Tributes paid to founder of Islington's Museum of Funeral History

Kelvin Sanderson, who founded the Museum of Funeral History in Islington 

Kelvin Sanderson, who founded the Museum of Funeral History in Islington - Credit: Sanderson family

Tributes have been paid to the founder of Islington's Museum of Funeral History, who has died aged 65.

Kelvin Sanderson, who died suddenly on March 25, worked in the funeral industry since the 1970s after leaving the Royal Green Jackets army regiment. 

Four years ago his love for history spurred him on to set up the museum in the basement of Thomas Treacy funeral directors in Rosebery Avenue, Farringdon, where he worked as a business development manager.

The museum explores the history of funerals in London, and details how people seek to commemorate the death of their loved ones all over the world, and from Saxon, Viking and Egyptian times to the modern day.

Kelvin's work also saw him seen him setting up the Nubian Funeral Service in Willesden aimed at African-Caribbean communities and a history collection in Balham.  


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"These projects gave him an opportunity to use both his business and creative skills, pulling upon his knowledge of both history and the funeral business, combined with his knowledge of different cultures and religions," said his daughter Victoria.  

"His great love was history. All history really, but he particularly loved military history, Roman history, The Viking Period and the history of London.  

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"The first memory he had is of his dad telling him, whilst seated in Trafalgar Square, that he was lucky to be born and live in the greatest city in the world and he believed this.  

"He was a very happy and content person which shone from within. He wanted for nothing and whatever he did he seemed to enjoy. Dad truly blossomed in the final few years of his life and he was brimming with happiness."

Kelvin's colleague at Dignity Funerals, Jim Gilbey, who worked with him for most of his career, added: "He was a kind, caring, funny, knowledgeable, helpful and an influential man. 

"There will never be another Kelvin, his sudden death really was such a shock and was the end of an era.  For me his legacy will live forever". 

Kelvin leaves behind his wife Eileen, children Victoria and Ian, and grandson Matthew.   

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