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2014

Merry Christmas from A.B. Walker & Son

Merry Christmas 2014

A.B. Walker and  Son wishes you and your family the very best during the holiday season!

A.B. Walker participates in first Santa run through Reading

Nicki & Tony Santa Run Oli & Matt Santa Run

Over a thousand runners dressed as Father Christmas gathered on the frosty morning of Sunday 14th December for the first ever Reading Santa Run. The 5K race, beginning at 9am, covered the town centre of Reading raising funds for Duchess of Kent House hospice and the Alexander Devine Children's Hospice.

 A.B. Walker’s own Matthew Walker & his son Oliver Walker, 15 (pictured right) along with funeral conductor Tony Grimshaw & his wife Nikki Grimshaw (picture left) took part in the run. All did tremendously well!

Memory trees

Memory Trees

During the holiday season it is easy to get caught up in the flurry of it all however, the holidays can be a difficult time for those facing a loss. A.B. Walker & Son Funeral Directors recognise this. We invite you to come by and leave a message in memory of a loved one on one of our trees. The Memory trees can be found at any of our six locations: Bracknell, Caversham, Henley-on-Thames, Reading, Thatcham and Wokingham.

On behalf of everyone at A.B. Walker & Son, we want to wish everyone a peaceful holiday season.

Duchess of Kent Hospice - Lights of Love Christmas Service 2014

Candle

Sue Ryder - Duchess of Kent Hospice are holding their Lights of Love Service at  Duchess of Kent Hospice on Friday 5th December at 6.30pm.  The service will include performances from local musicians, readings and time for reflection.

Following the service there will be an opportunity to join the local hospice team for some light refreshments, including mince pies.  Some seasonal merchandise will also be on sale.

If you would like to attend, please could you email Gemma Wise on dokh.fundraising@sueryder.org or telephone on 0118 939 4889 

Duchess of Kent Hospice
22 Liebenrood Road
Reading
RG30 2DX

West Berkshire Crematorium Christmas Memorial Carol Service

Christmas Carolers

West Berkshire Crematorium Christmas Memorial Carol Service

Friday 12th December 2014

Doors open 18.45

Service from 19.00 to 19.45

Followed by light refreshments until 20.15

Candle Lighting Service

Candle

The Compassionate Friends will host a candle lighting event for bereaved parents and families in remembrance of their children on Sunday 7th December 2014.  The service will take place in room 3 at St Michaels Church Hall located at The Meadway (entrance to car park in Routh Lane) Tilehurst, Reading RG30 4JZ. Please arrive at 4.45pm for 5.00pm start. For further information contact  fiona.tcf@virginmedia.com

Caversham's Christmas Festival

Candle Holly

It's nearly that time of year again!

The CAVERSHAM’S CHRISTMAS SHOPPING FESTIVAL kicks off with late night shopping on Friday 12th December 2014, when all your favourite independent shops and cafes in Caversham will remain open until 9.00pm.  

The celebrations continue into Saturday 13th December with entertainment from 10.00am - 3.00pm. Come along with friends and family and enjoy the festive spirit. Many shops have special offers, see www.choosecaversham.co.uk/late_night_shopping_2014.php for whats on. 

The Caversham Traders Association’s online CHRISTMAS COMPETITION with lots of prizes to be won, donated by Caversham traders, closes at 12 noon Wednesday 10th December –                                               see www.choosecaversham.co.uk/competition/competition201412_prizes.php –                 only a few questions AND we provide clues to the answers!  

For more details please see the Choose Caversham website at www.ChooseCaversham.co.uk, which also includes:

1. News about Caversham.

2. Job Vacancies in the local area.

3. Events in and around Caversham.

4. Special Offers.

5. Clubs, Schools, Churches, businesses and much more…And you can submit your own entries for FREE.

 

Harry plants last poppy

Poppy

A.B. Walker & Son directors, Julian and Matthew Walker, who both attended Reading Blue Coat School are extremely proud that the last poppy laid at the Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red installation at the Tower of London was by a current pupil at the school; Harry Hayes from Sonning. Harry plants last poppy

Memorial Service

Memorial Service

All Saints Church in Wokingham is hosting a Memorial Service on Sunday 16th November at 3.00pm. If you are interested, please see the details below.

A.B. Walker remembers

Tower of London Tower of London 2

A.B. Walker remembers as Britain remembers, the First World War. This year marks the centennial of the war and London Tower has put on a lovely display of poppies sprayed across the “blood swept” lands. Each of these ceramic poppies represents a British military fatality during the war.

