Historic hand-drawn hearse at Huntingdon funeral directors could be put back into service

Hand drawn hearse on display, at Co-operative Funeral Services, Huntingdon, with Funeral Director Br

Hand drawn hearse on display, at Co-operative Funeral Services, Huntingdon, with Funeral Director Brendan Smith, - Credit: Archant

A hand-drawn funeral hearse that dates back to the 1800s has been fully restored and is on display at the Co-operative Funeral Directors in Huntingdon – and could be available for ceremonies.

The cart, known as a bier, was donated to the Norris Museum in St Ives in 1978 where it remained until last year.

It was removed to free-up space and ended up in a barn on a farm in Brampton.

Co-op funeral director Brendan Smith said: “When Brampton Parish Council asked us if we wanted to display the bier, we jumped at the chance, despite it being in a state of disrepair.”

The hearse has now been restored by the father of one of Mr Smith’s colleagues, Lynsey Walton. While it remains in the ownership of the parish council, it will stay at the funeral home on St Peter’s Road for the foreseeable future.


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Anyone interested is welcome to view the bier and, given the right circumstances, such as in a village setting where it would originally have been used, it could be available for use.

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