Why choose Co-operative Memorials

We have been producing memorials for generations of local families for well over 70 years and pride ourselves on our quality of craftsmanship and high level of customer satisfaction that has helped us maintain our reputation as a name you can trust.

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  • Our premises are located at 135a Bloxwich Road, Walsall, West Midlands, WS2 8BS and we have ample on site client parking.
  • We use only the finest materials for our memorials to ensure our enviable reputation for high quality and client trust is constantly maintained. 
  • We are long standing members of NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons).
  • We are listed on the BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) register.
  • We are members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen.
  • We have rigorous quality assurance processes in place to underpin all aspects of our workmanship.
  • All our staff are fully trained and qualified in all aspects of our craft and take genuine pride in their workmanship.
  • For your peace of mind, to cover repairs in the event of vandalism, we offer a Memorial Insurance scheme at a very modest premium.
  • All our memorials are erected to fully comply with BS8415 using the NAMM Code of Working Practice and current Health & Safety Executive guidelines.

Most modern memorials are made from granite. Granite is extremely hard wearing and polishes to a beautiful finish. It is available in many different colours and lends itself perfectly to very intricate lettering and finely etched design work. For example, historically, many clients used to choose only black granite headstones but more and more are choosing the more modern colours for both burial and cremation memorial headstones.

Some clients (or even local regulations) may insist on a softer stone such as Italian Marble (usually off white with blue/grey veining), Nabrasina (a light fawn lime stone) or York Stone (usually a honey/brown coloured sandstone). You can see examples of these materials on the centre spread of our memorial brochure.

Please bear in mind that we only use natural materials which are of course subject to natural variations in colour and shading.

Other types of stone may be available but possibly not generally used to produce a memorial. If you require a particular material not mentioned in our normal range please contact us and we can advise on its suitability and/or availability.

 

Finishes for Granite Memorial Headstones

All Polished

Part Polished/Pitched

All Polished Finish example

part pol pitched sample

This finish has all surfaces highly polished to bring
out the true beauty of the granite and is perhaps
our most popular granite finish.
 
 
This finish has the face and top of the base polished with the
edges rough pitched. The back of these memorials is usually unpolished.

 

Honed

Part Polished

honed finish example

part polished finish example

This finish is best described as being rather like an
egg shell as the surface is perfectly smooth but
non-reflective
This finish has the edges and back sawn with the engraved
design/ornamentation area highly polished to achieve a
contrasting finish.

 

Finishes for other materials

Other natural stone materials are generally manufactured with a sanded finish as this is the most appropriate for the texture.

For any other requirements please call us for help and advice.

Headstone & Gravestone Inscriptions

A lot of people benefit from help when creating a memorial inscription to ensure it looks great and can be clearly read.

At Coop Memorials we do not use standard memorial inscription templates. All our headstone inscriptions are structured from scratch to meet your individual requirements. Please click below for some examples of headstone inscriptions as a guide to the correct layout and structure. We also offer an extensive range of lettering styles. It is important to get this choice correct to match the material in use and the final legibility. We can provide proof copies so that differences can easily be seen.

Please bear in mind that fairly simple gravestone inscriptions look far more tasteful than those which have too much wording on them. Please also consider that further inscriptions may have to be added so room has to be left to accommodate this.

We offer an extensive range of standard engraved memorial designs and an almost limitless amount of bespoke engraved designs. Our memorial artists can create almost any type of design that you can think of. If you have a special requirement such as a Military Insignia, a Football Club emblem or a specific individual design we can produce it.

Please contact us for details. 

Fixing for Memorial Headstones

 

All our memorials are fixed to fully comply with the NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons) Code of Working Practice, the BRAMM Blue Book and the current British Standard - BS8415.

For example, the exploded diagram below shows, in detail, how we fix our standard granite or stone headstones.

memorial fixing diagram

Our 25 Year Guarantee

The Co-operative Memorials guarantee that all memorials supplied will be of good workmanship and sound materials. We further guarantee that, subject to the conditions stated below, should any memorial supplied by us prove to be faulty in workmanship or materials within 25 years of the memorial being fixed, the memorial will be made good or, if this is not possible, replaced without any expense to the purchaser.

