A funeral business has “come home” with the dedication of new premises in Honley.
Radcliffe Funeral Service, owned by husband and wife Andrew and Gwen Schofield, has opened a new funeral home at Westgate – just yards away from the site where Gwen’s father Brian Radcliffe started the family business 50 years ago.
The new home complements Radcliffe’s existing site at Kirkheaton, which opened in 2009.
The premises at Honley were bought in July last year and were opened in December after major refurbishment to provide a large office and reception area, two viewing rooms and car parking to the rear with disabled access.
Gwen said: “The building was an empty shell when we got it and had been disused for quite a while. Everything was back to the bare walls - but I could see its potential.”
She said: “We had been looking for somewhere in the Honley area for more years than I care to think. In March last year, I was driving past and saw the ‘To Let’ sign outside and decided to have a look.”
The premises had previously been a kitchen and bathroom retailer and many years earlier had been a butcher’s shop.
Gwen joined the family business of joiners and funeral directors on leaving school in 1976 and qualified as an embalmer in 1983 as well as passing the Diploma in Funeral Directing with the National Association of Funeral Directors in the same year.
Gwen’s husband Andrew joined the firm in 2009, gaining his diploma in 2012. Both are members of the British Institute of Funeral Directors while Gwen is also a member of the British Institute of Embalmers and was awarded fellowship of the Institute in February, 2013.
The premises originally occupied by Brian Radcliffe remain a joinery business to this day.
The dedication of the new premises was conducted by the Very Rev Henry Stapleton, the Rev Timothy Moore and the Rev Liam Beadle. Also attending were Colne Valley MP Jason McCartney; the Mayor of Kirklees Clr Martyn Bolt, who unveiled a plaque to mark the occasion; and Simon Fisher, president of the National Association of Funeral Directors, who officially opened the funeral home.