After an introduction in the reception area we entered the impressive main Ceremonial Hall. Zoe explained the many facilities available to families and to funeral directors, and then expertly fielded a lively question and answer session. We then moved to the smaller ‘Oak Room’ which is used for smaller ceremonies but can also be used for streaming live video from the Ceremonial Hall so that family members including young children and distressed or autistic adults can view the proceedings without disturbing others.
We then moved into the Cremator Hall to see what happens ‘behind the scenes’ and this was the highlight of the visit despite the two piles of ‘tester’ empty coffins and the cold room full of Pure Cremations customers waiting their turn. There are currently two cremators, which cost £1M each, and there is capacity for two more. There is a small viewing area for those faiths such as the Hindus whose funeral rites include watching the coffin in the flames. We were able to watch the coffins being loaded into the cremators and then look through the viewing glass to see the effect of the 800 degrees heat. The less squeamish members were then able to see the ashes being raked out and prepared for storage (a unique fireproof ceramic identity disk is placed in every coffin). This reinforced our impression of the care and consideration given to every aspect of the cremation process. On a lighter note, Zoe did also show us the fascinating collection of heat-proof artificial hip and knee joints which they have collected from the cremators.
Our visit ended with refreshments and a vote of thanks for a most interesting and informative visit.
Anton U3A Group News
Reports and records of Groups' activities.