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View Full Version : Why do UK funerals take so long to happen


anchorhold
25th Jan 2018, 16:11
It might be my imagination, but I feel sure that in the seventies and eighties in the UK took around five to seven days after death, yet these days it seem to take anywhere between two and three weeks after death. I am not sure why.

O know modern refrigeration allows this, but I do wonder if it has something to do with the fact that some faith groups require internment within twenty four hours, that is quite an organisation feat. If that is their belief, I respect that, even though probablly it is based on the fact that in the middle east before refrigitation you probably need to bury someone ASAP.

But I wonder firstly if funeral directors can make more money in storing bodies for longer, I do wonder if also if some faith groups that require burial within twenty four hours, they jump the queue in terms of the legal formalities and post mortems, and if this is a factor.

Oddly, my understandin is that in Northern Ireland funeral generally take place within three to five days of death.

Now the other thing is the interment of ashes. I helped a family arrange a funeral, but having asked the vicar to intern the ashes in the local church yard, he said it would take another four weeks, plus £170 fee, at which point I went down to the church yard with my spade. Apparently I am in breach of church law, but in civil law they can not be moved without the permission of HM coroner.

ExXB
25th Jan 2018, 16:29
You know the Brits love to queue and would always insist ‘after-you, no, no, After you’.

With a dearly departed in-law, it took time to arrange the crematorium and grave, with requisite officials.

tucumseh
25th Jan 2018, 16:30
This was in the news recently, a local official refusing to allow queue jumping, which has upset some faiths.

From recent personal experience, much of the delay is down to cutbacks, especially in the Coroner's Service and NHS Pathology labs. Decisions are required on whether post mortems are required, and then they have to be conducted and results analysed, and then a decision taken to allow interment before the actual Inquest. In (our) case, the Coroner trashed both the GP and Pathologist's reports, which were obviously describing a different person; but family member had been cremated 6 months before and nothing more could be said. But the fact remained, there was no identification trail. I found her, and know, but the Coroner didn't. In court, she branded the GP surgery 'grossly incompetent' for mixing medical records. The Coroner's Officer told me it was becoming common, surgeries also pleading lack of resources.

I'd say Funeral Directors build these delays into their costs, but understand they can be compensated if the Coroner will not release the body within a given timescale. Don't know the details.

Ashes. Law no longer permits casual scattering. You must seek Council permission (or whoever is seen to own the graveyard or location) and pay. £170 sounds familiar for a (can't recall the term) when they simply peel back the top turf and scatter. But it's more than double if you want the actual urn interred, as it is treated as coffin. In our case we already owned the lair.

PDR1
25th Jan 2018, 16:34
In the case of both of my parents we had the funerals about 2 weeks after death simply because (a) that was the availability of the prefered crematorium and funeral directors, and (b) it gave reasonable notice to those who might wish to attend. As about half of the group of people who might wish to attend were in different continents to the crematorium we felt it desireable to give a reasonable notice period.

PDR

Krystal n chips
25th Jan 2018, 16:38
It might be my imagination, but I feel sure that in the seventies and eighties in the UK took around five to seven days after death, yet these days it seem to take anywhere between two and three weeks after death. I am not sure why.

O know modern refrigeration allows this, but I do wonder if it has something to do with the fact that some faith groups require internment within twenty four hours, that is quite an organisation feat. If that is their belief, I respect that, even though probablly it is based on the fact that in the middle east before refrigitation you probably need to bury someone ASAP.

But I wonder firstly if funeral directors can make more money in storing bodies for longer, I do wonder if also if some faith groups that require burial within twenty four hours, they jump the queue in terms of the legal formalities and post mortems, and if this is a factor.

Oddly, my understandin is that in Northern Ireland funeral generally take place within three to five days of death.

Now the other thing is the interment of ashes. I helped a family arrange a funeral, but having asked the vicar to intern the ashes in the local church yard, he said it would take another four weeks, plus £170 fee, at which point I went down to the church yard with my spade. Apparently I am in breach of church law, but in civil law they can not be moved without the permission of HM coroner.

I would say from personal experience there isn't one simple or quick answer.

It would seem to depend very much on the time of year for a start....winter for example or over Christmas in the case of my late mother. Everything just stops, including funerals, and the death rates do increase in winter.

Add to this what you might call "supply and demand".....a surfeit of deceased and a limited number of undertakers in the locality perhaps and the delays soon start to mount up.

It was a bit like getting an ATC slot when we attended Bury St. Edmunds crematorium plus there was a holding pattern after us.

