Every death is a sad occasion, but not every funeral needs to be a sombre event. Our current funeral traditions stem from the later part of the 19th. Century and were built upon the attitudes of the Victorians following the death of Prince Albert.It became customary to have a lavish (expensive) funeral with all mourners attired in black. Sometimes elaborate rituals were followed in the home, including stopping all the clocks at the time of death. Mirrors were either draped or turned to the wall and curtains were drawn.

Such rigid practices could not last, and by the turn of the 20th Century habits of mourning began to change. A key factor was the acceptance of Cremation as an alternative to burial, whilst the sheer number of deaths in the First World War led to a considerable relaxation in funeral behaviour.

Recent years have seen a shift in emphasis from the mourning of a loved one, to the celebration of his or her life. This is reflected in the attire of the mourners, the nature of the funeral service, especially the music now played at funerals, and even the type of coffin chosen for the deceased.

Whilst “Hawaiian shirt” funerals are still a minority, we regularly provide a themed colour to funerals. This may reflect a particular charity supported by the deceased e.g. breast cancer) or even the colours of their favourite football team! Colourful coffins are often a fitting tribute to the life of an individual whilst their construction from natural materials is more in tune with today’s attitudes towards the environment.

We are able to call upon the services of a number of officiates who will listen to your requests and provide the type of service that truly reflects the attitude and character of the deceased. Horse drawn carriages, motor cycles, vintage vehicles, even a pink hearse. All are available to make the funeral of your loved one a special and memorable occasion. Please speak to any of our staff for further information.

Following his recent medical MOT, our managing director Nicky Uden has decided to change the habits of a lifetime and embark upon a new fitness regime. Those of you up early enough may be fortunate to see him pounding the streets of South London in an effort to regain his lost youth. He is desperately in need of moral support, so please call Nicky at our head office on 020 8850 2868, to wish him well on this epic adventure.

Good luck dad!

Matthew Uden