Cowburn Funeral Service was started in Westhoughton in 1905 by John Cowburn. Like many funeral directors John was a joiner and builder who made coffins in his workshop alongside window frames, staircases and doors. Handwritten records show he arranged his first funeral in November 1905. In 1906, in his first full year as a Funeral Director, he arranged 16 funerals and in December 1910 he helped to arrange the funerals of 15 men who lost their lives in the Pretoria pit disaster, one of the UK’s worst mining tragedy’s.
In the 1920’s Albert Worthington started as an apprentice joiner. Albert showed he had an aptitude for funeral directing as well as joinery work and he became John’s business partner, taking over sole control when John retired in the 1940’s. In the 1950’s Albert was joined in the business by his son John. Cowburn Funeral Service is a long standing member of the NAFD and is still an independent business, owned and run by the Worthington family with Albert’s grandson Ian now the main Funeral Director.
Ian Worthington, Funeral Director said ‘Coleman Milne is only a mile down the road from us and we have purchased a number of vehicles from them over the years. We decided about 6 months ago it was time to upgrade our fleet so I spoke to Eddie to brief him on our requirements. We are really pleased with the results. They are a matching pair in immaculate condition and they will help us to continue to supply an excellent service to our clients. We have been running the vehicles for 2 weeks now and we have noticed how much more fuel efficient they are. They have been well designed and are practical and easy to use’.