Then there's the paperwork......thanks to the sterling efforts of the late good Doctor Shipman, it's no longer possible for one deranged quack playing God to sign the death certificate. Which also adds to the expense of course.....death is a lucrative business for many involved and not just the undertakers.

I hope this in some way explains the delays and I'm sure others will be able to add their own experiences.

Gertrude the Wombat
25th Jan 2018, 16:44
It might be my imagination, but I feel sure that in the seventies and eighties in the UK took around five to seven days after death, yet these days it seem to take anywhere between two and three weeks after death. I am not sure why.
The last one I went to, it was so that all the close relatives could be on the same continent at the same time and could actually attend.

Gordy
25th Jan 2018, 17:34
Yep, too long. I lost both my parents, in England, in the last 2 years--51 weeks apart. In each case it took over 3 weeks for the funeral, then about 3 months before we were able to inter the ashes.

What also puzzled me was the insistence that there be a funeral with the body. Over this side of the pond we get the cremation done and then have a funeral with the ashes.

And don't get me started on the solicitors handling thee estate. We have sold all the assets and paid all the bills and they are still holding onto the remaining money---prolly racking up the interest right now.

Gertrude the Wombat
25th Jan 2018, 17:37
And don't get me started on the solicitors handling thee estate. We have sold all the assets and paid all the bills and they are still holding onto the remaining money---prolly racking up the interest right now.
You can do it all yourself, if filling in 100-page forms doesn't bother you.

Gordy
25th Jan 2018, 18:07
You can do it all yourself, if filling in 100-page forms doesn't bother you.

A little too hard from this side of the pond with all the weird ID requirements over there. They would accept a copy of my electric bill which I can print off from the internet but would not accept a notarized copy of my passport. Or I could have a priest write a letter stating where I live....... I wrote my own letter as I am an ordained minister in good standing with the Church of the Latter Day Dude. The solicitor accepted it.........

Church of the Latter Day Dude (http://dudeism.com/)

DaveReidUK
25th Jan 2018, 18:17
some faith groups require internment within twenty four hours

And they require the burial to take place, too ...

Pontius Navigator
25th Jan 2018, 18:24
And they require the burial to take place, too ...

Anchor hold has it right I believe. Environmental reasons become dogma. This extends to things like pig, it goes off quickly, halal quicker, using one hand, lack of water for washing, Burka's, sun burn.

Effluent Man
25th Jan 2018, 18:46
My friend wanted to bury his old fella in the garden. He went to the council and they wanted all kinds of info. He told them he was a Muslim and got permission to do it the next day. I don't know how this is going to work out because his mother is 90 and on her death bed. I can forsee problems selling the house. It's in the Cotwolds and worth about a million.

DaveReidUK
25th Jan 2018, 19:42
Anchor hold has it right I believe

Well apart from using the word "internment".

That doesn't normally require the subject to be dead first. :O

Fareastdriver
25th Jan 2018, 19:56
My friend wanted to bury his old fella in the garden

My great grandmothers house has a V2 warhead buried in their back garden. It last went for £950,000. One day I'll ask them for a look around.

FakePilot
25th Jan 2018, 20:06
Because it takes a while for the corpse to leak oil in lieu of a certificate of residence?

ricardian
25th Jan 2018, 20:10
My dear wife died on Wed 16 July 2014, her funeral was on the following Monday. Just a couple of forms to fill in and the local undertaker did everything including organising the local authority employee to dig the grave. I purchased a standard "lair" (Scots term for a grave) which holds two people - my late wife 6 ft down and, eventually, me 18 inches higher!
Living on a very small, rather remote island in Orkney probably helps

BirdmanBerry
25th Jan 2018, 20:14
In Sctoland it happens very quickly and much easier than in England. Try flying the ashes back from Edinburgh to Bristol though and that's the bloody hard part.

Espada III
25th Jan 2018, 20:17
We Jews try to bury within 24 hours, but then we also usually have our own cemeteries (certainly London, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Birmingham communites have them), so no delay in getting graves dug as there are no so many of us anyway.

I do find it bizarre it takes so long to arrange the disposal of a body (either burial or cremation) within the mainstream community. Whilst an East London coroner has incurred the wrath of both Moslems and Jews in refusing to assist in the rapid burial as she says she wants to avoid queue jumping, outside of large centres of these minority communities, there is no obvious reason for delays.

