Since 1860 we have been serving the people of Newport and the wider South East Wales area, helping families and loved ones through some of the toughest times they will face. Our business has been based on striving to give exceptional service, coupled with the utmost professionalism, to families for nearly 160 years.
|Daniel Tovey establishes the business in Dock Street, Newport, succeeding an existing business, Palmers of Llanarth Street, for whom he had assisted.|
Daniel is assisted by his cousin Isaac, but also joined by his two sons, George and James.
Daniel dies in 1888, by which time the firm has become the leading carriage masters, coachbuilders and funeral furnishers in the area.
In 1893, the book Ports of the Bristol Channel describes the firm’s recently acquired Central Mews at Dock Street as having ‘every facility for coach building and maintenance, as well as stabling for over 30 horses including a valuable stud of Belgian Black horses for funeral work.’
James retires from the business but George is joined by his son, Humphrey (the third generation) and subsequently his younger son, Percy. George passes away in 1908.
The firm assists with the war effort, supplying many of its horses to the cause, but also by transporting wounded soldiers, both from the train station to the hospital and on days out from the hospital for welcome breaks.
Tovey Bros purchased the first motor hearse to be used in Wales.
This decade sees the death of Humphrey (1929), aged only 47. However, Percy leads the business, assisted by Humphrey’s sons, Arthur and Leslie, who had joined a few years previously.
Motor vehicles replace horse-drawn as the main mode of transport for the funeral business (1933) and Arthur establishes the highly successful Barry office (1934).
The family again assists with the war effort. Arthur and Leslie, both qualified embalmers, are responsible for the repatriation of American soldiers as well as those of other nationalities.
The council announces the Kingsway development and hence the compulsory purchase and subsequent demolition of many Dock Street premises. The family purchases a former private residence at 9 and 11 Cardiff Road, creating garages to replace stables at the rear of the buildings.
|Leslie retires (1963) and Percy dies (1964), but Arthur is joined by his son, Humphrey (1964), the fifth generation.|
The Barry office closes to enable the fewer family members involved to focus on the larger Newport office. The firm begins operating solely out of Cardiff Road, having previously had branches at several locations throughout Newport, including Chepstow Road, Malpas Road and Commercial Road, as well as at Risca and Varteg at various times in its history.
Number 7 Cardiff Road is acquired and subsequently demolished to create extensive car parking facilities. In 1989, the firm buys its last of the old style Daimler DS420 funeral vehicles, which subsequently become uneconomical to manufacture.
In 1993, Tovey Bros is one of the first funeral homes to acquire the new generation Daimler funeral vehicles, based on the XJ saloon. Later versions of these vehicles are still used by the firm today. In 1994, the firm becomes Wales’ only member of Selected Independent Funeral Homes, an exclusive organisation to which membership is by invitation only. A large refurbishment and extension to the funeral home was completed in 1995 including a new service chapel, family rooms and other facilities. In 1997, Humphrey’s son, James, becomes the sixth generation member of the family to be a funeral director with the firm.
|In 2004, Tovey Bros is the first family funeral business in Wales to achieve Investor in People status. In 2005, Arthur Tovey dies after over 80 years’ involvement with the business. In 2009 – Golden Charter, Britain’s leading independent funeral plan provider, awards Tovey Bros the South West England & South Wales’ Funeral Planner of the Year Regional Award for its dedication and commitment in providing outstanding service to the community. With an expansion to its fleet of vehicles, Tovey Bros grows from strength to strength.|
Tovey Bros celebrates its 150th year Anniversary, marking the occasion with a host of events throughout the year. James’ niece, Emily Tovey Davies, joins Tovey Bros and is the seventh-generation member of the family to work for the firm. The STEPS bereavement group is formed with James taking a central role. James joins the board of Golden Charter, one of the UK’s leading providers of funeral plans, further enhancing the reputation of Tovey Bros as a trusted expert in its field. In 2018, Tovey Bros is awarded Family Business of the Year at the South Wales Argus Business Awards.