St. James funeral home at 31 St. James Gardens, Uplands, Swansea was established in August 1987. The company is privately owned by Stanley J. Lee and Paul Garland – Thomas between them they have 88 years’ experience in the funeral profession.
Stan first entered the funeral profession in 1964 working for Swansea firm Rees Davies & son moving upwards in the company to become Managing Director of what had grown into Marlborough Road funeral services, incorporating several local firms. When the company was sold to the co-operative funeral division in 1985 Stan felt it was time to move on and use his many years of experience to start his own venture.
Paul was brought up in the funeral profession with Williams of Walter Road, owned by his father Harold the company was established by his family in 1760. Paul began work in the business after leaving school in 1970 and was sent to complete his training in London before being recalled to take over the company following the death of his father Harold in 1977.
When Stan and Paul came together it was decided that new premises were required, 31 St. James Gardens was the ideal building, a large family home built in 1872, with beautiful gardens and away from the main roads it offered a tranquil setting with accessible parking. It also required little major alteration to make it suitable for use thus helping to maintain its quiet homely feel.
In 1989 St. James funeral home became one of the original members of the Society of Allied and Independent Funeral Directors a new national governing body set up to protect the rights and interests of privately owned funeral directors against the ongoing threat of the multi nationals.
Further expansion came in 1990 with the purchase of new premises at 462 Gower Road, Killay. In 2006 we began to offer memorial services which are now located at this address, with a showroom offering a selection of memorials, tablets and vases, plus an extensive catalogue available to order.
In the ensuing years Gowerton & Penclawdd lost privately owned firms, Lemuel Morgan & Alec Fry due to bereavements and retirement. Since both had working associations with St. James Funeral Home, it was decided to open a third office at 3 Gorwydd Road, Gowerton, which would maintain the local community’s access to a firm of family owned funeral directors.