When a Jewish person dies, the family have a seven day mouring period from the day of burial when they sit at home and receive condolence visits and then life goes on; time out of the office - say five or six working days. From experience of my staff, it seems that the mourning starts at death and goes on well beyond the funeral; they can be off from work for weeks, all on 'compassionate leave'. No wonder there is no incentive to speed up the burial process.

Gertrude the Wombat
25th Jan 2018, 20:46
Try flying the ashes back from Edinburgh to Bristol though and that's the bloody hard part.
Try taking ashes to Austria with you - if you want to do it legally apparently you have to be an undertaker.

funfly
25th Jan 2018, 20:46
Why do UK funerals take so long to happen

I'm still waiting for mine.

Shack37
25th Jan 2018, 21:19
Why do UK funerals take so long to happen


What´s the rush?

jimtherev
25th Jan 2018, 22:20
As far as I can remember, the delay before cremation or funeral has been 2 - 3 weeks ever since I started doing 'em in the eighties. Oddly enough, this holds true winter and summer - prob because staff tend to take holidays when the weather is warmer!


There is a limit to the number which can be processed on a particular site in a particular day, of course. (In the cremators, too.) Hence the need to schedule tightly, to pack 'em in. (But I did grin at the thought of a series of hearses 'stacked' over the Crem.)


In the case of urgency - particular religious requirements, or simply rellies needing to get back to the Antips, a slot can usually be found at an unsocial time. And I have to say I found the local graveyard singularly uncomfortable at 09:00 on a snowy winter's morning. But that's probably just me...

Loose rivets
25th Jan 2018, 23:26
I've donated me bones to research. I've got the letter of approval but it seems they have no commitment to take me on the day. If they don't, I shall complain. Oh, wait . . . :uhoh:

Another thing is I have to be within 40 miles of the hospital. I've asked the Rivetess to sit me on a park bench within limits - with the letter of approval in me pocket.

'Don't be silly Robin', was the reply - she only fails to use the contraction when I'm being less than sensible. When I added that perhaps the Iceland driver would drop me off for a quick 500 smackers it still didn't bring a smile, though I suspect it was the excessive cost she was frowning at.

My mum is in the sea, the Frinton beach and with her relatives around their grave. She's in this universe, that's what matters. Somewhere in an æther that materializes our energy. So easy to feel her near.

ricardian, say Hi to Lorna Anne if you find yourself heading north to the island. A little soul that changed our lives near the end of the war and the only one of my four semi-siblings to know of my existence until two weeks before I managed to traces them in my sixties.

Gordy
25th Jan 2018, 23:58
Just for fun:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKjBFsyYC0g

parabellum
26th Jan 2018, 00:26
These days human ashes usually go in hand baggage, various airlines and airports have come to accept this. Possibly a copy of the death certificate and, if such a thing exists, a copy of a cremation certificate would smooth the passage.

ricardian
26th Jan 2018, 00:51
ricardian, say Hi to Lorna Anne if you find yourself heading north to the island. A little soul that changed our lives near the end of the war and the only one of my four semi-siblings to know of my existence until two weeks before I managed to traces them in my sixties.

Lorna Anne?

Effluent Man
26th Jan 2018, 04:03
I avoid them at all costs, only been to my parent's. I just say I'm not going to anyone's who isn't coming to mine.

Hydromet
26th Jan 2018, 09:11
SWMBO refuses to go to funerals, even her parents', so I suggested that I should donate my body to the university or some such. This suggestion was met with horror. I can't se why, the idea of doing something useful appeals, compared with mouldering away or going up in smoke, not that I'll care.

UniFoxOs
26th Jan 2018, 09:33
It's just taken me 3 weeks to get SWMBO to the crem. I was pre-warned that the autopsy could be a delay, but it only took 2-3 days. The difficulty was getting a booking at the crem - over a week ahead to get a sensible day and time, and then having selected it, on ringing back to the crem to make a firm booking, in the 10 minutes we were discussing it, some other bugger had taken the slot and we had to go through it all again.

Back in the 1980s a mate's wife rang me with details of his funeral. It was short notice and we had been expecting over two weeks delay due to a lot of flu that year. She told me that she had managed to get a cancellation!!

anchorhold
26th Jan 2018, 10:24
Someone mentioned on here the Shipman murders, I have wondered if this has led to more post mortems. A case in point a few years after his conviction an elderly relative of mine died, she had seen a GP in the previous twenty four hours and we obtain cremation certicates from two doctors, so we had met all the legal requirements including there should be no PM. The body is released from the nursing home to the undertakers. Next thing is we get a call from the coroner, that he requires a PM.

