Motorcycle sidecar to carry your hearse? Funeral directors has open day
IT might not be an obvious choice for a day out, but an open day at a funeral directors in Cheltenham attracted the crowds.
Scores of people turned out to have a peek at Mason and Stokes in Hewlett Road.
Youngsters eagerly jumped on board a horse-drawn carriage, while others inspected a variety of coffins on show. They included final resting places made of willow, bamboo, cardboard and recycled newspaper.
More unusual hearses, including a Land Rover and a motorcycle side-car, also grabbed the attention of passers-by at the business' first ever open day, which marked the 25th anniversary of the company.
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Philip Jones, from Longlevens, was among the visitors on Saturday.
The 61-year-old said: "I came especially to have a look. I have particularly been looking at the motorcycle hearse.
"I will be thinking about things for my own funeral. I have not really thought about it before – occasionally you do. I will probably plan it after this."
Glenaleigh Piri, from Fairview, Cheltenham, wanted to tackle her fear of death.
The 37-year-old mum-of-three said: "I have got a slight fear of the whole thing so I wanted to come to have a look and maybe plan ahead possibly, being a single parent.
"I have looked at the hearses and will be looking at the coffins. It's a good idea. It makes you more aware.
"I have brought my youngest child who is seven. He is not too bothered."
Fundraisers, including a raffle, drummed up money for Winston's Wish on the day.
Among those helping out the town-based child bereavement charity was Pat Cordon, from Hester's Way, whose son Jason Hutchinson, passed away in 2010 at the age of 39.
An inquest later found his death had been caused by serious heart disease. The 58-year-old, who was asking people to guess the name and weight of a teddy bear cake, said: "I think it's a brilliant idea. When you get someone pass away very suddenly it's such a shock, to have an open day like this to let people see what goes on is great.
"Obviously it is a little bit daunting for me today as it's the last place I saw my son but it helps me with his loss."
Funeral director Julian Goodwin said: "The only time people meet us is under sad circumstances so why not have open days? People can come in on a nice relaxed day, not under sad circumstances, meet us and talk to us."
Richard Mason, who is a partner in the business with his father David Mason and sister Joy Mason, said: "The majority of questions I have been asked is people wanting to get ideas for their own funerals that they can write down and leave for their relatives."