History of Craven

Decades of devotion: the Craven story

It’s been quite a journey…

Walter Craven was brought up in St. Helens but moved to Liverpool during the First World War. Soon afterwards, he began arranging funerals in the early 1920’s from premises at Number Two, Broadgreen Road in Old Swan, Liverpool.

During the 1930s, Walter began to establish the business and went to extraordinary lengths to ensure that funerals could take place during the Second World War. This included trips up to Scotland to procure wood for coffins – which was, by then, in short supply.

1970 saw the move to Craven Lodge, then an elegant period house, in Broadgreen Road, which has since been replaced by modern purpose-built premises.

Derek Craven, the present Chairman, joined the firm in 1963. The company continued to go from strength to strength with the acquisition of several local funeral businesses including Charlett, Leadbetter & Murphy, Moar & Butler and Maddock into the Craven Group. During this period, Craven itself opened a new funeral home at Park Road, Toxteth.

Craven has been part of the local community during all the ups and downs of recent decades – from the riots of the early 1980s to the tragedy of Hillsborough when the company was involved in arranging many local funerals for the victims of that terrible day in April 1989.

At the time of the Hillsborough disaster, Derek’s son, Charles, was still school and lost personal friends that day in Sheffield. A few years on, in 1993, Charles joined the family business before becoming Director in 1999.

Under Charles’s direction, new premises have been opened in Lydiate, Tarbock, Hough Green and Toxteth.

In recent years, Craven has been recognised by the Funeral Planning Authority for the quality of their pre-payment plans as well as winning national awards for embalming skills.

And the journey continues…