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North West Divison of the BIE’s
Embalming & Funeral Workshop Day

The North West Division of the British Institute of Embalmers held their first Embalming and Funeral Workshop day at the premises of B Livesey Funeral directors in chorley,Lancashire.

The aim of the day was to bring together embalmers, funeral directors and funeral operatives for a day of education and social gathering to help further education and professionalism within the industry and the various professional organisations. It was to also encourage the promotion of the BIE, NAFD and BIFD on a more united front.

The day was very well attended by 86 people including the north west division executive committee and its members, trade representatives, embalmers and funeral staff from  all over the country.

From 9.00am for an hour everyone was given the opportunity to informally meet the trade stand representatives which included clarke and strong gown manufacturers, stuart stokes funeral staff clothing, ferno uk ltd, auto glym, hulme and co gown manufacturers, omega, dodge, aardbalm, golden charter, cartmel and barlow coffin manufacturers, mccallister cars and mcgarry memorials and coway limousines..

The workshop was officially opened at 10.00am by our chairman nigel gilliat and the first vice president, phil houckham, who attended on behalf of the nation president, john butterworth, who was unfortunately on holiday. Phil had not realised this was our first attempt at a workshop and was very impressed by the standard we had laid on so far and wished us well for the rest of the day.

The morning sessions included an embalming demonstration by martin trask, representing omega funeral supplies who used esco non-formaldehyde based fluids, a removal demonstration using a chairman as a deceased person, a coffin lowering demonstration including the american casket lowering system, a talk by aardbalm embalming fluids. There were also on going demonstrations by auto glym car cleaning suppliers and cartmel and barlow coffin manufacturers who had set up a coffin making area to show the work that goes into traditionally crafted coffins.

The funeral home garage had been converted into a make shift cemetery(using the large car pit in the floor) and a coffin manufacturing workshop at the other end. Representatives were positioned throughout the grounds and talks were given in the main chapel area, Space was limited in the mortuary so the day was set up to give people the opportunity of a number of embalming demonstrations and activities which repeated throughout the day. Individuals then chose which seminar or demonstration they wished to attend and everyone managed to see what they wanted to by the end of the day.

In the afternoon, the sessions included an embalming demonstration by Nigel Dawson, representing the dodge company using the low formaldehyde and low fuming solutions; a talk by mcgarry memorials on stone masonry and current problems that are faced in the industry; coffin lowering; a removal demonstration using mathew hall from dodge as the deceased; a coffining and gowning demonstration by nigel gillet with help from the trade representatives.

The day closed just after 3pm. Feedback on the organisation,quality of the sessions and professionalism of the arrangements was very complimentary. One person had travelled 225miles to attend the day.He was not expecting an awful lot for the cost of £10 but was wery pleased at the scale and quality of the event. We also had people attending from scarbough,essex,birmingham,derby,lond on as well as areas closer to home.