Colin Fisher Funeral Directors

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Funeral Directors Category: London

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  • Now part of the Rowland Brothers Group, Colin Fisher Funeral Directors is an independent, family run business with all the attributes that brings. Funerals are supported by the Rowland Brothers fleet and staff, and back office administrative support frees Colin to devote himself to the families he serves.

    Colin’s route to funeral directing has been an indirect one. He started out in hospitality, running hotels and bars – so you can see he’s a people person. When the hotel he was working in was sold, and he found himself jobless and with bills mounting, Colin reluctantly took a job with a funeral home in Croydon. Five years later he returned to hospitality – and then realised that funeral directing was where his heart was after all. After years of working for other funeral directors he set up his own funeral home in 2011 – a brave thing to do.

    Colin is an extremely well qualified funeral director (Dip FD) and also a qualified grief and bereavement counsellor. When he’s not working Colin is a real family man. These days he especially likes hanging out with his grandchildren. He’s even filled in his garden pond so that they can use it as their very own vegetable patch.

    Colin’s warm personality and determination to do the right thing for the families he served led to the business being recommended by the Good Funeral Guide for five years until the change of ownership that came with joining Rowland Brothers in 2016, so we are delighted to re-instate the company as one of our Recommended Funeral Directors now that Rowland Brothers have also undergone the accreditation process.

    There’s nothing super-smart about this funeral home, nor is it intimidating or clinical or gloomy, as some funeral homes can be. It’s comfy and lived in and really very cheerful, though a refurbishment to modernise it is on the cards now that there is the support of the larger organisation. There is a visitors’ area consisting of a kitchen, a seating area, toilets and the chapel of rest, where you can visit the person who has died in privacy, help yourself to drinks and get yourself ready to face the world again.

    If you call into Colin’s branch and find that he is busy with another family, you can pop over the road where you’ll be given a complimentary cup of tea or coffee by the café owner until Colin is free – it’s that kind of community here. There’s also an excellent pie and mash shop a few doors down the road.

     

     

    Independently owned and run, Rowland Brothers has five branches operating under the family name, with another four locations that they have purchased retaining their original owners’ names. The company was established in 1873, and seven generations of the Rowland family have been involved since then, with the current ‘Big Boss’, Tony Rowland now in his late seventies but still very much hands on and involved with the running of the business. (Tony was responsible for founding Rowland Brothers International and the funeral plan provider Golden Leaves, and is well known locally for his work with charities and other organisations).

     

    Tony’s son, Steve Rowland, is managing director of the business and now leads the development of the whole Rowland Brothers group and he is one of the best kind of bosses. Despite his busy diary, he spent the day driving us around to visit all of their branches, and the genuine affection with which he was greeted by all of his staff was very revealing. Born and bred in the area, Steve is very much a man of the people, with an easy manner belying a keen eye for quality and a strong sense of responsibility and duty. Steve trusts his staff to do their job properly, and he doesn’t micro-manage, he lets them get on with things. Full training is provided when a new staff member joins the team to ensure that the new person has a full understanding of the Rowland Brothers way of working, with a buddy system in place. Many of the staff have been with the company for years, and have gained vast experience in all types of funerals, so there is always someone who will be able to help with a more complicated funeral arrangement if needed. Support is provided for those who want to gain qualifications, and there’s a HR lady who looks after the wellbeing of everyone in the various companies (Rowland Brothers have many different services, from repatriation, funeral plans, exhumation services, monumental masonry, legal services and their recently formed charity, the Rowland Brothers Foundation. Steve is at the head of all of these companies, overseeing all crucial operations and decisions.)

    Specific Gravity

    Colin can do a formal, traditional funeral with the best of them: top hat, wing collars, cravat and cane. If you’d like something less formal he will conform to your own dress code, and he’ll do so with pleasure. As he says, “The person who is paying for the funeral should be able to have what they want. There are not really any lines I would not cross. I am being paid to provide the service; that’s what I do.” That’s the kind of man he is. So if you want to conduct the funeral – walk in front of the hearse – he’ll happily hand over to you. He can supply all sorts of alternatives to the traditional hearse – including a genuine Del Boy three-wheeler Reliant Robin. He believes in choice and he makes sure he lets you know what your choices are.

    What’s Important?