Members of the Walker funeral director family visited the site to take in the view of over 850,000 poppies ‘planted’ around the Tower of London and purchased a poppy for each of their six funeral homes to show support. If you are interested in purchasing a poppy of your very own or to make a dedication visit: Tower of London Remembers  and The Queen's Tribute

Creating a stir for cancer support

Macmillan Coffee Morning Mug

A.B. Walker & Son’s offices in Caversham and Thatcham hosted very successful coffee morning’s supporting Macmillan Cancer research.

Thatcham office thanks everyone in the community for their support and wishes to thank all of those who donated the lovely cakes.

Caversham office had ministers from almost all denominations in attendance as well as a piper from the community supporting.

Together, the two locations collected over £165.00 for the World’s Largest Coffee morning! A.B. Walker & Son wish to thank all who supported the event.

Musical Memories

Musical Memories

Occasions is a close knit choir specifically established for funerals. Whilst they can be hired in groups of 4-18 people, they can also do solos and duets. They retain the same level of professionalism as A.B. Walker & Son and are willing to go the extra mile for their clients. To hear a sample of their services provided or to contact Occasions directly, please visit:

http://www.occasionsontheweb.co.uk/default.html

Occasions will host their very own Christmas time Memorial Service for the bereaved which will occur on Sunday, 7 December at 6.30p.m. at All Saint’s Church in Binfield. Please contact the singing choir directly for more information.

Goodbye Steve

Steve Kersey at Reading Crematorium Retires

The Reading Crematorium said good bye to Chapel attendant, Steve Kelsey (pictured above) as he attended his last service on Friday, 12th September before his retirement. We will all miss you Steve. Best wishes in your future endeavours from all of us at A.B. Walker & Son.

21 Years of Service at Bracknell

Bracknell Birthday

A.B. Walker & Son celebrated 21 years of operation at the Bracknell location. The birthday celebration took place on Tuesday 16th of September from 2-4 p.m. with the Deputy Mayor of Bracknell, Area Dean and many others in attendance.

Happy 21st Birthday Bracknell! Well done!

World's biggest coffee morning

Macmillan Huge Stir

A.B. Walker & Son will take part of the World's Biggest Coffee Morning on Friday 26th September at our Thatcham location.

 ~ 10.00 am UNTIL 1.00 pm ~

We wish everyone planning their own coffee morning a very successful day for Macmillan Cancer Support!

Walking for MileS 2014

Walking for MS

A.B. Walker's Charity of the Year is hosting a half marathon walk in Henley. Please join us for a fun day out whilst raising money for the Berkshire Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centre.

The centre was established in West Reading in 1984 and in 2010 the Henley support group was created at Brunner Hall to support people in South Oxfordshire. The aim is to improve the quality of life for people affected by MS through the provision of therapies, including physiotherapy & counselling. The MS centre is entirely self- supporting and dependent on events to continue these good works.

Hopefully you will choose to raise money for the worthy cause. The Crooked Billet in Stoke Row has kindly donated a meal for two for the person who raises the most sponsorship for this event.

(If you're not up for the 13 miles, try the more relaxed Six Mile Stroll), either way it's bound to be a good time! To enter now, log on to www.bmstc.org/events

Road closure near A.B. Walker Caversham

Are you planning to come see us at our Caversham location? Please be advised there are some road works on Gosbrook Road. Check out the following helpful links to find out what the traffic conditions are before embarking on your trip.

Reading Traffic cameras

Reading road works

 

Fun on the Broadway

Thatcham fun day

A.B. Walker & Son Ltd, Thatcham Branch joined the community of Thatcham with

‘Fun on The Broadway’ on Friday 29th August 2014

Where staff members Catherine Pavier and Carolyn Tuttle (pictured above), met with the public to answer their queries.

Thank you to everyone who made it a very successful day!

New Client Care course

NAFD Logo

A.B. Walker & Son was one of the first funeral directors to take part in National Association of Funeral Directors Client Care course. Twenty-three staff members consisting of administrators and conductors undertook the day training course to seek a better understanding of bereaved clients.

As Funeral Directors the need for understanding different types of bereavement is essential to better serve our clients. Julian Walker, Managing Director said, “We needed something that would have immediate impact and could work with the day-to-day pressures of our business by being delivered in a day.”

Sessions ended with a role-playing exercise in which participants assumed the role of the directors of the business to compile ideas for the future. Staff members found the course very helpful and shared positive feedback.

Wokingham in Bloom

Wokingham Baskets

Funeral Administrators from our Wokingham office (Pam & Heidi) joined Mayor Martin Bishop & the Mayoress Yvonne, Paul Smith the Town Clerk and Peter Parsons the Mayor’s attendant to judge the Wokingham in Bloom business section that A. B. Walker & Son Ltd are proud to sponsor.  Nineteen businesses entered this year, an increase from last year.  Pam and Heidi were very pleased to hear Britain in Bloom judges went past the Wokingham office on the judging route commenting on their stunning baskets.

