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


IT’S THAT TIME OF YEAR AGAIN

 

Just like buses, you wait for ages for a “new Uden” to join the firm and then they all come along together. We welcome Stanley Uden (Stan), our latest family member to work with us and look forward to his contribution to our family business.

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Our Uden family team now comprises: Nicky, Jason, Matthew, Ben, Andrew, Charlie, Michael, David & Stanley.

Like everyone else, we love Christmas and at this time of year we like to give something back to our local community. Over two successive Saturdays our Bexleyheath Branch has supplied the horse drawn carriage that brought Santa to the shopping centre, and subsequently carried the Lady Mayor and her family to the Broadway to turn on the Christmas lights.

The following is an extract from her letter in appreciation of our actions:

“To Nicholas and Matthew,

I understood the beautiful coach my daughter and I rode in to switch on the Christmas lights on Saturday was a loan from W. Uden & Sons. Thank you for making this possible. I cannot tell you how much we enjoyed the evening. A highlight of my year as Mayor. Thank you for your generosity .

Kind regards”

Our Eltham Branch recently played host to the “Rock Choir” as part of the Christmas celebrations in Eltham High Street. (See photos below). This is the second year we have provided refreshments to visitors to Eltham and our “mulled wine and mince pies” are now eagerly anticipated by our regular visitors.

 On Wednesday 11th December we are holding a Service of Remembrance for all our past clients.

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You are all cordially invited to join our service at St. John’s Church Sidcup, and then afterwards in the Church Hall for refreshments.

 I look forward to meeting you all,

 Matthew Uden

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END OF A ERA

After over 18 years of loyal and dedicated service, Kevin Croft, the manager of our Camberwell Office, has resigned his position to embrace a new chapter in his life with The London City Mission. Before he left Kevin spoke about his career with W. Uden & Sons and his decision to pursue his faith for the benefit of others.

My time with Udens started on a sunny spring afternoon when I was in the process of arranging work experience. My mum and dad had known Philip Uden for about 20 years so dad suggested I see if that would be an interesting career. Little did I know that the next eighteen years would be spent doing the job that I love so much.

When I first came to Udens the company was very different from what it is today. I was a shy 16 year old and the next person in age to me was at least 15 years older. I started working in the workshop at our Camberwell office finishing the coffins for our clients. I soon began pall bearing and then passed my driving test. Shortly after I began driving the limousines on funerals.

Back in those days the office side of things was looked after by Andrew Uden and Ken Highgate. Ken was approaching retirement and the company gave me the opportunity to take over from him. This was to say the least a very brave move to let a young man only 20 years of age such responsibility. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Uden family for their trust in me and the opportunities that have been given to me over the last 13 years or so. As well as looking after the funeral arrangements for many families over the years I have also been involved with arranging memorials and the repatriations of many people back to their country of origin.

I have been in the fortunate position whilst working at Udens of enjoying my work. Something that I know not everyone can say. The enjoyment of hearing a family say after a funeral that we have made a difficult day so much easier gives amazing job satisfaction, not only to me but all my friends that work here.

Well if I enjoy my work so much why move? I had the amazing privilege of being brought up in a Christian household. It would be fair to say that as a young person I was not at all interested in what the bible had to say or anything that Jesus said. Well on the 22nd May 1999 that all changed and I put my trust in Jesus. That decision has made big changes in my life. The bible is still relevant today and has a message that people need so desperately to hear. So this new chapter in my life will enable me to meet people and have the privilege of telling them about Jesus. I will be doing this with an organisation called London City Mission, a charity that has been running for over 170 years engaging with people in London to explain to them the life changing message of Jesus.

So as I end one chapter of my life my family and I are excited about what God has planned for us in the years to come. I have made many lifelong friends here over the last 18 years and I am sure Udens have not seen the end of me forever.

Bye for now

Kevin

 

We wish Kevin every blessing in his new career, and welcome Christopher Bennett who replaces him.

Chris, who has worked at The Sidcup office for over 8 years, continues his family’s involvement with our firm, as his elder brother already manages out Bexleyheath branch.

 

Good luck to both of you.

 

 

 

Matthew Uden

 


IN THE CARE OF THE UDEN FAMILY

Over the forthcoming months I intend to feature each of our branches and tell you a little of the history of the premises and a “secret” about each of our managers.

