23rd March 2012 – John Biffen Funeral Director

Members welcomed John Biffen who gave an informative insight into the work of a Funeral Director and a potted  history of the family firm in Bridgwater.

Almost 9 decade’s ago Harry Biffen launched a Taxi and Limousine business in Bridgwater and this has now grown to become a hugely successful family-run business. The business became established as a family concern when Harry’s sons Bill and Ron joined and in 1946 they formed a limited company with a reputation for quality service; which is as true today as it was back then.

From it’s formative years Biffen’s became established as carriage masters to the funeral trade and also provided luxury weeding limousine hire, taxi service, self drive and car sales.  But the business has not stood still and has changed over the years to build on it’s strengths.

Following the death of Harry in 1972, Biffen’s gave up the taxi service side of the business. In 1994 when Ron retired, Bill’s son John joined and most recently in 2003 John’s daughter Sarah joined the firm. Today the three generations work side by side to provide the friendly family service that we have become renowned for.

We learnt  in more detail, how the industry has changed over the years, and continues to change.  Most surprisingly, for an industry that everyone uses at some point, it is mostly unregulated!

The range of choices now available to take your last journey surprised everyone.  As well as the modes of  transport.  From the more Traditional Burial or Cremation, to the growing popularity of the Humanist Service and Eco Funeral.  It is also possible to be buried at sea.  

Whilst not a subject anyone likes to talk about, John encourages that we should, and not to underestimate the importance of planning ahead, making your last wishes clear to those left behind.   With the many issues around the loss of a family member or friend, it is always sad when arrangements are made without being totally sure it is what the person would have wanted.

It was clear whey the company is highly respected in the community.  Reputation is everything and whilst with every job there are lighter moments or problems, the respect for the deceased is paramount.   H Biffen & Sons Ltd is a Bridgwater firm which has embraced the lifes of hundreds of local families since it began serving the community in 1920.

John’s departing words were “If you don’t die, I don’t live!” 

John Biffen and Norman Hucker Honorary Treasurer

John dealt with a sensitve subject in a professional and caring manner and left everyone with something to think about….