Visit by The Archbishop of York
On Friday 26th February we had a visit from the Archbishop of York Dr. John Sentamu at our office at 819 Hessle Road.
This was part of his Pilgrimage to visit as many places and people in Yorkshire as possible in six months.
On the day he called in to us he had started at 9.00am at All Saints Church Hessle, walked through the town centre to Hessle Schools. At 1.30pm he visited the Humber Rescue. Then walked to Francis Askew School and came to us on the way back to St Nicholas Church on Hessle Road.
He asked about the history of our firm, and met members of our staff'. He performed a short blessing ceremony of our chapels, my thanks to Rev. Paul Copley of St Nicholas church for suggesting the visit.
(Pictured left to right, Rev Paul Copley, The Archbishop, Malcolm Garton, our staff, Peter-Quibell Barr, John Farrow, and Eric Wilson.) Photos taken by Jon Parkes (Manager)
The Archbishop and Malcolm Garton
I hope the Archbishop enjoys the rest of his Pilgrimage, we enjoyed his visit.
John Farrow joins the firm
He joins us as a driver/bearer having worked for another local funeral director.
John is a Londoner and worked in the railway industry for some years.
He is also an ex-paratrooper, we trust he will settle into his new role very quickly, and give him a warm welcome.
Barry Ramsden Retires
After 9 years service Barry is to retire - but not quite, he will continue with us on a casual basis.
Retirement is a major milestone in life and Barry thought a more gradual approach was best for him, I paid tribute to Barrys loyal years of service, I said he had given me the impression he had enjoyed working here!
He confirmed he had, and said he worked alongside 'a great bunch of lads.' He was presented with four vouchers for afternoon tea at 'Betty's' cafe in York, or Harrogate.
I wish Barry a long and happy retirement with more time with his wife Janet and his family, a thoroughly decent man if ever there was one!
The Fair Funerals Pledge on BBC Radio Humberside
Malcolm was asked at short notice to answer questions on BBC Radio Humberside at 7.15am on Thursday 11th June for the Lizzie and Carl breakfast show.
The subject was the cost of funerals, highlighted by the Fair Funerals Pledge.
The main point being for total transparency of cost.
Malcolm advised people to take their time, shop around, but not on the telephone. But to visit Funeral Directors premises.
The programme is available on BBCi Radio player for 3 weeks from the original broadcast.
The broadcast starts at 01:16
NAFD Photography Competition 2014
Jon Parkes our manager has won the National Association of Funeral Directors Photography Competition for the third time in a row!
His entry Cumbrian Corner wins him a London theatre weekend for two, congratulations to him.
Another one of our staff entered the competition this year, Keith Brown came joint third place with
Nature will Prevail this wins him Amazon vouchers to the value of £100.
Congratulations to him.
Delivery of new Private Ambulance
Our new Private Ambulance has been delivered, it is used to bring your loved one into our care at anytime of the day or night.
The interior is fully fitted to ensure a dignified transfer to our recently refurbished mortuary, and after the deceased is prepared then taken to the requested branch for viewing.
Lecture at Hull University
13th December 2013
I was flattered to be asked by Nuala Cullen from the Social Sciences department for me to give a lecture on the role of the Funeral Director, one of the grander settings for me to speak in. A state of the art lecture theatre. I had to fill an hour with as much information as I could and it passed very quickly. The attendees are training to be social workers and will come into contact with the bereaved at some point in their work.
I covered my role, bereavement, loss and some of the effects a death has on an individual. The sometimes long road to some kind of normality on which to build a future when all can seem hopeless. The students will visit our premises in January, we have hosted visits over many years, they continue to find it helpful.
Focus on; Gipsyville Branch, 819 Hessle Road
The improvements made in recent times are nearing completion, we have in my opinion the most comfortable and up to date offices and chapels of rest of any Funeral Director in the region. Even if they are a small business or one of the large groups, we provide the best with continued careful investment.
The policy here is to allow you to compare and inspect the premises with other firms, just arrive unanounced and you will find everything as it should be. We do not need notice to tidy up first! We will show you behind the scenes, if you wish, the new Mortuary facilities, the garages and the Mercedes fleet.
How many businesses would have that confidence to allow you to see where you may like your loved one to be at rest. We have confidence, so you can too.
Malcolm and Barbara Garton
One of the chapels of rest
The office where we make the Funeral arrangements with you. But we do make home visits
Jon Parkes winner of NAFD photography competion 2013
Jon Parkes our manager has a keen interest in photography, he won the National Association of Funeral Directors annual competion 2013.
This entry is entitled "Abandoned wink" and features a glorious sunset in Troutsdale. He also won in 2012 with "Oceans teeth" taken at Spurn Point, nr Hull. Well done to him.
"Oceans teeth" winner 2012
Jon's prize was a hot air baloon trip for two.
Will he win in 2014?
Time will tell!
THIS YEAR MARKS 125 YEARS IN BUSINESS
I am proud of our long history, helping families everyday.
The priviledge of being involved at a low point in their lives and being able to make a small difference makes us all feel we are doing something important.
I started work straight from school and trained by the traditional route, make the tea, wash the cars, sweep up learn how to make a coffin!
This was a good grounding, as I reached seventeen, I learned to drive and started to go on funerals and then it all became much more interesting. Over the years many things have changed in the funeral trade.
For example there were more burials, more church services, more flowers and less donations.
Non-religous services were unheard of and music is now a large and important part of a service. The public want a service that is more personal than in the past.
There was one crematorium in Hull and the services were every 20 minutes! I am sure the culture then was one of "that's the way it is done" rather than today, when people rightly expect more choice. That is certainly true now. The range of coffins is unlimited, pre-paid funeral plans are a normal part of a funeral directors services.
The staff here share the genuine desire to help they have varied experience of the funeral business, some having worked for the large corporations have settled here, at an independent family firm.
Barbara my wife offers her advice on all matters relating to the development of the firm. Last year we celebrated our 40th wedding anniversary. I hope I shall with everyone's help here, look after families in years to come at a time of their greatest need.
Investment and Improvements at our Hessle Road office
We currently embarking on a major series of improvements at this branch, we will have a new mortuary facility to ensure loved ones are cared for in the most modern conditions.
The garage and stockroom areas are being repainted, and we will be renewing the soft furnishings in the main reception and chapels of rest. We are redecorating to keep up to date and make visitors feel comfortable in our surroundings.
We already keep a high standard, this ensures that the standard is never let slip and you can be assured that continuous investment is made in the business for the benefit of our clients and the working conditions of the staff.
Roy Watts retires...
Diary; Roy Watts Retires. On Friday 9th November 2012.
After over 25 years service Roy has now decided to retire. An informal dinner was held at the Willerby Manor Hotel in "Figs Brasserie" a good time was had by all staff, Roys family and their partners, also the the Rev. Stephen Whaley joined us. Malcolm thanked Roy for is contribution to the business, wished him a happy retirement and presented him, very traditionally, with a watch.
Our newest member of staff, Frazer Norrie
Frazer started with us on 12th November, in the role of Funeral Director. He has been working for one of the large funeral groups, but after being approached by us, he has decided to join our family business. I am sure he will make a valuable contribution to the service we offer.