On another occassion, family friend complained of a pain/swelling in his leg for a few days, then starts having breathing problems, para medics work on him for thirty minutes after which he dies. Clearly under UK law a PM is required. Some of you on here can probably guess the cause of death already. A full PM is acrried out which I have read. Now you would think the pathologist based on the infomation he had woulve investigated the leg, lungs and heart first and on that basis would have concluded as he did there was a clot on the leg and lungs and the death was caused by a DVT and thrombosis. But no he went on the remove the brain, and vital organs such as the liver and weigh them. Why?

I have to say I am not entirely in agreement with the number of evasive PMs carried out in the UK, oddly my view in in line with muslims. At the moment two UK cities with large muslim communities are running trial of non invasisive PMs using MRIs, but I see no reason why someone of any faith could not request one.

Now going back to the delay in intering ashes. I recently read that in the christian faith that the mains whether a body should be returned to the ground as soon as possible, so you could argue that if as in my case the local vicar was not cooperating.

Now onto the delay by solicitors, I recently came across someone, who was still waiting for solicitors to sort out her husbands estate, having died in April 2017!! I have to say a couple of years ago, a friends husband died and I offered to carry out the probate and administration of his estate. I am not legally qualified. I managed to complete probate and the administration of the estate in three months. I have to say it was really easy and quite why anyone would pay a solicitor £220 + and hour to do it is beyond me. Also to add the man in the probate office in the county court was really helpful.

Now onto the cost of funerals of which in the above case I arranged. I keep seeing adverts for funeral plans suggesting they cost between £4000 and £6000, what utter rubbish. For about £2200 I arranged the following, one hearse, a coffin, two undertakers, family as pallbearers, twenty minute service followed by cremation, veiwing of the body in a chapel of rest and a Baptist minister. So how did I do this below what is suggested is the cost of a funeral. Firstly I found a truly indepedant funeral dierector, quite old fashioned, but not part larger organistions such as Dignity, The next thing I requested was no embalming, the undetaker was honest enough to say there is no point these days due to modern refrigeration. While I said this funeral cost £2200, it actually cost £200, because while doing the adminstration of the estate and dealing with the DWP, I became aware that the widow was entitled to a funeral grant of £2000, despite there being enough funds in the estate, quite odd, but completely above board.

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 11:10
When my uncle died, my cousins arranged the funeral between them - no funeral director, they literally did the lot, except the service at the church where he was buried. My uncle had farmed all his life, so one might expect this sort of level of practicality, perhaps.

I arrived at the church and was standing around outside when one of my cousins turned up in his pickup truck, with a tarpaulin over the back. He collared me and said "could you give me a hand to get dad out of the truck?".

He did the same to a few others, and we soon had half a dozen impromptu pall bearers. We carried the wickerwork coffin (made by a friend of one of my nieces, apparently) into the church, complete with his favourite hat and pipe on top, and then carried him out to the churchyard, and followed the vicars instructions on how to put big straps under the coffin to lower it down, gently.

We then all retired to my late uncles local, and had a great party. Best funeral I've ever been to.

Apparently the cost was minimal, as they did practically everything themselves. I remember my cousin saying that one potential hold up was needing a bit of paper to authorise the burial, and that he'd had to rush around that morning to get it and let the vicar have it.

eal401
26th Jan 2018, 11:14
All of this assumed a "usual route" is followed.

When my dad passed away in 2012, we were thrown the curve ball that he wanted a "woodland burial" - something growing in popularity. He passed away in Winchester so we hastened away to Google. Two sites presented themselves - one in St Mary Bourne near Andover, which proved to be a patch of land some farmer no longer has need for. The other was the South Downs Burial Site at the Sustainability Centre near East Meon. The chap there couldn't do enough for us - my mum actually bought a double plot (which removes one hassle for me in the - hopefully distant - future). However, such was the demand that his burial wasn't until a little over 3 weeks after his death.

Following on the from the cost point detailed above, this is also a pretty cost effective means of burial. And, rather than being in some depressing cemetery, Dad lies in a beautiful patch of natural woodland.

ExXB
26th Jan 2018, 12:15
I’ve arranged with the Mrs to pop my clogs on a Monday evening. All she’s got to do then is to get me into the wheelie-bin, and then it out onto the road for collection Tuesday morning.

