Margaret Rose & Bespoke Funerals (Corby)

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Funeral Directors Category: East Midlands

  • Margaret Rose Funerals is the family run business created by the late Maggie Brinklow and her husband Tony Killen. Maggie was a trained funeral celebrant, and it was while working as a celebrant and as an arranger for another firm of funeral directors that she decided to go the whole way and become a funeral director in her own right. She was supported in this by Tony, who found himself so drawn to the work that he evolved from being a background presence, mostly as a handiman (he is an engineer by training and worked for many years in a senior role in IT) to becoming involved in all areas of the operation.

    They opened Margaret Rose Funerals in Finedon in 2010, extending to a second branch in Corby in 2013. The company is now well known and well established in the area, with a reputation for thoughtful personal service at fair and affordable prices. As time went on, Maggie and Tony were joined by Jemma Head and Steph Bayley, friends who met at ante natal classes and who share the ethos and values that led to the creation of Margaret Rose.

    Sadly, Maggie died in February 2023, but her husband and colleagues continue to run the business she founded. With Jemma now conducting around half of the funerals, and Steph looking after the admin and funeral arrangements, Tony is freed to attend to both conducting funerals and all of the myriad of jobs involved behind the scenes.

    There is a strong sense of unity here, Steph and Maggie were friends first before Steph came to work here, and they shared a love of music, especially Steampunk. They set up a local group, Eloise Events together, and were very active locally in their community. Steph and Jemma\’s children are growing up together as best friends, so the interlinking between the team is close and supportive outside of work as well as within. This spills over into the feeling of the business as a whole, they are a family by choice rather than by birth, and you’ll find them all warm, kind and down to earth – they have that all-too-rare one-of-us quality.

    Specific Gravity

    This is a lovely, very professional business, unencumbered by tradition and rigid ways of doing things. Tony, Steph and Jemma simply meet you where you are and take it from there. They will give you exactly the funeral you want — nothing’s too much trouble. Most of the funerals they are usually asked to arrange are traditional, and they carry these off very smartly indeed. Since the pandemic began, the majority of funerals have been very pared down and simplified, but they will do their best to try and make clients have the best experience possible under the restrictions. On the day of the funeral they\’ll take the hearse to the person\’s home so that neighbours are able to pay their respects even if they aren\’t able to attend the ceremony. They are very open minded and they will arrange any sort of funeral you want. They are perfectly happy to dress down and use their estate car as a hearse. You call the shots and they will very happily do what you want. You come first.

    What\’s Important?

    The team at Margaret Rose believe in offering the highest quality personal service, and it has to be said that they are unstinting in this. They’ll give you all the time you need – they’ll encourage you not to rush into any decisions, to think about what is meaningful for you before committing yourself. They will also offer you very good advice. When it’s all over, they want you to feel that you did the best for your loved one and got it absolutely right for them. They never forget that the funeral is all about you and your loved one. As Tony says, “We are there, but we\’re not important.”

    It will be Jemma or Tony who conducts the funeral on the day and they will make sure everything runs smoothly, never in a bossy, self-important way, but very capably. We reckon this is a particular strength. It doesn’t matter what your budget is, you will receive the same excellent treatment as everybody else. If your budget is especially tight they will help you with your application to the social fund and help you create a really special send-off which doesn’t break the bank. They like to encourage family members to carry the coffin, a really special way of participating in the funeral as well as saving you £50 per professional bearer.

    The Finedon premises are in a former draper’s shop in a lovely 19th century building, a light, welcoming  space with heaps of room for you to come in and decorate the coffin if you want. Maggie\’s artwork hangs on the walls, and there is an open seating area and a private arrangement room. Having expanded to the whole ground floor of the premises, they have now created a space where ceremonies can be held if you want when Covid restrictions allow, and in usual times you could have a reception following the ceremony. The coffin can remain in place, giving family and friends the chance to spend time either with guests or with the person who has died. Margaret Rose have an arrangement with the nearby church to use the car park on these occasions. Very lovely chapel of rest.

    The Corby branch is in the old baker’s shop, where local people used to come in daily to collect the freshly baked bread and rolls. All the original red floor tiles remain in place, and the building has a warm feeling of a place that has been used and loved for many years. Tony used his skills to fit it out to provide a private arranging room, a chapel of rest and a mortuary space at the rear, with refrigerated space to care for up to nine people at a time. You might meet Jemma or Steph here, they alternate between the two branches, and Tony could be here or at Finedon depending on the day\’s requirements.

