Who We Are
Elijah Halliwell [b.1848] began the business of Joiner, Builder and Undertakers in 1875, working from premises in Newchurch Street, Radcliffe. Married to Margaret they lived just across the road at Number 1. His daughter Amy [b.1882] was a local school teacher and married Josiah Sillett [b.1882] in Aug 1910.
Josiah and Amy lived at 20 Cross Street, just around the corner from the workshop. Josiah was a joiner, builder and undertaker [the 1891 census shows him as a joiner’s apprentice, living at 4 Grey Street, Radcliffe] and he took over from Elijah in 1912. He then moved to 64 Blackburn Street, Radcliffe to gain a main street business address in around 1935. They had three children, Hubert [b.1912], Jessie [b.1914] and Leonard [b.1919]. They employed up to seven joiners at one time, the last joiner Walker Fletcher worked on the premises that was to be built later in Spring lane.
Hubert married Emily in 1935 and lived in the family home in Cross Street. They had no children. Hubert was a coffin maker in the business from around 1925 until he retired following an accident with a circular saw.
Leonard joined the business in 1936. He served in the Royal Navy during the war and returned to the business specialising in Funeral Directing in 1945. In Aug 1941 he married Ann. They had three children, Peter [b.1945], Pauline [b.1949] and Carl [b.1957]. It was in 1957 Leonard decided to build the present premises and it was completed in December 1958. Leonard and Anne moved into the bungalow called “Kelsil”. The Chapel of Rest adjacent to the bungalow was one of the very first purposely built funeral premises in the country.
Peter joined the business in September 1960, married Stella in 1965 and moved into the bungalow in 1969, staying 23 years, bringing up their four children, Peter, Paul, Rachel and Rebecca. Stella worked in the business with Peter until her retirement.
In 1968 Leonard and Peter decided to change the firm’s name from Josiah Sillett & Sons to SILLETTS funeral service. The old workshop was demolished and with a number of extensions over the years Spring lane became the main office, funeral premises, workshop and garage.
In the past, horses and carriages and later, motor vehicles were hired from suppliers in Bolton, until the first Austin Princess Limousines where purchased in 1961 which were, quite soon afterwards, followed by a Hearse which was an Austin Princess 3 litre.
Carl started work in June 1973. He is married to Karen. They have three children Lauren, Emily and Dominic.Carl sold his share of the partnership to remaining partners in March 2016 and is now retired.
Peter started work in June 1983. He is married to Mandy they have two boys, Michael and Matthew.
Paul started work in June 1984. Married to Amanda they have three children Joseph, Hannah and Adam.
In 1985 the old evangelical chapel in Herbert Street, was purchased and converted to become the first Funeral Premises in Little Lever, Bolton.
Doreen Rothwell started working with us part time in 2001. She is well known in Little Lever being a village girl all her life. Doreen retired in 2011.
Rebecca started work in July 1990. Her husband Nigel [Brownlow) joined us in October 1996. They have two children Jack and James.
Phillip Dale started work in 2005 and since then has become a fully qualified embalmer. A Radcliffe lad born and bred he was for many years manager and supervisor at Halls toffee makers in Radcliffe.
Joseph, Pauls eldest joined us in 2009. He becomes the first sixth generation of the family to practice as a Funeral director in Radcliffe.
Matthew, Peter Jnr’s youngest son joined the business in 2010.The latest addition to the team is Adam, Paul’s youngest son who joined the business in 2015.
What We Do
Silletts is an independent family funeral directors, at present there are ten members of the Sillett family working in the business. We are also proud of our staff. We maintain our high standards and have a long term commitment to our community because it’s where we plan to stay. We arrange funerals of all different types, from simple arrangements to very traditional funerals. Some people like to do things differently and we can help with all the very many options available today. Just ask.
Because we are good at what we do. Carrying on the family tradition is a way of life for us, our business is one of the area’s oldest continuously operated funeral services (check out our history page). We have a long and proud history of service to our community. All our attention is concentrated on satisfying the needs of our clients, we are flexible and responsive to your needs. This is our business and we take pride in our two funeral homes and our private fleet of vehicles. We know and appreciate local customs and expectations because we have served this community for years. Unlike the big corporate firms of funeral directors we turn to our local firms for services and products. We choose to do business with people we know and trust.
Whenever possible we support both with time and financial help local charities, sports clubs and schools.