Our firm was founded in 1873 and extends over five generations of the family. With over 140 years service to the community we are proud to maintain the traditions expected of a family owned and family run firm. We are entirely independent of any large organisation or foreign owned group and, as such, great emphasis is placed on providing personal care with integrity and thoughtfulness throughout the difficult time of bereavement.
Through the years we have found that bereavement brings unique and very special problems: It is our earnest desire, allied with a sense of vocation, to render as much help as we possibly can with the practical aspects of the arrangements and to ensure that the funeral is conducted with all due reverence and dignity. We are greatly complimented to be entrusted with the responsibility of ministering to you during this sad time, and hope that you would find our service both worthy of your confidence and a comfort to you.
The firm was started in 1873; its founder Richard Pepperdine moved from a farming background in Lincolnshire to start a joinery business in Manchester. It was a natural progression in those days to provide coffins for the community.
As burial and cremation law and their adherent rules and regulations became more complex, he was frequently asked by members of his community, Moss Side Baptist Church, congregation members in particular, to assist them with the administration of funeral arrangements.
He was so highly regarded for the help he gave that he was encouraged to specialise in this form of care. Ultimately, his two sons Richard and Thomas joined the firm; so started the family tradition. Following his distinguished service in the RAF, Coastal Command Flight Lieutenant, Robert Pepperdine DFC, joined the company.
His initial plans to join the ministry as a clergyman were put aside but his Christian ethics formed the bedrock of the company as it stands today.
In the late 1970’s Manchester Corporation as it was then known decided to demolish the thriving shopping area of Alexandra Road, Moss Side, where the company’s head office was based. Our premises were duly compulsory purchased for a less than realistic value. Land nearby was offered for alternative premises but our architect who drew up no less than 40 sets of plans was thwarted at every turn by the City Planning Department.
This process continued for five years. Eventually, we had to abandon the exercise because building costs had escalated beyond our means. Furthermore, the land offered by the local authority proved not to be theirs. It was owned by the neighbouring authority in Stretford.
We were left with six months to find alternative accommodation.
Eventually our present premises “Alexandra House” were discovered but planning permission was refused. An appeal however was successful. We were aided in this by hundreds of families we had helped through their bereavements. We keep, and are very proud of, letters of appreciation files.
We took these and wrote to clients explaining our plight. There was a 96% response from all over the world. Manchester Corporation were inundated with letters pointing out what our services have meant to them. We are eternally grateful to all those kind people who saved the company from going out of business.
Robert’s son, Keith Pepperdine, started in the firm in 1962 and was joined in 1983 by Frank Barrett as Funeral Director and Manager. Frank joined the Board of Directors in 1995 and became Managing Director after Keith’s retirement. Frank is now sole owner and the company is now run by Frank, his children Kate and John, and his family, in the tradition of service and care to the bereaved. Frank’s family are proud to be part of the ‘Pepperdine’ family firm tradition.