 

This month I am starting with our Sidcup Office, which is in the care of Jason Uden.

 

Located at No.64, High Street Sidcup, W. Uden & Sons Ltd can lay claim to being the oldest established business in the area.

 

Originally trading as F.W. Wright, cabinet makers and undertakers, the premises were acquired by the Uden family over 70 years ago and we have been successfully serving the community of Sidcup ever since.

 

We occupy what was once an early Victorian house and is the only original premises in the High Street that has not been converted or extended. The York stone paving that can be seen to the front of the building was laid when Queen Victoria was still on the throne!

 

The upper floors of the original house have been continually occupied by different members of the Uden family for half a century, and are currently home to Jason Uden, together with his wife and their young son.

 

The buildings to the rear and accessed via Nelson Road have undergone numerous alterations and additions, the last major building work being undertaken in 2005 when a new garage and workshop was constructed in Nelson Place as part of the major development of this area by what was then Safeway Supermarket in partnership with Bexley Council. We now have modern first class facilities to store and display our fleet of luxury funeral vehicles.

 

Jason is assisted at our Sidcup Branch by Spencer Baxter and a small permanent staff of experienced drivers who maintain our cars in immaculate condition and assist bereaved families as required.

 

A little known fact is that Jason is an accomplished cook who prepares all the family meals. After some gentle persuasion he has agreed to share his traditional recipe for jam roly poly which has been a favourite pudding of all the Uden family for many generations.

 

Jason would be pleased to answer any of your food related questions. Just call him on 020 8300 2002

 

JASON’S JAM ROLY POLY

Ingredients

• softened butter, for greasing

• 200g/7oz self-raising flour, plus extra for dusting

• 100g/3½oz shredded suet

• 1 tbsp caster sugar

• good pinch salt

• 150ml/5fl oz semi-skimmed milk or water

• 6–7 tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam

Preparation method

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6. Butter a large sheet of greaseproof paper and set aside.

2. Stir the flour, suet, sugar and salt in a large bowl until well combined. Slowly stir in the milk or water to form a soft, spongy dough.

3. Tip the dough out onto a floured surface and knead for a few minutes. Roll the dough out to a 22cm x 32cm/8½in x 13in rectangle.

4. Spread the jam onto the dough, leaving a 1.5cm/½in border. Gently roll the dough up from the short end and transfer to the greaseproof paper, seam-side down. Wrap the roly poly in the greaseproof paper, making a long pleat in the parchment to allow the pudding to expand as it cooks. Twist the ends of the parchment like a Christmas cracker and tie tightly with kitchen string, to seal the pudding inside.

5. Repeat the process with a large piece of aluminium foil.

6. Place the pudding onto a roasting rack set on a roasting tin. Pour boiling water into the roasting tin until the half full.

7. Bake in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

8. Remove the pudding from the oven, unwrap the aluminium foil, then snip the string and unwrap the paper.

9. The pudding should be well risen and lightly browned in places. Don’t worry if the jam has made its way through to the outside of the pudding a little – it will taste all the more delicious.

10. Put on a board or serving plate and cut into thick slices. Serve with lots of hot custard or cream.

YUM YUM !

 


ALL THE COLOURS OF THE RAINBOW

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


SO MUCH TO DO – SO LITTLE TIME

 

We congratulate George Collett, who has managed our Biggin Hill Branch for the past 5 years, on his retirement. As many of you know, George is an ordained minister attached to The Holy Trinity Church in Bromley Common and will continue to assist families who require a Church of England minister to speak at a funeral service. Together with Graham Horak, our civil celebrant, we are able to provide trained, compassionate officiates who will deliver the sort of service you want in celebration of the life of your loved one.

 

Our Biggin Hill branch is now in the care of Nigel Jones who will continue to provide the same compassionate help and service to bereaved families that is synonymous with our Company.

 

It’s not just the men within our family who help and support others. My wife Lucy is currently in strict training for the London to Paris Cycle ride which will take place in 18th – 22nd September when she will be raising money for The Alzheimers Society. If you wish to support her please go to http://www.justgiving.com/lucymaddinuden and watch this space for updates on her progress.

