Fergus Court, Funeral Director

Fergus’ Choice: Funeral Director

In an era when youngsters leave the countryside for work in the cities, and death is a taboo, Fergus Court made an unusual choice when he became an independent Funeral Director in a country market town.

Fergus Court attends to the flowers

Fergus Court attends to the flowers

But Fergus, of Malton in North Yorkshire, loves his job, and blesses the luck that led him into his profession.  A chance meeting with an undertaker led Fergus to apply for a job vacancy.  Fergus says, “I was intrigued, and went straight round to ask for an interview.”


The employer, knowing it’s not a job for everybody, advised a trial day.  Fergus went along, and says, “I fell in love with it.  The following Monday, I started full time.”

Trained on the Job

Fergus trained on the job, spending years learning the business from the bottom up: “I did 18 months behind the scenes, and six months with funeral directors and managers, then out in the field doing it for myself.  Then I did two years arranging and conducting funerals.  In that time, I dealt with a lot of families.”

Independent  Funeral Director

Now, he has his own ideas, and has gone independent.  He hopes to grow the business, supported by his wife Katie.  One day, he hopes to involve his young sons.  His office is in Malton, where he likes nothing better than to walk the streets of the town, bump into clients, and have a chat.

Fergus loves working in the market town of Malton

Fergus loves working in the market town of Malton


But the big question is: why undertaking?  Fergus could have become a butcher, a baker – even, possibly, a candlestick maker.  But undertaker?  He explains, “The main reason for me getting such satisfaction from it – enjoyment is not the right word – is that I … can deal with death.  Either you can or you can’t, and I can.  I take a big pressure off somebody when they’re grieving.”


Fergus picks up a thank you card, sent by a client, and says, “It means a lot to me to receive these thank yous.  It’s really hard to put into words what I get out of it.  But there’s the satisfaction of knowing that someone’s said goodbye to their loved one in the best way possible, the way that they wanted.”

Contact Fergus at Fergus Court Funeral Services, Malton

Read more about Fergus in Dalesman Magazine, May 2016 issue

About Helen Johnson

Freelance writer specialising in Yorkshire's history and heritage.

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