 Congratulations to the winners:

  Clifton Ingram Solicitors (overall winners)

 1st prize Hanging baskets & containers – Herrington & Carmichael

2nd  prize Hanging baskets & containers – Baranda

 1st prize in Gardens- Clifton Ingran

 2nd prize in Gardens - Prezzo and highly commended to Doll’s House Boutique

1st  prize in Public house – Duke’s Head

2nd prize in Public house to both Hope & Anchor & The Queen’s Head

Classic until the end

1933 Vintage Austin Hearse

The A.B. Walker hired 1933 Austin vintage hearse traveled to the Reading Crematorium today giving its passenger a final send off in classic style.

Chris Mears back in the game

Local Olympian, Chris Mears, is back in the game having just returned from the Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh. 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/commonwealth-games/28604191

Reading Chronicle article

Mears has many supporters in his pursuit for Gold, among those are A.B. Walker & Son who are wishing him the best as he begins diving on Wednesday. If you want to follow along to watch Chris’ progress, please see his schedule below:

Good luck and best wishes Chris!

Palmer Park Bowling Club Gala Day, Sponsored by A.B.Walker & Son Ltd

Palmer Park Bowling Club Gala Day 2014 Winners Brixton

This past weekend, A B Walker & Son Ltd. sponsored Palmer Park Bowling Club Gala day on 20th of July. The beautfiul day began at ten a.m. with 20 teams competing. The winners (pictured above) with James Hall of A.B.Walker, were the Brixton A Bowlers.

On behalf of all of us at A B Walker & Son we congratulate you! Well done!

Smashing good fun at the fete

PIMMS Tent Selling over £2000 of the Traditional English drink PIMMS Tent PIMMS Tent by the river PIMMS Tent A.B. Walker Staff Members

The Big Church Fete saw its first PIMM's tent this year at Caversham Court. Staff members from A.B. Walker volunteered on the sunny afternoon selling over £2000 of the traditional English drink down by the river. It was a lovely afternoon packed with fun in the sun. If you missed out this year, don't worry you can come by next year. We aim to be there again!

Honouring a D-Day Veteran

A B Walker & Son conducted the funeral of the late Sgt Wally Harris last Friday as family and friends packed into the church at Arborfield Garrison to pay their respects. To view the full tribute for this D-Day hero, visit Get Reading

Welcome to the team

Nick Peck Nicki Jeffries

AB Walker & Son welcomes to the team, two new members - a new casual bearer and part time accounting assistant currently based at our Reading office.

Nicholas Peck (pictured above left) our newest casual bearer and Nicola Jeffries (pictured above right) joined our as the new accounts assistant.

From all of us at A.B. Walker & Son, we extend our best wishes to the new recruits and are delighted you decided to join our family.

Tea Dance at Sunrise of Sonning

Tea dance 4 Tea dance 2

Sunrise of Sonning hosted a Tea Dance to celebrate National Care Home Open Day. AB Walker & Son were pleased to be invited and our General Manager, Cynthia Townley was in attendance. The highlight of the day for the residents, their families and members of the general public were the Molly Denton Dancers. It was a wonderful opportunity for residents and staff to further connect with the community.

It's PIMM'S O'clock!

Matt & Simon Caversham fete

Matthew Walker of A.B. Walker & Son and Simon Walmsley of Walmsley Estate Agents (pictured left) support the local Caversham fete held at Caversham Court this summer. Why not join us on Saturday, 12th July for some fun? Look for us under the PIMM's tent. We hope to see you there!

Henley Gala Day 2014

Henley Gala Day

This past Sunday, A B Walker & Son Ltd. helped out at  the Henley Bowls Club Gala day on 22nd of June. The winners (pictured above) with Julian Walker are the Shiplake Bowlers. To find more on the story visit: http://www.henleystandard.co.uk/sport/sport.php?id=1487270

On behalf of all of us at A B Walker & Son we congratulate you! Well done!

New faces at A.B. Walker & Son

Jacqui Longhurst Claudine Russell

AB Walker & Son welcomes to the team, two new funeral Administrators and a new Stonemason currently based at our Reading office.

 Jacqui Longhurst (pictured above left) has been a friendly face of A.B. Walker before and after a brief break, returned to the team in April. 

Claudine Russell (pictured above right) lives in Twyford and has recently joined A.B. Walker as a full time Administrator. Her smiling face can be seen training at the Reading office in preparation to lead our Henley- on- Thames office.

Jerome Bennett (not pictured) has followed in his father’s footsteps becoming part of the A.B. Walker crew as the newest Stonemason.

From all of us at A.B. Walker & Son, we extend our best wishes to the new recruits and are delighted you decided to join our family.

