Charles Cowling
What is this thing with undertakers and their hearses and limousines? Are we talking customer focus here, or idolatry? I really don’t know the answer—I mean that. As the UN climate talks in Copenhagen reach their climax, and at a time when people are finding it more and more difficult
Charles Cowling
Jessica Mitford Back in 1995 the funeral industry had been in a state of low level excitement and terror for some fifteen years. Conglomerates were stalking the land, seeking whom they might devour. Their talk of economies of scale made perfectly good sense. The little old family firms looked a
Charles Cowling
There’s an interesting letter in this month’s Funeral Service Times from a funeral director, Brian Howard. Actually, it’s more of a suicide note, but we’ll come to that. He’s fed up with people ordering funerals they can’t pay for, or for which their dead people did not make any provision.
Charles Cowling
An interesting thing about undertaking is that you don’t have to come at it from a position of actually being an undertaker. Does that make no sense? Let me explain. I know how undertakers feel. I am a writer. It is very difficult to come at writing from the position
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
I’m off to buy a telly. I’ve done my comparison shopping on the internet (it’s what we do, isn’t it?) and (since you ask) tracked the cheapest to Makro. Good deals on just now. Get down there. Would that I could do the same if I were shopping for a
Charles Cowling
Whether or not funerals are too expensive depends on how much money you’ve got and how you like to spend it. Some like to say it with a Batesville casket, mountains of flowers, a fleet of vintage Bentleys, prancing horses, a military band, the Red Arrows—the sky’s the limit. If
Charles Cowling
You couldn’t make it up. The Express could, perhaps, given its record for libelling people. Here is the essence of their story in today’s paper.   First, the headline: Three Orphans Sell Pets To Pay For Mum’s Funeral.   Got yer pulse racing? It’s right up there on a par
Charles Cowling
The effects of the crash have yet fully to register. Brits have always had a puritanical, penitential streak, a disposition to pare cheese, save string, make do and mend. Those who will be wiped out are to be pitied. The rest of us, I think, are strangely relieved that it’s
Charles Cowling
An entertaining way of assessing trends in the UK funeral industry is to have a look at what’s going on in the US. The best way I’ve found of doing that is by following Tim Totten’s blog, Final Embrace. It lends perspective to the view. And Tim is sharp, with