Category Archive: Company News

W. Uden & Sons – Autumn Update

Help! Someone must stolen most of 2016. Does anyone know why when you are growing up time seems to pass so slowly; then, as you move into later life, it just zips by. Although the sun is still shining summer has once again flown and now the schools are back so most of our hard working staff have also returned from their well earned holidays and we all look forward to the next few months as we approach Christmas. Our team are fully refreshed and eager to deliver our highest standards of service and support to bereaved families.
One other small thing to mention for thoses who are not on social media; – I’M A DAD!

My darling wife Lucy presented me with a beautiful daughter on 31st August who we have named Eva. Weighing in at 9Ib 13 oz she is an absolute gem and I am so proud of both women who now dominate my life. Thank you all for your kind messages of congratulations. Watch this space for further updates regarding her progress.

 

We welcome back Uncle Chris who has been unwell lately, but managed to re-paint Eltham, Bexleyheath and Petts Wood before he had to go to hospital. He is now engaged in creosoting the fence at Bexleyheath and I for one think that brown spots add a certain distinction to a modern saloon car!
Once again Christmas will soon be upon us so please make a note that our TWO Christmas Carol Services to be held on Thursday 8th December at St. Michael’s Church Locks Bottom and on Wednesday 14th December at St John’s Sidcup. Please bring along your families and join us to commemorate and also to celebrate the lives of those who have passed away during the preceding year.

 

 

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Two further dates for your diary: Thursday 17th November. Please join us after 5pm at our Eltham Branch in Passey Place for the “Eltham Lights Up”.

We have a selection of mulled wine, biscuits and mince pies being shared with family and friends. After the fireworks the Rock Choir normally join us and we have a good old festive sing-song; if you’re really lucky I might even dress up as an Elf!

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This year we are also introducing a new venture with the advent of “A Christmas Cracker” being held in Sidcup High Street on Saturday 3rd December.

I know Jason is still looking for “volunteers” to assist in this local event which is being held for the benefit of the whole community. If Jason hasn’t already spoken to you – Hide! Ha ha, only joking!

It will be a lovely day for the whole family with lots of attractions, festive fare and “goodies” for all the children. Please come along and join us from 10am onwards.

 

My best wishes to you all,

Matthew Uden.

 

 

Update

Hello all

I hope that you are all doing well, autumn has snuck up on us a bit too quickly for my liking, although for those of you that have children of a certain age i’m sure you’re enjoying a bit of peace and quiet!

Few bits of news for you all this month including our new, much anticipated, cars have finally arrived. Arriving in three separate deliveries, it was great to see them being taken off the lorry and finally seeing them in all their glory. They look amazing and although our previous cars were really lovely the new ones are extremely plush and very comfortable. It gives us all such pride being able to provide families with as much comfort and style as possible in such sad times.

Jason, Michael, Pat and myself, had the pleasure of being invited up to Wilcox to see the cars in production before receiving them. It was an great insight being able to see exactly how the cars are being made. We thank Paul Wilcox and all the team for having us.

Here are a few pictures of the factory and some of the vehicles being delivered.

It’s quiet scary how quick this year has flown past, with less than 100 days Christmas will be here! Preparations have been in process for a while now, with the arrangements of both our Christmas Carol services coming into its final stages. Like the last few years we are holding carol service at  St John the Evangelist Church in Sidcup on Wednesday 9th December. We are pleased to announce this year we are also conducting a service for those families that have lost someone in the last year in the Orpington and Biggin Hill areas. It will be held at St Michael of All Angels in Locksbottom on Thursday 3rd December. We look forward to seeing you there, more details will follow in the next few weeks.

 

Our newest member of the team, Kai, is very excited about the new vehicles too, although he seems to prefer the horses at the moment. It’s a strange sight seeing my nephew Kai out there with the team, helping clean the cars before he goes to school. It brings me back all those memories of years ago when that was me ! All our Family has had that apprenticeship and now it’s Kai’s turn ha ha.

So, our last team outing was paintball but this time we all put on our skirts and donned the Netball court, well we didn’t actually put on skirts although I am sure some of the boys would have probably enjoyed that. It was all in aid of a good cause though for the Mayor of Gravesham charity. We actually did strangely well much to the surprise of the “real” netball players. We finished top of our group and made it to the semi finals. Unfortunately though our shooters let us down in the last match and we got knocked out. Still, next year that Trophy will be ours haha.