Grand Opening

Caversham Opening

(Pictured above: Matthew Walker, Funeral Director; Councillor Marian Livingston, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Reading; The Hon Mrs Mary Bayliss JP, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of the Royal County of Berkshire; Julian Walker, Funeral Director and Rev Jeremy Tear, Community Priest of Caversham)

 

A.B. Walker & Son celebrated the opening of their new office on 208 Gosbrook Road, Caversham, Reading.

The Grand Opening was held on the afternoon of Thursday, 1st May 2014. In attendance to open the new office was The Hon Mrs Mary Bayliss JP, Her Majesty's Lord Lieutenant of The Royal County of Berkshire, Councillor Marian Livingston, The Right Worshipful the Mayor of Reading and representatives of our professional unions.

Rev Jeremy Tear Community Priest of Caversham blessed the new chapel.

An Open Morning was also hosted on the day after the Grand Opening from 10 am- 12pm which gave others the opportunity to come in and visit the new branch office.

Caversham office will be just one of six different locations for the A.B. Walker & Son Funeral Directors now and we look forward to serving the local area with utmost style!

First funeral for new office

1st Caversham funeral

Our Caversham office, recently opened, held its first funeral today. Pictured above is Matthew Walker leading the hearse from AB Walker & Son Caversham to the Reading Crematorium.

MS Awareness

Yvonne MS Awareness

Aside from the being A.B. Walker’s charity of the year; the Berkshire MS Therapy Centre is very dear to our hearts as one of our staff members suffers from Multiple Sclerosis. Yvonne Parks, our Memorial Manager (pictured right) has been fighting MS for about seven years but she doesn’t let it slow her down!

Yvonne likes to keep busy in the Memorial department and this year became the first female certified by BRAMM in Berkshire! Well done Yvonne! To hear her story,

http://www.itv.com/news/meridian/update/2014-03-18/breaking-tradition-berkshire-woman-becomes-first-female-stonemason/

Running for a great cause

Nikki & Tony MS Marathon

A.B. Walker & Son will have a few runners in the Reading Half Marathon this weekend supporting our charity of the year. Funeral Director Julian Walker, along with Funeral Conductor Tony Grimshaw and his wife, Nikki Grimshaw (pictured right) will be running the Reading Half Marathon this Sunday 2 March 2014 in support of the Berkshire MS therapy centre. Both Tony and his wife Nikki hold this charity close to their heart. To find out why they chose this charity or to donate to the cause, follow the link below:

 http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=NicolaGrimshaw2014&d-49489-p=2

 

Best wishes from all of us at A.B. Walker and Son. We’ll see you at the finish line!

A.B. Walker nominated for award

Golden Charter Logo

A.B. Walker & Son are pleased to be nominated by Golden Charter for Funeral Planner of the Year 2014 in the southwest London and South England area.

Award Category - 500+

A.B. Walker & Son Limited - READING

Alex Jones Funeral Directors - LINFIELD

Nicholas O'Hara Funeral Directors Ltd - WIMBORNE

We wish all nominees the best of luck as we all look forward to the award ceremony on Saturday 15 March held at the Southport Theatre and Convention Centre.

A.B. Walker welcomes Jeff Tibbey

Jeff Tibbey

A.B. Walker & Son introduce Jeffrey Tibbey as a new casual bearer. Jeff is a retired police officer from the Thames Valley Police. Please join us in giving Jeff a warm welcome to the operative team.

Remembering our Loved ones

St Marys Church

A.B. Walker & Son, a family firm of funeral directors is holding a family service of remembrance at St. Mary the Virgin, St Mary’s Butts, Reading on Sunday 2nd of March at 5pm. The Walker family and staff welcome those that have suffered a bereavement to join them. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP due to limited seating in the church.

LINK helps 50 clients

Link Instructors

(Pictured above are the Link instructors from A.B.Walker).

A.B. Walker’s bereavement group, known as The Link, hosted a successful dinner evening at the Toby Carvery last week. Clients from the programme came together and shared a meal whilst talking about the bonds they had made throughout the programme. Link has been running at the head office in Reading since April 2013 and has helped over 50 clients so far.

Welcome Nicholas Fox to the A.B. Walker team

Nick Fox

Everyone at A. B. Walker & Son would like to extend a warm welcome to our newest employee, Nicholas Fox. Nick joined our team as a casual bearer in mid-November 2013. Thank you Nick for being a part of the A.B. Walker team.

13 Years of Service

James - 13 Years of Service James Bike Award

Please join us in congratulating our Funeral Conductor, James Hall as he celebrates his 13 year anniversary at A.B. Walker & Son. James began his career at A.B. Walker as a funeral operative and later moved up the ranks into the conductor role. He has recently received the Pillion Award for his excellent service in motorcycle funerals. From all of us at A.B. Walker we commend you for all of your hard work over these many years. Well done James!