You can remember me in the Pub, such a pity to waste money on anything else. I will get the first round.

treadigraph
26th Jan 2018, 12:18
Quietly scattered my mum's ashes over her favourite piece of countryside - I walk across there fairly regularly, always spare a thought.

My sister did the probate for her husband and then our mother; she is not the sharpest blade in the knife drawer (he said affectionately) but she is very methodical and good with forms - it took about 8 weeks from submission to being granted with no issues.

Blacksheep
26th Jan 2018, 14:59
I haven't even booked mine... :uhoh:

Pontius Navigator
26th Jan 2018, 15:13
In Sctoland it happens very quickly and much easier than in England. Try flying the ashes back from Edinburgh to Bristol though and that's the bloody hard part.

It depends on where you die. My aunt planned ahead and got herself to hospital the day she died. Had she not it would have required a hearing by the Procurator Fiscal.

Loose rivets
26th Jan 2018, 15:38
ricardian Lorna Anne?

Check your PM's

yellowtriumph
26th Jan 2018, 16:41
I’ve arranged with the Mrs to pop my clogs on a Monday evening. All she’s got to do then is to get me into the wheelie-bin, and then it out onto the road for collection Tuesday morning.

You can remember me in the Pub, such a pity to waste money on anything else. I will get the first round.

Re-cycle bin or the other one? Don't forget to factor in Bank Holidays and the inevitable disruption to the collection timetable.

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 17:50
A friend was telling me recently that a member of his family had organised their funeral before they died, and had arranged for the body to be cremated with no gathering at any crematorium by anyone and no funeral service at all. His ashes were collected and stood in a jar on the bar in his local, everyone had a drink and told a few stories about his life, and then they went out and scattered them in some local woodland, where he was especially fond of walking in the spring, as the bluebells came out.

My understanding is that his body went straight from the morgue to the crematorium in a van, I'm not even sure it was in a coffin, and no one knew any of the details, he'd made all the arrangements before he died and given instructions to his solicitor to just do as he wished.

Seemed like a very good way to do things to me. No one had to organise anything, and a lot of the miserable bit of any funeral had been dispensed with.

uffington sb
26th Jan 2018, 19:43
VP.
Looks like he had a pre-paid ‘direct cremation’. When you pop your clogs, they come round and take you to the crem in a van. No fuss, no type of service, religious or otherwise. All done and dusted within days, and a fraction of the price.
David Bowie had something similar and mrs Uffers and I will be doing the same.

VP959
26th Jan 2018, 19:48
I must admit the idea appeals, not so much because it's cheaper, but because it removes that awkward bit where people feel obliged to attend some sort of "event", listen to things that are probably less than the whole truth about the life of the deceased, and, perhaps, join in in some form or religious, or quasi religious, ceremony that they wouldn't otherwise be inclined to.

goudie
26th Jan 2018, 19:58
I would be more than happy to be packed in a cardboard box and suitably reduced to ashes but one has to consider one's children and relatives.
My three daughters would not settle for anything less than a decent funeral service for me, as we had for my dear wife, their mother, last year.

G-CPTN
26th Jan 2018, 20:13
When my father-in-law died, the funeral directors arranged a church service in the local (village) church.
He wasn't a man of faith - I would describe him as a humanist - nor were his children (or his wife) so I don't know how things got out of hand.
The address given by the vicar used his first name - when he had always been known by his middle name - so nobody recognised who they were talking about.
I have decided that I want to avoid that so I will not be having a church service - even though I was brought up in Sunday School and then as a chorister and server (and bellringer). My sister was a Sunday School teacher who married the curate whilst my older brother was a mainstay of the church throughout his life (and had a large Abbey funeral service).
Where I live now there is currently no vicar (and little prospect of one), and as I gave up religion when I married (having greater respect for the morals of my father-in-law than of my brother-in-law the vicar) I have no affinity with my local church (and no surviving contacts with my 'birth' church - the Abbey).

Mr Mac
27th Jan 2018, 06:49
When my father died early on a Saturday it took until 16.00 for a doctor to come and certify death before the undertaker could move the body. We ended up having coffee and toast in the room with bereaved mother and corpse as she would not leave his body, a bizarre experience.
I had discussed with my mother the night before what sort of service she and my father wanted to be met with the words " oh we never talked about it, as if we did not talk about it would not happen !" Then had 3 days trying to sort out a burial etc to be then told by mother that she wanted him cremated. Changed plans, and then on day of cremation (3 weeks later) dear old Mum asked which church yard was he going in. Decided to go ahead with Cremation and Dad is now buried under a copse of trees we planted high on a hill on our land with wide ranging views, and when my Mum dies we will plant her there with him. My father had a good sense of humour so I think he would have found the experience and goings on hilarious, in a funny sort of way.


