Austin's Blog


January 22nd, 2014    Author: admin

Austins present cheque for £6,319.47

Children with complex social and communication disorders were the latest to benefit from a charitable fund run by family-firm Austin’s. TRACKS Autism is a specialist nursery for children aged between two and six years from all over Hertfordshire.

The independent funeral directors handed over a cheque for £6,319.47 to the Stevenage based nursery.  These funds will be put to good use when the nursery relocates to larger premises in September. TRACKS will then be able to provide more extensive facilities for a larger number of children and their families.

Claire Austin, Managing Director of Austin’s said: “We are delighted to have been able to help TRACKS which does such a wonderful job providing a caring and supportive environment for children with autism.”

The Austin’s Charitable Fund raises money in a number of different ways including through the generosity of bereaved families who donate to it in memory of a loved one;  from donations made at the annual Christmas carol service at Harwood Park Crematorium and from a percentage of Austin’s annual profits.

A different charity is chosen to benefit each year and since its inception in 2002 the fund has raised over £100,000 for local organisations.

Photo from left to right, Jonathan Aves (Hertfordshire Community Foundation), Jean Austin, Claire Austin, Jane Pitman (President of TRACKS) and Mervyn Terrett (Chairman of TRACKS)

Tractor Refurbished In Memory Of John Austin

December 24th, 2013    Author: admin

A 1959 Massey Fergusson tractor has been restored to its former glory in memory of John Austin.

John, who ran Austin’s Family Funeral Directors and designed and developed Harwood Park Crematorium, purchased the tractor in 1996. It was used to develop the memorial gardens at Harwood Park which have now become a sanctuary, where bereaved families can remember their loved ones in beautiful surroundings.

The Massey Fergusson 35 was one of John’s ‘toys’. Its registration number is TFO 827, which John always claimed stands for ‘The Funeral Office’.

Sadly, John passed away in April 2012. Several months prior to that Claire, John’s daughter, and the other company directors had arranged for the tractor to be refurbished as a surprise for John. He was, of course, never to see it.

However, last week, after nearly two years of painstaking work the completed tractor was presented to Jean, John’s widow.  Jean was stunned and delighted as she had no idea that the work was being carried out.

The project was undertaken by agricultural restoration engineer, Kevin Read, in his workshop in Watton at Stone. It was completely dismantled, refurbished, reassembled and repainted in its original livery by Kevin. The tractor now also bears a brass plate in memory of John.

The reliable workhorse has been returned to Harwood Park, where it will continue to be used within the gardens.

Jean Austin with the restored tractor

Restored by Kevin Reed In Memory of John Austin

2013 Christmas Carol Service at Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Park

December 17th, 2013    Author: admin

We held our annual Carol Service last night at Harwood Park Crematorium and Memorial Gardens with a packed room.  The service was taken by Rev’d Tony Ruffell with traditional carol songs and was a celebration of live and Christmas.

Afterwards, complimentary refreshments were served and people had time to reflect on their loved ones.  A collection was taken for our 2013 charity TRACKS Autism.

Thank you to everyone who came and made the evening so special.

Lights to Remember

Lights to Remember

Rev'd Tony Ruffell takes the service at Harwood Park

Claire Austin Business Woman of the Year

October 14th, 2013    Author: admin

The team at Austins were delighted to be shortlisted as finalists in Small Business category at the Business Excellence Awards which were held at Shendish Manor at the end of September 2013.  Claire scooped the award for ‘Business Woman of the Year’ and is pictured here  receiving her award with Michael Portillo, Jackie Withey (Co-Chair of BEA) and Julie Gingell (Co-Chair of BEA).