Home Blogs

A Rat Infested Toilet Block

Everyone at W. Uden & Sons are justly proud of all our premises, including our
arrangement offices and our garages, each presented and maintained in accordance
with our company ethos that “only the best is good enough”. All our premises are
individual and unique, but none more so than our branch at Bexleyheath.
Older residents or visitors to Bexleyheath may remember the dilapidated block of public
toilets situated in Townley Road, complete with white tiled walls, recycling bins and road
sweepers refuge; a blot on the landscape in this thriving residential and commercial
area. One morning I arrived at work to find a copy of the News Shopper on my desk
with a small article highlighted by Graham, a former member of our staff, referring to the
sale by auction of this unloved and unwanted building.
Anyone who remembers Graham will know that he is something of an enigma; having
served as a policeman for 30 years before joining our company in 2000, the same time
as me. We were both full of enthusiastic suggestions as to how to improve our service
to the local community and regularly exchanged ideas as to how this could be done. I
immediately phoned him up to ask if he was serious or was this another one of his
numerous wind-ups. “A bit of both” he replied.
By now I was intrigued by the possibilities of this building which had no architectural
merit but which occupied a prime site just off the Broadway and opposite the entrance
to the shopping centre. Having visited the site and satisfied myself of the potential for a
development I then embraced the challenge of convincing members of my own family
that I wasn’t completely mad and that there was genuine merit in acquiring the site.
On the day of the auction I was due to be away on holiday so I pleaded with my dad to
attend and bid on our behalf. He now tells me the only reason he bought the property
was because he could not face me coming home and being disappointed, although I
strongly believe the shrewd businessman in him could also see the commercial benefits
of such an unusual building.
Acquiring the site was only the start of the many challenges we faced. First there were
the rats. Having been disused for many years the building and its complex system of
sewers had become a haven for vermin. Then there was the Planning Authority who
were insistent there should be no major structural changes to the building. Thanks to
the ingenuity of our builders we succeeded in renovating and re-modeling this eyesore
into the stunning funeral home you see today. Along the way we encountered various
other setbacks, including the theft of the security fence surrounding the construction site
as well as several cases of graffiti and criminal damage.

Opened on 16 th June 2012 by the Mayor of Bexley we have since gone from strength to
strength, providing our unrivaled service to local residents and together with our
surrounding branches in Sidcup and Eltham we have firmly established our position as
South London’s premier funeral directors.
Please feel free just to pop in for chat and to see what we have done to transform these
premises and remember that whenever you need the assistance of our services we are
always nearby and here to help you – at your convenience!

Refurbished and Rat Free 🙂

Latest Blog Posts

I’ve been working as a photographer for about 18 years

You may have seen on our social media pages recently

One of the questions that I get asked the most

Proud to serve our local communities for over 140 years.

Google Rating
Based on 839 reviews