Kind regards
Mr Mac

Hydromet
27th Jan 2018, 07:31
Since I spent most of my working life involved in some way with rivers, I have instructed that I be cremated and my ashes tipped in a river at a particularly nice spot, where I shall become water pollution and trout burley.

dastocks
27th Jan 2018, 08:30
What also puzzled me was the insistence that there be a funeral with the body. Over this side of the pond we get the cremation done and then have a funeral with the ashes.

I don't think there is any particular 'insistence', other than requirements that may be set by religious faith or custom. However, a 'funeral' is always conducted with the body of the deceased present.

So, for the two most recent funerals I attended:
1. the funeral was in a church, followed by a short service and cremation at the crematorium.
2. the funeral was at the crematorium, followed by a longer memorial service in a church.

In the second case (my father) the 'event' was over 5 weeks after he died. This allowed more friends and family to attend and for a period to fine tune the content and format of the services. It also allowed us to reserve a more convenient time at the crematorium, and meant the memorial service could be "as long as it took", unlike the first case where the funeral end-time was constrained by the need to fit in with the crematorium timetable.

NorthernChappie
27th Jan 2018, 09:27
Since I spent most of my working life involved in some way with rivers, I have instructed that I be cremated and my ashes tipped in a river at a particularly nice spot, where I shall become water pollution and trout burley.

Ahh yes - a final floating journey. We thought that would be a great idea for my Dad's ashes and chose the little burn that flows through Carnoustie Golf Course (a long time ago, not sure we would get away with it now). Very fitting as his ball spent a lot of time in that burn. Anyhow, what wasn't taken into account was that ashes are quite heavy, and unfortunately rather than a peaceful float, Dad finished up as a grey stain on the bottom where he went in.

bgbazz
27th Jan 2018, 09:45
I have been following this thread, mainly through idle curiosity than anything else and I'm amazed to learn of some of the practices and experiences that folk have put forth. It has also highlighted how rules and regulations can differ from country to country.

eg. Late last evening we received a phone call telling us that a member of our extended family had passed on...he had been fighting cancer for some months, so the news came as no real surprise...his funeral will take place tomorrow morning! Family gathering at the graveside, no clergy in attendance and a wake of sorts will follow at a local eatery. Should be all done and dusted less than 48 hours after he died.

VP959
27th Jan 2018, 09:50
Anyone else tried scattering ashes from an aeroplane?

Years ago I was asked to do this for a friend, and having a suspicion it might not be that easy, from reading other stories of people who had tried it, I had a trial run with a plastic bag full of wood ash. The door was cracked open, the open end of the bag was poked through the gap, with the closed end of the bag held firmly.

Most of the ash blew back inside the aircraft, and when we landed both of us were covered in the stuff (it also took an hour to clean it out of the aircraft interior, too).

I think it was someone on here that told me how to do it, without this happening. What I ended up doing was getting a bit of plastic underground drain pipe (the stuff that has a bore of around 4") that was around 2ft long. The plastic bag of ashes was fitted in this, with the closed end secured via a bit of taped on string to the inside end of the pipe. The open end of the bag was sealed with an elastic band, wrapped around several times and tied to another bit of string that was led out the other end of the pipe as a release cord. As a safety measure, a plastic blanking plug was fitted over the open end and kept on until we were ready to put the pipe out of the door. We did a practice run with more wood ash and it worked well, as long as the pipe protruded out far enough (I think the final version may have been around 3ft long, but it's some time ago now and I can't be sure).

Anyway, the day arrived and all the deceased's friends and family (except us) had gathered on an open hilltop at a local beauty spot. We lined up and flew past at around 500ft, I poked the tube out, pulled the string and all the ashes streamed out cleanly. We thought we'd done a great job, so returned to the airfield, landed, and went off to the pub to join the rest of the party.

It was only when we got to the pub that we realised that everyone thought something had gone wrong, as no one saw the ashes leaving the aircraft. We knew they had, but it was an overcast day and I suspect grey ashes against a grey sky at over 500ft away just aren't visible.