 

Naturally at this time of year our thoughts turn to all things associated with Spring. Nicky has been preparing his allotment and we look forward to a fine crop of onions and beans this year.

 

On behalf of all the Uden family we wish you all a happy and peaceful Easter.

Best wishes,

Matthew Uden


Welcome 2013!

We start the year on a sombre note following the death of our senior board member and patriarch of the Company, Mr Philip Uden. As a family we all mourn his loss, yet we rejoice that he is now with his maker and at rest.

 

Our senior colleague, David Uden, now takes on the mantle of “Father of the Firm” and we are pleased to welcome Michael Uden, Jason Uden and Matthew Uden onto our Board of Directors where they join our current management team, David and Andrew Uden, together with our Managing Director, Nicholas Uden.

 

Despite the proliferation of new businesses established as funeral directors in this area, together with an overall decline in the death rate throughout the Country; W. Uden & Sons continue to increase our service to the local community. We have achieved this in the face of stiff competition and a challenging economic climate, whilst continuing to provide the highest quality of service that is the envy of all our competitors.

 

You and your loved ones are assured of our personal attention throughout all the funeral arrangements. We believe our costs are competitive and wholly consistent with the level of service and attention we provide. Please speak to any of our managers for a complete breakdown of funeral expenses, together with an explanation of the disbursements that apply to every funeral.

 

If you haven’t already done so, may I invite you to look at some of the unsolicited testimonials submitted in respect of our work. It is gratifying to receive such praise and we appreciate that our clients have taken the time to acknowledge our commitment to our chosen profession.

 

On a lighter note, Nicky is now preparing his allotment for the spring sowing, and we all look forward to the abundance of fresh vegetables he distributes to us all. If anyone would live to share the fruits of his labours, please call him at the Eltham Office on 020 8850 2868. I know he will be pleased to hear from you.


Freddie Mills Funeral 30 July 1965

Funeral of the late great Freddie Mills world light boxing champion 1948-1950 at St. Giles Church Camberwell, London, Friday 30 July 1965. Many of the dignitaries present was Jack Solomons , boxing promoter, head of BBC TV, Sylvia Peters, Henry Cooper, Jim Wick(Henry Cooper’s manager), Terry Downs (middleweight boxer), Dick Richardson (heavyweight boxer), John Williams (boxer), Harry Levine (boxing promoter), Ron Barton (boxer), Teddy Wharton (boxer referee), Len Harvey (former lightweight boxing champion), Frankie Vaughan (singer and dancer), Norman Wisdom (actor and comedian), Tommy Trinder (actor and comedian), Alfred Marks (actor and comedian), Ann Shelton (singer), Nat Seller (Freddie’s Trainer and cornerman), Harry Vines (boxer), Andy Holme (actor from Singapore), Bruce Forsyth (entertainer and comedian), Len Nipper Read (detective), Bob Monkhouse & Dennis Goodwin (comedians and script writers), Sid James (actor) Ted Boardribb (Freddie’s former manager and Father-in-law), Harry Gibbs (referee), and various sports writers.

 


Here To Help

It’s not just bereaved families that we help throughout the year. We also provide support and assistance to local churches and communities. We are pleased to offer free transport to Nursing Home staff who would like to attend the funeral of any of their patients who died in their charge. In association with a number of residential homes we also offer the opportunity for any resident to record their final wishes. Please contact any of our offices for further details

At this time of year we are especially pleased to help another busy person with their special work. On Saturday 10th. November W. Uden & Sons, in association with N. Cook, (carriage masters), were happy to provide a horse drawn carriage to bring Father Christmas to Bexleyheath.

On Thursday 15th. November when Santa arrived in Eltham the staff of W. Uden and sons joined in the celebrations by decorating our Eltham Branch (and one of our Limousines) with Christmas lights whilst distributing wine, mince pies and good cheer to local people. We were also joined by the Rock Choir who gave an impromptu performance outside our shop.

The following Saturday 17th November, our carriage was again  in service conveying Steve McFadden, (star of Eastenders) together with the Mayor and others to the Broadway Shopping Centre to turn on the Christmas lights.

