The Family Funeral Service, has been serving families in Derbyshire since 1907

The Family Funeral Service

The Family Funeral Service - Credit: Archant

The largest privately owned fleet of Rolls-Royces in the world?

The Family Funeral Service

The Family Funeral Service - Credit: Archant

It is unlikely that Arthur William Lymn and his son Harold Lymn would have envisaged, in 1907 when they founded their funeral business that over a century later their descendant family would continue to serve the bereaved in Derby, Mansfield and Nottingham. Indeed, the business is still wholly owned and maintained by the Lymn Rose family.

Prior to 1907 Arthur and Harold Lymn traded as furniture makers and dealers. However, the father and son team decided to specialise in making and supplying coffins, and in the provision of a full ‘undertaking service’ as it was known in those days.

Arthur and Harold were always hands on and had early success that meant in 1915 the business relocated to larger premises with stabling and coffin manufacturing.

In 1929 Arthur died. Harold took control along with his mother Louisa, until her death in 1939. Throughout the war years Harold served as a volunteer at the Civil Defence Mortuary. Post-war Harold’s son Douglas (who died 1987) and son-in-law George Rose (husband to Harold’s daughter Sheila Lymn) continued to develop the business.

Mindful of how cosmopolitan the country had become in the post-war years they continually sought to serve other communities, thus building a wealth of knowledge of different faiths, customs and practices. George was personally instrumental in the first ever repatriation of human remains from England to Pakistan in the mid 1950s.

In the early 1980’s the decision was made to expand to the Derby area. Derwent House on Becket Street was procured and the transformation from car showroom to a modern Funeral Home began. At this time, David Meek joined the firm as the Derby Funeral Director and was joined a few years later by his wife Shelagh who became the Funeral Arranger. When Shelagh retired in 2008, Pippa Redfern took over her role and has since gained her Diploma in Funeral Directing. Kevin Hall became the Senior Funeral Director for the Derby area in 2010.

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The company expanded tremendously in the South Derby and West Nottinghamshire area in 2003, when they purchased the Ilkeston Coop Funeral Service. The purchase included funeral homes in Ilkeston, Cotmanhay, Spondon, Long Eaton, Stapleford and Wollaton.

Since they already had a funeral home in Long Eaton, the decision was made to amalgamate the two offices into the existing AW Lymn Long Eaton. This branch, which is located within the cemetery grounds at West Park, on Lime Grove, was completely referbished in 2013 and is run by Louise Cook and Geoff Abrahart.

The Spondon office on Chapel Side was relocated to the shop next door, which offered the space to add an extra chapel and cold room. This office is currently run by Fiona Hall.

The rest of the old Ilkeston Coop offices remain in the same locations and are over seen by Nottinghamshire West Senior Funeral Director Julia Carty.

The last Derby office to open was on Osmaston Park Road and is run by local man Mark Chapman.

Today the company prides itself on following their founders vision of putting service before profit. George continues as Chairman of the Company, and Sheila is a Director, their son, Nigel Lymn Rose, is at the helm as Managing Director, their daughter Jackie is a Director as is Nigel’s wife Penny. The fifth generation of the family is represented by George and Sheila`s grandchildren Matthew Lymn Rose, Chloe Lymn Rose and Ben Percival who runs the stone masonry division.

The company now operate 25 funeral homes, a stone masonry division, City Flowers the florist, and Lymn Luxury Vehicle Hire – the latter which, purportedly, has the largest privately owned fleet of Rolls-Royces in the world.

AW Lymn Derwent House, Becket Street, DE1 1HT 01332 348 800