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Show is 'ideal' way to engage the public on death

This year’s Good Funeral Awards in Winchester highlighted funeral achievements and dedication, with Nigel Lymn Rose winning the award for lifetime achievement and A.R. Adams of Essex picking up the Funeral Director of the Year gong.

Nigel has been striving to improve consumer choice and to cut the red tape surrounding funerals since he took over the reins of his family's Nottinghamshire-based business A W Lymn in 1979, after a degree and several years as an accountant.

His extensive experience contrasted that of newcomer Anna Wardle, from Wiltshire’s Bewley & Merrett, who won the Most Promising New Funeral Director of the Year title.

The awards were presented at a dinner by actor Ian Lavender, best known as Private Pike in the iconic TV comedy Dad’s Army, and other winners included Cradle to Grave as Coffin Supplier of the Year (Cath Pratley is pictured with Ian) and Westmill Burial Ground, which won Cemetery of the Year.

The awards formed part of the Ideal Death Show, which brought in around 300 members of the general public and the national media, with the aim of getting people to talk more about death and dying, and making them aware of their options.

Lectures included topics ranging from women and death and the American Southern Gothic genre to personal accounts of dealing with funerals from either end of the experience spectrum.

Death cafés and shroud demonstrations took place in a nearby yurt, while show exhibitors included the Natural Death Centre; coffin and shroud manufacturers; online tribute sites; funeral arrangers, singers, celebrants and ministers; and suppliers of memorial items and urns for ashes.

Award winners
Lifetime Achievement Award:                    Nigel Lymn Rose, A.W.Lymn
Funeral Director of the Year:                     A.R. Adams, Essex
Embalmer of the Year:                             Julie Smith, Stibbards and Sons Leigh-on-Sea
Most Promising New Funeral Director:         Anna Wardle, Bewley & Merrett
Funeral Arranger of the Year:                    Sarah Wolsey, Daniel Ross Funerals, Sutton Coldfield
Celebrant of the Year:                              Rev Juliet Stephenson, Vicar of Holy Nativity, Newcastle Upon Tyne
Contribution to the Understanding of Death: Carla Valentine, St Bart’s Pathology Museum
Best Alternative Hearse:                           Levertons Funeral Directors Eco Hearse
Cemetery of the Year:                              Westmill Burial Ground, Swindon
Funeral Florist:                                        Rebecca Sharp, Dazzle Me Daisy Do/Rainbows at Sunset
Crematorium Attendant:                           Charles Howlett, Chilterns Crematorium, Amersham
Gravedigger of the Year:                          Andy Slade, Fairspear and Westmill
Coffin Supplier of the Year:                       Cradle to Grave
Best Internet Bereavement Resource:         ScatteringAshes.co.uk
AGFD Green Funeral Director:                    Carrie Weekes and Fran Glover, A Natural Undertaking
Mortuary Assistant:                                  Barbara Peters, University College London Hospital

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