    Colin is a great believer in the personal touch, the familiar face. No one, to him, is just another client. He takes everyone as they come. He will look after you throughout the arrangement process and he’ll be there for you on the day – and afterwards for as long as you need him. He says, “I wanted to open a funeral home that offered a good affordable personal service. At a distressing time, I take great pride in ensuring that people are happy with the funeral arrangements and have the peace of mind that every detail is taken care of.” He scores top marks all round. He adds, “I pride myself on treating people how I would like to be treated.” He does, too.

    What’s Different?

    Colin has all the time for you that you need. He doesn’t just work office hours, he’s there for you 24/7. So, for example, if you want to come and visit the person who has died, if it’s at all possible you can stay all day if you want. Colin has a kettle and a microwave at your disposal. He’s an extra mile person, you see – in all things. He says, “I always say to the client, never be afraid to ask for something if it is important to you.” He’s not just putting it on, either. We were really struck by Colin’s freshness and energy. Nothing, for him, is a matter of routine.

    Services

    • Your first call will be answered by Colin or Suzanne, his wife.
    • Home visits – yes, just ask.
    • Same sex person to wash and dress? Yes, again, just ask. People brought into Colin’s care are routinely bathed and have their hair washed before they are placed into their coffins. If you want to be involved or to do this yourself, let your funeral arranger know.
    • Embalming? Not conducted as a matter of course, but recommended if you want to spend time with the person who has died in the Chapel of Rest or at home. The procedure will be explained to you and you will be asked to sign a document giving permission to carry out this invasive procedure.
    • Ethnic specialism? Colin Fisher Funeral Directors through Rowland Brothers have vast experience of assisting families from different countries and cultures. Hindu, Sikh, Greek Orthodox, Christian (all sects), Ghanaian, Nigerian, Goan, Romanian, Polish, Chinese, Lithuanian, Serbian, Afghan, Iraqi, Iranian, Afro-Caribbean, Tamil, Sri-Lankan, Nepalese and many more.
    • Home arranged funerals – absolutely, they are happy to support families who want to care for their dead relative at home, and to provide as much or as little advice and assistance as is needed.
    • Local celebrants – Colin knows the local celebrants well, and will suggest the person he feels most suitable to help you. He has a list of all local celebrants, but there are some favourites who he can recommend with certainty that you will receive an excellent service.
    • Vehicles – Colin uses the Rowland Brothers fleet of three hearses and five limousines. These are currently Fords, but these are likely to be changed to different models soon. They also have seven private ambulances.
    • Website – Lots of information and prices on the website though we ‘d like to see it looking a little more up to date.
    • Client support – Superb and ongoing as long as you need it through the Rowland Brothers Bereavement Aftercare.
    • Money matters – Exceptionally good value for money, a high-class service for several thousand pounds less than nearby corporate funeral directors
    • Parking – on the street outside.

    Remarks

    Colin Fisher Funeral Directors built a great reputation locally, and now it is part of the Rowland Brothers Group it enjoys the same, well-deserved superb name. It shares the gravitas of a long-established business that knows exactly how to serve families in the best way, but the forward-looking flexibility of a small family run undertaking.

    Colin continues to devote himself to local families, but now he has the friendship and support of Steve Rowland behind him, meaning that there is a security to the future of this well run local business.

    Colin Fisher Funeral Directors is an example of the best kind of undertaker, and gives excellent value for money. You won’t find a better, nicer funeral director in this part of the world.

     

    Any decisions you take on engaging the services of a funeral director should be based on your views and research. You should not rely solely upon the views and opinions offered by us.

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    Reviews from the old GFG site

    Mick Flynn

    When we lost our baby girl Ella Matilda we were lost in pain but going to see Colin meant many of our arrangement worries were lifted. His guidence and patience was invaluable. Colin arranged a beautiful funeral for our little girl. Emma and Martin were exceptional on the day and ensured everything was as it should be. We will always be grateful to Colin and his staff for gently helping us to lay to rest our little daughter Ella. There’s a good reason Colin is on this website…

    Many thanks, Mick, Nicky & Leo

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    Tony Kenyon

    We can highly recommend Colin Fisher. During this sad time, we dealt with Emma, Colin Jr and Colin Sr. All of them are lovely and caring people. They could not have done more for us.

    On the day itself, Colin Jr was in charge. What a lovely man. Every step of the way, he was courteous and respectful, as were the pallbearers.

