The funeral directors trade association, The British Undertakers Association, was founded in 1905 and the London members formed the London Division. Many of the family firms, who were involved, are still members though not all remain under the same family control. The London Division even then was particularly active, with much early discussion on the simpler ‘New Funeral’.
Shortly after this the Members of the Division agreed to publish a maximum level at which they would carry out a funeral to show the public that they could obtain a funeral from any Member at a fair and reasonable rate. In 1923 the revised agreed rate for a full basic Elm coffin funeral with “machine coach or car and pair” was £8.0s.0d.
The BUA changed its name to the National Association of Funeral Directors in December 1935 at which time the London Division became the London Association of Funeral Directors, still a very active organization. Interestingly the price for the above funeral was still £8.0s.0p, so much for inflation at that time.
LAFD became the only part of the National Association to negotiate with the Union and be an Official Employers Association. Indeed it was a London member who, feeling strongly that the whole trade would benefit from providing better rewards and conditions for their staff, assisted in the formation of the Union itself. Typical working hours at that time were based on a 6 ½ working day week!
LAFD still remains a strong and active Association devoted to the particular needs of the funeral profession as a whole in London.