Alfred Welch, the ‘A’ of A. Welch & Sons was born in 1876. Like his father and grandfather before him Alfred became a coachman. Alfred married Ellen Tritton and they had 8 sons and 2 daughters. In time 5 of the sons joined their father in business, and so A. Welch & Sons was born, carrying out household removals, taxi work and supplying horses, carriages and coffin bearers to the four local funeral directors in Herne Bay.
One of the sons, Harold, also assisted one of the funeral directors, initially with coffin making and later with arranging and conducting funeral services. When the sons returned from the second World War, and, in 1948 the family decided to undertake funeral arrangements in their own right alongside the other work the company was doing.
When motor vehicles replaced the horse and carriage our stables were converted into workshops, timber stores and a Chapel of Rest. In 1960 the decision was taken to concentrate solely on funerals. Our premises were continually updated and improved, refrigerated storage facilities and an embalming theatre were installed and we became the first fully equipped funeral directors in the Herne Bay, Beltinge and Canterbury district. During the seventies we had 4 private viewing chapels and a private service chapel built. In 1994 we opened a second branch in Canterbury.
Our premises undergo regular improvements and modernisation. 2012 saw the completion of an extensive refurbishment of our Mortuary and Chapel facilities. Our funeral vehicle fleet is regularly replaced and we currently run a fleet of bespoke Ford vehicles purchased in 2016. A. Welch & Sons remains a family owned, independent funeral directors. The current Managing Director is Tim Welch, Alfred’s great-grandson. Mr. Peter Welch, Alfred’s grandson, is retained as a valuable consultant following his retirement in 2006, having served 40 years in the business.
We have three full-time funeral directors, six full-time funeral service operators, a full-time Pre-Paid funeral specialist, two part-time receptionists and an in house bereavement counsellor. We consider it a great privilege when we are entrusted with arranging a funeral for a family. We are also very aware of the huge responsibility we have to that family. A funeral is one of the most important, stressful and emotional experiences a family or individual has to endure so it is essential that the arrangements are handled professionally.
Our Fleet of Vehicles
We’re very proud of our brand-new Ford fleet but we are also able to organise horse-drawn hearses, motorcycle hearses, unusual vehicle hearses and vintage vehicles so please speak to us about your requirements and we’ll always do our best to meet them.
Licensed and Regulated
All our funeral directors are fully qualified members of the BIFD (The British Institute of Funeral Directors) and hold the Diploma in Funeral Directing. Tim Welch, the current Managing Director is also a fully qualified embalmer and member of the BIE ( British Institute of Embalmers). In addition, We are members of the NAFD (National Association of Funeral Directors) giving our clients the peace of mind that we operate within the NAFD’s strict Code of Practice Principles and giving them access to the Funeral Arbitration Scheme.
Our philosophy is a simple one: every funeral we arrange is the most important funeral we have ever conducted because it is so important to you. Every person whose funeral arrangements are entrusted to us is somebody’s son or daughter, and, in most cases somebody’s mother or father so we care for them as we would want our own children or parents cared for.
It is a fact that a funeral will always be a sad occasion but that doesn’t mean that it has to be miserable. A funeral should be a celebration of that person’s life, a time to remember the joy they brought into your lives and the happiness they shared with you in their life. It is our aim to help you achieve that goal and assist you to make the funeral service as comforting as possible.
We have been awarded a ‘Funeral Service Customer Care Award 2013’ by Funeral Planning Services. This award was presented following a survey of our clients by Funeral Planning Services in which we scored ‘100% satisfaction’ from our surveyed clients
- We are always glad to Help and Advise.
- We can guide you through the whole process, using the experience we have gained by arranging 28,000 funerals in the last 70 years, but ensuring that you retain control of how the funeral is to be conducted.