When FH Halliday of Portishead decided to add a second hearse to their fleet, they went searching for a vehicle supplier who welcomed single vehicle orders.
FH Halliday and Son is run on a day-to-day basis by Funeral Director Matthew Aldridge and his wife Tracey, the busy firm serves a large area of Somerset and Bristol from its base in Portishead and second office, Abbey Funeral Services in Worle, Weston-super-Mare.
Matthew Aldridge tells us why it was important to find exactly the right vehicle supplier.
“We already run an bespoke Mercedes Vito hearse, but had been hiring in vehicles to cover demand,” he said. “The time had come to purchase another hearse. We decided a formal hearse would give our clients even greater choice. As this would be our first formal hearse purchase for 20 years I knew I had to find a vehicle supplier who could advise us every step of the way. We searched high and low to find a supplier who shared our excitement for the project.”
Matthew did a lot of industry research but found some carriage masters seemed unenthusiastic about a single vehicle order from a smaller funeral firm.
“That changed when I spoke to Kevin Smith at Superior UK,” he said. “He was excited about our order from the first conversation and no detail was too small for him. He was really good throughout the entire process. I told him exactly what we wanted, and that’s exactly what he found.”
FH Halliday & Son took delivery of their Binz hearse which came with modern styling, glass roof and lights in the coffin chamber. It joins the firm’s Mercedes V class fleet. “We believe it’s important to offer families choice,” said Matthew. “We recently signed up to the Quakers Fair Funeral Pledge, to give people with lower incomes a simpler funeral option if they choose.”
The business has been in the Halliday family since the 1880s and is owned by Helen and Glyn Lawrence who now live overseas. Glyn flew back for the delivery of the hearse and was delighted to be present at the official handover.
“The new hearse was delivered by Kevin in perfect order with our personal plates, and was out on the road the day after Kevin delivered it,” said Matthew. “It looks great and we’ve had fantastic feedback about it from families. Our V Class following cars compliment it perfectly. We have a beautiful fleet now thanks to Kevin’s help and advice.”
As well as extending their fleet, FH Halliday & Son are developing their existing site to include new Chapels of Rest and Service Rooms to give families the opportunity of having services on site. “We have a solid history behind us,” said Matthew, “but we are always looking to the future.”
“I’m grateful to Kevin Smith and the team at Superior UK for the professional handling of this hearse purchase,” he said. “We love the vehicle and the personal way we were all looked after. I hope we can do more business in the future.