Tuesday, 9 September 2014


On the evening of Wednesday October 8th I'll be at the Coffin Works - the now disused Newman Brothers factory that has been preserved by the Birmingham Conservation Trust as a venue of historical interest.

The building has been completely restored, and - well in advance of the doors being opened up to the general public again - I'll be part of a joint event to talk about the history of everything to do with this factory, once used for the manufacture of the fittings and fixtures for coffins.

Brian Parsons is an author who'll be passing on his expertise regarding the history of coffins and all related ephemera. 

Kate Mayfield - whose recent memoir, The Undertaker's Daughter, has just been published in hardback by Simon & Schuster, will be talking about her upbringing in a Kentucky funeral home. She has some incredible stories to tell from a book that reads more like a novel, which has been described in some reviews as 'Six Feet Under' meets 'The Help.'

For myself, I'll be discussing the Victorian obsession with Death - linking Queen Victoria's mourning with that of another Queen ~ Jindan Kaur, Maharani of Lahore who came to live in England only at the very end of her life, by which time her son was a favourite with the English aristocracy. A fascinating story of how two powerful women behaved entirely differently when faced with  the shock of bereavement.

Tickets and all booking details are available via EVENTBRITE. Wine and light refreshments are to be included.

Thanks to the Midlands Heritage site for the article that I have linked to, regarding the Coffin Works