Initially the business operated from their own home on London Road in Dover, where the funeral arrangements were made in their front room and Jack converted a back room into a chapel of rest.
Jack made the coffins by hand in a workshop above a coal merchant’s, which was opposite their home and the funeral vehicles were hired in from a local carriage master.
It didn’t take long for the business to start growing and Jack was regularly seen leading funerals through the streets of Dover. He became a well-known local figure and was renowned for his caring nature and generosity, as well as always attending the wakes to spend a bit more time with the grieving families.
In the late 1950’s Jack and Olive’s only child, Derek, joined the business after studying at the Dover Grammar School for boys. He assisted his dad in the workshop and after a short while, as a bearer on the funerals.
In the following years the business grew even more and Jack, Olive and Derek agreed that they needed a premises to operate from. By chance a former chemist shop became available directly opposite their home and it was swiftly purchased.
The shop was converted into a funeral home and consisted of an arrangement office, chapel of rest, mortuary, workshop and living accommodation on the first and second floors.
In the early 1970’s Derek persuaded Jack to purchase their own fleet of funeral vehicles and they took delivery of an Austin Princess hearse and two matching limousines. The vehicles were kept at the newly acquired garages on Old Park Hill in Dover.
Derek and his wife Lynda moved into the flat above the premises and alongside Jack and Olive they continued to push the business forward and establish it as the leading Funeral Directors in Dover.
In the early 1990’s the business needed to expand again and the neighbouring property was acquired. This was redeveloped and gave the business another arrangement office and a further chapel of rest.
By the late 1990’s, Derek and Lynda’s youngest child, James joined the business after studying at Astor School in Dover and set about learning the trade from his parents.
In 2004 it was decided that the business needed a bigger premise’s, although searching for a suitable property proved quite difficult.
The Farrier family eventually purchased the former coal merchant’s property, which was directly behind the existing premises.
(This was where Jack had his workshop in the early years).
The new building consisted of an extensive workshop and coffin store, a new coffin showroom, further chapels of rest, garaging, a large mortuary and embalming theatre and a much-needed car park.
Also during this time, the Farrier family acquired Thomas Family Undertakers in Folkestone after the proprietor passed away. Derek and Lynda’s youngest daughter, Julie joined the business and she took the role of overseeing the new branch.
Derek and Lynda’s eldest child, Sarah also joined the business and assisted in the office.
In the following years the Farrier family continued to improve and update the business although keeping the traditional values firmly in place.
Olive Farrier had been influential in the early years, ensuring the business was run efficiently. She passed away in 2001.
Walter (Jack) Farrier was the heart and soul of the business and his gentle way always eased the client’s grief. He passed away in 2002.
Derek Farrier was a stalwart within the funeral profession. He juggled the ‘old school’ way of funeral directing with the ever-increasing modern theories and served over 50 years in the family business.
In 2012 he was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease and after a hard battle he sadly passed away in April 2013 aged 70.
Today, the business is owned and run by Lynda, Sarah, Julie and James Farrier, with the four generation not far behind. James’ wife Sharn, also works in the business as does Sarah’s husband, Paul, who joined full time in 2013 after working part-time for many years. They are assisted by a team of 10 employees.
They continue to operate from the original premises on London Road in Dover and Bouverie Road West in Folkestone and they still house some of their vehicles at the original garages on Old Park Hill.
They have an extensive fleet of Jaguar/Daimler hearses and limousines, which add a touch of class to any funeral and they also have a fleet of first-call vehicles, which are equipped to deal with any situation.
Although most of the funerals are carried out in the Dover and Folkestone areas, they also regularly conduct funerals in Ashford, Canterbury, London and even further afield.
As a family we are very proud of what we have achieved since 1948 and carrying on the family tradition is a way of life for us. We are devoted to upholding an uncompromised level of professionalism, care and support to those we serve. We have built a strong relationship of trust within the community. We were all born in this area and we all live and work here.
When you need us, we’ll be there…