James Brothers is a family owned and locally run independent funeral directors. We have always been independent and pride ourselves of operating in the same way today as we always have. We were established about 150 years ago by Ned James, and he was succeeded by my grandfather Harold James. Things were a lot different back then, when a Funeral Director, or rather an undertaker would have been very local, each village would have had one, often the local carpenter who would do everything in preparing and arranging a funeral. The older people in the village say that they can remember Harold sitting outside his cottage on the main road, with coffins lined up beside him purpose built and freshly varnished drying in the sun. His wife, Freda would then make and attach all the linings individually! Harold handed the business over to his youngest son from his first marriage, Allan, who ran the business for a long time, eventually handing the business over to his brother Ralph in 1996. (Due to the complexities of two marriages Harold had two sets of children, the second a lot younger than the first.) Ralph is still the figurehead of the business today but it is still a family affair, with his wife Penny and myself, his son Tim, running the business together. In all this time the business has been centred and run from the family home and this is something that has made it remain as traditional as it has. People are welcomed into a house at a time when they are going through severe emotional upheaval and are made to feel as though it is more than just going to a business. As for the whole process things have changed a lot, from specialist manufacturers of coffins to the amount of paperwork needed to be filled in. But that is why we are here, to help you through all the hurdles and processes that come about at a very difficult time, just as my Great Grandfather did over a century ago. Our office in Brixton can be found on Elliotts Hill.
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