Popular London family funeral directors Patrick Ryan & Daughter has been serving the community of Ealing since 1968, when Patrick “Paddy” Ryan founded the business with his wife Marjorie.
Patrick and Marjorie’s daughter Lynn now runs the business with her husband Paul and children Rob and Catrina.
Lynn told us how the new Pilato Polaris, purchased from Superior UK, is carrying forward her late father’s vision for the business.
“The time had come to replace our old Pollmann hearse, and we were struggling to find anything of similar quality,” Lynn said. “We had seen photos of the Polaris, but we were in two minds. It was obviously a beautiful vehicle, but we wondered if it would be a step too far in terms of design and style.”
Lynn got in touch with Superior UK, who are Pilato’s official supplier to the UK and ROI, and explained the family’s reservations.
“Superior were so helpful,” she said. “They understood that the Polaris is a unique vehicle and can’t be compared to anything else on the market. They offered to loan us a demonstration vehicle.”
The demo Polaris arrived in Ealing to spend some time with the Ryan family, and immediately proved to be a hit with customers and – crucially – with Patrick Ryan himself.
“My father started this business in 1968, and was such a respected member of the local Irish community,” explained Lynn. “He was always the innovator – being one of the first in the UK to import hearses and provide large chapels of rest. He saw the Polaris for what it is: a stunning, innovative vehicle that would take us into the future without losing any of the tradition of our industry.”
Lynn and family placed an order for their own Polaris hearse with a petrol engine – chosen for its suitability for the busy London environment of Ealing. The hearse was delivered in 2019, a week before Patrick’s passing.
“The Polaris immediately became a key part of our fleet,” said Lynn. “It has been in continuous use since 2019 with no issues. Superior have been a fantastic support – when we asked about extra storage compartments, they asked us to send them some of the items we carry on a daily basis and then built bespoke storage in the underdeck pull out drawer.
“We are also really thankful for our recent purchase of a Mercedes Vito removal vehicle with hydraulic decks from Superior,” she said. “We have been incredible busy during the pandemic and our bespoke Vito has been invaluable.”
Patrick Ryan & Daughter’s Polaris hearse is often used for evening funerals, with the internal lighting of the coffin chamber, illuminated Perspex nameplates, and external coach light accents making for a spectacular display.
“My father would be delighted to know that this car is helping us keep his beloved business thriving,” said Lynn. “We are all grateful to Superior for helping us with every little detail.”