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Seventh-generation family member becomes new director of North Shields funeral business

E Turnbull & Son was founded in 1790 by John Turnbull as a cabinet maker and undertaker on the Fish Quay in North Shields, North Tyneside. The business moved into the town, following a fire, and has evolved into a well-respected funeral care provider.

Throughout its history, the company operated as coachbuilders and livery owners and even had a fleet of taxi cabs. They also made history by introducing the first car to North Shields in 1907 – a 1903 Vauxhall Model 719.

E Turnbull & Son has now appointed seventh-generation family member Ben Broadhead, 37, as their new Director.

Ben’s mother Jane Broadhead, 63, who lives in Jesmond, Newcastle, is currently the managing director. She is the daughter of Jimmy Turnbull and will continue to provide guidance and support while gradually passing the reins to her son.

Ben has pledged to lead the company into the future while upholding the values and traditions that have made E Turnbull & Son a trusted name in the community. He initially pursued a career in marketing and gained valuable experience at DFDS and Newcastle University. His early involvement in the family business involved delivering flowers and contributing to marketing projects.

Ben, who lives in Killingworth, North Tyneside, said: “I’m immensely proud of our firm’s legacy, which has been ingrained in the lives of the people of North Shields for over two centuries.

“Embracing our family’s heritage, I am committed to preserving our values and traditions while ensuring we adapt to the changing needs of our community.

“Working alongside my dedicated team, I am eager to learn every aspect of the industry and continue providing compassionate and personalised service to our valued customers.

“Turnbulls remains committed to serving the people of North Shields, Whitley Bay, Wallsend, and Newcastle.

“Since 1790, we have been an integral part of this community, and we will continue to be here for generations to come. I think it is vitally important that customers get a personal service using people they know and trust that live and work in their local area.”

E Turnbull & Son has a history of supporting local initiatives and organisations. To mark the occasion of Ben’s appointment, they have agreed to sponsor French and Spanish lessons for the YMCA North Tyneside nursery classes in North Shields. This will ensure that no child is deprived of the chance to learn and grow.

Ben said: “It’s wonderful to be able to fund these classes so that the children can gain valuable language skills at such an early age. We are a global community now more than ever and having the ability to communicate in more than one language is an essential skill to have.

“We’re delighted to help with this and many other local good causes such as the YMCA hot meal initiative, North Shields junior football teams and the Tynemouth Golf Club juniors.”

Ben has also recently been appointed to PROPS Family Recovery Service, board of Trustees. PROPS is a local support service for people whose lives are affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use.

He added: “Our commitment to the community extends beyond funeral services. We believe in helping those who support us, which is why we are dedicated to continuing the tradition of supporting those in need.

“My great-grandfather, for instance, cooked food for the homeless at Christmas, and I want that tradition of helping those in need to carry on in whatever way we can help.

“My family has established Turnbulls as an integral and traditional part of the community and I’m building on their amazing legacy which spans 232 years.

“Their success tells me that they have been doing the right thing by keeping Turnbulls a compassionate, caring, local family business.”