We are looking for a new member for our part time driver/bearer team. We need someone with a full driving licence, this is essential, and the ability to follow instructions and be a good team worker. The job requires physical fitness and smart appearance, reliability and good timekeeping are also important. We offer flexibility and an excellent rate of pay. If you are interested please send us your CV and a covering letter.
It was with great sadness that we conducted the funeral of our friend and colleague Peter Gray in January. On Tuesday I joined members of Pete’s family at the Lincolnshire Aviation Heritage Centre at East Kirkby. The Centre had long been a major part of Pete’s life, in particular their Lancaster, Just Jane. Pete had volunteered and assisted at the centre for many years, so we had arranged to have his ashes scattered in the propeller wash of the Lancaster on the first taxy day of the year. Unfortunately the aircraft could not taxy on the day due to maintenance issues, but they were still able to run her engines. Mr Panton, one of the brothers who started the museum, personally escorted Pete’s wife and daughter to the rear of the aircraft while the pilot revved the port outer engine. Pete’s ashes were released into the powerful blast from the propeller to be scattered over the airfield. It was a perfect way to say goodbye to a good friend.
Are you messing with us, Pete?
The video shows the third attempt to start the port outer engine, the one being used to scatter Pete’s ashes. It did feel as if he was having a bit of fun at our expense.
A couple of weeks ago we carried out two green burials within a few days of each other. They were at different burial grounds so, whilst essentially the same thing, they were very different in their approach.
The first one was at Hill Holt Wood in their recently opened burial ground at Norton Big Wood. The ceremony was held in the Round Room at Hill Holt, led by one of our local secular ceremony officiants. The room was packed to overflowing with mourners, I think it says a lot about a person when so many people take the time to come and pay their respects and say goodbye. After the ceremony we made our way to Big Wood, a drive of a couple of miles on the country lanes to avoid going on the A46. The burial area is a good five minute walk into the woods from the car park, the coffin is carried on a suitably adapted trailer pulled by a small tractor. This might sound a little odd but is entirely in keeping with the feel and ethos of the burial ground. The burials take place in a cleared glade round an old, established oak tree. The number of burials round each tree will be limited but the woodland is large, as the name suggests, so space is not an issue.
The second burial was at Brightwater Green Burial Meadow, near Saxby. On this occasion we all met at the graveside and the brief ceremony was conducted by family members. The mourners then went to the Barn, about half a mile away, which is available for ceremonies and refreshments, to continue with an informal ceremony and an exhibition of the deceased’s photographic work. The burial ground is very different to Hill Holt in that it is open meadow with areas of newly planted trees. At the moment it has a very open feel, with big Lincolnshire skies around you. As the trees grow, the site will change but will always be predominantly a meadow.
It is good to have burial grounds that, whilst offering what is basically the same facility, have such variation in how that is achieved. They are both radically different from the ‘standard’ cemetery with neat cut lawns and rows of headstones and are also different from each other.
A few weeks ago we carried out the funeral of a Land Rover enthusiast. The family wanted as many Land Rovers in the cortege as possible and for none of them to be washed. They also arranged for an ex-military Land Rover to act as the hearse.
Some twenty Land Rovers, varying from competitive trials vehicles based on 1960s Land Rovers to reasonably clean Freelanders and Discoverys left the family home just outside Lincoln.
Normally a hearse breaking down on route to the crematorium would be a disaster, on this occasion when the Series Three Land Rover did the usual trick of overheating in the traffic, causing the petrol in the fuel line to boil, it was not a problem. When you have an old Land Rover a tow rope is never far away. The family said the breakdown was perfect – exactly what a Land Rover does best!
It was a most unusual arrival at the crematorium and not one I want to repeat in my hearse.
All in all a memorable day and the most fitting tribute for a Land Rover fan.
I’ve just been interviewed for BBC Radio Lincolnshire about apprenticeships and training in the funeral profession. I hope it sounds ok.
I haven’t been to the lovely church in Caythorpe for years, I’m now doing an interment of Ashes here.
We have taken advantage of the excellent weather over the last day or two to get some top quality photos of ourselves and the vehicles taken. The location we chose was Lincoln Cathedral, on the south side by the Judgement door. This is the entrance normally used for funerals in the cathedral and, being on the south facing side, is ideal for photos. The pictures were taken by Clive Catton of Octagon Technology (who also do all our IT and web support http://www.octagontech.com ), a very capable photographer.
Our hearse with the impressive facade of the Cathedral behind.
Our hearse outside Lincoln Cathedral on a wet April afternoon.
We have been informed by our association (National Association of Funeral Directors) that the British Medical Association has increased the fee doctors charge for completing the medical forms normally required for a cremation to £76 each. Two forms are normally required, making the total £152. This applies from the first of April and is the first increase in several years.
On the same day Lincoln City Council are increasing the fee charged at Lincoln Crematorium to £550. This is still comparable with other crematoria in the area and is not influenced by the large scale works being carried out at the crematorium at the moment.