Funeral audiences now world-wide

Tour of refurbished crematorium, Park Wood, Elland'Pictured are Richard Lumb - supervisor and Dave Clay - assistant funeral services director
Tour of refurbished crematorium, Park Wood, Elland'Pictured are Richard Lumb - supervisor and Dave Clay - assistant funeral services director
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THE upgrade of Park Wood Crematorium is now complete and its 21st century service can include webcasts of funerals.

Dave Clay, assistant manager for funeral services, said the option would prove to be popular with those unable to attend services.

By accessing a code and password the proceedings from Elland could be watched by people across the world.

A DVD recording of a service is another option and TV screens in the chapel and outside in the overspill area allow for families to have a photo show featuring departed loved ones.

A £1.5 million renovation programme over the last two years has resulted in an extended car park, refurbishment of the chapel, a computerised music system with access to any piece of music legally published and a new computerised organ for the more traditional funeral,

There is also an enlarged waiting room, a digital book of remembrance, and two new cremators along with abatement equipment for the removal of mercury and dioxins, which is necessary to meet Government guidelines.

“We are now able to offer a better quality of service,” said Mr Clay.

Crematorium supervisor Richard Lumb said nearly 1,700 cremations are carried out annually.

Following a cremation the remains are raked into an ash pot to cool and the deceased person’s details follow them through the process.

After cooling another machine grinds down the remains to fine ash.

They are then collected by family or alternatively scattered by staff in the landscaped grounds or by appointment with family members present.

The crematorium opened in 1956 and Mr Lumb said over recent years the level of cremations had remained fairly static at around 75 per cent of funerals.

Over the years he has witnessed many funerals and on busy days there is a maximum of 11 with 45 minute slots each.

One of the most unusual was for a member of the Halifax Rock `n’ Roll Club.

“Mourners were doing the bop down the middle of the chapel,” he said.

On Sunday, July 3, from 1pm there will be an open day at the crematorium for the public to see the improvements and learn more about cremation.

The Mayor of Calderdale Nader Fekri will reopen the building at 2.50pm and at 3pm Rev Canon Hilary Barber, of Halifax Minster, will lead a service of re-dedication. Tours will reconvene from 3.45 pm.