 

 

 

 

 


A Toast To New Beginnings

Here at W. Uden & Sons we take great pride in the quality and experience of our staff. Many of our employees have been with us all of their working lives, whilst others have joined us after military or public service.

 

We are especially pleased to welcome Spencer Baxter. A funeral director for over 15 years with a wealth of experience in all aspects of the funeral trade.

Mr. Spencer Baxter

Mr. Spencer Baxter

Spencer is going to be working directly with Jason Uden at the Sidcup Branch, in a key role looking after the families of Sidcup and surrounding areas as we have done for so many years.

 

Another recent addition to our workforce is Charlie Uden;

Mr. Charlie Uden

Mr. Charlie Uden

the youngest Uden to join our long established family business. Charlie is the son of Andrew Uden, the manager of our Camberwell and Dulwich branches. Andrew’s younger son, Jack, continues with this full time education before deciding if he is going to follow in the family footsteps or “get a proper job”!

 

Although we are a traditional firm with old-fashioned values and standards, we fully appreciate how people’s expectations and requirements of funerals have changed in recent years. We understand that not everyone now wants a religious service. Indeed, the manner of celebrating the life of a loved one in only limited by your wishes and imagination.

 

Of course we can arrange a vicar or priest to conduct your service. At the same time we have a number of officiates and celebrants who have no affiliation to any particular faith and will lead a service according to your wishes rather than the dictates of any church or religion.

 

Nowadays a funeral doesn’t have to be a solemn occasion. Pink ties or Hawaiian shirts, music and intimate personal tributes can help to personalise a funeral service and provide a lasting memory for your loved one. Please speak to any of our staff for further information.

 

I know how popular my dad’s gardening tips have become amongst those regular visitors to our website. Nicky is also a keen DIY enthusiast who cannot wait for his 60th birthday so he can get his 10% discount card at B&Q. Meanwhile my mum Julie has asked if next month she can share her traditional recipe for home baked Christmas cake and mince pies.

Yum Yum!

 

Regards,

Matthew Uden


THE TIMES THEY ARE a- CHANGIN’

If Bob Dylan worked for Udens he would have trouble keeping up with the constant changes that are necessary to maintain our Company as the Premier Funeral Directors in this area.

 

Ken Powell, who has been with us for 10 years, since his retirement from the Metropolitan Police, has finally agreed to spend more time with his wife and family. We thank him for his commitment and contribution to our achievements over the past decade and wish him well for the future.

 

We welcome Ex Naval Provost Colin Gent who joins us in September. Colin will undertake a variety or duties, not all of which have even been invented yet. That’s the beauty of working for a family business; you never know what you may be doing tomorrow. The only certainty is that sometime during the day you will definitely have to wash and polish at least one of our Luxury funeral vehicles.

 

We continue to support bereaved families throughout this area, not just by providing an unrivalled funeral service at a time of need, but by assisting in the planning and preparation of funerals, together with advice and assistance on memorials and other means of commemorating a loved one. Please contact any of our experienced staff for further information.

 

Not many people realise that my Dad, in addition to running a successful business, is also a keen and dedicated gardener. He has therefore graciously agreed to share his skills and knowledge with us all by providing seasonal tips throughout the year.

 

This month’s tip: Take cuttings of tender perennial, such as verbenas, argyranthemums, fuchsias, salvias and pelargonium ’ s. Dip the cuttings into a hormone rooting compound before inserting them into small pots of half and half peat and perlite or peat and silver sand. Water in well and keep the cuttings in a cold frame or even on warm windowsill out of direct sunlight. They should root within eight weeks and can then be potted up in Multi-Purpose compost and overwintered in a heated greenhouse or on a bedroom windowsill

 

Thanks Dad, We look forward to more of your gems of wisdom in the future.


Chapel Of Rest

Unlike many of our competitors, all our branches have their own private chapel of rest where your loved one remains until the day of their funeral.

In addition to caring for the deceased we will prepare them for their funeral by dressing them in a funeral gown or their own clothes if desired.

Family and friends are welcome to attend our chapels by appointment to view the body and make their final farewell. If required a small service can be held on our premises prior to the funeral.

Please feel free to call into any of our branches to inspect our facilities and let us know how we can be of assistance to you.