Many thanks and best wishes to you all.

Matthew Uden

July’s Update

It’s that time where I update you all on what’s been going on with the Udens. I guess I should start by talking about the weather as it seems to be “hot topic” at the moment. The sun is shining (Sort of ) and although it’s what we all said we wanted, it is a little too hot isn’t it, I am sure I am not alone in having had a little moan about the heat this week. My Dad often likes to remind me of the “good old days” and even with the weather he manages to tell me how lucky we are driving round in air conditioned limousines ! To be fair he has a point, I remember our old Daimler’s, and when the weather is hot they did feel like a green house. In which he followed up by saying ” Im not talking about the Daimler’s they were luxury compared to our very old Princess’s ! No power steering, manual and no air conditioning, gracious you are all so spoilt !”. Ah ” the good old days” ha ha.

The boys at Sidcup have been putting down their funeral directors gloves and replacing them with gardening gloves for a bit and have been doing their best Alan Titchmarsh impression, takings fences out, planting the borders and generally making the place look great. Big thanks to Jay, Stan, Nick and Bobby. I’d also like to make a special mention to our in house gardener Brian who has been looking after the Camberwell & Dulwich gardens. He has done a fantastic job and should be very proud of himself !

After the success of our new non slip floor at Camberwell we decided to get our garage done at Sidcup too. We are really pleased with the results which were installed by Hi Tech Flooring.
I’d like to take this opportunity to introduce our three new members of staff, Adam Gray, an enthusiastic young man who’s ready to learn the Funeral trade and the Uden way. Also new to the team is Adam Watts, garage forman and car specialist, his role is to look after our fantastic fleet of vehicles and keep them all in the highest order. Adam is a professional valeter and what he can do to cars is unbelievable, the fleet have never looked so sparkly.
Last but by no means least is Darrell Reeves. Darrell is joining us on a part-time basis so that he can carry on working as a black cab driver. Darryl is used to driving slowly with the London traffic and might actually get out of third gear on occasion now heehee.

Please see below some of our latest pictures of our Camberwell branch.

Thanks for taking the time to read my update, and have a great week.

Matthew Uden.

 

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Camberwell Garden

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Christopher Bennett, Camberwell Manager

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Camberwell Garage

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Adam Watts, Garage Foreman

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Camberwell’s refurbished changing rooms

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UDN 1 Gleaming in the sunshine

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Adam working hard as usual.

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Adam showing his good side!

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April Update

As usual I’m running behind with the monthly news letters but here is a brief overview of what we have been up to during March and the beginning of April.

It’s been a high profile few weeks for us at W.Uden and Sons. You may have seen us in the tabloids, including the Daily Mail, ITV Online and the Daily Mirror when we conducted the funeral of actor Christopher Greener, one of Britain’s tallest men. Christopher was 7ft 6 1\2 and held the record for Britain’s tallest man for 40 years. As with all of our funerals we did our utmost to make it the best that we possibly could. This was a little different from usual as we needed 8 coffin bearers as opposed to the usual four or six and an extra long coffin of course which only just fitted in the back of the hearse. I was extremely proud of the whole team for the way that they handled the paparazzi and remained professional throughout.

I had the pleasure to find out about Christopher after I had a long chat with his friends, they described him as a gentle giant who had an enormous heart. The funeral went very well with some beautiful things being said about his life and antics, I am sure that he would have been pleased with his send off. As usual big thanks to Sarah from SJKnight Photography for her continued support with great images that she supplied to all of the papers for us.

After all of the excitement of the press interviews we have been continuing with the refurbishments of our premises, the Camberwell workshop and garage look brand new and we are all really pleased with it, most importantly our new non slip flooring in our garage!!

Uncle Chris is at it again, his hard work is really appreciated by the whole family at Uden’s and his next project after the finishing touches on the garage is the boys tea room room at Camberwell.
After such a busy few weeks we managed to get a little time out and went paint balling at the weekend. We had a great time, i’m sure that the staff took a little too much pleasure in getting the opportunity to shoot at me though ha ha.