So, if anyone is thinking of doing this, then warn the party that they may not see the ashes if the sky bit overcast, or break Rule 5 and come in a lot closer to the party, or arrange to only do it on a nice clear day, with a blue sky.

yellowtriumph
27th Jan 2018, 09:53
A good friend of ours decided that they would disperse her Dad's ashes in the nearby sea. Her Mum, who was elderly and could not readily walk, decided she would watch the scattering from the upstairs window of the sea-side retirement flat she had shared with her recently departed husband as she could see the beach and sea from there.

So, the close family trotted down the beach to the waters edge, stood respectfully for a few moments, opened the urn then flung the ashes towards the sea. They had not factored in the wind direction and poor old Dad swept back into their faces. Luckily it was a sandy beach - and they did not tell dear old 'Mum' when they returned to the flat. Much mirth subsequently when the story was shared with friends.

sitigeltfel
27th Jan 2018, 10:14
Any planning requests for new crematoriums are met with stiff opposition, which takes years to resolve. Hence the delays caused by capacity problems.

Fareastdriver
27th Jan 2018, 10:23
poor old Dad swept back into their faces

That'll learn 'em.

Old Deng Xiao Ping had his ashes scattered over the countryside of China and it was on TV so everybody could watch.

His ashes and his wife (whom nobody had seen before) were loaded in a twin turbo transport. A pipe had been put unto the floor so that the end stuck out of the bottom.
Come the end lots of saluting and applause and wifey tipped the contents into the pipe.

goudie
27th Jan 2018, 10:49
I've have heard that one's ashes can be packed into a fireworks rocket and blasted up to the heavens .
Going out with a bang, literally.
I rather fancy the idea.

anchorhold
27th Jan 2018, 11:23
I wondered when someone would menton scattering of ashes from aircraft, I know someone who did it, with results previosly described, that alot of the ash blew back into the aircraft and the pilots had a gritty feeling in their teeth for the rest of the flight.

The other problems are I wonder how abrasive ashes would be on the tailplane and how you stand under the ANO and CAA. I suppose you could claim it was ballast.

On the subject of availabity of crematoriums, there do seem to be quite alot new crematoriums popping up in outside large cities, examples such as the stunning Cromer crematorium, which are more aesthetically pleasing to the eye, unlike the Victorian gothic style such as Mortlake and Golders Green. Kettering crematorium must have good availabity, as the local council are considering offering it for weddings, give a whole new meaning till death us do part! Quite why anyone would want to be married in a crematorium?

http://www.cromercrematorium.co.uk/

VP959
27th Jan 2018, 11:32
I wondered when someone would menton scattering of ashes from aircraft, I know someone who did it, with results previosly described, that alot of the ash blew back into the aircraft and the pilots had a gritty feeling in their teeth for the rest of the flight.

The other problems are I wonder how abrasive ashes would be on the tailplane and how you stand under the ANO and CAA. I suppose you could claim it was ballast.

I think that, strictly speaking, it's prohibited under the ANO, and modifying the aircraft would definitely be out.

However, people have done it a fair bit, so my guess is that the CAA turn a blind eye.

In our case there was no residue on the aircraft (once we'd perfected the pipe technique), all the ash just streamed out cleanly below. I do remember there was a fair bit of suction on the empty pipe, so I'm guessing that the airflow over the tilted outer end was enough to produce a fair bit of suction, and that probably helped.

I can't claim any credit for the method, as I'm sure it was either someone on here, or perhaps another forum, that suggested the pipe technique as being reliable.

UniFoxOs
27th Jan 2018, 11:35
Any planning requests for new crematoriums are met with stiff opposition

And I'd have thought that most of the stiffs would have been in favour.

treadigraph
27th Jan 2018, 11:57
I believe Hairyplane scattered ashes from his Magister over Redhill with much the same result...

Helol
27th Jan 2018, 12:38
You can do it all yourself, if filling in 100-page forms doesn't bother you.

I did it all myself, and didn't have 100-page forms, and it also included a house to sell.

It was quite straight forward, and unless one's estate is particularly complicated, there is no reason why cannot complete without paying out to solicitors and all the rest of it.

Helol
27th Jan 2018, 12:40
Sky burial for me!

Fareastdriver
27th Jan 2018, 12:41
You can't throw anything out of a flying machine without CAA approval.

Years ago there was a tragic Wessex accident off Cromer. The aircraft was discovered but the pilot wasn't. After a CAA clearance I flew a S76 with the wife, a priest and there was a short ceremony as they threw a wreath into the area where he had crashed.

The prayers must have been listened to because he was caught in a fishing net a few days later.

ShyTorque
27th Jan 2018, 13:11
I keep putting mine off.

