of its own voice as, probably, you do. So it welcomes guest posts from whoever wishes to sound off, air a view, explore an idea — whatever. If you would like to make use of this platform, please feel free. Just send
Charles Cowling
In the matter of household shopping we look back nostalgically to the high street of yesteryear. Ah, those were the days. The butcher, the baker, the grocer. Ooh, hello, Postman Pat! In every shop a cheery greeting. And great personal service. Gone. For ever. Whatever happened to them? You bankrupted
Charles Cowling
Saturday was National Bereavement Awareness Day. Miss it? Whoops. Let me fill you in. A brainchild of the independent funeral directors’ trade body, SAIF, the day was a marketing tool designed to raise the profile of independents. My local funeral directors, James Giles and Sons of Bromsgrove, held an open