1. Interpretation

Throughout these regulations the following words or terms shall, where used, have the meaning or signification hereby assigned to them, viz

‘Council’ shall mean the Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

‘Applicant’ shall mean the person signing cremation Form 1 and/or responsible for making the funeral arrangements

‘Crematorium’ shall mean the building situated off Benhall Mill Road known as the ‘Kent and Sussex Crematorium’, Tunbridge Wells, and fitted with plant and equipment for the purpose of disposal of human remains and shall include the Crematorium Chapel, the Crematorium Grounds, and any other buildings which may now or hereafter be erected thereon or on any further land which the Council may use in connection with the Crematorium.

‘Registrar’ – shall mean the person for the time being holding office by that designation under the Council with respect to the Crematorium or, during his absence, any Officer of the Council duly authorised by the Council to act on his behalf.

2. General

  1. Telephone Messages – Any orders or instructions given by telephone will be received at the sole risk of the person giving them and the Council shall not be responsible for any misunderstanding or error which may arise with respect thereto unless they are immediately confirmed in writing and in any manner provided by these regulations.
  2. Calculation of Time for Submission of Funeral Papers– In calculating the time required for any funeral paperwork submissions to the crematorium office under these Regulations; Saturday, Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day and Bank Holidays and such other days as may be appointed a general holiday shall be excluded.
  3. Punctuality – The time booked for a funeral shall be the time at which the procession is to arrive at the chapel doors and enters. This time must be strictly observed and in default, the Registrar may allow another funeral to take precedence. A surcharge at the current rate prevailing for funeral services overrunning their allocated time may also be levied at the discretion of the Registrar.
  4. Gratuities – No employee of the Council is allowed either to take any gratuity or to undertake private work of any kind in connection with the Crematorium either in his own time or during the Council’s time.
  5. Complaints – Any complaints of incivility or inattention should be made to the Registrar.
  6. Advertisements – No advertisement, placard, flag or banner shall be displayed in any part of the Crematorium or Cemetery, and no person shall in the Crematorium complex or its grounds of the Cemetery distribute any business cards, advertisements or literature of any kind or otherwise solicit any order for monumental or other works.
  7. Vehicles – No motorised vehicles shall be driven in the Crematorium grounds at a speed in excess of 5mph. All vehicles must be parked in the official car parks and at no other location within the Crematorium grounds.
  8. Flowers and Wreaths – Funeral flowers and wreaths are permitted at a funeral and after the service in the designated area. They will be displayed for a period not exceeding five days unless the funeral director or applicant for the funeral makes alternative arrangements for their removal. During this time they remain the property of the applicant and the council accepts no responsibility for their security or condition. After five days have elapsed the flower/tributes remaining on site will be disposed of.

No potted plants or other form of commemorative memorabilia shall be placed by memorials in the Garden of Remembrance. Cut flowers may be placed next to commemorative plaques etc., or placed in the vases provided in the Cloister Garden. All unauthorized items may be removed without notice and disposed of accordingly.

3. Cremations

  1. General – All Cremations will be carried out in strict accordance with current legislation and such regulations as may be made from time to time by the Secretary of State. The council is also a signatory to the ICCM Charter for the Bereaved, the ICCM Guiding Principles and the ICCM Recycling of Metal Residues in respect of its cremation operations.
  2. Medical Referee – No cremation shall take place except on the written authority of the Medical Referee utilizing Cremation Form 10. Should the Medical Referee refuse to authorize a cremation then they will provide reasons.
  3. Submission of Funeral Papers – All notices for cremations and attendant information will be delivered to the Crematorium Office on the relevant Statutory Forms stipulated by the Ministry of Justice and other specific forms required by the Council.

NB: Regulation 2(ii) above should be factored into the following timings.

