Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Ashes to Ashes, Dust to... Cufflinks and Rings: Bizarre but Lucrative Solution Burial Plot Shortage

It's a bizarre but lucrative solution to the growing problem of where to bury the nation's dead.

Britain's richest local authority is helping bereaved families to turn the ashes of their loved ones into signet rings, cufflinks and even paperweights rather than bury or store their cremated bodies in urns.

The City of London Corporation is encouraging relatives to buy £495 gold signet rings, £395 sets of cufflinks and £195 paperweights containing the ashes of the dead.

Using molten glass heated to 1,100 degrees Celsius and coloured effects, the ash-filled memorials are made at a glassworks in Billericay in Essex and shipped on to relatives.

Using the slogan 'Keep your loved ones close to you always,' the Corporation, which runs the wealthy Square Mile in the City of London, advertises the service at its vast cemetery in Epping Forest on the outskirts of London.

A glossy brochure advertising the service has been produced, with a price list that also includes memorial earrings – £195 in silver or £245 in gold – and neck pendants priced between £295 and £345, with cheques made payable to the Corporation.

The brochure explains: 'Your loved one's cremation ashes are added to crystal glass to create memorial jewellery and paperweights.'

It adds: 'We only use a small amount of ashes for each item so all the members of your family can have a personal memorial.'

The move comes as a survey earlier this year revealed that Britain was fast running out of space to bury its dead.

A survey of 300 local councils showed that on average our cemeteries will be full in 30 years with an average of just 15 years before London's cemeteries are full, forcing the Ministry of Justice to consider granting nationwide permission to re-use old graves.

Julie Dunk, technical services and events manager at the Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management, said: 'It is about offering choice to families.

'People these days like to memorialise in individual ways.'

The City of London Crematorium's Superintendent and Registrar, Garry Burks, said 75 per cent of people who died in Britain were now cremated rather than being buried in coffins.

He said a private firm made the jewellery and they took an administration fee from the price towards the upkeep of the 200- acre Epping Forest cemetery.

He added: 'We provide the service and charge an administration fee. 'It's not everyone's cup of tea, but some people like it.'

SOURCE: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2055229/Ashes-ashes-dust--cufflinks-rings-Bizarre-lucrative-solution-burial-plot-shortage.html?ito=feeds-newsxml

No comments: