Unusual transportation for ‘destination funerals’

UNUSUAL: Reliant Robins
UNUSUAL: Reliant Robins
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Buses, motorcycles and a Reliant Robin three-wheeler are some of the more unusual vehicles being used at funerals, a study carried out by the Co-operative Funeralcare has found.

Research among the Co-op’s 2,500 funeral directors also showed a rise in ‘destination funerals’, with services held in non-traditional settings outside of church.

Matthew Bickerdike, funeral director for H J Whalley & Sons on Ripon Street, Preston, said may people wanted a funeral which was more personal.

He said: “Funerals are more personalised these days – it’s more centralised around the person who’s died and more of a celebration of their life.

“There’s a lot more music being played at services – you name it, we’ve had it.

“We have had all sorts from rock to classical and everything in between.”

Sam Kershaw, operations director for the Co-operative Funeralcare, said: “What we’re seeing is a culture shift in the way that we deal with loss.

“As arranging a funeral is the last thing we’ll do for a person, it’s incredibly important to feel able to create a truly unique and personal tribute to their life.”

Tired of the conventional four wheels and all-black, some in Preston choose to go down alternative routes when planning their services.

Matthew said: “We’ve had a lot a motorcycle hearses.

“We’ve had a coffin on the back of a flat bed lorry and we have horse-drawn hearses from time to time.

“There have been services for cancer patients where guests have been asked to wear pink so we wear a pink tie out of respect.

“You have to be respectful of what people want.

“That’s what we’re here to do – to celebrate someone’s life as they would want to be remembered.”