We have been really busy of late and worked with some lovely people, making the last memories perfect for families, this is the most important thing to us and we have received some beautiful heartfelt letters of thanks as always. Every family touches our hearts and the thanks really does mean the world to us.

I hope that everyone had a lovely Easter and didn’t eat too much chocolate, we are still getting through ours, although my brother Jay has been keeping his eyes on it. We will let him off this weekend though as he is going to be taking part in the gruelling Tough Mudder competition, a 12 mile obstacle course. We all wish him the best of luck, if you’d like to have a look at what he is going to be putting himself through follow this link https://toughmudder.co.uk/events/what-is-tough-mudder?gclid=CNCohsW3lsUCFaMIwwod4UoAAg

Well that’s all from me for a few weeks, fingers crossed this lovely weather that we have been having is here to stay and we will have a nice warm summer.

Matt

Going out in style.

As usual the newsletter is late and I’ve even managed to roll February’s into March this year.
Lots of thanks to give out to everyone for February’s achievements, the boys have been working really early mornings and late nights and have spent lots of time outside in the cold. They never complain and always continue to provide a great service, which is really appreciated by all of us. Thanks to our good friend Sarah, who has been re designing our coffin brochure this month, she has truly geeked out on all of the different designs and types available and the last time I spoke to her she informed me that when she passes away she is “going out in style” and has picked the coffin she would like. Also thanks to Rev Sealy at St Johns Church, Sidcup, for allowing us to use his Church to photograph all of the available coffins and caskets.

Love was certainly in the air in February and Uncle Chris is at it again, his adoration for fixing things and making the branches look great has certainly made the staff’s Valentines day, he has done a great job at Biggin hill fitting a new kitchen and refurbishing the mortuary. They both look really lovely and the staff are all over the moon about their new facilities.

We have been providing our services for some friends that have lost their loved ones recently. As many of you know I truly love my job and making people’s hard times a little easier brings me a lot of comfort. When you see your good friends grieving it is really difficult, but being there to help them through the stages really is an honour. To those that are going through a tough time please let me reassure that time is a healer. You never forget your loved ones but the hurt does fade a little in time and you are often left with amazing memories and a special place in your heart that will always be long to them.
As promised last month, I’d like to introduce you to our staff over the coming newsletters. We are starting with Len Gammon & Alan Mitchell.

Please go to the link to see the rest of the team – http://www.wuden.com/contact-us/family-members/

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New Year, New Start

New year, new start, I wonder how many of us have said that so far this year? With Christmas a distant memory and January disappearing quickly I expect everyone is back in to the swing of things after the festivities. Whether your new years resolution is to get fitter, spend less or maybe try something new, I hope that they are all going as planned.

As you know we always like to set the highest standards at W.Uden and Sons and with a fresh year ahead its a good time to regroup and refresh new ideas to stay above the rest. The Camberwell branch refurb is going really well and the guys are just adding a few finishing touches. We’ll be upgrading the garage soon too, I’ll get our photographer over there to take some snaps when its all finished so that I can share them with you.

We are also hoping to upgrade and build new mortuaries at a number of our offices this year to make sure that we can provide the utmost care for loved ones that have left us.

That brings me to an end to this months newsletter, over the next few months we’ll be introducing you to some of the Uden’s Team and finding out all sorts about them including why they decided to become involved with the funeral business.

See you soon
Matthew Uden

The Build up to Christmas……

Greetings from everyone here at W.Uden & Sons. It’s that time of year where everyone seems to be rushing around and panicking about the festive season that is heading towards us at a rapid rate.

I’m sorry for the delay with this months news letter, I hate to admit it but I’ve been rushing around in a panic too. I’m sure that you will all be pleased to know that I have now come to my senses and realised that we still have a month to go until the big day.
The build up to Christmas can be really hard for families that have lost a loved one, November is a time for remembrance and as we remember the fallen it is often a reminder of those close to us that have passed away. There are no set rules about how to face the holidays without those special people, but there is help available. If you are looking for advice on how to deal with the loss of a loved one, please do not hesitate to contact any of our branches. We can help you get support and offer advice for those that need a little help.

