Since 2001 we have been under the ownership of West & Coe, a fully independent, family owned and managed business, that has served the community for over a century. As founding members of The National Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors (SAIF), we abide by a strict code of practice that provides further confidence in our professional service and approach.

 

Jeremy West, Chairman and Managing Director and his family.

 

Our premises offer full facilities for the care of your loved one, meaning they remain local to home, from the moment they come into our care, until the day of the funeral. At the earliest stage possible you will deal directly with one of our experienced Funeral Directors who, if wished, will come to see you in the comfort of your own home and will advise and gently guide you through every aspect of the funeral arrangements, conduct the funeral on the day and assist with any further requirements. We believe this continuity of care is important. It gives you a reassuring familiar face at an often distressing and sometimes bewildering time.

Meet the Staff

Alastair Harding

General Manager & Funeral Director

I joined the company as a Funeral Director in 2017, having come from a completely unrelated field of expertise in horticulture, both commercial and practical. I am often asked why I made such a dramatic change, but I think it was because I had developed lots of skills in being able to talk to people of all walks of life, understanding what good ‘customer’ service is and I just like helping people, although having a slightly OCD attention to detail is also beneficial! I became acting assistant manager in the autumn of that year and then General Manager in the Summer of 2020.

As a company, we pride ourselves on the quality of the service we provide, and I’m immensely proud of the team of people I have working with me, in what can be a very stressful and emotional job. They are amazing.

Outside of work I have many hobbies and interests.

I love trekking and have had fantastic adventures doing so in Peru, Nepal and Europe and I’m never happier than when I’m out in a beautiful landscape amongst the flora and fauna. It’s also a brilliant way of meeting people and learning about different cultures and making lifelong friendships.

Although I have left horticulture as a career, I will always be obsessed by plants, so my garden takes up a lot of my spare time.

I love cooking for friends, particularly the eating part! I am a beekeeper and if time permits, I love reading and doing sculpture classes.

Life is always so busy these days, that to be able to switch off from the madness around you and just to be able to clear your mind and just think about placing one foot in front of the other, or the piece of clay or plant in your hand, is immensely therapeutic and I can’t recommend it highly enough.


Bridget Warmington

Assistant Manager & Funeral Director

I was born and brought up in Cranbrook, attending St. Dunstan’s Church of England Primary School and Mary Sheafe Secondary School for Girls. In my last year, 1971, Mary Sheafe expanded and became Angley School with the boys joining us from Swattenden School! Whilst at school I enjoyed most sports, but my favourites were athletics, netball, rounders & gymnastics.

When I left school at the age of sixteen, my first place of work was Lloyds Bank in Cranbrook High Street where I stayed until February 1981. By this time I was married, expecting my first baby and living in Staplehurst. I now have two sons, Adam & Simon, who are married and in turn have given me 4 adorable grandchildren.

I first worked for J Perigoe & Son in 1992 cleaning the offices and being a ‘name taker’ at church services. As my sons moved through school I started working part time in the office which then led on to my becoming a full time funeral director in August 1996 – so I think I can safely say I have worked my way up from the bottom!

Although I absolutely loved what I was doing, in 2001 I felt I needed a change and left the company. It was a decision that I regretted and I eventually found my way back to J Perigoe & Son in August 2012. Being a funeral director can be all consuming and emotionally & mentally draining – but helping and guiding my families through very difficult times gives me great job satisfaction – there is no better feeling! I am fortunate to work with a very dedicated and caring team.

I have been back living in Cranbrook for over 10 years now and am fortunate to have my family close by. Leisure time is very important when you are working hard, full time. To try and relax I love spending time with my family – especially my grandchildren. I also enjoy walking, visiting the cinema, eating out and going on holiday.


Joanne Gooderson

Funeral Director

I joined the business as a funeral director in June 2020 and from the welcome and support I have been shown as a new member of the team, it is clear to see why so many families choose us to give them the best care and support.
I moved to the area having grown up in Tunbridge Wells in 2003 and feel very lucky to live in such a beautiful part of the country, surrounded by great views, walks, scenery and excellent produce from our local farmers. With my family living so close too, we have had some of the best times picking strawberries and tasting the local wines.

Music, poetry and collecting great pictures play an important part in both my home and work life. There is so much to be had from listening to the right piece of music, reading great writings and finding beautiful pictures. One of my favourite books is, ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’ by Charlie Mackesy. A book I would highly recommend to everyone. There is definitely something we can all take from this book at different times in our lives and when dealing with life’s challenges.

I have been lucky to have travelled far and wide but as they say, there’s no place like home! One day I will, as I keep promising myself, learn to sail, so I can be a much more helpful crew member to my father and brother instead of only mastering the galley and hospitality! When I’m not out and about with my son visiting the National Trust and other local sites, I like to watch all those episodes of, ‘Escape to the Chateau’ and ‘Grand Designs’ whilst dreaming of one day owning one of the best cars ever made, a Landrover Defender of course.

But rather than dreaming of other things, I count my blessings every day, for having a son who makes me proud, the best parents, (my siblings are ok too) and for working within a great team, in a role that enables me to help families, in a special one-to-one relationship, from the first point of contact to the end of the funeral day and beyond.


