Charles Cowling
  Walter Harrison was born on the coal barge Baron in July 1921. He lived on the canal for 30 years and worked on the waterways for much of his life. Family and friends of the pensioner, known as Wally, followed the coffin along the towpath. Full story here. 
Charles Cowling
Britain’s most bonkers tradition? The Straw Bear Festival   SCENE – A village wedding. Church bells. Assorted villagers have assembled at the lych gate waiting for a glimpse of the bride. They are joined by a TOURIST who happily happens to speak perfect English. VILLAGER: There she is! Just coming
Charles Cowling
It’s a poor photograph but it’s the best I can do. In it, Charlotte Eastwood, who was killed by a falling cliff in Dorset, arrives at her funeral at Bramcote crematorium, Nottingham, last Friday. The cortege is led by her father, carrying a photo of her. What a very good
Charles Cowling
  A topical post from our religious correspondent, Richard Rawlinson   Timed to counter the low turnout of voters at the mayoral and local council elections last week, did you catch the BBC advertisement challenging political apathy by chronicling how so many everyday activities–from the fat count in our sausages
Charles Cowling
  The family of Bailey Massey, who died aged nine months, accompanies his body to his funeral dressed as his favourite cartoon characters.    Source
Charles Cowling
Romany funeral, Warwick, 2007. Source.   Posted by Charles   We’ve talked quite a lot on this blog recently about ritual. There have been times when a better and more accessible word might have been theatre. For what is a funeral if it is not theatre? The playscript for the

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Charles Cowling 3 Comments Like Academia and death , alternative funerals , Art and death , ashes , Assisted suicide , Atheism , Attitudes to dead bodies , Attitudes to death , bereavement , Books , bureaucracy , burial , burial at sea , burial depth , Care homes , Carla , celebrants , cemeteries , ceremony , Children , Children and funerals , Co-op , Co-operative Funeralcare , coffins , cremation , crematoria , Cryomation , Dead people's rights , death and funerals , Death masks , Death; Good death , Dementia , Digital will , Dignity , direct cremation , Divorce , DIY funeral , Dress codes , dying , Embalming , End-of-life issues , eulogy , euthanasia , Exit , family funeral directors , Formality vs informality , funeral , funeral cost , funeral customs , funeral directors , Funeral flowers , funeral food , funeral music , funeral photography , funeral plans , funeral poetry , funeral pyres , funeral reformers , funeral trends , Funerals for the unborn , funerals in other cultures , Gangster funerals , Ghosts , Good death , green funeral , Grief , Hearses , home funerals , Humanists , Humour , Immortality , independent funeral directors , Jazz funeral , Legal rights , Living funerals , Lonely funerals , Longevity , medical interventions in dying , memento mori , Memorial service , memorialisation , Movies , multimedia , music , National Association of Funeral Directors , natural burial , no service by request , Nokanshi , obituary; epitaph , onlime memorial sites , open-air cremation , Organ donation , Ossuary , Paranormal deathbed experiences , Pauper funerals , perceptions of funeral directors , Personalisation , pet cemeteries; pet and owner burial , Plan your own funeral , Poetry , Post mortem photos , pre-need plans , previous partner , prisons , Probate , Processions , Reasons to go to a funeral , Religious funerals , Requiem Mass , resomation , Ritual , SAIF , scandals , Secular approaches to death , self-deliverance , sex and death , shroud , Social Fund Funeral Payment , spiritualism , suicide , Tahara , Taste , traditional funerals , Transitus , Transparency of ownership , tributes , viking funeral , Virtual funeral , What do we die of and when? , what does dying feel like?
Charles Cowling
  The Natural Death Handbook, Fifth Edition A thoroughly updated and revised edition of the Natural Death Centre‘s celebrated handbook. Now presented alongside a new collection of essays on death, dying and funeral practices by doctors, historians, authors, poets, theologians and artists including Richard Barnett, David Jay Brown, Dr Sheila Cassidy,
Charles Cowling
Here in the UK we are all following, intently or wearily, the furore created by the declaration of intent by Anjem Choudary and Islam4UK to hold a procession through the streets of Wootton Basset “not in memory of the occupying and merciless British military, but rather the real war dead
Charles Cowling
‘Loveable’ and ‘funeral director’ aren’t words that sidle up to each other and make friends. I can think of a little handful of hugely loveable funeral directors, but that’s only because I hang out with a heck of a lot. Up in Newcastle, Carl Marlow is one such. And what
Charles Cowling
The purpose of a funeral is to express and reaffirm beliefs that make sense of a death in terms of, both, the tenets of the dead person and those of the living. We don’t see a lot of common purpose in an age in which faith has fragmented. All funerals