Austin's Blog

 

Harwood Park Memorial Gardens

August 31st, 2018    Author:

When you have a 25-acre memorial garden there’s always plenty of work to be done – even when the weather is hot, hot, hot! And we’re so lucky that Harwood Park Memorial Gardens is kept looking so lovely all year round thanks to our loyal team of groundsmen.

If you’ve visited the gardens you might well have seen one of the groundsmen cutting the grass, felling trees or trimming hedges. And you might have noticed how happy they look. Richard, Matthew and Nathan all do a job that they love, which is one of the reasons we’re so happy to have them. Before coming to Harwood Park between them they looked after the grounds at a country club, a sports ground and a golf club. Matthew even has a special claim to fame – he kept the most moles off the green at Brocket Hall’s golf course!

As well as being hard workers our groundsmen are special to us because they take pride in what they do. They understand that the memorial gardens serve both as a final resting place for loved ones and also a peaceful retreat for family and friends to visit. They do everything they can to make the gardens look as beautiful and welcoming as possible. And when you stroll around the gardens you can see their handiwork – from the carefully pruned roses to the pretty line of cherry trees and the immaculately planted topiary crescent.

You can place a memorial at Harwood Park even if the funeral didn’t take place here. When you entrust your loved one to our keeping, you can rest assured they’ll be at peace.

* Find out more about Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens at http://www.crematorium.co.uk/

The rise of ‘fun’ funerals

August 10th, 2018    Author:

Once upon a time, when you attended a funeral it would be a sombre occasion with mourners dressed in black. Today, many funeral services are conducted as a celebration, with loved ones choosing a fun theme to represent the deceased’s personality or interests.

In America, one funeral home has become known for its themed funerals – including a
Christmas-themed service complete with snow, elves and reindeers and a BBQ-inspired after party with live pigs and a barbeque sauce fountain. And in the UK, so-called ‘fun funerals’ are becoming increasingly popular, too. According to the National Association of Funeral Directors, their members have arranged all sorts of themed services involving classic cars, railways and the Wild West.

Superheroes are a popular choice. For one funeral service for a Spider-Man fan, the coffin was covered in Spider-Man stickers. Undertakers often get into the spirit of the theme as well, with one dressing as Darth Vader to lead the cortege for a Star Wars style funeral.

At the funeral of a music festival fan, the Glastonbury-inspired service saw all the mourners dressed in wellington boots while the coffin arrived on a customised camper van. For a football fan, mourners wore football shirts and the service finished with a final whistle. There’s even been a funeral service where everyone wore a onesie – the favourite outfit of the deceased.

A ‘fun’ funeral service isn’t for everyone. Recently TV presenter Colin Brazier asked mourners at his wife’s funeral to keep with tradition and wear black https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-44923744, but in one study it was found that 66% of people believed funerals were becoming more of a celebration of a deceased person’s life, with a third saying that when it came to their own funeral they’d like it to be a party.

You might not want elves and sauce fountains at your loved one’s funeral but you may like to personalise the service to reflect their fun side. Whatever you decide, we’re here to help and support you.

* To talk to us about planning a funeral or cremation, please contact Austin’s on 01438 316623.

Shave for the community video

July 26th, 2018    Author:

Claire Austin Shave for the Community – Radio Interview

July 24th, 2018    Author:

community-head-shave

On Saturday 25th August Claire Austin will shave her head to raise funds for The Stevenage Community Trust.

“I was born and bred in Stevenage and for the past 20 years have run our family funeral business which was established in Stevenage more than 300 years ago.

As a family company, we are very community focussed and are keen to support local charities and causes. I have personally taken part in a number of fund raising events including charity work in India and Vietnam and in 2014 I ran the London Marathon in aid of our local hospice.

This year I have decided to shave my head to raise funds for the Stevenage Community Trust. The trust was established in 1990 and provides funding and support to charitable organisations and individuals in Stevenage and the surrounding villages.”

Listen to the full interview below.