2018 was a milestone year for some of the team at A.B. Walker, with four of us including Julian Walker celebrating our 50th birthdays.
Julian, whose daughter Georgie celebrated her 16th birthday in the same year, had a celebratory dinner and also a family lunch.
A.B. Walker is run by the fifth generation of the family.
‘I realise that age is only a number,’ says Julian.
‘I’m looking forward to making every day count that little bit more and to keeping on putting myself forward to do things including sporting challenges and local volunteering.’ In 2017 Julian cycled from London to Paris in just four days, in a bid to raise money for the Royal British Legion.
Thatcham Funeral Administrator Carolyn Tuttle, who celebrated her 50th birthday in 2018, spends her spare time coaching at Burghfield Football Club and she loves it.
Funeral Conductor Mark Hatch celebrated his 50th birthday in New York with his wife. He enjoys cycling and walking in his spare time.
Funeral Conductor Simon Fox also celebrated his 50th with an Elvis themed party.
A.B. Walker organised a special trip to Bath’s award winning Christmas market. Around 40 people went on the coach trip which was organised for those who have been bereaved.
The market has over 160 twinkling chalets spread out across Bath’s picturesque Georgian Streets, and it was the perfect place to do a spot of Christmas shopping.
‘The weather was dry and sunny and we had a lovely time,’ says Melissa Walker who is our Head of Bereavement Care.
Anyone who has been bereaved and feels they can benefit can apply to go on a group course organised by our Link Bereavement Care Group. There are six sessions over consecutive weeks and the programme is free of charge.
For more information about the Link contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Nora Edwards celebrated her 100th birthday in style - with two parties. For Nora life has been about living, and she has always been on the go. At the age of 88 she was still volunteering.
‘You only live once,’ she says. And she doesn’t worry about dying. ‘If it happens, it happens,’ she says. ‘We’ve all got to go at some time.’
It was a relief for Nora when she took out her funeral plan in 2010. ‘I didn’t want anyone else to have any worries,’ she says. ‘I wanted to leave things tidy. I thought it was my responsibility. I just wanted everything done.’
Nora is a widow. Her only child, a daughter, died in 1978 when she was 34 years old. Nora’s grandson lives in Scotland and they are very close.
She has decided she wants to be cremated and for her ashes to be scattered. She wants the wind to blow them away.
As for music, that has to be the ABBA song ‘Dancing Queen.’ I love ABBA she says. I want the people who go to the funeral to go out to that song. I want them to go out happy.’
Nora has led a busy life. ‘I like people,’ she says.’ I have always been urged on to work. I have always wanted to get out and do something.’
She worked in a fashion showroom and in an office. She is a former volunteer for Victim Support and at the age of 79 she started volunteering at the Duchess of Kent Hospice.
It was while she was there that she went on a visit to A.B. Walker. She was impressed by their courtesy and found the team professional and caring. ‘They deal with you so nicely,’ she says.
She didn’t consider going to anyone else when it came to planning her funeral.
Meanwhile she is getting on with life and feels fortunate to have reached the age of 100. She says in her mind she feels no different to the way she felt 30 years ago. She still wants to do the things she did then.
We were pleased to be able to share our knowledge of funeral planning as part of the regular educational talks organised by the Bell Surgery in Henley.
We were recently named the best medium sized funeral planner in the Southern region at this year’s Funeral Planner of the Year Awards, run by funeral plan provider Golden Charter.
The Bell Surgery is a local GP surgery for residents of Henley and the surrounding area and is located in the heart of the town. We were delighted to be asked to take part in their talk about planning ahead for a funeral. It was part of their End of Life Series and was organised by the Bell Surgery Patient Participation Group.
Those taking part included Bruce Jones from Tomalins and Sons, Andy Chanter from The Natural Burial Ground at Rotherfield Greys and Sally Wiggin an inter Faith Celebrant.
The surgery is holding a free informative talk in December about the Rapid Access Care Unit at Townlands Hospital. The multidisciplinary team at RACU provides a one-stop patient centred holistic service. The talk will be on Tuesday December 4 2018 at 6-8pm at Townlands Hospital, York Road, Henley-on-Thames. To confirm your space contact the Bell Surgery on 01491 843250.
A.B. Walker has become one of the sponsors of Burghfield Football Club Saturday Mens. We have bought warm up hoodies and warm up T shirts for the team.
Our Funeral Administrator in Thatcham, Carolyn Tuttle coaches the Saturday Mens team with Barrie Awbery. Carolyn also coaches the under fours and Walking Mens/Womens Football.
