Cremation & Burial Conference & Exhibition 2013

Monday 1st, Tuesday 2nd, Wednesday 3rd July 2013 – Holiday Inn, Stratford-upon-Avon

Papers & Speakers

Eccentric – The Life of Dr William Price
by Dean Powell, Bachelor Arts Graduate (English & Welsh Joint Hons), University of Wales

The cremation of Price's first son Iseu Grist (Jesus Christ) after his death aged just 5 months resulted in the landmark court case leading to the passing of the Cremation Act 1902. Famed healer, crusader of reform, exiled political activist and a sparkling, dynamic, eloquent man who blazed progress and controversy but outraging a conventional society, there was much more to Price than his radical attitude to cremation.

Dean Powell was born and still lives in Llantrisant where Price cremated his son. Dean is an accomplished guest speaker, journalist, author, broadcaster and vocalist. Making frequent appearances on radio and television as a local historian he is regarded as the leading expert on the life of Dr William Price.

Scottish Death Certification
by Gareth Brown, Head of Blood, Organ Donation, Death and Sexual Health, Scottish Government

This paper presents an overview of major developments affecting the cremation industry in Scotland. In particular the implementation by 2014 of the Certification of Death (Scotland) Act 2011 and the impact that this will have on managers of burial and cremation facilities.

Gareth Brown has been a career civil servant in Scotland since 1999. In that time he has worked on subjects such as mad cow disease, museums and galleries and community sentences for offenders. Since 2007 Gareth has worked in health, for most of that time leading on policy on vaccination and immunisation and infectious disease. Since 2012 Gareth has led the new Blood, Organ Donation and Sexual Health team, which also has responsibility for burials, cremation and death certification.

CAMEO: What You Should Be Doing Now
by Brendan Day, MBA, Dip ICCM, Service Manager, Registration and Business Excellence, Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council

The pilot trading process which was completed in May 2013 presented the final opportunity to assess how CAMEO would operate before the trading process starts for real on the 1st January 2014. The pilot threw up a number of issues, some were expected, whilst some came as a surprise. The purpose of the paper is to inform delegates of the result of the pilot trading process, the cost there would have been to burden sharing members and how much income contributors would receive. In addition the paper will also include practical advice and guidance on what cremation authorities will have to do in order to trade successfully in 2014.

Brendan has worked in the cremation movement since 1980. He has worked in London, Cheltenham and Cardiff, and is currently Registration Services Manager for Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council. He is responsible for Registration, Bereavement, Coroners and Amenity services. He has been a tutor, examiner and Director of the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) and is currently Manager of the CAMEO abatement scheme.

A Coffin Standard for Cremation
by David Crampton, President of the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer's Association

Following the emergence of a variety of new "eco friendly" and bio-degradable coffins the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer's Association (FFMA) has been working with the Association of Private Crematoria and Cemeteries (APCC), the Federation of Burial and Cremation Authorities (FBCA) and the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management (ICCM) to achieve a standard coffin construction to ensure suitability for safe handling and charging into modern cremators.

This paper outlines the magnitude of the problem and the progress made so far, including the challenges and considerations that have had to be taken into account.

David attended the Nottingham Textile School for four years and obtained a City and Guilds in textile testing. He worked for 21 years in the textile trade, mainly for Marks & Spencer, and faced with redundancy in 1980 joined Vic Fearn & Co Ltd incorporating Crazy Coffins, initially as a driver. He became a representative after three years, director after ten years and has been Managing Director for the last four.

The FFMA was established in 1939 to represent manufacturers of coffin furniture, coffins, soft goods, the motor trade and insurance. In 1967 its remit was redefined to that of today. David has been President of the FFMA for the last thirteen years.

The Flexible Application of Memorial Safety Guidance
by Ron Dunn, FICCM, MIPGS (DipPRA, DipRM), Dunn & Co

We hear about a flexible approach to the completion of a large memorial inspection contract in Abney Park Cemetery, one of the original big seven cemeteries in London. The task involved the inspection of in excess of 20,000 memorials.

Hackney Council, the present owners of the site, became aware that there had never been a memorial safety, tree or building inspection, despite clear evidence of potential health and safety issues in these areas. Sparse records and the overgrown nature of the site made it impossible to carry out a traditional safety inspection.

The presentation explains the on-going requirement for all burial grounds to have a systematic approach to memorial safety, the essential elements of such a system and how a flexible approach can allow work to be carried out under difficult circumstances, but still within 2009 Ministry of Justice guidance.

Ron is a Fellow of the ICCM and was Director of Training and Development with the organisation for almost 7 years. He has over 25 years experience in the operation of cemeteries and crematoria. Co-author of the Easy Guide to Burial and Cremation Law and member of the MoJ Working Group who developed the 2009 Guidance on Managing the Safety of Burial Ground Memorials.

