Mayor of Brent, councillor Arshad Mahmood, cut the ribbon as the team from John Nodes Funeral Service in Cricklewood re-dedicated its remembrance chapels and historic funeral home.
The two chapels of rest at the building, in Cricklewood Broadway, were blessed by Father Paul Teece of St Mary of the Angels Catholic Church in Bayswater.
Trainee funeral director Maria Garofalo, who organised the event and helped to redecorate the funeral home with pictures and photographs to create a calm and peaceful atmosphere for families, thanked those who attended. She praised the dedicated team of funeral service professionals which continues to serve the community with dignity and respect.
John Nodes Funeral Service was established in north London 190 years ago and was run as a family business by six generations of the Nodes family.
The sons of the original John Nodes both became funeral undertakers in London in the early 1800s. The younger brother, John Nodes II (1789-1872), from whom the business is directly descended, had originally worked as a brickmaker in Paddington.
John Nodes II’s grandson, John Nodes IV, is known to have buried Prince Louis Napoleon. At his own funeral, more than 40 carriages followed his hearse and thousands lined the streets and attended his burial in Kensal Green Cemetery.
John IV’s second son Kirtley was a national figure in the funeral service and had the honour of bringing home the body of the Unknown Warrior from France in 1920. Kirtley’s son John Nodes VI and his brother – who was awarded the Military Cross for Bravery in World War II – gave life-long service to the family funeral firm. John VI’s son Michael John Nodes followed in his ancestors’ footsteps, becoming managing director of the firm after the war.
It is now one of the longest established businesses to be part of Funeral Partners, a national network of funeral directors. Area development manager Hayley Carney said: “John Nodes Funeral Service has been serving its local communities in North London for nearly 200 years and Maria and the team are continuing that tradition, while ensuring our Cricklewood funeral home feels modern, welcoming and peaceful. I’m delighted with how it looks and would like to thank the mayor and Father Paul for joining us for our re-dedication.”