Conditions:

  1. All natural materials vary from time to time in colour and texture therefore this Guarantee relates only to the type and soundness of the material and not to any colour variance.
  2. This Guarantee shall not apply to any painting or gilding on the memorial, any engravings or ornamentation or to any flush or raised lead lettering as this will depend on the position of the memorial and the level of maintenance applied. 
  3. This Guarantee shall not apply to any damage caused by any third party and shall become invalid if the memorial is removed, disturbed or otherwise worked upon by anyone other than ourselves.
  4. Movement as a result of ground settlement - all of our memorials will be levelled where required, without charge, for a period of two years following the date of completion of the order.

The above Guarantee is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any statutory or common law rights vested in the purchaser.

In addition to the above, and for your peace of mind, we are also: 

  • Long standing and well respected members of NAMM (National Association of Memorial Masons). 
  • Listed on the BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) register.
  • Members of the Guild of Master Craftsmen.

Payment Information

 

We require a minimum 20% deposit of the memorial costs plus any cemetery fees in full with an order. When the work is completed and ready to be fixed in the cemetery/churchyard you, as the client, will be sent a photograph with a request for settlement of the account. Upon receipt of the outstanding balance we will issue a receipt and endeavour to fix the memorial within 15 working days from delivering the memorial to our contractors. 

Bramm

BRAMM (British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons) Scheme was set up in 2004 with the aim of establishing a network of nationally accredited businesses and registered fixers that will ultimately replace individual Registration Schemes.

Primary Aims:

  • To establish a recognised uniform standard of workmanship to meet the requirements of BS 8415 in all burial grounds throughout the UK.
  • To promote BRAMM Accredited Businesses and Registered Fixers.
  • To ensure all Businesses, Fixers and Burial Authorities on the BRAMM Register follow the current health and safety guidelines to protect both the public and  their employees.
  • To ensure that BRAMM businesses give a guarantee of the stability of their memorial.
  • To ensure the Scheme will be effectively policed ensuring that acceptable standards of memorial fixing are maintained.
  • To encourage on-going training and education within the memorial masonry industry.
  • To promote a closer working relationship between Memorial Masons and Burial Authorities.

To find out more about BRAMM please visit the official website: www.bramm-uk.org

 

guild

Ideally you would have a recommendation from a close friend or relative; however this is not always possible, especially if you have moved into a new area. This is when you need to visit www.findacraftsman.com, the only website to list members of The Guild of Master Craftsmen exclusively. The Guild is the UKs leading trade association and always asks potential members for just that kind of recommendation.

Applicants for the Guild are required to submit confidential references from satisfied customers and one of the first questions asked of all referees is whether or not they would be prepared to recommend the applicant to a relative or close friend. The Guild's council of management include a review of the references when considering the application for membership as well as ensuring all other criteria are met. Only when they are satisfied that the applicant really does deserve to be called a master craftsmen is the application approved. This is about as close as you can get to receiving a recommendation from one of your neighbours or friends.

To further its aim of promoting high standards of work, The Guild of Master Craftsmen runs a Helpline to assist in finding skilled and reputable craftspeople. This is a free service that uses the Guild's Membership database to compile lists of Guild members selected by location and craft. Enquirers receive a tailored list of the local tradesmen & craftspeople with the skills and experience that they need. You can contact the helpline on 01273 478449.

To find out more about The Guild of Master Craftsmen please visit the official website: www.guildmc.com

 

Proud members of Namm

 

The National Association of Memorial Masons is an organisation dedicated to furthering the memorial masonry industry and safeguarding the interests of the bereaved through the promotion of high standards, wide choice and increased understanding in all matters relating to natural stone memorials.

To find out more about NAMM please visit the official website:www.namm.org.uk

Memorial Rules and Regulations

Most Cemeteries & Churchyards have specific rules and regulations governing exactly what type of memorial they will, or will not, allow together with its size, colour, style, any design work required and even including the wording of an inscription.

  • Most Local Burial Authorities and Diocesan Churchyards are very strict on enforcement of their rules and regulations.
  • As Professional Memorial Masons we have a wealth of locally based area knowledge and can advise and guide you through this sometimes complicated procedure.
  • We also apply for the necessary permissions to introduce a new memorial or carry out work on an existing memorial with the Burial Authority or Church Diocese concerned on your behalf.
  • Some Cemeteries & Churchyards charge a fee for issuing a Fixing Permit - usually called a permit fee. In which case we add their permit fee, at cost, to your account.
  • The Permit Application must be signed by the registered owner of the grave.
  • It is part of our Quality Assurance Procedure to keep you updated on the various stages involved in producing their memorial and the permit process is no exception.