The Bexleyheath Branch Has Officially Been Opened

The Mayor of Bexley, Councillor Alan Downing was joined by James Cleverly London Assembly Member, together with local residents and commercial managers in visiting our new Funeral Home in Bexleyheath.

Seven “Mr Udens”, together with their experienced staff were in attendance to greet visitors and answer their questions. On display outside the shop was a Victorian horse drawn hearse, reflecting times past, whilst next to it was a motorcycle chariot hearse, indicating the possibilities for the future. The present was represented by Udens’ current fleet of nine Jaguar XJ funeral vehicles, together with a Rolls Royce hearse and matching limousine, all proudly bearing the distinctive UDN number plates.

We would like extend our gratitude to all the well wishers and everyone that has been involved in the making of this beautiful premises. We’re looking forward to being a solid part of the community for many years to come.


Open Day

“London’s re-elected Mayor, Boris Johnson, popped into our new funeral home recently. He was intrigued to see what we had done to the dilapidated toilets that previously occupied this site.

He was amazed at the outcome, and has indicated he hopes to return on Saturday 16th June to visit us again on our “OPEN DAY

Why not join us and Boris. Meet the Uden Family and inspect our cars and premises.  You will be amazed at the quality of all aspects of our business”.

Note your diary. SATURDAY 16th JUNE 10am to 3pm.

Here is Boris with Nick & Pat

“OPEN DAY”

SATURDAY 16th JUNE 2012

On behalf of all the Uden Family I would like to invite you to an “OPEN DAY” at our new premises in Townley Road Bexleyheath, just off The Broadway, on Saturday 16th June 2012 between 10am and 3pm

You will have the opportunity to meet family members and our experienced staff who will be pleased to discuss our work and how we can assist you. In addition to looking around our flagship branch, we hope you will inspect our vehicles, including a Horse Drawn and a Motor Cycle hearse, will be on display in The Broadway.

Please join us for a coffee and see why we are so proud of the quality of our premises, our vehicles and the service we provide.

We look forward to meeting you on Saturday 16th June.

You can download our Open Day Flyer here.

Matthew Uden


At Your Convenience

W. UDEN & SONS OPEN NEW BRANCH IN BEXLEYHEATH

 

Early last year an executive decision was made to extend our acclaimed funeral services to residents in the north of Bexley Borough.

We needed a premier location to compliment our first class vehicles and staff; somewhere just off the Broadway, near to all the major retailers. Who would have thought that a disused public toilets could be transformed from a derelict eyesore to the beautiful building that we have created!

View the full gallery here

Purchased at public auction, plans for conversion were submitted to the local authority in August last year and building work commenced in October 2011. Our contractors, Brylane Construction & AMP Electrical have retained the external footprint of the building whilst completely re-structuring the interior layout, providing tranquil offices for the benefit of our clients. Work was completed at the end of February 2012 and we have already arranged several funerals since opening our doors in March.

We have appointed Nicholas Bennett as our new branch manager. ”Nick” is a local man, born and brought up in Welling, who now lives in Bexleyheath with his wife and young family. He joined the firm in 2002 and has worked at our Sidcup branch, looking after bereaved families in that area. He therefore brings a wealth of experience to his new role and is looking forward to extending the high standards of our company to this part of the Borough.

There has been considerable interest within the local community regarding our Golden Charter prepaid funerals. If anyone would like more details, please telephone our office on 020 8303 1279 or call in when passing and talk to Nicholas who will be pleased to advise you. We can also arrange to visit you in the privacy of your own home if you prefer. A few minutes planning for the future will make everything easier for your family and loved ones when that fateful time comes.

On June 16th we are holding an open day at our Bexleyheath branch where you can visit our premises and inspect our vehicles. Also on display will be a horse drawn carriage, together with a motorcycle hearse. Members of the Uden family and staff will be available to answer any questions that you may have. Please join us between 10 am and 4pm for refreshments and a chance to meet in social circumstances rather than at a time of need.

Best wishes.

Matthew Uden

W. Uden & Sons Ltd. Family Funeral Directors

020 8303 1279

 

Our family helping your family

W. Uden & Sons Ltd.

Family Funeral Directors

6 Townley Road

Bexleyheath DA6 7HL

020 8303 1279


Funeral Directors in Bexleyheath

 New Branch Open in, Bexleyheath

February 2012 will forever be remembered in the annals of our Company for the opening of our new flagship branch in Bexleyheath, and for our involvement in the Bexleyheath Pancake Race.

