- The memorial may begin with a visit to our website, a brochure request, a telephone call or a visit to our factory or to one of our branches.
- Quotation issued – but usually only after we have checked with the cemetery office (or the Church Diocese):-
- What they will allow.
- What they will not allow.
- Whether they require the use of a safety anchor bolt when fixing a headstone (not all do).
- Whether a fee is payable for the required permit and, if so, how much.
- Issued with the quotation is the Order Form, a cemetery permit application and our set of guidance notes on a number of subjects - including the choice of stone, the different inscription methods and the timescale and payment terms. For full memorials – ie those with kerbs – guidance notes on the use of under-bearers are issued.
Your proposed inscription is included on the Order Form so that the letters and numbers can be counted for the quote (the first 90 are included in the price) Once you have signed the Order Form we can inlude it in the permit application.
- To proceed: a signed Order Form is needed together with the permit application (signed by the grave owner – or owners if more than one) and the first payment. This first payment is made up of the cemetery permit fee - plus the first deposit equal to 20% of the memorial order.
- Once the signed Order Form has been received, we then apply for the cemetery permit from the Local Authority (or permission from the Church Diocese). This can take one to six weeks to be received – depending upon how busy the cemetery office is. They are often run by part-time staff which can add to the time it takes. Churchyard permits tend to take longer than cemetery permits as it is usually the Reverend Vicar who deals with such things along with his/her other duties.
- Once the permit has been received this is what we then do:-
- We issue to you the inscription layout proof - this shows how the inscription would look on the headstone – including the shape of the headstone – to scale - and any designs or photo plaques that you want included.
- We request the second deposit equal to 70% of the memorial cost (taking your total payment to 90%).
- Once we receive the second deposit, we place the order with our stone suppliers in India or China or Italy – unless it is a stock item.
- Our usual lead-time for manufacturing the memorial (prior to fixing the memorial into the cemetery (or churchyard)) is 12 – 16 weeks from the later of:-
- The date of receiving the permit, or,
- The date of receipt of the second deposit.
When we issue the original quote and order form, our guidance notes that accompany those documents explain why it takes this long. The reverse of the Order Form confirms this time scale. There are occasions when it can take less time – or longer.
For example a stock item for a memorial to go into a cemetery reasonably local to our factory can often be installed much more quickly. A bespoke memorial to go into a cemetery in Wales, Cornwall or Scotland may take longer as this will not be a stock item, the stone will have to be obtained from China, India or Italy (which takes several weeks) and we may not be in that particular cemetery again for some weeks. Orders are placed on this understanding.
- Our Fixing Scheduler’s job is to schedule when our fixers are to visit certain parts of the UK to fix memorials. This can involve building a load to go to, say, Bristol one day, Brighton the next and Bradford the day after that. As it is uneconomic to send a fixing crew to an area with just one memorial, we wait until we have two to five jobs to be dealt with in a particular area. This is one example of how we keep our prices down by having low fixing costs. If we were to visit a region of the country with just one job to do, we would have to charge a lot more for our memorials – but we find that our customers would rather have high quality memorials at an affordable price (which means that we have to find ways to reduce our costs to keep our memorial prices low).
- Once scheduled we then prepare the memorial in readiness for its fixing date (assuming you have signed off the inscription layout as being exactly what you want cut into the stone). On the day of the fixing we contact you in the afternoon by telephone to confirm that the memorial has been fixed.
- We then issue to you our invoice for the final 10% due – plus or minus any agreed additions or reductions or other changes that have been made to the order during the whole process.
- We then issue our Certificate of Compliance and issue details of the insurance arrangements that are available for memorials - including accidental damage or vandalism.
More Guidance Notes
If you have any questions at all, don’t hesitate to contact us. A member of the team would be happy to discuss your requirements and help you on the way to select a perfect memorial.