Memorial seats

Memorial Seat at Mortlake Crematorium

 

The Board have agreed that a limited number of seats in the Grade II listed Crematorium and gardens can be personally dedicated to a friend or relative.

The seats are solid oak and have a scalloped back.  An inscription is hand carved into the back rail with the name of the person and year of birth and year of death.  A further inscription can be added to the knee rail, which can be a personal sentiment or further names. The cost of the seat will differ depending on the length of inscription.  The cost to purchase a seat, with a 30 character inscription,    in place for 10 years starts from £1500.

Our staff will liaise with the carvers, and you, to ensure the inscription meet with the Boards standards.  We then provide you with a quotation and ask that you agree to the Boards regulations, include:

  • Seats are for use by all visitors to the Crematorium
  • Seats cannot be moved to another location without the agreement of the Board
  • No personal items can be placed on, beneath or beside the seats. Please let friends and relatives know this as items will be removed, which can cause upset.

If you no longer wish to keep the seat at the crematorium, the seat will be removed, allowing another family to dedicate a memorial seat. After 10 years you are welcome to take the seat away.  Seats will also be checked, and those that have deteriorated or become dangerous will be removed.

If you are interested in dedicating a seat, please make an appointment with the Crematorium Office, to speak with the Superintendent.

Below is a guide on the “care of oak memorial seats”

Oak Memorial Seats – Maintenance Information

 

General

Oak is rated as a durable timber and should be capable of giving a service life of at least 25 years, longer if maintained.

 

It should be noted that oak often contains some “character” or “pippy” sections; this is a characteristic of oak and is not a weakness in the timber.

 

Oak is a beautiful natural timber and our advice is to allow the bench to weather naturally and to accept this as part of it beauty. Do observe cracks and splits etc that are evident in all oak timbers in old buildings, our oak is the same and will behave the same.

 

If the bench is to be left standing on grass then place a non porous piece of material under the legs to isolate them from soil and moisture; this point is where the bench will deteriorate first.  As standard practice we stand all our leg assemblies in clear preservative for 24 hours minimum.

 

Weathering

In service the weathering process of exposure to sun and rain will lead to cracks appearing particularly in the heavy sections of timber and in the end grain; this is normal and occurs in all timbers.  This will not affect the strength of durability of he bench particularly as our component dimensions are very generous.

 

Please be aware that oak will show water staining after rain until it had weathered (even if it is treated with clear preservative); this is particularly striking immediately after the bench has been delivered.  This water staining will often result in dark brown blotchy patches or spots appearing.  Eventually the bench will weather evenly all over and you will have a natural looking bench that will blend in with all surroundings.

 

Oak will also stain patio slabs a brown colour after rain; this is called iron stain and is caused by the very high level of tannin in oak.

 

Treatment

The only treatment we recommend is an application of clear preventative (such as Cuprinol Clear Preservative). It cannot be stained as can Iroko.   This will reduce the rate at which algae or lichens grown on the surface.

 

Cleaning and reapplication of any treatment depends entirely on the local environment and your wishes, but and occasional wash down to remove dirt followed by treatment should keep you bench looking beautiful for many years.

 

Warning

Never ever have the bench cleaned by caustic dipping, as this will complete destroy the bench despite the claims made by some companies.  The aggressive chemicals leach out the oils/resins of the timber and destroy the jointing.

 

Oiling

Although oiling with linseed oil is a traditional method of treatment we do no recommend it as the oil usually results in a sticky surface that never seems to dry and thus attracts and holds dirt.

 

If you do wish to oil the bench then follow the manufacturer’s instruction.  For oil to be effective it has to be absorbed by the timber and any excess removed before it dries, followed by further coats.

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