The Last Man to Let You Down

A unique presentation and talk by Chris Scott, Funeral Director with Kirkwoods and Wilton Funeral Directors.

Since his teenage years, Chris has always taken a keen interest in local history, and at an early age interviewed older members of the community and recorded their stories for posterity.

Over time, Chris developed his skillset and was a regular columnist with The Ulster Star, Lisburn, producing hundreds of local history stories. Over the past fifteen years Chris has been invited to speak to various groups, including local history societies and church groups. He also trained as a tour guide and led several walking tours in villages on the eastern shores of Lough Neagh, County Antrim. Chris has, in the past, touched on aspects of local and family history on both BBC and commercial radio, presented his own programme on local community radio in County Down, and now is an active podcaster and interviewer in his spare time!

Chris is a “late joiner” to the funeral profession, starting out as funeral arranger and progressing to a Funeral Director. His curiosity and passion for history doesn’t stop here! Chris recently uncovered several original Wilton Funeral Day books covering the period May 1929 to December 1933. These registers provide an invaluable insight into aspects of the funeral business and our social history almost one hundred years ago.

Chris has carried out an analysis of the books revealing some stark facts about aspects of our ancestors’ lives across Belfast and beyond in the “Hungry Thirties.” Chris also explores the early history of Wilton Funeral Service from the mid 1920’s and briefly looks at the Wilton family history.

You might well imagine it might be all doom and gloom – but we can dispel that myth. Chris will be relating some strange stories around funerals from the 1930 era, combined with some personal accounts he recorded in the past from people who lived through that era.

Find out about the court case, in 1931, focusing around falsifying the age of a person during the death registration process. Hear all about the invention of a foghorn for a vault in 1932, specifically designed for those who feared premature burial! Chris will also talk about some of the funeral customs and superstitions from that era. “Never count the cars or people at a funeral” – Apparently it would bring you bad luck!  The original Wilton Day books and other funeral related material will be available for inspection. Who knows – you might discover something to supplement your own family history research!

Chris will be more than happy to arrange for you or your group to avail of the
presentation. This can be held at your venue or at one of the branches at:

Wiltons, Ravenhill Road (Belfast)
Wiltons, Shankill Road (Belfast)
Wiltons, Shore Road (Whitehouse)
Wiltons, Holborn Road (Bangor)
Wiltons, Scotch Quarter (Carrickfergus)
Kirkwoods, King’s Road (Belfast)
Kirkwoods, Church Street (Newtownards)

Whilst there will be no charge for the presentation, any donations kindly received will be forwarded to Marie Curie Hospice, Kensington Road, Belfast.

If your group or organisation would like to arrange or attend a presentation then please get in touch with Chris at Wilton Funeral Service, 334 Ravenhill Road, Belfast, BT6 8GL.

Telephone number 02890 450723. Email: