Private: Recommended Funeral Directors OLD
Harrison Funeral Home
Address: Enfield: 345 Hertford Road EN3 5JW -- Winchmore Hill: 736 Green Lane N21 3RE -- Walthamstow: 201 Forest Road E17 6HE -- Highgate: 22 Highgate Hill N19 5NL
Harrison’s is relatively new and increasingly successful business founded in Enfield in 2008 by Mark Catchpole and named in memory of his Mum, whose maiden name was Harrison. Mark was a newcomer to funerals when he opened. Already a successful businessman, he had for some time also been involved in charity work. Experience had forged in him a strong belief in high-quality customer service, and he was attracted to funerals by the opportunity to apply these values in an area where they could make a big difference to bereaved people. His Granddad was a funeral director back in the day, so it’s probably in his blood, too.
Yes, Mark is something of an idealist and he’s now doing work he loves. He brings freshness to a business too often characterised by complacency and, just as important, he brings a questioning outsider’s approach. He’s a thinker, completely focussed on getting it right for all his clients. He and his team make the individual needs and wishes of their clients their priority. No two funerals are the same. It means that they have to go the extra mile with every family they serve and it is this, they find, that makes their work so satisfying. No day is ‘just another day’ at Harrison’s.
Mark is clever. He makes his business tick. He’s not in it for the money, he’s in it to get it right. He is a great believer in transparency, especially around costs. You will categorically not be encouraged to spend more than you want, and there’ll be no eye-watering sum to be paid when the bill comes in -- no unexpected surprises.
Mark is also a notably kind man. He takes the lead at most funerals and his clients speak extremely highly of him. He makes sure he is never overstretched so that he can give every funeral his full attention and energy. No wonder he and his team have established such a good reputation in such a short period of time. There are now branches of Harrison’s in Winchmore Hill and Walthamstow.
As a newcomer to funerals, Mark is not afraid to do things differently if that means doing them better. This is what makes him such a breath of fresh air. He has also learned from the best, especially his funeral arranger at the Enfield branch, Angela Bailey, who has been there since the beginning. Angela’s prior experience and daily dedication have contributed greatly to the quality of service offered by Harrison’s. Angela lives for her work and lets nothing stand in the way of being available for Harrison’s clients at any time of day or night.
The Winchmore Hill branch is managed by Liz Allman, born and brought up in the area, she knows it well and is known by a lot of local people. She came to Harrisons without previous experience in the funeral business but with a passion to help make things better for bereaved people. The Walthamstow branch is managed by Yvonne Dinnall who loves being able to work hard in a cause that brings her a great deal of satisfaction. All are very much members of your community.
Everyone at Harrison’s believes that it is of the greatest importance to care for people who have died with the greatest gentleness and respect. We had a very good look behind the scenes and we talked to Gary Thomson, who spends a good deal of time there. We were very satisfied with what we saw.
One quality above all which is shared by every member of the Harrison’s team is kindness. They are all notably capable but, best of all, they are all lovely human beings -- and that’s what matters most.
All the funeral homes are freshly decorated to a high standard. All are painted in bright, neutral colours. There’s no gloom to seen in any of them. If you feel you’d like to ask to see behind the scenes, ask, they’ll be proud to show you. One touch we liked in 2 of the 3 funeral homes was the sofas with high seats, suitable for more elderly clients. You rarely see thoughtfulness like that. Oh, another touch we really liked is that every funeral home is equipped with a bottle of Scotch and a bottle of rum in case you should need a fortifying nip to see you through. Again, something you hardly ever see.
The team at Harrison’s will listen to you carefully and deliver the funeral you want, whether that is formal or somewhat informal. The last thing they’ll ever do is impose their way of doing things. Whatever’s best for you is right for them. If it’s a traditional, ceremonial funeral you want, they’ll do it very smartly indeed. If you want a horse-drawn hearse, for example, you’ll get the best in London -- which also happens to be the best in Britain.
Whoever you arrange your funeral with will give you all the time you want and offer you all the guidance you need to help you make the choices that are right for you. Everyone here is well-informed and up to date. They want to help you create a funeral which you’ll forever be proud of -- exactly the right sort of send-off for the person who has died. It is the very high quality of all the members of staff Harrison’s that make this such a good funeral director’s.
Harrison’s staff like to be available to you whenever you need them -- and not just in business hours. So, when you come in to see your arranger, you will be given their business card with their mobile phone number. You can ring them up whenever you like about whatever you like, however seemingly small -- and many people do. They really do walk with you every step of the way.
- Your first call will be answered by the manager of the branch you wish to contact and, if that person is tied up, by one of the other managers. After hours your call will be recorded, the member of staff you want to speak to will be made aware by email and will contact you quickly. If your call is urgent, you will be put through straight away to the relevant member of the team.
- Home Visits – Very happy to make arrangements with you either at the funeral home or at your own home.
- Embalming – They do not routinely embalm unless they think it necessary, in which case they will discuss it with you sensitively beforehand and ask your permission.
- Family Participation – If you want to carry the coffin, they’ll show you how. If you’d like to come in and wash and dress the person who has died, they’ll be there for you. If you’d just like to come in do their hair, that’s absolutely no problem. They believe in empowering you to do what you want and they help you in any way they can.
- Same sex person to wash and dress? – Yes, no problem.
- Ethnic Specialism – The staff are all trained and experienced in arranging funerals for people of different faiths and funeral traditions in this very mixed area. Madeline Antoniazzi in Winchmore Hill speaks fluent Greek.
- Local Celebrants – Good local celebrants to choose from if you do not want a religious minister. Mark also leads non-religious funerals and is well spoken of.
- Home arranged funerals - If you would like the person who has died to stay at home until the day of the funeral, they will work with you to achieve this. See the Do It All Yourself page on our website.
- Website – Good and comprehensive but no prices. We’d like to see photos of all the team members.
- Client Support – After the funeral, call in anytime for a cuppa – they’ll always be pleased to see you. If you need a bit of extra support, they’ll put you in touch with people who can help.
- Money matters – Very fairly priced for what we think is a high-value service . If you want to arrange a very simple funeral, they offer a package costing £975 which includes all costs except doctors’ fees (£160) which you do not have to pay if the person who died has been seen by the coroner. Full details on separate website here. If money is in any way a problem, be upfront from the word go and they will help you apply for any grants to which you may be entitled. They can only help you if you put your cards on the table.
- Parking – Enfield: Addison Road, on-street parking, free, right beside the funeral home. Winchmore Hill: right outside (meter) or at the back of the premises by arrangement or in Sainsbury’s. Walthamstow: on the forecourt alongside.
Highly professional service offered by quality staff who are exceptionally kind, capable and dedicated.