Some of last week’s stories

Charles Cowling

“Do you swear on a stack of bibles that this dongle will definitely receive a strong, clear, unwavering signal on the Isle of Portland?” You wait for that look that young persons give us folk of uncertain age and temper, a blend of impatience, indulgence and pity. Then he says “Yes, oh yes, definitely” and nods very affirmatively and takes my money. And it’s all nonsense, of course. The Isle of Portland is no place for Vodafone.

So I’ve not managed to collect a great many stories in the last week. Here’s what I garnered:


Drive-thru funeral home popular for gang funerals. The corpse is behind bullet-proof glass http://www.autoguide.com/auto-news/2011/04/drive-thru-funeral-home-lets-you-pay-your-respects-on-the-go.html

 

Damned Co-op, damned Tories and the damnable sale of Bretby Crematoriumhttp://bit.ly/fGEICC

 

Corpse flower blooms in Basel. Hat tip to Norfolk Boihttp://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-13179745

 

Upcoming courses by Archa Robinson “For anyone facing death in the next 90 years.” http://www.livinganddying.co.uk/flyer.htm

 

BBC films man dying. Storm expected. http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2011/apr/26/bbc-films-cancer-patient-death?&CMP=EMCSOCEML657

 

Wrong grave dug. Co-op blames the cemetery, the cemetery blames the Co-op. http://www.eastlothiancourier.com/news/tranent/articles/2011/04/21/412547-burial-blunder-upsets-family/

 

Very sorry to see that Grete Waitz, the great Norwegian marathon runner, has died http://www.newsinenglish.no/2011/04/21/state-funeral-for-grete-waitz/

 

18 year-old opens funeral home in Staffs. Her other job? Bodyguard. Honest! http://www.expressandstar.com/news/2011/04/21/teenager-opens-funeral-parlour-in-norton-canes/

 

So wife burning still goes on in some parts of India, it seems http://www.deccanchronicle.com/editorial/dc-comment/sc-%E2%80%98khap%E2%80%99-directive-officials-welcome-848

 

Very interesting-looking blog here written by a bright and thoughtful FD http://daletime.com/

 

Funeral home embraces opportunity to stop people dying. Self-restraint of trade? http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/wales-news/2011/04/18/it-s-a-funeral-home-which-saves-lives-91466-28536974/

 

Blimey, Midlands Co-op charges £605 for a cardboard coffin! But what do you reckon to the balance of this piece? http://www.sundaymercury.net/news/midlands-news/2011/04/17/huge-mark-up-on-price-of-cardboard-coffins-mean-funeral-homes-cash-in-on-death-66331-28533378/

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13 Comments on "Some of last week’s stories"

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Rupert Callender
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Thank you Maggie for your honesty. I’m sure you will agree, our willingness to show our mark up shows the seismic shift that has happened in this industry. Only a few years ago, most FD’s wouldn’t even explain any of their charges, or break it down from one figure, let alone publish their mark up. I have pointed out to Rosie her error.

Maggie
Guest

Rupert, if you go on to my website you will see the pricing for all my coffins and professional fee. But to answer your specific question, my mark-up on a white cardboard coffin with rope handles (after delivery etc) is approx £78.00 – and on a std veneer coffin (after all the add-ons) is approx £98.00.
Regards, Mags x

Rupert Callender
Guest
Maggie, as a trustee of The Natural Death Centre I would agree that Rosie has got this a bit wrong. She does appear to be quoting a rrp for a Greenfield Creation cardboard coffin, possibly the last supplier of cardboard coffins in the country and undoubtedly the best, cheaper than they sell them to us. However, it is true that many funeral directors talk customers out of cardboard coffins with all that rubbish about going soggy in the rain, looking cheap, falling apart etc because they don’t make enough on them. I don’t think there is anything to be ashamed… Read more »
Jonathan
Guest
Chareles, I’m a funeral director, what other than a vulture’s quill would be suitable? Andrew, my son came up with a term today that far better suits the outfit in quesiton: “PLUNDERTAKERS”. But, to be fair to them, the 3% or so of bereaved people who bother to make comparisons between FD’s costs must get hopelessly confused. The reason for the big mark-up on coffins, it seems to me, is that all the others are doing it too, so as to keep their less hidden costs down to that of the competition -the ‘professional fee’, mostly. Can you imagine FDs… Read more »
Jonathan
Guest

Dear Charles, you called me a dinosaour the other day because I dislike this so-called information technology. Well! If a spotty teenager tells you you need something called a ‘dongle’, and you believe him and give him your dosh, you’ve only yourself to blame!!

I’d go on, but it’s hard to write any more on this computer screen with my quill pen.

Maggie
Guest

I wish I could find the coffin supplier that the Natural Death Centre use – after adding the lining, handles, delivery and VAT to the basic coffins from my supplier, the total is far more than £30!

andrew plume
Guest

“….18 year-old opens funeral home in Staffs…”

no website yet but they’re on facebook………

andrew plume
Guest
“….Blimey, Midlands Co-op charges £605 for a cardboard coffin…” well I felt that I should apologise for blogging again regarding Co-op funerals and products but the charge here for a cardboard coff is nothing other than outrageous – a swift trip to http://www.midlands.coop/index.php?/funeral-services/funeral-products-and-services/coffins-and-caskets/eco-coffins/ has produced a nice cosy write up/marketing spiel – but of course there are no costs shown nor anywhere else on this site – c’mon f’care and all of the local co-ops – time for honesty and transparency (like the independents) and before I go, MCS kick off their funeral web pages, with “…The Co-operative good for… Read more »
andrew plume
Guest

…18 year-old opens funeral home in Staffs…”

and why not too – let’s hope she does really well – the young have been seen over the past year or so, not just a desire to enter the profession but also to open new businesses too – let’s hope that Midlands Co-op doesn’t decide to open up there too………………

andrew plume
Guest

“…..Wrong grave dug. Co-op blames the cemetery, the cemetery blames the Co-op…”

oh no, not f’care yet again – and to quote from their spokesperson – “….We pride ourselves on our exceptionally high professional standards so are also disappointed that this error caused upset and disruption to our clients at this distressing time….”

I think that it’s way past time for this organisation to drop the term ‘care’ – ‘co-operative funerals’ would be far more appropriate