Glossary of Terms

 
  • Permit - a document from a Burial Authority or Church Diocese granting permission to introduce new headstones and gravestones or to carry out any work on an existing memorial.
  • Permit Fee - the fee charged by a Burial Authority or Church Diocese for granting the Permit.
  • Lawn Memorial - perhaps the most widely used style of memorial and are generally known as Headstone & Base sets.
  • Headstone - a general term for a Lawn Memorial as above
  • Traditional Memorial - more widely used in older cemeteries and are generally known as kerb sets.
  • Flat Memorial - a memorial which lies flat in the ground.
  • Engraving - Either an engraved inscription or a motif/emblem/design etched onto the memorial.
  • Plaque - a general term for Flat Memorial as above.
  • Photoplaque - a ceramic plaque, usually with a picture or the deceased, fixed to the surface of a memorial.
  • Design - a general term for a design to go on a memorial such as a church window, a floral design or a bespoke design.
  • Ground Anchor - a mandatory NAMM-accredited stainless steel fixing which conforms to current Health & Safety guidelines and prevents a memorial from being pushed over.
  • NAMM - National Association of Memorial Masons.
  • BRAMM - British Register of Accredited Memorial Masons.
  • GMC - The Guild of Master Craftsmen.
  • Linear Raft - a continuous reinforced concrete foundation usually used on Lawn Memorial sections within local authority cemeteries.
  • Font - the term used for a style of lettering.

Terms and Conditions of Sale

 
1. INTERPRETATION

In these conditions:

  "Buyer" - means the person or company who accepts a quotation of the Seller for Goods or whose Order for Goods is accepted by the Seller.

  "Seller" - means the firm of memorial mason named in the Order.

  "Goods" - means the memorial described in the Order and any works to be carried out to complete such memorial.

  "Order" - means any quotation from the Seller which is accepted by a Buyer or any Order placed by the Buyer which is accepted by the Seller.

  "Memorial" - means any stone or other material on which work has been carried out by the Seller.

2. MATERIALS

Natural quarried materials can vary in colour and texture. All Goods are sold subject to these natural variations and therefore cannot be guaranteed identical to any sample produced. All sizes are approximate and imperial measurements may be converted to metric or vice versa.

3. DETAILS

The buyer should check the details of the Order and the wording therein of the inscription carefully. Particular care should be taken in the spelling of names and the accuracy of dates. Any error should be notified and confirmed in writing, to the Seller, within seven days of the date of acceptance of the Order. Any error in the inscription layout proof should also be notified within seven days of its receipt. The signed and approved layout copy will be used as the final production specification. The Seller cannot otherwise accept responsibility for any errors in an inscription on Goods that comply with the terms of an Order.

4. COMPLETION

The seller will endeavour to deliver the Goods or (if applicable) have the Goods available for collection by the Buyer within the time specified in the Order but if completion of any works are delayed through strikes, lock outs, accidents, non-delivery of materials to the Seller or other force majeure a reasonable extension of time will be allowed.  Time shall not be of the essence of the contract unless expressly agreed in writing by the Seller.

5. TITLE

The Title in the Goods remains vested in the Seller and shall not pass to the Buyer until the Seller has received in cash or cleared funds payment in full of the price for the Goods.

6. PAYMENT

A deposit as specified in the order or, if none is so specified 20%, of the Price for the Goods shall be paid by the Buyer to the Seller upon acceptance of the Order. Until payment is made of that deposit the Seller shall not be obliged to commence any work and any date specified for completion of the Order shall be extended by the period of any delay in payment of the deposit. On completion of any manufacturing works, but before the delivery of the Goods, the Seller will notify the buyer and submit a photograph of the memorial and the invoice for the Goods.  The Buyer should then approve the Goods as soon as possible and the Buyer must notify any complaint regarding the Goods in writing to the Seller within 14 days after the date of such notification or issue of the invoice.

The balance of the price for the Goods shall be due and payable within 21 days after the date of issue of the invoice notwithstanding that delivery of the Goods may not have taken place to the intent that the Seller shall be entitled to defer fixing the memorial in the cemetery or churchyard or other agreed place until after payment in full of the price of the Goods in cash or cleared funds.