Diana Newman

Accounts Manager

I joined J. Perigoe & Son in June 2018 as the Accounts Administrator and Cranbrook Receptionist.
Having enjoyed a long career in finance working within London and the South East, I felt the daily commute meant I do not get to see or appreciate the beautiful countryside which I had around me.
It was time for change…

When the position at J. Perigoe’s was advertised, I knew this was the opportunity I was waiting for.
Great company, perfect colleagues, all inside a wonderful community and based a stone’s throw from the house.
Life just keeps getting better…


Diane Wood

Company Representative

I joined J. Perigoe & Son and A.W. Court’s in October 2017. I am the Company Representative and Golden Charter Advisor. It was lovely to know that I was going to be supporting the local community by donating and sponsoring Care Homes, Club’s and many different Society’s. Also, visiting families to discuss their wishes for arranging a funeral plan, many comments are made saying about our professional and caring ways, from the first telephone call to the day of the service and always here to advise afterwards too.

This was a new challenge, I felt confident and motivated. I was looking forward to meeting all the new people and learning a whole new role in the community. When in the office I found everyone very friendly, supportive and was made to feel part of a busy team.

Away from work, I love spending time with our pets, three dogs, Jazz, Gracie and Jessie, an African grey parrot, Charlie he is amazingly clever, says a lot of sentences and whistles most of the time and last, but not least, our two tortoises, Tilly and Suzy Cute. They all bring so much happiness to our lives. I also enjoy going for a lovely evening out, having a meal with Del who works within the company too. I have a passion for Ballroom and Latin dancing. In the past I competed in competitions worldwide.


Joyce Vidler

A. W. Court Office Manager

I have worked in the Grafty Green office since 2007. I now live in Harrietsham but had lived in the cottage next to the office for over 21 years.
I have three grown up children, love cooking and being in my garden.
I have supported Headcorn Scouts of which I am now chairman for around 25 years.


Mandy Farmer

J. Perigoe & Son Office Manager

Hi my name is Mandy and I work in the office at Northiam.
I joined J.Perigoe & Son two years ago. After being offered a position with the company, I was very impressed with the way that they look after their families, as they show so much respect and care. The company will always go above and beyond to get things just right.

Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family. I also like going to the theatre in London and for a nice meal.
Taking time out for a holiday in the sun is always very welcome!
Not forgetting, taking my lovely little dog Lilly out on nice walks.


Dave Hunt

Funeral Operative

I started working for the company back in 2012, after years working as a builder, local postman and bus driver, which comes in very handy when navigating around Kent and East Sussex. I’ve always lived in the area in and around Sutton Valence, Maidstone and Harrietsham, and like to ‘Support’ the local pubs on a regular basis! Because of all these things, I’ve got to know a huge amount of people and so consequently I feel very proud when they come to us to look after their funeral arrangements for their loved ones.

I am a fan of Tottenham Hotspurs, like walking and DIY, but the most important part of my life is my family. I have a son and four daughters and plenty of grandchildren to keep me busy.


Del Henry

Funeral Operative

I started working for Perigoes in the February of 2012 as a bearer/driver. Having spent the previous 15 years working shift work in a frozen food factory, it was a massive change for me.

I was made to feel very welcome when I started, I soon began to realise I had made the right decision in leaving my previous job.

My job is extremely satisfying. Seeing the family at the beginning of losing a loved one, to being there at the end of the funeral, makes it all worthwhile. Having been here nearly 9 years and having seen our competitors over the years. I know we’re one of the best Funeral Directors around.


Ray Packham

Funeral Operative

Born in Surrey in 19 something or other, I made the move all the way down to Kent (a good 30 miles) to buy my first house. I was working in export and then with a large well-known international logistics company. About 15 years of which was spent in the office and about the same again on the road (by far the best years).

I came to this profession only quite recently. I had spotted an interestingly worded job vacancy advertisement which aroused my curiosity, I find the job remarkably fulfilling. No two days are the same and the position can be very hands on. I could be in attendance at the initial point of need, through some important procedures relating to the funeral and even driving the funeral vehicles on the day when required.

My main role is one of ensuring the proceedings run smoothly for the funeral director and ultimately for the bereaved families. We are in quite a unique position within this sector of the service industry and I have come to the firm belief that customer satisfaction is not everything… It is the only thing.

I get a real buzz when hearing of positive feedback from families about our thoughtfulness and caring actions during what is a quite difficult, not to say, distressing time. My colleagues have been welcoming and encouraging and I wholeheartedly recommend their drive and dedication in providing a service second to none.

I am very family oriented and enjoy spending time with my wife Jane, our sons Adam and Alexander. & the other love of my life, my dog Jasper and it’s nice to spend time on long walks in the countryside. We have itchy feet & love to travel (Jasper has his passport). Having a brother and his family in the new forest, a branch of my family in western Canada, and not least my sister and brother in law in Provence has meant these have become favourite destinations, and a long held desire of retiring to France (I need more sunshine in my life) is now starting to feel increasingly close.

Good friends, (I love entertaining) golf, skiing, sailing, riding my motorcycle, nice food and bottle or 2 of a good French wine (not necessarily in that order) have all been excellent reasons to get up in the morning.


Funeral Staff

Bearers & Nametakers

Pat

Nigel

Joan

Richard

David

Roger

Gary