We will be holding our Annual Christmas Carol Service in remembrance of those we have lost. The service will be taking place at St Johns Church, Church Avenue, Sidcup on Wednesday 10th December starting at 7pm. I would like to take this opportunity to invite you all, I really hope you will join us.
Getting in the Christmas spirit a little early this year, last week was the Eltham Christmas lights switch on which was a lovely evening with a really nice community feel. We joined in with the celebrations and invited passers by to have some mince pies and mulled wine on the forecourt with us. This year was busier than ever and we were lucky to be accompanied by the amazing Rock Choir, who sang some christmasy tunes to keep us entertained throughout the evening. Family friend and our photographer for the evening was Sarah Knight of SJKnight Photography. We have put the photographs and a short video of the evening on our Facebook page so check them out if you get a chance, they’re great and you can even see me dressed as an Elf! Our Facebook page address is www.facebook.com/ WUdenandSonsFamilyFuneralDirec tors

The Bexleyheath Broadway Lights were also switched on last Saturday 22nd. As a way of thanks to the community we supplied the horses and carriage that will took Father Christmas through the parade. We hope all those who attended had a great time.

Now that the cold weather is upon us I am pleased to say the mess room is now finished at our Sidcup branch, which I know all the chaps are very happy with. It gets really cold washing the vehicles in the winter months and the staff do such a great job keeping the cars immaculate, we are really glad that they now have a comfortable, warm and dry place to have a quick brew.
Last but not least I are pleased to announce that we have a new member of staff, his name is Dave Morbin. Dave has had a successful career in the Metropolitan Police force for 30 years. He will be attending funerals as a driver and a conductor as well as making funeral arrangements for families in need.

Thanks for taking the time to read this little update, I hope to see you all at our Christmas service next month
 

Matthew Uden

October 2014 Update

 

It’s been a while since my last update for which I apologize; it’s been a very busy few months and I have been focusing on all sorts of aspects in the company, but don’t worry, I’m back!

October is that special time of year when the leaves start to change and the nights start to draw in. I love this time of year, the low sun makes our vehicles sparkle even more for that special Funeral (which is of course every funeral)

There are a few things that I want to mention in this months update.

 

2014 Christmas Carol Service:

 

After the success of last year, I am pleased to inform families that we are holding a Christmas Service of Remembrance on Wednesday 10th December at St Johns Church, Church Road, Sidcup, in memory of our loved ones. The service starts at 7.30pm and will include prayers, Christmas carols, and the reading of the names of those we wish to remember. After the Service we hope you will join us for mince pies and mulled wine. Further information to come.

 

Annual Meeting:

 

Our annual general meeting this year is being held on Saturday 11th October. This is a great time for us to get together and reflect over the past year, also to be able to go through upcoming events in the following year. As I have mentioned on numerous occasions, we are always striving to become better in all aspects of our profession, this meeting is a great time to be assemble all our staff in one place, which is no easy task I can assure you and talking about ways we can improve, this is such an important aspect of our funeral company. It’s very easy to stand still, but with new modern technologies we feel we must move with the times and provide a better and more up-to-date service but still with all the traditional values of the past.

 

Lordship Lane update:

 

Our Dulwich office, situated on Lordship Lane since the early 1960’s has had a makeover.  We are sure families that Trevor looks after will find it a more comfortable environment for making funeral arrangements and  visiting the chapel of rest. I will take this opportunity to thank my Uncle Chris for all his hard work. Uncle Chris is the person responsible for maintaining our branches. All year round he goes from branch to branch  maintaining the immaculate standards we expect and provide throughout the company. Currently as we speak he is refurbishing the mess room for the staff at the Sidcup office. He is a man of many talents and we are so lucky to have him!!

 

 

Whilst we are on the subject of buildings and maintenance, a huge thank you to another member of staff, Patrick Fogarty, who has just refurbished (with help from other members of staff), our workshop at our Camberwell office. Being established in 1881, some things in the company need updating, and our workshop which has stood the test of time needed a bit of TLC. Pat has done just that, he has hand built everything from the the floor up, including a new custom-designed workbench. Thank you Pat.

 

It goes without saying that a MASSIVE “thankyou” must go to all the staff in the company. We as a family are so lucky to have such dedicated and caring people working with us. I’m delighted and amazed beyond belief by the number of thank you letters and words of appreciation that we receive from families who have taken the time out of their lives, especially going through a loss of a loved one, to say how caring and professional our staff were before and on the day of the funeral. I strongly believe that there are certain people that are made to do this “job” and some that are not, thankfully we have the ones that are!

