About Us and our company history
Over 145 years' experience and dedication from a family business
S.E. Wilkinson & Son are Northampton’s oldest surviving family funeral directors Est 1877. Offering over 145 years’ experience and dedication, we are proud to continue to be a family run business offering the complete funeral service maintaining dignity, respect and traditional values during bereavement. Our courteous and understanding professional staff are here to offer help and guidance during these difficult times. Arrangements can be made at our newly refurbished funeral home allowing us to present you with a warm, calm and supportive atmosphere, which we have successfully provided to our families for many years. Alternatively, we can make arrangements in the comfort of your own home.
S. E. Wilkinson & Son was established in 1877 at 30 Grove Road by Oliver Cooper Wilkinson and Mr J Hall, a funeral directors furnisher along with the help of Oliver’s father Dr Alfred George Wilkinson. The business was named after Oliver’s wife Sarah Elizabeth Wilkinson as was popular in Victorian times. Its roots can be traced back to this time from the original hand written ledgers containing details of the very first funerals carried out. At that time horse drawn carriages were used to convey the deceased to their final resting place.
S. E. Wilkinson & Son has been referenced in both local literature and archaic newspaper articles over the years with regards to certain members of the Wilkinson family. One of the first references pertains to Dr Alfred George Wilkinson who served his country at the Barrack Hospital, Scutari, Constantinople alongside Florence Nightingale during the Crimean War, he also attended the wounded after the charge of the Light Brigade.
On the death of Oliver in 1921 the business was carried on by Sarah and her son Raymond Oliver, Dr Wilkinson himself passed away in 1923 aged 88. During Ray’s ownership his nephew Thomas Oliver Jones and later his great nephew Nigel Oliver Jones joined him in the family business carrying on the Wilkinson’s tradition and taking over upon his death.
In the early 1980’s Lynda Summerfield, daughter of the late Don York local funeral director for 50 years, joined S. E. Wilkinson & Son to work alongside Tom and Nigel. Tom passed away in 1989, after which Nigel continued with the ownership of the business for the next 22 years.
After many years bearing for funeral directors in Northamptonshire Barry Waples was offered a full time position at S. E. Wilkinson & Son. He worked closely with Nigel and Lynda where they taught him the ways of the family business. After Nigel fell ill it was his wish for Barry to carry on with family traditions in his place until his death on 27th December 2011.
Barry has continued to run the business with the traditional family values that S. E. Wilkinson & Son has come to be known for. S. E. Wilkinson & Son has built its reputation by being large enough to cope, small enough to care, whilst quietly serving bereaved families with courtesy and respect. In 2013 Barry’s daughter, Laura came to work alongside him.