The changes to BS8415 and how they might affect you
by Professor Stuart Moy, BSc, PhD, CEng, FICE, Faculty of Engineering & the Environment at the University of Southampton

In recent years there has been much publicity surrounding serious accidents in cemeteries, and the response by local authorities to try and prevent any further tragedies. Many lessons have been learned since the first wave of memorial testing some ten years ago, and most local authorities now have sensible and practical memorial management schemes in place. A very important part of such management schemes is control over the types of memorials which are placed in cemeteries, and how they are fixed. The British Standard, BS8415, deals with memorial stones in burial grounds and has recently been updated. The changes have implications for burial ground managers and will be discussed in the presentation.

Stuart has nearly fifty years experience of structural engineering. He worked on the design of Concorde and nuclear power stations but most of his career has been at Southampton University where he was a Professor and carried out research on cooling towers and advanced composite materials.

He has undertaken consultancy work and testing for industry covering hospital buildings, GRP motorway gantries, noise and safety barriers and lighting columns. He was a technical expert on the BS8415 committee.

Resomation® – an update from the working USA installations
by Sandy Sullivan, BSc (Hons), Managing Director, Resomation Ltd

Resomation® is an alternative to cremation and burial with significant and validated environmental benefits. It is a true paradigm shift that allows the public a third choice more in tune with their environmental awareness and concerns.

Since the introduction of commercial cremation the global population has rocketed from 1.6 to 6.7 billion. Cremation is now the most popular choice of disposal available and is growing worldwide. Without the introduction of cremation burial spaces would have run out in densely populated areas many years ago.

For those seeking an alternative to either burial or cremation, Resomation® could be the answer. Although yet to be officially recognised by the regulatory bodies in the UK this form of disposal has been accepted in other parts of the world.

This paper outlines the development of this form of disposal since the original paper on the subject was presented at CBCE 2007. It will cover its technical development, the current legislative adoption in the USA and provide examples of what can be achieved as an acceptable, respectful alternative form of disposal. Some market data and uptake figures are also reviewed.

Sandy is the founder and Managing Director of Resomation Ltd dedicated to the global uptake of an alternative to burial and cremation with clear environmental benefits. Scottish of birth he has an honours degree in Biochemistry. Before Resomation Ltd Sandy was European President for an American company based in Scotland involved in using alkaline hydrolysis technology in other areas. Prior to that he worked for over 25 years in international based senior management roles for two other American Corporations, STERIS and Millipore.

Is this the worst time to be bereaved?
by Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive Officer, Cruse, Postgraduate Diploma in Public Sector Management, Postgraduate Diploma in Social Work (CQSW), BA Hons

Debbie will consider key issues affecting bereaved people and the potential impact on their grieving. This will include political changes such as recent and proposed changes to bereavement benefits and the introduction of the medical examiner system. She will also touch on current areas of concern and controversy including the debate about bereavement and mental health and the issues around statutory bereavement leave.

Debbie has been Chief Executive of Cruse Bereavement Care, the UK's leading bereavement support organisation, since 2008. Since then Debbie has particularly focused on the significant development of services for children and young people, including the families of services personnel killed in action and on developing ways of providing support using new technologies. Cruse is also developing its work in campaigning and lobbying on issues affecting bereaved people. She was a leading member of the Cruse Team which gave support to the families of British victims in New York after 9/11 and managed the Cruse response following the South East Asian Tsunami in 2004 and London bombings in 2005. Debbie is also a member of the Death Certification Steering Group since it was established.

Before joining Cruse in 1999, Debbie had worked as a Social Worker for Social Services in the West Midlands specialising in child protection. Debbie is an experienced speaker at international and national conferences including the International Grief and Bereavement Conference in Miami in 2011.

Update from the Ministry of Justice on Coroner, Cremation and Burial Matters
by Judith Bernstein, MA, LLM, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremation and Inquiries Team, Access to Justice, Justice Policy Group, Ministry of Justice

Judith will provide an update from the Ministry of Justice on coroner, cremation and burial matters.

Judith started her Civil Service career advising the Social Security and Child Support Commissioners before transferring to an administrative post at the Judicial Studies Board, and then to a policy role in administrative justice. In her current role, Judith is responsible for providing advice on the law and policy relating to coroners, cremations, burials and public inquiries including high-profile inquests and alternatives to cremation as well as dealing with the day-to-day handling of policy and casework, correspondence from MPs, stakeholders and the general public.

Making Death Visible: The Future Cemetery Project
by Dr John Troyer, Ph.D., Deputy Director, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath

Over 170 years ago, Bristol's Arnos Vale Cemetery opened its front gates. In the ensuing decades, it handled approximately 300,000 deceased individuals (roughly a third of the population of Bristol city), either through burial or cremation. It remains a working cemetery and covers 45 acres near the city centre.

