Our history

At the age of 21, Henry Claude Townsend completed a 7 year apprenticeship and was offered 3d an hour extra pay by his employer. However, his father, Joseph Henry felt that he was under valued for such a talented young craftsman, and so encouraged Henry Claude to set up his own joinery business, where coffin manufacture and funerals soon became part of the work, and H.C.Townsend was formed, in 1927.

Kenneth Brian, only child of Claude and Beatrice (Kitty) joined the business on completion of his education at Harrogate Grammar School, in 1952.
The business flourished and Cundalls Funeral Directors was acquired in the late 1970s.

In 1981 David, eldest son of Brian and Mary, joined the business and at the age of just 17, carried out his first funerals.
In October 2004, Brian and Mary retired and handed the reins to David and his wife, Ann, and in October 2005, they acquired Backhouse of Hunsingore, Funeral Directors.

In 2007, building works began to transform the old joinery workshops into a refurbished Chapel of Rest, modern mortuary and new garaging to accommodate the business’s first fleet of vehicles.

Henry Claude Townsend