Cremation Forms 1, 4, 5, (6 where applicable) and the Additional Information in Respect form (A.I.R) form must be received at the Crematorium office no less than 72hrs before the funeral is booked to take place. Where this is not achieved then it may be necessary to convert the booking to a Memorial Service only and for the Funeral Director to return the coffined remains of the deceased back to his premises.

A fully completed Preliminary Notice of Cremation form must be received at the Crematorium office no less than 48hrs before the funeral is booked to take place. Where this is not achieved, the council will take no responsibility for any issues or problems that may transpire regarding the service, music/media choices and catafalque/curtain choices etc. On the day of the funeral, service Chapel attendants will only take instructions for changes to music and service order from the Funeral Director/Manager responsible for that funeral.

NB: The Council accepts no responsibility for ensuring all correctly and fully completed funeral papers arrive at the crematorium office on time and likewise will bear no responsibility for any delays to a scheduled funeral where this is the case.

  1. Right to Inspect Cremation Forms 4 and 5 – The applicant or their appointed representative have the right to inspect Cremation Forms 4 and 5 and will only be available for inspection at the crematorium office for 48HRs following the Crematorium Office contacting the applicant to confirm their possession of the same. Where a Cremation Form 6 has been issued by HM Coroner, this replaces the need for Cremation Forms 4 and 5 however there is no right to inspect this form.
  2. Services – All the forms of religious and/or secular services are permitted in our chapels, and the duration of these is determined by the time slot booked for the funeral;
    • A 30 minute slot at the crematorium chapel will provide 20 mins maximum for any service and 10 minutes to fully vacate the chapel.
    • A 45 minute slot at the crematorium chapel will provide 30 mins maximum for any service and 15 minutes to fully vacate the chapel. This applies to all time slots in the Cemetery Chapel.
  3. Attendance of Minister/Celebrant – The funeral director or other person having charge of any funeral will be responsible for arranging the attendance of a minister or celebrant to perform the required rites and service
  4. Mourners – All persons attending a cremation are requested to leave the chapel immediately at the conclusion of the Service. Two representatives of the deceased person being cremated may, with the express permission of the Registrar, see the coffin placed in the cremation chamber. Permission for the latter must be sought at least two hours advance of the service booking.
  5. Coffin – No body will be accepted for cremation unless it is completely enclosed in a coffin or a shroud with a flat/smooth wooden base to enable safe placement into the cremator chamber. The coffin or chamber shall consist only of readily combustible wood such as poplar, thin pine, or American whitewood or such other material which has been tested and approved by the Funeral Furnishing Manufacturers Association (FFMA) If painted, only water based paints must be used. No metal fittings, except those specially adapted for cremation, may be used. There must be no cross pieces or cleats on the bottom of the coffin and sawdust, charcoal, pitch, cotton wool or sealing materials which would cause smoke shall, on no account, be used.

The coffin shall not exceed 2200mm in length, 1054mm in width and 750mm in height (L: 86.5″ W :41.5″ H : 29.5″). The coffin lid shall bear a nameplate recording the full name of the deceased, their date of death and their age at the date of death in Roman text. For shrouds the same details of the deceased shall be written on white card/paper in permanent black ink and cellotaped or pinned to the chest area of the shrouded body.

The Council reserves the right to refuse any coffin or shrouded body for cremation that does not adhere to these basic requirements and/or is not a coffin approved by the FFMA. Additionally it may also refuse to accept any coffin or shrouded body which poses a risk to continued safe manual handling by the crematorium staff or is known to affect the operation of the cremator(s) their filtration mechanisms and/or compromise regulatory legal emissions parameters.

  1. Floral Tributes – No floral tributes placed on the coffin at committal will be permitted to enter the cremation chamber.
  2. Funeral Director’s Responsibilities – Funeral Directors and their staff must observe these and other regulations drawn up by the Council and all relevant guidance and codes of practice issued by the MoJ, NAFD, SAIF and ICCM. A Funeral Director must provide sufficient staff to carry the coffin/shroud safely and reverently at all times whilst on site.

