Good Funeral Guide awards to take place in Bournemouth

Coffin at funeral The categories have been described as "varied and interesting"

An awards show celebrating the best of the UK's funeral industry is to take place in Bournemouth.

Categories at the the Good Funeral Guide Awards include Embalmer of the Year, Gravedigger of the Year and Coffin Supplier of the Year.

Charles Cowling, editor of the Good Funeral Guide, said it was for "unsung heroes of astonishing brilliance whom the public deserves to know about".

The show, believed to be the first of its kind, takes place on 7 September.

Mr Cowling added: "We are going to blow the cover of its finest practitioners and expose them for what they are: some of the finest, most dedicated people you could ever meet."

The event was founded by Brian Jenner who ran a convention in 2011 dedicated to the HBO television series Six Feet Under, a dark comedy which centres on a family who run a Los Angeles funeral home.

'Engaging and human'

Mr Jenner, a speechwriter from Bournemouth, said: "I was overwhelmed by people in the industry who came to me and loved the show and wanted somewhere to meet.

"The funeral industry has a problem engaging with the public. It's often stuck in the past and is deeply conservative and family-oriented.

"But it's actually not depressing at all, it's very engaging and human."

Categories at the the Good Funeral Guide awards

  • Most Promising New Funeral Director
  • Embalmer of the Year
  • The Eternal Slumber Award for Coffin Supplier of the Year
  • Crematorium Attendant of the Year
  • The Blossom d'Amour Award For Funeral Floristry
  • Cemetery of the Year Award
  • Gravedigger of the Year
  • Funeral Director of the Year
  • Best Alternative to a Hearse

Rosie Inman-Cook, manager of the Natural Death Centre, described the different categories as "varied and interesting".

She added: "It's a bit of carrot rather than stick in regards to encouraging good practice."

The ceremony takes place at the Green House Hotel and forms part of the Joy of Death Festival.

Bournemouth was chosen because of its many funeral directors, a by-product of the town being a popular retirement location.

The 2001 census found 34,280 (16.2%) of Bournemouth's residents were aged 65 and over.

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