An Exceptional Undertaking
The Story of the Jennings Family Business

by Bev Parker

The business was quickly outgrowing the Union Mill Street property and larger premises were urgently required. In between 1893 and 1903 Frederick moved the business into St James Street. This provided the much needed extra space with room for stabling, a coach house and up-to-date workshops. Frederick ran the business for 41 years until his death in 1916. He was followed by his three sons; Frederick (Jnr), George, and John (known as Jack) who became a Methodist Minister after leaving His Majesty's Forces.

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A Jennings hearse and carriage in 1910.

On the hearse is Frederick Jennings (Snr) with Jack Jennings who later became a Methodist Minister.

On the carriage is Frederick Jennings (Jnr) and Thomas Picken, who was the groom.

On the top is Frederick Jennings, son of the founder.

Bottom left is Frederick Jennings, grandson of the founder, and Bottom right is George Jennings, also grandson of the founder.

Frederick and George took charge jointly and began to carry through the improvements started by their father. They extended the facilities available to relatives of the deceased by purchasing and refurbishing an adjacent property in Horseley Fields.

An oak panelled service chapel was added, and by 1937 three rest chapels with leaded windows were also added. Further improvements were carried out to the offices, reception rooms, workshop and garage. The horse-drawn hearses were replaced by motor vehicles including a model T Ford, and the firm brought its first Daimlers from the Royal Mews at Buckingham Palace.

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