I’m proud to say I’m the 10th generation to run this independent family business. I joined Harwood Park as assistant manager in 1998 and took over the role of managing director when my late father, John, retired in 2001. Since then, I’ve led us to win 13 business awards including the FSB Service Excellence Award, and in 2012 I was named National Chamber of Commerce Entrepreneur of the Year.
I’m Claire’s husband and have been responsible for the day-to-day running of Harwood Park Crematorium since 2001. I was previously employed by the Commissioner of Police for the Metropolis, where I served as a fingerprint expert for 26 years.
I’ve been at Harwood Park since 1998. I deal with all aspects of funeral administration, such as music arrangements and memorial plots. I also meet bereaved families to help them with their choice of memorial tribute and conduct burials and scatterings of ashes. It’s very satisfying to help people during a time of great sadness and to help make everything here go as smoothly as possible for them.
I deal with funeral administration and telephone calls from families, funeral directors and ministers to ensure the smooth running of the funeral service. I also assist families in finding a resting place for their loved ones and organise appropriate memorials. It’s very rewarding knowing that I’ve helped to guide a family at a very stressful and difficult time.
I form part of a team in the office at Harwood Park, where my role is both administrative and compassionate. I work closely with bereaved families as well as funeral directors, ministers and civil celebrants. My background is in customer service – including 10 years working in the call centre of a bank – and I can honestly say that working at Harwood Park has given me the most job satisfaction.
I started at Harwood Park in 1997, the year that it opened. As a qualified crematorium technician, I oversee the maintenance, repair and upkeep of the cremators as well as undergoing other duties such as looking after the plots and memorials within the grounds.
Here since 2013, I’m part of a team that ensures services run smoothly, and that families can leave their loved ones with us knowing that we’ll do the best for them and look after them. One of the reasons I like the job is being able to help people and families through a difficult and sad time.
Prior to starting here in 2009, I worked at the prestigious Brocket Hall In Welwyn Garden City where I became the head green keeper of The Nick Faldo Institute (my claim to fame is keeping the most moles off the immaculately-kept greens!). At Harwood Park, you’ll find me in all weathers working in the grounds. I love tending the memorial gardens, ensuring that they maintain an atmosphere of calm and reassurance in the peaceful open countryside.
The price of funerals has risen over the years*, and many people prefer to make provision for the cost now. The Hertfordshire Funeral Plan is a pre-payment funeral plan exclusive to Austin’s Funeral Directors.
Find out more.
*Royal London, National Funeral Cost Index report, August 2020.