For over 95 years Douglas Funeral Directors have been serving the Ballynahinch community by providing a totally independent funeral service which maintains the old fashioned family tradition of quality and service while being responsive to the demands of the 21st century.
Hugh Robinson Douglas established the business in 1926 when he purchased the existing firm of Patterson Undertakers, the owner having decided to emigrate to America.
The first funeral conducted was that of Mrs Mary A. McConnell of The Square, Ballynahinch at a total cost of £10.00.
Billy Douglas began working with his father at the age of 14, assisting with laying-out, preparation and dressing of the deceased. His brother Leslie was also involved in the firm for many years before emigrating to Australia in 1981. Billy though retired has an active interest in the business that still bears his family name and upholds the family standards of sympathetic helpfulness to those grieving while paying meticulous attention to detail, which families expect at the funeral of a loved one.
On 1st July 1991, Billy’s nephew Bill Reid and his wife Anne took over the reins, maintaining Douglas Funeral Directors as one of the oldest family-run businesses in the Ballynahinch area continuing to operate from the premises at Main Street. With much hard work and dedication, Bill and Anne have carried on the family tradition. Over the following years, the company’s reputation strengthened and as Ballynahinch itself changed and developed , it was decided that new premises were required. It always remained Bill and Anne’s wish to provide Ballynahinch with purpose built premises, so in November 2013, Douglas Funeral Directors were delighed to relocate to new premises at 20 Dromore Road, consisting of a funeral church, private individual grieving rooms, office suites and a large welcome reception area. The building was officially opened by Billy Douglas on 7th December 2013 in the presence of a large cross-section of the Ballynahinch community, after which a service of thanksgiving was conducted by the Rev Scott Woodburn.
The premises offer a subtle blend of good taste and the latest technology, which incorporates an internet live feed and archive facility, allowing those unable to attend the funeral service to view it ‘live’ on line, or at their leisure.
Located a short distance from Lough Inch Cemetery, there is ample on-site parking for 16 vehicles, with overflow parking directly opposite at Edengrove Presbyterian Church. The versatile seating system in the funeral church can comfortably accommodate 150 people, including full disabled access and facilities. The church can be made available for the provision of refreshments (in association with local caterers), following cemetery or crematorium committals. Generations of family involvement has allowed Douglas Funeral Directors to establish excellent working relationships with local clergy, doctors, hospitals and council officials ensuring all requirements are fulfilled both professionally and confidentially.
Never wanting to rest on their laurels, Douglas Funeral Directors keep abreast of changes within the profession to help the company maintain its vital, important and trusted position in the community.
Bill and Anne’s son Douglas Reid is also involved in the family business making this the fourth generation of family serving family.