Bennetts FuneralsIndependent Family Funeral Directors and Monumental Masons since 1891
Bennetts started back in the eighteen hundreds, just about a mile from our current office in the South Weald parish of Brentwood, Essex. As was typical at the time the family were builders and carried out the local funerals when necessary.
There were many funeral directors around, each carrying out funerals in their own parish; there may well have been half a dozen funeral directors in the Brentwood area, each using horse drawn transport, the majority of mourners following on foot. There wasn't the transport then that there is today, everything had to be kept local.
According to the census of 1881 my family were builders and funeral directors, having the labour to dig the graves and carry the coffins, and the carpenters to make the coffins, generally then from oak and elm.
By the 1891 census my family were funeral directors, still based though in Brook Street, opposite the Golden Fleece pub in which is now a Harvester resturant. They carried on working from there for another fourty years or so, during this time my Grandfather, Edward passed away, and his sons Gordon and Arthur took over the business.
The family purchased motorised vehicles and we were then able to go further a field, and carry out more funerals for more families.
In the early 1930's the business moved to its current location at 120 High Street Brentwood. By this time we had a lovely fleet of vehicles, but we kept the horse hearse and hand bier that we still have on show today.
My father built a strong rapport within the local communities, with the churches, hospitals, convents, with the police and the publicans!
In the 1970's Arthur's health deteriorated and Ted Pitts, who had been in the business then for about twenty five years helped at the helm, and took over the running of the company after my father died in the mid 1970's.
As Ted was nearing retirement my mother. Daphne, asked me if I would like to "Have a go" in the business. I said to my mother that I would "give it a go", so here I am, fifteen years later.
Ted retired six months after I started, he told me how to arrange a funeral, how to do the accounts, and introduced me to other local businesses who have helped me immensely over the years. I am still learning because in this business no two days are the same, and each funeral is arranged differently from the previous one. Each family is different, how they react is different, but we endeavour to do our best for each and every one of them.
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