A LONG-STANDING resident of Fladbury, near Evesham, was the first person to be cremated at the crematorium which has just been built in the village.

Hugh Homer, who died at the end of October aged 91, had watched The Vale Crematorium being built and said to his daughters that he would like to be cremated there.

Daughter Sarah Roberts said: “He and my mother were both interested in it, and they actually went along to the protest meeting when it was first proposed, but they decided it was a good thing for the village.

“After my mother died in April, my father said he would like to be cremated there.

“And when he became ill, he told my sister one night that he would like to be the first to be cremated there. That was just like my father, to go with a little twinkle in his eye.”

Mr Homer was originally from Walsall, but lived in the Vale since 1971. Together with his brothers, he ran the family business in Walsall, dealing in leather goods and engineering parts.

Richard Hill of Pershore-based funeral directors E Hill and Son said: “Mr Homer lived a stone’s throw from the new crematorium and since losing his wife earlier on this year, decided that when anything happened to him, he wished to be cremated there.

“This was OK, except that Mr Homer died on October 24, some six weeks before the crematorium was finished.

“The family were keen to honour their father’s wishes but could not wait that long for a formal service to take place.

“A funeral service was arranged at Fladbury church for November 8, and afterwards Mr Homer was brought into our care again, to await the completion of the crematorium.

“His cremation service took place on Tuesday, December 11, at 10am and was attended by about 60 family and friends, who were all impressed with the new chapel.

“It was a bright and frosty morning and the view from the crematorium of Bredon Hill was stunning, a fitting tribute to a local man.

“I am sure the new crematorium will be of benefit to bereaved families and funeral directors alike. It has the most up to date facilities and has been aesthetically built to fit in to its surroundings. It will certainly cut down on waiting times at peak periods and will ease local people’s travelling times too.”