Richard is one of the three brothers who runs Hallidays.
He joined the family business in 1995 after working as a chemistry teacher and his roles involve overseeing Customer Relations, Marketing and Finance.
He says: “We have attracted new customers because they like our commitment to outstanding craftsmanship, our comprehensive range of products and our passion for customer service.
“We are also a business that continually invests in our manufacturing capabilities, environmental responsibilities and, most importantly of all, the training and development of our people.”
Outside of work, Richard is lead singer in a four-strong acoustic band called ‘The Nifties’, which has raised money for charity.
“I’ve always loved music, probably because I grew up in a very musical house,” he says. “I find it’s a great stress reliever but it also evokes lots of lovely memories. Playing in a band is great fun although it’s exciting and a bit nerve-wracking to get up on stage.”
My ideal funeral: A plain simple pine box with no fittings or handles would suit me. And the music? It’s got to be ‘The Piano’ by Michael Nyman with a bit of ‘Psycho Killer’ by Talking Heads thrown in as it’s becoming our band’s signature song!
Fellow director Steve is closely involved with the Production and Logistics side of the business.
Hallidays is an FSC ® Certified Company, and all raw materials coming into the factory are seen and closely checked by him and he also takes care of most purchasing requirements.
Hallidays is one of the very few coffin manufacturers to possess its own veneering line and Steve is a veneer line expert.
He says: “We have the capability to veneer most substrates of various thicknesses, including chipboard, solid timber and MDF.”
Hallidays is a second generation family business and Steve’s two sons, Nick and Sean, both spent time in the business during school holidays and plan to join the business in the future.
Steve, who joined the company in 1981, He says: “I love coming to work and I’m proud to work for a family business.
“We’re a good team and it’s exciting to grow – and futureproof – a business together that was started in 1979 by our parents.”
My ideal funeral: I’d like a traditional funeral with a hand-made wooden coffin. I’ve already told my children what music I want – ‘Sunshine on Leith’ by The Proclaimers and then the dance track ‘Greece 2000’ by Three Drives to make everyone smile
Phil runs the Sales operation at Halliday and has grown the Fittings & Accessories side of the business over recent years.
He joined the family firm in 1990 straight from university after spending every school holiday from the age of 14 working in the business.
He says: “I started off learning how to putty and sand the coffins as a teenager for pocket money. In fact, I trained our craftsman Mark to do the same job on his first day in the company.
“Right from an early age I knew I would enjoy the challenges and responsibility of growing the family business.
I’m incredibly proud of our staff and their dedication. We have a very high staff retention rate and are proud to have become a Living Wage employer in 2015”
My ideal funeral: My funeral would feature a modern picture coffin with garden scenes because I love my garden. A nice weepy song would do me for my music, something like ‘The Promise’ by Tracy Chapman.
Mark is one of our finest craftsmen and has worked for the company for over 26 years.
He has worked in most areas of the factory and graduated to our specialist solid wood work after fellow long-term – and much loved – colleague Geoff passed away.
His dedication and passion shows in every coffin he makes.
As well as making Geoff’s coffin – “It was almost like glass when I’d completed it because I’d polished it so much,” he says – he made the coffins for former Liverpool and Everton defender Gary Ablett and the actress Betty Driver, who played Betty Turpin in Coronation Street.
He says: “People are often fascinated by what I do for a living. It’s not every day you meet a coffin maker!
“The job is different every day and I particularly enjoy the challenges from unusual size coffin requests.”
My ideal funeral: I’d like to be cremated when I die and when the curtain goes up I’ve got to have the theme tune from the 1960s epic Spaghetti Western film ‘Once Upon a Time in the West’ playing.
Sally is often the first voice that our customers hear.
She joined the team recently at the end of February 2017. After a long career in banking.
As well as regularly speaking to funeral directors, she handles Hallidays Accounts and administration along with John, Hannah and Robyn.
She says: “I love speaking to our customers and showing visiting funeral directors around the business. “We have a great team here and there’s a huge sense of comradeship both on the factory floor and among the management team.”
My ideal funeral: I’d like to be buried in a Willow Oval. Music would be Dancing in the Moonlight by Top Loader.
Accounts assistant John joined us in 2012 as an apprentice
He says: “I really enjoy being part of the Halliday team and have relished the opportunity to take on lots of responsibility.
“Every day is different and it’s particularly rewarding knowing that what you do helps customers during a difficult time in their lives.
“The company’s values are that we are ‘flexible, ethical and trusted’ – qualities that make me proud to work for Hallidays.
“I’m looking forward to being able to play a key part in helping our new apprentices to settle into the business and to take their first steps on their career path, just as I have done.”
In 2015, John was shortlisted for Young Apprentice of the Year by Wirral Business Awards.
My ideal funeral: I’d like a simple coffin and the music has definitely not got to be too serious.