    What\’s Different?

    There’s a breath-of-fresh-air quality to Margaret Rose. Perhaps the keyword here is openness, from the spacious, light-filled premises – no gloom here – to the open minds of Maggie and Tony in setting the ethos of the company. Because they were relative newcomers to funeral directing when the company began, they were less influenced by notions of ‘how it should be done’ than by notions of how it can and ought to be done really well, just as their clients want it. Every funeral for Margaret Rose is new and different. No client is ever just another client. There’s something rather liberating about this.

    When we visited, we were struck by the various floral letters and words hanging on the walls in Finedon. Create by a local florist from artificial flowers, these are offered to clients without charge, allowing ‘Mum’, ‘Nan’, Grandad’ etc and any combination of letters to make up a name to be displayed in the hearse alongside the coffin. There is also a coffin spray that can be borrowed if money is tight. We loved this idea. We haven’t come across it anywhere else, and it is typical of the thoughtfulness and generosity that is into this business.


      • Prices here. Direct cremation £1,985 all-in. Does not include: Chapel of Rest visiting; use of a traditional hearse, professional bearers or any funeral procession, attendees or service prior to the cremation.
      • Your call will be answered by Steph, Jemma or Tony
      • Home Visits – Happy to come to you if you\’d like.
      • Embalming – They do not routinely embalm – in fact, they hardly ever do. They’ll recommend it if they think it necessary and, of course they’ll do it if you ask.
      • Continuity of Care – From start to finish you will be looked after by the three key people, Jemma, Steph and Tony.
      • Family Participation — If you’d like to come in and wash and dress the person who has died then they’ll be there for you, to help you or leave you to it.
      • Same sex person to wash and dress? – Yes, just mention it if this is what you want
      • Ethnic Specialism – They are experienced in other funeral customs, particularly Jehovah’s Witness, Baha’i and Hindu.
      • Local Celebrants – Good local celebrants to choose from. Outstanding retired C of E vicar.
      • Home arranged funerals – Will gladly work with those who wish to care for their person who has died at home: see the Do It All Yourself section of the Good Funeral Guide website.
      • Web Site – Lots of useful information, prices fully explained and you can download their price list. Their charging structure is transparent and highly itemised, so you can pick and choose what you want and use the online calculator to see the cost.
      • Client Support – No formal bereavement support but they’re always happy to see you after the funeral and will make time to talk if you need it.
      • Prices – Very reasonable, representing outstandingly good value for money considering their calibre and the time they’ll give you.
      • Parking – free on-street parking and plenty of it outside the funeral home at Finedon, and off street parking behind the premises at Corby.

      LATEST NEWS: “CORBY: We are the only independent Funeral company in Corby, where we have full facilities (chapel of rest, cold store, mortuary etc). FINEDON: We now have a small ceremony room in our Finedon office which can seat up to 35 people (with room for 10 more standing) along with the facility to accommodate the after ‘do’.”


    A thoroughly honest, decent little funeral director in a former draper’s shop in this handsome Northamptonshire village where you can create a sendoff for your loved one which will leave you proud that you did your best and got it right. The second branch, in Corby echoes the ethos and values that imbue this business – simple, thoughtful and always with the family at the heart of what they do.

    Plenty of room here to come in and decorate the coffin if that’s what you’d like to do. You will never be pressured to buy what you can’t afford. We really like the down to earth quality and the kindness. Low cost, high value — an extremely attractive combination.

    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
    6 years ago

    Karen Holland

    From the minute we walked in the door, we as a family felt so at ease and felt so comfortable talking about our bad experience with the death of our dad. Tony was amazing with our Mum and very caring and we as a family cant thank them enough for all the support they gave us. But most of all the send of they gave our Dad was personal and very proffecional. It felt like they made such an effort to know all about my Dad and us as a family. This made the day a little easier for us knowing he was in good hands at all times, and we had no worries or conserns with anything as Tony sorted everything out, It is a very difficult thing to lose a Dad, Husband, and Grandad and our best friend. Knowing Tony was dealing with everything we as a family could not just greive but celebrate my dads life. Its been 5 months and we popped into the shop to just thank Margaret Rose Funerals for making his Funeral a day for tears and laughter as the service was personal and went the way we had wanted it to. Thank you for everything but mostly for being a friend and being such a caring team.

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