A Bridlington funeral director has been recognised for his long service and his commitment to supporting the bereaved during their most difficult time.
Max Robinson, who is well know figure around Bridlington, is manager at Ernest Brigham and F. Kneeshaw & Sons Funeral Directors, both now based on St John Street.
He received a special commemorative award for 35 years service from Dignity Funerals.
Max was born in the Old Town at the former Avenue Hospital – less than 200 yards away from where he now cares for those at the other end of the life cycle – and has lived and worked in Bridlington his whole life.
Facing death as part of his daily life and work, might seem difficult for some but like many in the funeral sector it’s a vocation for Max.
He said: “It’s very rewarding when a family tells me that I’ve helped them or provided comfort.”
Max explained how he came to work in the funeral profession: “I was working in an engineering factory and due to the downturn in the economy in the 1970’s I had already been made redundant three times. I saw a recruitment advertisement for F. Kneeshaw & Sons, my application was successful, and I have worked in the funeral profession ever since.”
Max conducted his first funeral when he was just 24 years old. When the original owner went on holiday, Max was trusted to conduct the funerals and manage the business whilst he was away. Upon his return he was clearly happy with how Max had cared for their clients.
Reflecting on how the funeral sector has changed over the past 35 years, Max said:“I’ve witnessed many changes in the way we mourn but probably the biggest is that families now have a very personal service and are at the centre of any decisions that are made. A modern-day funeral can have personalised Orders of Service with photographs displayed throughout the service. Advances in technology mean the family can choose their favourite music to be played digitally which has improved quality and we can now web-cast the service to mourners in other parts of the world.”
“When I began working as a Funeral Director the majority of funerals were burials as the nearest crematorium was over 20 miles away. The number of cremation funerals has increased following the opening of East Riding Crematorium at Octon in 1997.”
Max says he is honoured that local families allow him to help them following a bereavement and there have been many heartfelt moments during his career.
“Whilst arranging the funeral of a young gentleman that had died in tragic circumstances, his young daughter, asked if I was the person who could bring her Daddy back. Now that is a question that sticks in your mind forever.”
“The past 12 months have definitely been the most challenging time of my career,” said Max. “We have had to quickly adapt to both the restrictions on funerals and constantly changing circumstances to ensure that our clients and colleagues remain safe. We are working tirelessly to help families organise a respectful and meaningful funeral for their loved one.”
Photo: (Left to right:) Max Robinson (centre) receives his Long Service Award from his colleagues, (eft to right) Stephen Rymer, Anthony Jackson, Craig Stephenson and Victoria Barton.