If the Buyer fails to make any payment on the due date then without prejudice to any other right or remedy available to the Seller the Seller shall be entitled to charge interest (both before and after any judgement) on the amount unpaid at the rate of 3 per cent per month calculated on a monthly basis until payment in full is made (a part of a month being treated as a full month for the purpose of calculating interest).

7. INDEMNITY

If the goods shall prove to be faulty in workmanship or material not in accordance with this contract within twenty five years of the goods being fixed in the cemetery or churchyard or other agreed place, the Goods (or such part thereof as applicable) shall be made good or, if this is not possible, replaced by the Seller without any expense to the Buyer subject to the conditions stated below,

Conditions:

  • All natural materials vary from time to time in colour and texture therefore this Guarantee relates only to the type and soundness of the material and not to any colour variance.

  • This Guarantee shall not apply to any painting or gilding on the memorial, any engravings or ornamentation or to any flush or raised lead lettering as this will depend on the position of the memorial and the level of maintenance applied.

  • Movement as a result of ground settlement - all of our memorials will be levelled where required, without charge, for a period of two years following the date of completion of the order.

  • This Guarantee shall not apply to any damage caused by any third party and shall become invalid if the memorial is removed, disturbed or otherwise worked upon by anyone other than ourselves.

The above Guarantee is in addition to, and not in lieu of, any statutory or common law rights vested in the purchaser.

The Seller shall have no liability to the Buyer for any consequential loss of the Buyer arising out of the provision of the Goods (except in respect of death or personal injury resulting from negligence) and the total liability of the Seller for any other loss of the Buyer so arising shall not exceed the price payable by the Buyer for the Goods.

8. FEES AND VAT

Fees to cemetery and churchyard authorities are the responsibility of the Buyer but may be paid by the Seller and added to the invoice. Any notification of such charges given by the Seller to the Buyer having been given in good faith, occurring after notification but prior to any increase in such charges up to date of the fixing of the Goods shall be paid by the Buyer to the Seller within seven days of request for payment.

All our costs are inclusive of VAT at the current rate where applicable.

Lettering Styles

The following show a few of our more popular lettering styles.

All of the fonts below are suitable for granite. However, the fonts 'Lords', 'Raphael', 'Tailends' and 'Old English' are not recommended for some softer materials, notably York, Nabrasina and Marble.

If you have a font (lettering style) that you would like to use which is not listed below, please contact the Masonry Team who can let you know if your font is suitable to be used on the material chosen.

  
                     AvantGarde.gif              Block.gif             Caxton.gif





                  CenturySchoolBook.gif              Chelsea.gif               Comic.gif



 

                Friz.gif             Goudy.gif              Lords.gif

 

 

 

                Raphael.gif                 Roman.gif              RomanBold.gif

 

 

 

                Sabon.gif              Tailends.gif                     Zapf.gif 

 

                                             

Engraved Designs 

We offer a vast range of Stencil Designs from our Stencil Library - a small sample of which are shown below.

Most of our Stencil Designs can be gilded, highlighted or coloured to your choice.

 

 

std stencilimages

Bespoke Engraved Designs

We offer an almost limitless bespoke headstone and gravestone design service such as the recent examples of our work shown below.

Our memorial artists can create almost any type of design that you can think of. If you have a special requirement such as a Military Insignia, a Football Club emblem or a specific individual design we can produce it. Please contact us for details.

bespoke designs

Inscriptions

We do not use standard inscription templates. All our inscriptions are structured to follow your individual requirements. Some examples are shown below as a guide to the correct layout and structure of an inscription. 

Please bear in mind that a fairly simple inscription looks far more tasteful than one with too much wording on it. Please also bear in mind that a further inscription might have to be added in the future so room has to be left available.

Structuring A Memorial’s Inscription

The structure of an inscription and its number of letters is very important and has a great bearing on the overall appearance of a memorial. All three examples shown below are the same size standard burial headstone and base set. (Overall height 33” - overall width 24”)

 

The example below has approximately 50 letters with room for two more inscriptions in the future

All Polished Black Granite Memorial with inscription example

 

 

The example below has approximately 100 letters. This is a typical inscription and leaves plenty of room for an additional inscription. 

All polished black granite memorial with sample inscription

 

 

 The example below has approximately 350 letters and leaves no room for an additional inscription. 

All polished black granite headstone with sample inscription

 

Sample Inscriptions