Current Affairs

Co-op launches UK’s first poppy hearse

Co-op Funeralcare has today (Wednesday 7 November) unveiled the UK’s first poppy hearse. The funeral provider has transformed the Ford Cardinal with a showering of 100 poppies to mark the Centenary of the end of WW1.

The launch of the hearse is in response to an increased demand from its clients for alternative vehicles. The national funeral provider has seen the number of requests for unique hearses in the last three years increase by 21 percent. Of the 100,000 funerals Co-op conducts each year, alternative hearses are now used for one in 100 funerals.

Furthermore, Co-op’s business data reveals that last year the unique hearses most frequently requested were its Land Rover hearse, Rainbow and Austin hearse.

Co-op’s five most popular alternative hearses in 2017:

  1. Land Rover Hearse
  2. Rainbow Hearse
  3. Austin Hearse
  4. Rusty (Vauxhall Wyvern 1953)
  5. Dolly (Mercedes 1970’s classic E320)

Some of the most unique hearses that Co-op Funeralcare has seen clients request over the last few years include an Only Fools and Horses themed hearse, a canal boat and a milk float.

Ten most unique hearses as seen by Co-op Funeralcare:

  1. Only Fools and Horses Hearse
  2. Canal Boat
  3. Milk Float
  4. Converted Steam Train
  5. Lorry
  6. Tractor and Trailer
  7. Quad Bike
  8. Motorcycle Hearse
  9. Tandem Bicycle
  10. Horse and Carriage

Further highlighting a trend of more Brits moving away from traditional funerals, Co-op’s biggest ever survey in to death, dying and bereavement, conducted among 30,000 Brits, revealed just six percent wanted their final farewell to be “traditional”.

When asked about their wishes for their funeral, 41 percent of Brits said they’d like their funeral to be a celebration of life, rather than a sad occasion. The nationwide survey also revealed 66 percent have thought about what type of funeral they would like, with 22 percent knowing exactly what they want.

David Collingwood, director of Funerals at the Co-op said: “Personalisation of funerals is something we’re seeing more and more frequently. Families want to reflect the unique personalities and interests that their loved ones had whilst they were alive. We always aim to make our clients’ wishes a reality and with a decreasing number of Brits wanting a traditional funeral, our growing fleet of alternative hearses is just one of the many ways that we can help do just that.”

The introduction of the poppy hearse to Co-op’s existing fleet follows the popularity of the rainbow hearse which, since being unveiled at last year’s Brighton Pride, has had an unprecedented uptake across the country.

The poppy hearse will be available nationwide immediately for funerals organised by Co-op Funeralcare and can be transported to any location across the UK.

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