In April 2012, Arnos Vale started a new project that asked a not-so-easily-answered question related to both the past and future: What can 21st century cemeteries become? The project was quickly named the Future Cemetery, and it involved three partners: the University of Bath's Centre for Death and Society, Calling the Shots media in Bristol, and Arnos Vale Cemetery Trust.

The Future Cemetery's guiding principle rapidly emerged during the project's initial design: "We all know that death is in the future. We just want to make the future more visible."

This paper and presentation analyses and discusses how the Future Cemetery took Arnos Vale Cemetery and turned it into a multi-media platform, both literally and figuratively. Since one of the key goals was to make death more visible to the general public, the Future Cemetery worked with designers, multi-media artists, theatre performers, creative technologists, computer programmers, and app creators to transform Arnos Vale into an open source, end-of-life discussion and technology platform. The project also addressed an important but overlooked subject: how technology continues to alter and augment human perceptions of death, dying, and the dead body.

Dr. John Troyer is Lecturer in the Department of Social and Policy Sciences and Deputy Director of the Centre for Death and Society at the University of Bath. He received his doctorate from the University of Minnesota in Comparative Studies in Discourse and Society and began working at the University of Bath's Centre for Death and Society in September 2008. He is a co-founder of the Death Reference Desk website and his first book, Technologies of the Human Corpse, published by the University of North Carolina Press will appear in autumn 2013. His father, Ronald Troyer, is an American Funeral Director.

Among the topics for discussion will be Coffin Standards; Retention of Cremated Remains; New Registration Offices, Baby Cremations

Panel will include:
Debbie Kerslake, Chief Executive Officer, Cruse
Judith Bernstein, Head of Coroners, Burials, Cremation and Inquiries Team, Ministry of Justice
David Crampton, President, Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer's Association
John Troyer, Deputy Director, Centre for Death and Society, University of Bath

Moderator: Mr Harvey Thomas CBE

(a) The Scottish Cremation Society and Maryhill Crematorium (1893)
by Revd. Dr. Peter Jupp MA, MTh, MSc, PhD, FRSA, Member of the Council of The Cremation Society of Great Britain

The year 2013 marks the 125th anniversary of the Scottish Cremation Society. This paper analyses the Society's struggle to open Scotland's first crematorium and persuade Scots of the advantages of cremation over burial. Maryhill was the UK's third crematorium and Scotland's first; it remained Scotland's only crematorium until 1929.

Peter is a minister of the United Reformed Church. With Glennys Howarth, he founded the International Conference on 'The Social Context of Death, Dying and Disposal' and the quarterly journal Mortality. He has co-edited several books in death studies and published From Dust to Ashes: cremation and the British way of death in 2006. He was Director of the Funerals College Project, a member of the Churches' Group on Funerals and a consultant to SAIF. He serves on the Council of the Cremation Society of Great Britain and was its Chairman 2001-9. He is a non-executive director of the London Cremation Co plc. He was a member of the Durham University team, funded by a Leverhulme Trust Research Award, researching the history of cremation in modern Scotland. He is now an Honorary Fellow, Department of Divinity, University of Edinburgh.

(b) James Chalmers 'A Scheme of Cremation for Scotland': Glasgow Maryhill
by Professor Hilary Grainger BA(Hons), PhD, FRSA, Member of the Council of The Cremation Society of Great Britain

This paper focuses on the architectural history of Maryhill Crematorium designed by the architect James Chalmers. It traces developments from its first proposed design to its opening in 1893 and considers not only the subsequent additions and alterations that continued until Chalmers' death in 1927, but also locates the crematorium in Chalmers' wider architectural practice and in the development of Scottish cremation architecture.

Hilary is a Dean of Quality Assurance at the London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London. A graduate of Leeds University, she taught history of art, design and architectural history for over thirty five years at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels. A specialist in late nineteenth and early twentieth century English domestic architecture and design, she is a leading authority on the late Victorian architect Sir Ernest George and the architecture of British crematoria. She has published and lectured widely in these areas both in Europe and America. Her pioneering book 'Death Redesigned' was published in 2006 and her widely acclaimed monograph 'The Architecture of Sir Ernest George' was published in 2011. She is National Chair of the Victorian Society, a Trustee and Council Member of The Cremation Society and a QAA Institutional Reviewer of English and Scottish Universities. She also serves on the Fabric Advisory Committee of Lichfield Cathedral.

