Grassby & Sons – 160 Years of Service To The CommunityTuesday, March 22nd, 2022
Grassby & Sons is a family-owned funeral director and memorial masons based in Dorchester, Dorset. Going strong through six generations, the family business has recently passed its 160 year anniversary of service to the community.
Congratulations to the Grassby & Sons, an outstanding Dorchester business for over 160 years.
Foundations of Grassby & Sons
When founding father Benjamin Grassby moved to Dorchester in 1861 he could not have imagined the business would have been thriving six generations later – and still being run by family members.
Benjamin was a renowned stone carver and with his family was responsible for a lot of masonry work during the 19thcentury in many Dorset churches during the Gothic revival. As well as buildings such as the Corn Exchange, Dorset Museum and Eldridge Pope Brewery.
Grassby Funeral Service opens
The family stonemasonry business continued down through the successive generations until Clinton Grassby, together with his brother Tony, opened Grassby Funeral Service in Princes Street, Dorchester in 1970.
And how the business has developed since then. Peter Grassby and his brother David have been overseeing the funeral business for the last 40 years together with David’s son Nick who joined in 2017 after a law career. Peter, Nick and Andrew Fooks now care for local families at their time of need at their Dorchester branch.
Peter’s son William is emulating his uncle Andrew Grassby and of course his great-great-great grandfather Benjamin in carrying on with the family’s stone carving skills at Grimstone, Dorset – albeit with the help of 21st century technology.
During the last 40 years the funeral business has expanded with the family acquiring a number of other local funeral directors. These include Rose Funeral Service and Grassby & Stockting serving Weymouth & Portland and the family are proud to work with Sam Wilding, Melody Hopkins and Paul Buddin in these branches, who look after families in south Dorset with dedication and a strong identity with the area.
North Dorset families are served by Colin J Close Funeral Service in Blandford and Grassby & Close in Sturminster Newton. The family have even crossed the border into Devon, acquiring Potburys Funeral Service of Sidmouth in the early 1990s and Hansfords of Seaton and Beer, together with Norton Memorial Masons of Axminster.
Although all these branches primarily care for the funeral needs of their clients, they are all supported by the original stonemasonry side of the business set up 160 years ago by Benjamin Grassby.
In recent years there have been interesting developments in the nature of funerals with a more personal style of service which celebrates a person’s life or indeed with families also able to have a less traditional funeral.
An eco-friendly trend has also been evident in the funeral industry with the rise of green burial practices, biodegradable coffins and a growing sensitivity towards issues regarding waste, renewal and sustainability. Indeed, the company has recently purchased two hybrid hearses and a hybrid limousine. They hope Benjamin would be proud.
Calling all businesses in Dorchester! Are you celebrating an anniversary, have a special offer or have some exciting news you’d like us to share? Get in touch with the Dorchester BID Team now – submit your news here.