From Chinese Takeaways to Pork Pies: Sheffield Co-op Funeralcare Reveals City’s Most Unique Coffin Keepsakes

Sheffield residents are increasingly turning their backs on traditional religious funeral services, opting instead for diverse and sometimes eccentric celebrations of life, according to Co-op Funeralcare.

A Chinese takeaway, a false leg and a Wizard of Oz costume have been revealed as some of the most unique items people have asked to be buried with, according to the UK’s largest report into funeral trends from the Co-op.¹

Based on insight from its funeral directors, from over 500,000 funerals conducted in the last five years and the views of 4,000 British adults, the report reveals the most unique things people have asked to take with them in Yorkshire.

Top 20 most unusual items that have been placed inside a coffin:

  1. Chinese takeaway
  2. A false leg
  3. A mobile phone
  4. Wizard of Oz costume
  5. A violin
  6. A pair of clown shoes
  7. A set of skis
  8. Argos catalogue
  9. Guitar
  10. Pork pie
  11. A scone, cream and jam
  12. Toffee crisp
  13. Broomstick
  14. An autographed tennis ball
  15. Dustpan and brush
  16. Playing cards
  17. Fishing rod
  18. Half a bar of chocolate
  19. A wedding dress
  20. A Russian doll

The research also finds 85% of local funeral directors in Yorkshire think families are now more open to unique funerals compared to five years ago.

Tracey Wilson, Funeral Arranger John Fairest Funeralcare on Abbey Lane comments:“Placing items inside coffins dates back centuries, but what we’re seeing now is a shift in more people choosing exactly which personal items they want to be buried with.

“Sometimes, those items are sentimental to the deceased such as love letters, photographs and wedding rings. Others choose eccentric items specifically to make people laugh such as a Chinese takeaway… it can be a real talking point and put a smile on the faces of loved ones left behind.”

Tracey concludes: “More than ever, we’re seeing an increased demand for people who want to celebrate their unique lives and the ways in which we can help them do that are endless. Over the years, we’ve certainly seen our fair share of unusual requests. But it’s those personal touches that make a funeral truly unique and we’re truly privileged to be able to help families with that.”

When it comes to Brits’ final resting places, it’s clear that what lies beside them is important.

Despite the fact that almost half (46%) of people have given their funeral not very much or no thought at all, a fifth (22%) of people have already made decisions about what they would want placed inside their coffin when their time does come.²

Almost half (49%) would choose photographs, over a quarter (27%) would want a teddy bear and over a fifth (22%) would choose jewellery.

Almost a fifth (17%) would opt for letters, over a tenth (13%) would choose a book and a further tenth (12%) would want a bottle of their favourite tipple.

Furthermore, British humour rings true as a sixth (15%) of people anticipate a great escape, opting for torches and mobile phones within their coffins. Others wanted an alarm button.

Items Brits would want beside them in their coffins are as follows:

  • Half (49%) would choose photographs
  • A quarter (27%) want a teddy bear
  • A fifth (22%) want jewellery
  • Almost a fifth (17%) want letters
  • Over a tenth (13%) would want a book
  • A tenth (12%) would choose a bottle of their favourite tipple
  • A tenth (9%) want a mobile phone within their reach
  • A tenth (8%) would want their glasses
  • Whilst 6% would want a torch close by

For more information on your local Co-op Funeralcare home, including John Fairest (Abbey Lane), John Fairest (Penistone Road), Chapeltown, Dinnington, Ecclesall Road, Herries Road or Suffolk Road, please visit www.co-operativefuneralcare.co.uk.

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