It Could Happen To You – Business Continuity Plans
by Frederick Gentile, MBE, BA (Hons), AMEPS, Dip Mgmt, Risk Management Executive, Willis UK Retail

The impact of an emergency or a major disruption can have far reaching legal, financial and reputational effects on an organisation if it is not adequately managed. This presentation provides a brief overview of the benefits of a robust business continuity programme and highlights and discusses the fundamental points that need to be addressed. This paper will be of value to those who are considering or are in the process of drafting business continuity plans and, for those who already have one in place, a timely review.

A Risk Management Executive with Willis, Fredrick is an accredited Risk Management Practitioner and a member of the Emergency Planning Society. His range of work and experience includes working with the private sector, local government, higher education and the Foreign Office. He has headed the risk management service for a large local authority and has significant experience in business continuity and emergency planning. He has also chaired a local Resilience Forum Support Group for 4 years and led on a major regional resilience project involving the Cabinet Office as a key stakeholder.

Frederick was awarded the MBE in 1991 for his role in preparing and supporting the evacuation of British citizens from Albania during a civil uprising.

The Natural Death Handbook – 5th Edition
by Rosie Inman-Cook, DnTprag., Manager, Natural Death Centre and Association of Natural Burial Grounds

After 20 years, four previous editions and a growing revolution in funeral practice, the Natural Death Centre Charity has produced an all new edition of this iconic book. Challenging, inspiring and unflinching in its truths, the Handbook has all of the information needed to help you make the right choices in the face of death and bereavement.

Our subsidiary organisation the ANBG scrutinises and supports natural burial provision.

This presentation will discuss:-
  • Why Hybrid natural burial areas are generally failing?
  • What does the private sector do so differently?
  • How could municipals make money to subsidise their burdensome cemeteries?
  • Why does the ANBG work so well for its members?

Rosie has many years experience in the Natural Death Movement. Winner of the NDCs award for 'Best Natural Burial Ground in the UK'. Rosie values liaising with the public to inform them of all options available, including pragmatic advice on DIY funerals. She is experienced at cultivating relationships with funeral directors, encouraging the choices offered to all families and enjoys working with landowners looking to establish new burial sites. Rosie has many years practice with the media in multiple formats and has been a director of several successful and leading companies.

Reuse of Graves in London
by Gary Burks, MICCM(Dip), Superintendent & Registrar, City of London Cemetery & Crematorium

The City of London (Various Powers) Act 1969, the Greater London (General Powers) Act 1976 and more recently the London Local Authorities Act 2007 permits the reclamation of private graves in general (non-consecrated) areas of London municipal cemeteries (the two former) and the re-use of those grave in a practice known as "lift and deepen" (the latter). The fact that this legislation only relates to private graves and the issues around the clearance or re-use of existing memorials has made reusing old private graves rather problematic.

The City of London has reclaimed over 1,400 private graves since 2002 but has only re-leased 40 to new families (all of the burials taking place in unused space within the graves rather than disturbing remains). The most appropriate current solution to the burial space crisis seems to be the reuse of old public or common graves. However, this is not possible under the above legislation. Due to an acute shortage of burial space the City of London Corporation applied for, and was granted a Faculty to re-use old public graves in a consecrated area of the City of London Cemetery, where the last burials had previously taken place more than 75 years ago. The re-use of graves in this area commenced in September 2009 and to date the City of London have re-used over 600 graves.

Gary is a Londoner and joined the City of London Corporation in January 1985 as a labourer at the Cemetery and Crematorium. Intending to stay for only a couple of months, 28 years later he is still there. Gary is only the 9th Superintendent of the cemetery in all its 157 years and is the first to have worked his way through the ranks. He tutors in Cemetery Management and is a Workplace Mediator.

Tommy's – Support for Mums and Dads who have lost their baby.
by Dr Beckie Lang, BSc (Hons), PhD, PG Dip, Health Campaigns Manager, Tommy's, the baby charity

Tommy's funds research into the causes and prevention of miscarriage, premature birth and stillbirth. It also provides information for parents-to-be on pregnancy health, and offers advice and support for parents who have lost a baby. Support offered includes printed information, a midwife led telephone helpline which includes bereavement support, and an online In Memory service.

Beckie is the Health Campaigns Manager at Tommy's. Her background is in academic research and communications on a variety of public health topics. She has worked in a variety of public and corporate settings translating science into practice and policy and now focusses her expertise in the area of pregnancy health. She has been with Tommy's for 18 months where she has worked mainly on the promotion of healthy lifestyles to support positive pregnancy outcomes.

A lively question and answer session involving Presidents from leading organisations within the death care profession.

Scott Grigsby, British Institute of Embalmers
David Crampton, Funeral Furnishing Manufacturer's Association
Simon Fisher, National Association of Funeral Directors
Ivan Ash, National Association of Memorial Masons
Richard Edwards, National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors

Chairman: Mr Harvey Thomas CBE

Papers and Speakers subject to change.