 

I leave you with this –

“Yesterday is history. Tomorrow is a mystery. But today is a gift, and that is why it’s called the present”

 

Matthew Uden.

Summer Update

They say that time flies when you are enjoying yourself, and whilst I would never make light of our profession, it is something I truly enjoy doing and look forward to each new challenge that each day presents. I am constantly seeking to improve our already exceptionally high standards of service and quality and in recent months we have added a further two funeral vehicles to our impressive fleet of Jaguar XJ vehicles comprising 4 hearse and 7 limousines, together with a Jaguar saloon car and two private ambulances. All our vehicles are fully equipped with every conceivable luxury and have been fitted with additional equipment tailored for our specific needs.

Our premises in Lordship Lane, Dulwich has undergone a complete refurbishment; providing a new arrangement office and Chapel of Rest, together with additional staff facilities. Meanwhile, our office in Biggin Hill has also recently been decorated, whilst retaining the traditional character of the premises.

I am pleased to welcome our latest new member of staff, Derek Marsden who has joined us with a wealth of experience from Golden Charter where he arranged funeral plans for clients. Derek now works throughout our company as a relief manager and funeral arranger. He is available to visit any of our clients in the privacy of their home to discuss any funeral questions.

We are now pleased to recommend the services of our own funeral celebrant, Graham Horak. Graham has been with our company for over 14 years and now officiates at over 200 funerals each year. Please follow this link for further information. http://www.wuden.com/organising-a-funeral/arranging-a-funeral/

Although it is only August, I would like to draw you attention to our annual Service of Remembrance that will be held this year on 10th December 2014 at St. John’s Church, Church Road Sidcup and will feature the Sidcup Community Choir together with soloist Jay Britton and the choir of St John’s Church. Refreshments and mulled wine will be served after the service and we look forward to meeting you again under more joyous circumstances.

My best wishes to you all.

Matthew Uden

W. Uden & Sons Annual Christmas Remembrance Service

This year our annual Service of Remembrance was held at St. John’s Church Sidcup and was attended by over 200 people who joined with us to sing carols. We also remembered our loved ones by hanging messages on the tree of remembrance.

After the service we all enjoyed a glass of mulled wine and other refreshments served by the Uden family and members of staff.

We thank all those who took part and look forward to your company again next year.

Following are a couple of letters of appreciation sent to us regarding the Carol Service.

We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who have taken the time out to send us messages of thanks for taking taking care of members of their families whom they have lost. It gives us such pride in sharing these on our website and in our offices. Thank you!

“Hi Matt

Albert Davey Funeral Date 30th May 2013

I have only just found my feet after moving so soon after my dad’s funeral. I would like to say a big thank you on behalf of the Davey family for your fantastic service you gave us at dad’s funeral and hope you will use this email as a testimonial.

From the moment dad died you offered us such strong support and guidance. When your gentlemen arrived to take dad they were very professional and despite our grief they talked us through everything they were going to do. I thought it was a wonderful sign of respect as they drove away with dad and had their hazard lights flashing until they disappeared from our eyesight.

The following service you and your team gave us was beyond words. We never felt that we were detached from the dad. You and your team were on hand to guide us through such a difficult sad time.

On the day of the funeral you followed the families wishes to detail. You helped to give dad a great send off and one that will always be remembered. Your team were amazing and very professional. We felt that your personal touches were so special. I have attended many funerals but none of them can compare to dads.

Thank you so much for your patience, guidance, support and care. We are so thankful we chose W. Uden & Sons and have no hesitation in recommending you.

Many thanks

The Davey Family”

“Dear Matt -and all responsible.

Thank you so much for suggesting that I might come to your carol service last night.It was a very special occasion relaxed and with a genuine warmth. It was also nice that afterwards some people, for whom I have had the privilege of taking services, remembered me and seemed pleased to see me and have a little chat.

Kindest regards,

Fr Owen”

Here are a few photo’s from the service itsself…..

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We thank all those who took part and look forward to your company again next year.

We wish you all a Merry Christmas & a Happy New Year