BBC Radio 4
Alan Dein travels to Nottingham to meet with the 4th & 5th generations of a family firm of Funeral Directors (with a 6th generation already on the horizon). When furniture maker and dealer Arthur William Lymn started 'undertaking' funerals with his son Harold Percy in 1907, their first premises were on Goosegate - next door to a man selling potions and lotions. Although Arthur and Harold could not match the subsequent success of their next-door-neighbours, the Boots Pure Drug Company Ltd, AW Lymn did have to move to larger premises in 1915. And in the hundred years since they have continued to grow, now operating out of 25 offices, employing 110 staff and conducting 3,500 funeral every year. Last year a brain tumour forced Harold's grandson, Nigel Lymn Rose to hand over the reins of the company to his son Matthew while he underwent brain surgery and recuperated. This summer, fully recovered and back at work, this temporary arrangement was made permanent. As Matthew and Nigel work out the parameters of their new roles within the company (alongside Matthew's aunt, Jackie, and sister Chloe - all also involved in the family firm), Alan Dein goes behind the scenes with them to discover what goes on beyond the formal funeral attire of top hats and tails and Roll Royce hearses. With them he visits the hospital morgue to pick up recently deceased 'patients', enters the world of the firm's embalmers and observes them in the chapels of rest - to find out what it's like to deal with death on a daily basis. Producer: Paul Kobrak.
Duration: 28 min