    If you want a caring, family run business, look no further.

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    Tanya hoare

    Its been so nice to meet someone who cares and does a good job and his family. X x

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    bob palmer

    as a family we used colin fisher when my wife passed away in november. colin made us feel very much at ease and nothing was any trouble, anything we wanted we got in respect of the funeral, he even went out and bought pink ties for his guys to wear as it was part of my wifes request not to wear dark colours.i would recommend colin to anybody that is in the position of needing a funeral director. i send you my thanks and my respect colin , bob palmer.

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    claire beveridge

    I think it’s safe to say as I speak for my self and my family that Colin Fisher and his family are amazing people. They have this last month since my sister passed away given so much support throughout this very difficult time and have continued to do so after the funeral just last Thursday. The job they do is all based on trust and I trust them all 100% and have since said I know where I want my family to go when my time comes. I can’t thank you all enough for my sister Jade and I know you all did her proud. Thank you again xx

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    Lynn Pointer

    Words cannot express mine and my family’s gratitude to Colin and his family for their kindness, care and professionalism for my mothers’ funeral recently. They came highly recommended and when we met Colin it was apparent why. From the moment mum was in their care we knew she would be looked after and treated with dignity. Colin recommended celebrant Nuala Geary to us and from our first meeting we knew that her attention to detail and compassion would be perfect. Nothing was too much trouble and we were made to feel like one of their family. We wouldn’t hesitate in recommending Colin and his family.
    Sorry that mum gave you such a fright when we arrived at the crematorium Colin. She had to have the last word.

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    Lisa barton

    Words cannot express the gratitude we have for Colin and his family. They made my dad’s funeral so special. I had never arranged a funeral before and can only compare the experience to booking a holiday!! As bizarre as this may sound Colin and Emma made you feel so relaxed and at home it wasn’t the ordeal I was expecting, which me and my family will always be so grateful for. We used Mel for the flower arrangements who Emma recommended and they were wonderful. Colin arranged for Nuala Geary , a celebrant who spoke at dad’s service. She was perfect, dad would have been so pleased with his special day. Colin came highly recommended and we are so glad we went with him. Thanks again to Colin and his family for making a very sad day such a very special day

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    Kathleen Carney

    Colin and his family made the whole experience of arranging my brothers funeral a positive by the excellent customer service delivered by all staff and it was the little things that make the day go smoothly like a phone call to check I was OK, tissues ready in car, flag for cars following and the chapel of rest to view my brother it felt like they were part of the family and the support they gave my sister as she read the service. Thank you Colin I really appreciated the service I received from you. Kate .

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    Simon Fong

    Organising the recent funeral for our late, beloved father was the very first time we called upon the services of a funeral director, for me and my siblings. With no experience of using such services we were slightly apprehensive, to say the least, about choosing the right provider during this most testing of times. Suffice to say, our decision to go with Colin Fisher has been fully justified.

    The service Colin Fisher provided was truly exceptional, professional and delivered with a BIG HEART. Hats off to Colin and his crew for everything they did on the day. Dad was laid to rest in the most dignified manner we could have asked for, and we whole heartedly and unreservedly recommend Colin Fisher to anyone in the Kent area looking for funeral director services.

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    Dr. William Fong

    Today was one of the saddess moments in my life; the funeral of my father.

    A couple of months ago my sisters (Linda and Susan) spent time researching on whom we can entrust this very important day to. They chose Colin Fisher’s Funeral Service. Upon arriving from the USA, I finally got to meet Colin. What an amazing man, what an amazing family, what an amazing team.

    As I wrote earlier, today indeed was a very tough day, but Colin’s team took a heavy burden off our shoulders. His professionalism, his attention to detail, his ability to be flexible, and his cultural awareness really aided in helping us through this difficult day.

    Without an ounze of reservation, I highly recommend Colin and his team. Now I know exactly why my sisters chose Colin.

    Thanks again,
    William

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    Linda Fong

    Today was my father’s funeral and Colin did an amazing job from start to finish. He was extremely professional and compassionate from the moment I first spoke to him. Colin always went the extra mile for us to accommodate our every wish to make my father’s funeral as seamless as possible at such a difficult time. I would highly recommend Colin and his team as he would be the perfect and only right choice.

    Thanks again Colin!

