"An independent family owned funeral directors for 166 years"
Early in the 19th Century the forefathers of the present Bastock family opened an undertakers establishment in Brass Street, Birmingham. In 1856 William Bastock opened his business on the London to Liverpool Coach Road in Small Heath, Birmingham. Seven generations by direct descendent have continued the family business. Our premises have moved several times during this time. Sometimes voluntarily as the business expanded or as people retired. Other times by compulsory purchase orders as the planners redeveloped the inner city areas and we were forced to move. The photograph on the left shows our office in Small Heath and is where access to the Spion Kop entrance to Birmingham City Football Ground now stands.
From the beginning we manufactured our own coffins, Terry Bastock being the last to have the skills required to make a coffin by hand. But in the late 1970s our increasing workload, stricter regulations governing woodworking machines, a lack of skilled staff and wood supply difficulties meant it was no longer viable. We began sourcing coffins from manufacturers who could supply the quality we demanded. Cost, although important, has never been our driving force, we have always put quality first.
In our archives we have stock ledgers that name the fifteen horses the company owned to pull the hearses and mourning coaches with the last horse being sold in the late 1930s. We have owned many different fleets of vehicles since then, from Daimlers, Fords, Volvos, Mercedes to our latest fleet of Jaguars, they have all been chosen with practicality, reliability and aesthetics in mind.
In 1963 we changed from the very traditional black to two-tone back and silver, you can see the hearse on the left. Terry Bastock was accused of bringing the trade into disrepute by his competitors, but such was the acclamation by our clients it was the first of many two-tone fleets before going all silver in the late 1970s and it remains our trade mark today.
As a company we have never stood still and have always sought to embrace new trends and ideas. Although funerals today are based on the traditions of the Victorians, we have new ideas and choices to mark and celebrate a person's life rather than mourn their passing. We shall continue to evolve and mark our proud history by upholding the values of our seven generations of family care.