Funeral Directors Category: South East England
Richard Steel & Partners continue the proud family run tradition of looking after families in Bishops Waltham, the Meon Valley, Wickham, Botley and many villages in the area since 1892.
Manager Daryl Willett joined the Bishop’s Waltham team in 2020, bringing with him extensive knowledge from over 30 years of leading local funeral businesses.
Daryl is ably assisted by a dedicated team, including experienced Funeral Director Russ Taw and between them they are able to make suggestions and offer advice so that every funeral reflects the desires of the deceased and the family. Whether you want the simplest or most elaborate service and whatever budget you are working to, the team will make sure you receive the same personal quality service.
Company Director and 4th generation family business owner Iain Steel says “my family have been proud to have been serving the communities of Winchester and Bishop’s Waltham since 1860 and we are committed to continuing to deliver to our local clients needs”
The business originally operated from Garfield Road as Thomas Pink and Son back in the 19th century before a short move to Bank Street, from where Godfrey Pink and Derek Chamberlain served their community until their retirement in 1990. Nigel Chamberlain and his wife Jani managed the business under the Steel family for the next 24 years until Nigel’s retirement. In 2005, the decision was taken to relocate to larger premises, and after a substantial refurbishment the business was moved to The Gate House. In 2022, the company completed the re-branding to the parent name of Richard Steel & Partners.
The premises at The Gate House, Victoria Road, are conveniently and discreetly located with ample off-road parking and have been designed to offer a comfortable environment for families to arrange the funeral or to visit their loved one in the Chapel of Rest.
Daryl has also created a more formal meeting room upstairs that is available for local community use.
Exceptional quality of personal service. Steels have high reputations locally and this is clearly well deserved. Their standards are impeccable. Their focus is on delivering the very best, every time, for every family, and the imbued values inherited from the past have been married with a keen eye for any adjustments that can be made to improve their service to you.
One would expect this level of quality to come at a price, but the costs here are fair and reasonable.
Your experience. Little details make all the difference. When the staff come to collect someone who has died, they are dressed in smart blue lounge suits rather than undertaker garb of black jacket and striped trousers. They look like human beings rather than strange visitors in unnatural garb. And they use a smart silver estate car, not a van to take the person back to their premises.
Every coffin is lined in such a way that the edges are covered with padded fabric – when visiting a relative in the chapel of rest, you instinctively approach the coffin and put your hand on it – here you will feel soft, comfy material rather than a wooden coffin edge.
They produce their own in house orders of service for you, designed and laid out individually.
And they don’t ask you to pay money in advance. As Company Director Iain Steel says, “We’ve been in business for over 160 years and we work on trust. People understand that and respect it.”
The combination of tradition and modernity. The values that have served families of Bishops Waltham and the surrounding areas for generations are still upheld, the notion of service and unobtrusive support underpin this business, but are combined with a determination to stay abreast of changes in the way we want our funerals to be.
If you want a direct cremation that’s fine, Steels will do that for you and you can be sure they will do it perfectly. Behind the scenes, they are as professional as when all eyes are on them at a funeral ceremony. There are no corners cut here, ever.
- Your first callwill be answered Daryl, Russ or Teresa during the day. After hours one of the qualified Steel’s funeral directors will make appropriate arrangements and answer any questions.
- Home visits – yes if that’s what you want.
- Same sex person to wash and dress?Yes, just ask.
- Embalming? Steels are advocates of embalming, they believe it is beneficial to viewing the person who has died. However, a family can decline this option.
- Ethnic specialism? Bishop Waltham is not known for its ethnic diversity but Steels will always help any family that comes to them – they may ask for guidance to ensure that a family receives the help that they need that is culturally appropriate.
- Home arranged funerals – of course. You can have as much advice or assistance as you need.
- Local celebrants – A few hand-picked excellent local celebrants who they trust completely, otherwise Steels have a very good relationship with local clergy. They will suggest the person they think is right for you.
- Website– Good, comprehensive website with details of upcoming funerals, useful links and online memorials. Awaiting prices to be put online.
- Client support – Very important. You can be signposted to bereavement support if you need it.
- Money matters – Good value for money. If you have a tight budget, tell them. They will tailor the funeral to suit you.
- Parking– Plenty of client parking to the rear of the building.
This small but perfectly formed business has a lovely feel to it. The underpinning ethos and support from their larger sister business in Winchester doesn’t intrude on the sense that this is a local service dedicated to local people.
The premises are bright, well laid out and welcoming, and the staff here are as nice as anyone you’ll find. The recurring description of them in the thank you cards received is ‘lovely’, and it’s clear that they will do whatever they can to make your experience as good as it can possibly be.
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.