    Linda

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    Paul Fisher

    My family have just had to use Colin for the second time. He arranged our Mum’s funeral in April 2012 and our Dad’s last week. The fact that we went back to him should really say it all. Colin’s professionalism, care and kindness are what makes him and his business second to none.
    He will run the funeral exactly to your wishes, and you feel that nothing would be to much trouble. I would not hesitate to recommend him and his family, or indeed, the celebrants that he uses. Once you talk to him, at what is an awful time, he will take a huge weight off your shoulders.
    Despite the name, we are not related. But I would be proud if we were.

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    Carol Gardiner

    After I lost my lovely Dad on 25th November 2013, I was faced with the daunting prospect of arranging a funeral for the first time. I didn’t know where to turn until a member of my extended family pointed me in Colin’s direction.

    From the moment we walked into his Funeral Home we were made so welcome and within minutes of meeting him I felt this tremendous weight lift from my shoulders as he guided us through the whole process in a lovely warm, caring but professional manner. It was quite surreal as it felt like were were visiting friends even though we had only just met!
    What struck me more than anything else is that Colin and his family ‘really do’ care and we felt so comforted by the fact that our loved ones rest on beds rather than locked away in drawers. Nothing was too much trouble and I felt so confident that my Dad was in safe hands. The day of his funeral was a sad one but it all went without a hitch because every little detail had been attended to by Colin.
    All I can say is that the caring service Colin and his family provided was TOP CLASS and I would have no hesitation whatsoever in recommending him to anyone!

    A huge ‘THANK YOU’ Colin! x

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    Gareth Welsh

    I’ve known Colin for many years with in the funeral industry. Colin is very passionate for is families and work. Keep up the good work Colin.

    Vice-Chair Gareth Welsh MBIFD
    London Association of Funeral Directors

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    Sue Goodrum

    I recently had the pleasure of working with Colin as a Celebrant. He and his team ensured that the important, requested piece of music which was seemingly difficult to obtain was ready at the crematorium and his presence was so reassuring for the very sad family.

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    Maria Mayhew

    I would very highly recommend Colin to organise everything involved in the funeral process. Having never organised a funeral before and having to sort everything out on my own for my Dad’s funeral, Colin could not have been more helpful. He made what could have been a difficult and confusing process into one that was as easy as could be in the circumstances. From the initial coffee and biscuits in the office, he was as friendly and helpful as could be and I cannot recommend him highly enough. It is far nicer to use a family company than one of the big chains of funeral directors.

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    John Sabine

    Would highly recommend Colin to anyone who lost a love one
    Colin and his family made the whole experience of arranging the funeral for our dad easier than we thought it would be through his care ,compassion,and his attention to detail ,nothing was to much trouble even having access to the chapel of rest on Christmas Eve
    So a big heartfelt thankyou to Colin his son Colin,Lucy,Emma and Suzanne for such a wonderful service they provided and taking care of dad
    Best wishes Marilyn, Susan,carol,John,Pam and Peter and of course mum

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    Emma Nissen

    Having our much loved cousin James taken away from us so suddenly at the age of just 29 was the most devastating experience we have ever had to deal with.We thought we would never get the chance to see our cousin again,but Colin and his family made the chapel of rest so peaceful,allowing us to see our cousin in the days leading up to his funeral.We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the dignity you gave to James and for the genuine compassion you gave to us as a grieving family throughout the days that James was in your care.There are no words that can really explain how much this has meant to us as James’ family, and how much it would have meant to James himself.Colin and his family felt like an extension of our family throughout the lead up to, and the day of, James’ funeral.We know for a fact that if it weren’t for Colin,the funeral of the cousin we love so much would have been even more painful than it was.

    Thankyou for everything Colin and family.All our love,Michael,Emma and Matthew.xxx

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    Teresa Nissen

    Colin Fisher and his staff recently organised my nephew’s funeral after a very tragic loss to our family. We want to thank you Colin for being so compassionate and understanding during one of the saddest times of our lives. You made the whole event very personal and we know that James would have been grateful for the support you showed his family. We would highly recommend Colin and his staff to anyone suffering such a sad loss. Thank you so much xx

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    debra chappell

    As a family we would highly recommend Colin Fisher to look after the one you have lost and loved. We also know that our mother would have liked Colin as he is very family orientated and that mattered a great deal to us as a family. Colin and his staff team were extremely supportive during the whole process and nothing was too much trouble. Thank you