Back in the summer of 2011 a small article in a local paper relating to sale by Bexley Council of a disused public convenience in Townley Road caught the eye of one of our employees. What at first seemed a preposterous idea of transforming an old and dilapidated toilet block into a modern funeral home soon grabbed the imagination of our management staff. Having acquired the site and subsequent planning permission, building work commenced in October last year and we now hope to open in late February.

 

Please look out for our new premises which are located at:

 

6, Townley Road Bexleyheath DA6 7HL

Telephone 020 8303 1279

 View Map (Google Places)

To celebrate the opening of our new branch in Bexleyheath and to demonstrate our commitment to the local community, W. Uden & Sons Ltd. are pleased to be the official sponsors of the inaugural Bexleyheath Pancake Race in support of Greenwich and Bexley Hospice.

 

Not only are we sponsoring this event, but by challenging other business and corporate teams to compete, we hope to win the coveted “Golden Frying Pan” for which a space has already been reserved in our new office.

 

Why not join us by The Clock Tower at 11an on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February and support all those taking part and help raise money for this most worthy charity.

 

Come and join in the fun and support your local Hospice.


W Uden & Sons


W Udens Funeral Directors Fleet of Cars

 

3-generations-of-udens

A picture tells a thousand words and all of them reflect credit upon our Company as Philip, Andrew and Matthew Uden, representing three generations of the family    business, joined with staff to proudly display their new fleet of Jaguar funeral vehicles now in service with W. Uden & Sons.

 

 

Three new hearses and six luxury limousines have now been added to our fleet, which also includes a contemporary Rolls Royce hearse and matching limousine. w uden-funeral-directors-fleet

 

Based throughout our branches in South East London, these working vehicles are now in daily use on all our funerals and reflect the high levels of quality and service you can expect from our company.

 

W Udens Funeral Directors Blackheath Photographed on Blackheath by Sarah Knight, even the rain couldn’t dampen the enthusiasm of our staff who have the daily pleasure of driving these luxury vehicles.

 

Equipped with every modern accessory, these cars provide safety and comfort to grieving families as they accompany their loved one on his or her final journey.  W Udens Fleet

For the technically minded, the vehicles are based on the Jaguar XJ Series with an aluminium body and (3,000cc) engine. The cars are hand built in Berkshire by Willcox & Sons, specialist coachbuilders. 

 

 

I welcome your comments and opinions on our vehicles, our premises, our staff or any other matter relating to our company. Please email matt@wuden.com  Matt Uden

 

 


New Branch Open Bexleyheath

February 2012 will forever be remembered in the annals of our Company for the opening of our new flagship branch in Bexleyheath, and for our involvement in the Bexleyheath Pancake Race.

Back in the summer of 2011 a small article in a local paper relating to sale by Bexley Council of a disused public convenience in Townley Road caught the eye of one of our employees. What at first seemed a preposterous idea of transforming an old and dilapidated toilet block into a modern funeral home soon grabbed the imagination of our management staff. Having acquired the site and subsequent planning permission, building work commenced in October last year and is now complete.

You will see from the photographs in our gallery that the quality of finish to this prestigious building reflects the standards we apply to all our work and we now look forward to extending our service to the wider community of Bexleyheath, Welling Erith, Crayford and Dartford.

Please look out for our new premises which are located at:

 

6 Townley Road Bexleyheath DA6 7HL

Telephone 020 8303 1279

To celebrate the opening of our new branch in Bexleyheath and to demonstrate our commitment to the local community, W. Uden & Sons Ltd. are pleased to be the official sponsors of the inaugural Bexleyheath Pancake Race in support of Greenwich and Bexley Hospice.

Not only are we sponsoring this event, but by challenging other business and corporate teams to compete, we hope to win the coveted “Golden Frying Pan” for which a space has already been reserved in our new office.

Why not join us by The Clock Tower at 11an on Shrove Tuesday, 21st February and support all those taking part and help raise money for this most worthy charity.

Come and join in the fun and support your local Hospice.