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‘Addams Family’ funeral directors wins residents’ support

With its wonky roof and midnight colour scheme, the once-neglected building at the bottom of Raynville Road, Bramley, Leeds, looks like something straight out of The Addams Family – at least that’s what locals think.

Just over a year ago, it was a neglected shell of a building and plans to convert it into flats and shops drew a wave of objections from local residents.

Now thanks to Kate Elizabeth Field and husband, Vincent, what could have been a nightmare has been turned into a dream come true for all involved.

The former newsagents – known as Harry Binns’ – has been given a new lease of life ... as a funeral directors.

Mother-of-two Kate, 41, who runs Field Funeral Services, said: “I remember wanting to be a funeral director at the age of 11. Running my own business has always been a dream.

“When the newsagents closed, I would drive past the building and thinking how sorry it looked. It just needed a little TLC.”

Kate worked as a funeral director with another firm for nine years and before that she was a trained mechanic.

“I was always a tomboy growing up,” recalled the former mechanic and self-confessed ‘petrol head’. “I used to climb trees and jump off garage roofs when I was young. When I left school, I went to Leeds Technical College to train as a mechanic, which I did for a year, before moving into the office side of things. After that, I went to become a funeral director with another firm. When the chance came to start my own business, I took it.”

Kate and Vincent, of Cookridge, Leeds, whose children are 13 and nine, took on the project in September 2018, finally completing the renovation in September 2019. The building has undergone a complete refurbishment with new floors, windows and paint job.

Kate said: “The transformation, even from the outside, is impressive. The red and green had to go. Some people have said it looks like something out of The Addams Family, a bit kooky but not one person objected to us changing the use of the building. I know they had a lot of objections about turning it into shops and flats.”

Field Funeral Services offers a range of funeral packages, with simple packages starting at £1,250.

Kate added: “For me, it’s about offering a clear service. You meet people at the most vulnerable time, so my job is to say, I’ll take care of that so they can just breathe. All my packages have inclusive prices, which means there’s no hidden extras.”

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