Dead funny! Quirky coffin factory opens doors to reveal its weirdest caskets – including Tardis and smartphone – as demand for ‘fun’ funerals soar
A quirky coffin company has opened the doors to their factory to reveal their weirdest caskets ever created – including a Tardis and a smart phone – just in time for Halloween.
The Vic Fearn & Company Ltd, based in Nottingham, have created hundreds of crazy coffins which are bespoke to the soon-to-be deceased customer’s wishes.
After jumping on the ‘bespoke coffin’ trend in the 90’s, the company have since created crazy coffins in the shape of beer and whiskey bottles, the Angel of the North, cars and planes.
Their large coffins take several weeks to be made and can cost up to £5,000 for the more complex designs.
But exhibition officer Ursula Williams said there has been a ‘huge’ rise in requests for unique and bespoke coffins over the last five years with one in three people now wanting a customized send-off as trends move away from more traditional Christian funerals.
Ursula said: “The funeral service is loosening up to new ‘crazy’ ideas although some crematoriums are still very conservative.
“A lot of people are less likely now to go into a funeral directors and take a standard package, a lot more are prepared to be independent and tell the funeral director what they want rather than accept the package they are given.
“We have certainly seen an increase on people wanting crazy urns, because crazy urns are a lot cheaper and also things you can keep.
“There isn’t a deadline on crazy urns as there is on crazy coffins with a funeral coming up where the coffin has to be ready, they can be placed into a temporary urn and transferred into their bespoke urn after the funeral has taken place.
“People also think that investing in a crazy urn is more worthwhile as it is something you can keep forever.
“We get a huge interest in crazy urns and coffins every year, our small workforce from our traditional factory really are amazing at working hard to get our crazy and standard coffins out on time for our customers.”
Ursula added: “The branching out into bespoke coffins and urns was a natural progression using hand held tools and eschewing mechanisation for mass production.
“We have made a lot of interesting designs including a reed canoe, a beer bottle, a piano keyboard, and a jardinière.
“We like to have several week for a crazy coffin, although some can be made more quickly if we’ve made something similar before.
“Each design presents new challenges, but we enjoy the stimulation – but a standard coffin can be made in a day.
“We are currently working on a plane coffin, a yacht coffin and an Angel of the North coffin, as well as our bread and butter standard shape coffins.”
Despite making their crazy coffins for any members of the public with a big enough wallet, the company have also created caskets for famous people.
Ursula added: “We made the coffin for TV presenter Paula Yates, which had an elaborate pink pearlised paint finish.
“We occasionally get aged pop stars asking for Stratocaster guitars, the last one being made for a member of the Ramrods band.
“Clients are often very much hands on and involved in the design process, which we enjoy and facilitate.
“It can be more risky when we don’t have enough guidance and are left to second guess, which we try to avoid if possible.
“But we spend a lot of time in the planning stage, discussing possibilities, so no great changes in direction have happened as yet.”
Although they are based in Nottingham, Ursula explains that coffins can be transported anywhere leaving them with a lot of international customers.
She said: “We have sent urns far and wide, but the shipping costs for coffins is quite a deterrent for clients.
“None have gone beyond Europe, as far as I’m aware, though plenty of queries from Russia and other places come in.
“But the transport of large coffins can be varied and imaginative, so we tend to find out what mode of transport is being used to get it to the client first.
“Then we can make the coffin based on the given dimensions.”
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