Oldest Family Firms In Essex

M. Lucking & Sons, Chelmsford

M Lucking & Sons have served Chelmsford and the surrounding area for over 360 years.  Ongoing research has traced the Lucking family to the Great Waltham and Little Waltham areas of Chelmsford. In 1631, William Lucking of Little Waltham carried on the trade of carpenter and joiner and would, no doubt, have been asked to make coffins. ‘Undertaking’ as the trade was then known, has changed over the years to become the profession of Funeral Directors. It was not until 1887 that William Augustus, the son of another
William Lucking, purchased the property in New London Road, Chelmsford.  These premises remain the place of business and family residence today.

William Augustus married Susan Piper of London in 1876. Their son George William, born in 1880, carried on the business after the death of his father. He married Mary Hurry and they had two sons, Percy and Gus, and two daughters, Gladys and Doris. When George William died at the age of 41, the business was carried on by his wife Mary (hence, M Lucking & Sons) until the sons became of an age to succeed.

The second son, Gus stayed in the business and took over from his mother. He married Alice Ketley and
they had two daughters, Christine and Jennifer. Christine married Bernard Gowing in 1967 and they have one daughter, Sarah. Bernard then carried on the family business.

In 1996 Darren Lucking joined the company to help run the business with Bernard as it was becoming too
difficult for him on his own. Darren is the grandson of Percy and great-nephew of Gus, continuing the family
run theme.

In 2002, Roy Palmer joined the company. Roy, who holds the Diploma in Funeral Directing, is Darren’s cousin on his mothers’ side. Sadly in 2010 Bernard passed away. In 2015, Sarah, Christine’s daughter, joined the company.  Sarah has taken an active role in the financial side of the company dealing with the accounts.

In 2019, Calum, Roy’s son, joined the company. Calum brought his youth and his computer skills with him and has helped M. Lucking & Sons join the 21st Century. Now Christine, Jennifer, Darren, Roy, Sarah and Calum work together as a team to maintain the high standards and professionalism their clients have learnt to expect.

As Darren Lucking explains, “We are so proud that the business is still running today as it was all the way back in 1631, including the fact that we are still joiners which was how the business started all those years ago. One of the reasons we continue as a successful business is because of the old fashioned, quality, customer service that is so often missing in a lot of companies today. Also, the care we genuinely show our families and the quality of the products that are made within our workshop & stonemasonry business help us to continue to do what we have done for generations.”

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