4. Cremated remains

  1. Scattering of Cremated Remains – The Council will arrange to scatter cremated remains in the crematorium grounds as soon as possible after the cremation, and without charge unless written instructions to the contrary are received from the applicant in good time at the crematorium office. Where no specific instructions arrangements are made for the burial, or dispatch of the cremated remains of the deceased person within one calendar month from the date of cremation, the Registrar shall, after giving fourteen days’ notice to the applicant, cause the remains to be scattered in the crematorium grounds.
  2. Storage of Cremated Remains – If the cremated remains are, in respect of the wishes of the person arranging the cremation, retained in temporary storage after one calendar month from the date of the cremation, then a fee as prescribed in the table of fees and charges shall be charged for each calendar month or part thereof which these are stored in excess of the first calendar month from the date of cremation.
  3. Removal of Cremated Remains – The Council will require a receipt to be signed by the person so authorised if the remains are to be removed from the Crematorium. Removal of remains will not be allowed unless these are placed in an approved contained.
  4. Cremated Remains from Elsewhere – The remains of a person at a Crematorium other than the Kent and Sussex Crematorium may not be disposed of in the crematorium grounds unless authorised by the Registrar. The person arranging the disposal will be required to produce a certificate of cremation issued by the Crematorium where cremation took place and pay the prescribed fee for the disposal of the remains.

Such remains will be scattered in the grounds unless an interment product in the Cloister Garden has been dedicated for the interment of the same.

5. Conduct of visitors and mourners

  1. Visitors must abstain from:
    • Smoking, touching the memorials, ponds, shrubs and flowers
    • Intoxication through drink or drugs, the use of improper or foul language, shouting, singing and whistling whilst in the grounds. Likewise, refrain from any indecent, boisterous or discourteous behaviour, including the climbing on or over any memorial, gate, wall, fence or building within the same
    • Operating any device capable of producing sound or other musical instrument in the Cemetery Grounds (other than may be approved for accompaniment of a funeral service by the Registrar)
    • Children under 12 years of age will not be admitted to the Crematorium unless under the direct supervision of a parent or other responsible adult
    • Interfering or distracting contractors or staff whilst in the performance of their duties and responsibilities,
    • Bringing dogs or other animals into the Crematorium grounds without the express permission of the Registrar, with the acceptance of official disability assistance dogs
    • Taking photographs without the permission of the Registrar
    • Parking of motorised vehicles in places other than the designated car parks within the crematorium grounds
    • Driving vehicles contrary to the one-way traffic flow within the grounds once they have passed the office car park at the entrance in Benhall Mill Road

6. Memorials

  1. Vases – Flower vases are provided in the Cloister Garden for those wishing to leave cut flowers. The vases are not to be removed from the Cloister Garden, and no labels or names may be permanently attached to the same. Under no circumstances will mourners be permitted to provide their own vases.
  2. Crematorium Grounds – Only officially authorised commemorative products memorials will be permitted in the crematorium grounds and no other form of memorial, device, vase, glass or other receptacle will be permitted in the crematorium grounds, any, Chapel or any part of the cemetery.The Council will undertake all work in the crematorium grounds and cemetery, and on no account may any person interfere in any way with any tree, shrub, bush, seat or plaque therein, nor place any plants, flowers or shrubs in any flower bed or by or adjacent to any memorial in the crematorium grounds.
  3. Cut Flowers – May be placed on or adjacent to any dedicated memorial or elsewhere in the crematorium grounds. Once they are visibly dead they then be removed and disposed of.

7. Power to exclude from Crematorium

  1. Any person not complying with these regulations may be refused admittance to the crematorium or cemetery for such periods as the Council may think fit.

8. Alterations to regulations

  1. The Council reserves the right to make any alterations in these regulations as and when they consider it appropriate.

Crematorium Rules & Regulations cover Download our Rules and Regulations in PDF format (accessible).

→ Download