‘I think the sponsorship is brilliant,’ she says. ‘It really does benefit Saturday Mens. When we warm up on match days the men are normally just in a T shirt, which is absolutely freezing in winter. Now they can wear warmer hoodies thanks to A.B. Walker.’
Established in 1989, Burghfield Football Club is an FA Charter Standard Club with over 400 members consisting of boys and girls from aged 3 to adults. The Saturday Mens team have been promoted and are in the Thames Valley Premier League.
Carolyn has been part of the team here at A.B. Walker for the last 15 years.
Her brother David Tuttle used to play for Tottenham Hotspur and she has been interested in football ever since she was a teenager. She has fond memories of trips to White Hart Lane.
Carolyn, who lives in Burghfield, now spends her spare time coaching at Burghfield Football Club. And she loves it. ‘It brings everyone together,’ she says.
Our Memorial department have recently completed the restoration of the War memorial at Earley St Peter’s CofE Church. We are extremely pleased with the work carried out.
There will be a special service held on Sunday 11th November 2018 to commemorate 100 years since the Armistice, meeting at the War memorial at 10.50am. All are welcome to attend.
Thank you to everyone who attended our Afternoon Tea at our Wokingham branch in aid of Breast Cancer Care.
Your kind support means Breast Cancer Care can be there for more people affected by breast cancer. Their team of specialist nurses and experienced helpline staff are experts in breast cancer, providing practical information and the chance to talk to someone who understands.
We are delighted to announce that A.B. Walker has been named the best medium sized funeral planner in the Southern region at this year’s Funeral Planner of the Year Awards, run by funeral plan provider Golden Charter.
Hosted by radio DJ Ken Bruce, the awards took place at the spectacular National Museum of Scotland in Edinburgh and featured a performance by the world-famous Red Hot Chilli Pipers.
In addition to the Funeral Planner of the Year accolade, the Woodland Trust has dedicated trees on behalf of A.B. Walker which are to be planted in recognition of the company’s achievement.
We are pleased that the service we provide has been recognised with this award.
A.B. Walker is at the heart of the community and has been supporting bereaved families for nearly 200 years.
Death is something that no-one wants to think about, and that’s natural. But we know that for many people planning their funeral has brought peace of mind.
Planning ahead can help to ease the financial and emotional burden on loved ones at a distressing time.”
Golden Charter CEO Suzanne Grahame said: “The respected and caring work of independent funeral directors within their local communities often goes unrecognised and so it gives me great pleasure to congratulate the team at A.B. Walker for their tremendous achievement in winning this award.
“The award recognises the excellent service the team from A.B. Walker has delivered to their local community, by helping individuals through the funeral plan process and supporting families when they need it the most.”
The Funeral Planner of the Year Awards celebrate the independent funeral directors who are excelling in promoting pre-paid funeral plans, and by doing so providing peace of mind for families that everything is taken care of.
Throughout June and July A. B. Walker were pleased to continue our support for the Henley Bowls Club and Palmer Park Bowls Club Gala Days.
Both events were well attended and a good time was had by all despite the blistering heat.
Palmer Park Club were the winners for the Henley Bowls Club Gala Day with Woodley A taking the winning position for the Palmer Park Club Gala Day.
Well done to all those who attended and a special thank you to all the club members who made us feel very welcome.
Please look out for our stand in the Broad Street Mall where you can find out more information about prepaid funeral plans and our Link bereavement course. We will also be able to answer any general funeral questions you may have.
We are there on the following Wednesdays:
|Tilehurst:||13 School Road, Tilehurst, Reading, RG31 5AR||14 May 2018||2:30pm-4pm|
|Eldon Road:||Eldon House, 36 Eldon Road, Reading, RG1 4DL||15 May 2018||2:30pm-4pm|
|Thatcham:||40 The Broadway, Thatcham, RG19 3HP||16 May 2018||2:30pm-4pm|
|Maidenhead:||115 Bridge Road, Maidenhead, Berkshire, SL6 8NA||17 May 2018||2:30pm-4pm|
|Henley:||Blyth House, 158 Reading Road, Henley, RG9 1EA||18 May 2018||10:30am-12(noon)|
|Caversham:||208 Gosbrook Road, Caversham, Reading, RG4 8BL||18 May 2018||2:30pm-4pm|
|Tea/Coffee & Cake Available||We Look Forward To Meeting You|