A History of Care
83 Years of Service
Company Story       
The First Eighty Three Years
Arthur Gresty

Arthur Gresty
To the memory of my grandfather Arthur Gresty 1908 – 1988
"Maintaining the traditional, modern and bespoke family run funeral service with dignity and care"
Robert Gresty, Margaret Gresty, David Gresty, Clare Gresty (Arthur’s Son, Daughter in Law, Grandson and Granddaughter in Law), Anthony Caffrey, Jill Smith and Christopher McQueen are the current company directors of the family run funeral service, Arthur Gresty Funeral Homes.
The founder of the company, Arthur Gresty, was born in 1908 in Moor Nook, off Derbyshire Road South, Sale, and was the son of a “Gentleman’s Gardener”. As a young man he trained and worked as a mechanic for a garage in Hale. In 1933, Arthur started to work for himself, after becoming unemployed
In 1934, Arthur married Ethel, a member of the Gardner family, a very well known and respected family from Sale Moor Village. They had three children: Joan, Elsie and Robert.
After marrying Ethel, Arthur worked from his home, 33 Wythenshawe Road, Sale Moor, where he built himself a double garage, approximately eighteen feet long for his workshop and car garaging.
Arthur based his business around vehicle maintenance, servicing and general car hire for the public, commercial and council contracts. His first car was a “Bull Nose” Oxford, which he bought for £35 and used as a taxi service, specialising in holiday trips to coastal resorts.
He eventually changed his “Bull Nose” Oxford for a Morris Saloon, which he then exchanged for an Austin 18 Gordon Limousine at a cost of £280 (compared to a cost of around £130,000 for a modern limousine in 2016, some 70+ years on).
Arthur attempted to sign up for wartime service but to his surprise, was given an exemption due to his work duties (vehicle maintenance and service to the funeral profession). He enrolled in the Home Guard (Dad’s Army), which he often said did not fall short in reality from the TV comedy. He spent many hours patrolling South Manchester and around his home town of Sale Moor. In those days, the towns and villages were surrounded by fields, farmland and woodland. He was very patriotic about the service they provided for their country
In 1942, after working a good number of years for local Funeral Directors, hiring out vehicles and helping with funeral duties, Arthur started to offer his own complete Funeral Service in Sale Moor. As soon as possible, under war time restrictions, he studied the theory and practice of embalming, qualifying as a member of the British Institute of Embalmers in 1946 and so becoming the first qualified embalmer in the Sale/Altrincham area.
He bought an Austin 20 Hearse, which was the first motor hearse to be owned by a Sale Funeral Director. He changed his Austin Limousine for a Rolls Royce 20/25 Hooper Limousine, the first Rolls Royce to be offered by a Funeral Director in the area. The business acquired its first Rolls Royce Hearse when it bought a fleet of cars that had been operated by another Manchester based Funeral Director. The Limousines have been changed several times since the mid fifties, but the company has always owned Rolls Royce vehicles, supported at times by Daimler, Mercedes and currently Jaguar limousines, together with various models of saloon cars and removal vehicles.
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