A funeral director in Southend has admitted that he is ‘struggling’ with the wishes of a recently-deceased man who spent his whole life living in Southend On Sea. 89-year-old Reginald Cruddington sadly passed away in his Westcliff home last weekend, and his last will and testament clearly states that he wishes for his remains to be scattered over Southend – the only issue is that he doesn’t want to be cremated under any circumstances. Although local health officials have expressed concerns about Mr Cruddington’s demands, Harry Underwood of Underwood and Sons has admitted that his hands are tied in this situation.

Mr Underwood said: ‘I was visited by a team from Southend Borough Council yesterday who informed me that it would be unhygienic to scatter his remains without cremating him first, but I have a legal duty to execute all requests that form my client’s last will and testament. He admitted throughout the document that he hated the way that Southend Seafront has been transformed with concrete everywhere and City Beach, and so he felt that this was the perfect way to express his disgust to the local authority. I assured the people from the council that we would do it in a way that minimises disruption, but ultimately also that they would be responsible for any clean-up operation afterwards as this is out of a funeral director’s control.’

Mr Cruddington’s daughter Marie added: ‘This is what he would have wanted as he was a miserable old sod at the best of times. If Hindus or Sihks or whoever can hold a burning funeral pyre in a field somewhere, I don’t see why daddy’s wishes cannot be fulfilled – it will be one hell of a send off!’