DVLA sent me an organ donor card with a vehicle tax reminder. They can have whatever they want, but I intend to wear out all the best bits myself.

Rossian
27th Jan 2018, 13:31
..... we were asked to not only scatter ashes but for some reason to have the complete funeral service - vicar, hymns, prayers, the whole nine yards.
It was a rather rough day and down the back in a Shackleton at low level wasn't the smoothest ride available.

The vicar began to feel queasy but soldiered on bravely. Eventually he succumbed but omitted to turn his headset mic off so it was "dust to - huey ashes to even bigger huey" which began to upset some weaker spirits further forward and so the infection spread.

Someone gave the sergeant, poised to tip the ashes down the flare chute in the floor, the nod to get on with it. Cue large cloud of ashes filling the backend of the a/c. People were spitting the earthly remains of the dear departed all the way back to base. It was all a bit of a black comedy.

Later the rules changed and better way to do it was devised, culminating in my pickling the remains of my best man into the Moray Firth one fine sunny evening with all decorum.

The Ancient Mariner

crippen
28th Jan 2018, 03:42
nearly every village ,and town has its own crmatorium. No waiting

https://previews.123rf.com/images/skystorm/skystorm1111/skystorm111100004/11136939-crematorium-in-the-temple-of-wat-chalong-in-phuket-thailand.jpg

Hydromet
28th Jan 2018, 06:10
Neighbour was on a ship that was used for the burial at sea of a not-very-well loved former Admiral.
Unfortunately, someone stuffed up with the amount of ballast needed, and the body didn't sink, so a boat party was sent out to attach more ballast, while the ship moved a discreet distance away. As the boat party went about their work, their voices wafted across the water, for the funeral party to clearly hear..."Sink, ya bastard!"

axefurabz
28th Jan 2018, 08:17
Friend who was a vicar once conducted a funeral service on Christmas Eve. Leaving the church behind the coffin he said that the undertaker whispered out the side of his mouth "I suppose this is what you might call a Christmas box ..."

Heathrow Harry
28th Jan 2018, 08:25
"Anyone else tried scattering ashes from an aeroplane?"

Over the years the US magazine Flying has run a number of reports/recommendations on this

the best methods are as VP says - use a long piece of plastic pipe (maybe longer than 4 ft) - you have to get the end of the pipe into undisturbed air. Often there is a local LP zone in the cockpit which causes the ingress of the deceased.

The true fool-proof method is drop the ashes from a great height in either the urn or a plastic bag..... easier in the USA than here but , of course, totally illegal as well as being a bit disrespectful.......

G-CPTN
28th Jan 2018, 09:20
I have decreed that my ashes will be 'scattered' off a Scottish headland - but my daughter is concerned about the effect of a headwind.
Any ideas of how to combat this?

Maybe some sort of dissolvable container that could be cast into the ocean?

Gordy
28th Jan 2018, 16:30
but my daughter is concerned about the effect of a headwind.


Just like peeing in a windstorm----keep the wind behind you. :cool:

4mastacker
28th Jan 2018, 16:41
I have decreed that my ashes will be 'scattered' off a Scottish headland - but my daughter is concerned about the effect of a headwind.
Any ideas of how to combat this?

Maybe some sort of dissolvable container that could be cast into the ocean?

A paper bag??

G-CPTN
28th Jan 2018, 16:47
A paper bag??

Simple thinking :ok:

jimtherev
28th Jan 2018, 21:53
As a colleague succinctly reported to his wife after an only-partially-successful scattering of ashes from a fishing boat:
"I ate most of him"
Ugh.

Smeagol
28th Jan 2018, 22:41
"Anyone else tried scattering ashes from an aeroplane?"

Yes. And I can confirm VP959's methodology.

The widow of a good friend wanted his ashes scattered from "the sky" (as he was an avid amateur pilot and had built several aircraft). She had mentioned using balloons and other unreliable, improbable, dangerous and probably downright illegal methods so I arranged for us to be taken up in a proper aircraft by a work colleague. We were advised that it was necessary to fit about two feet of 4" drain pipe to the plastic urn containing the ashes (gaffer tape connection!) to prevent "blowback". Worked perfectly and I tipped Fred's ashes out over the golf course we were both members at and where he played often.

The bonus was it was 'Ladies Day' at the golf club. Go get 'em Fred.

DaveReidUK
28th Jan 2018, 22:55
Quite why anyone would want to be married in a crematorium?

A couple who had a burning ambition ?