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Independent Funeral Directors
Serving Dorset for over 100 years

A family enjoyed a chauffeur-driven trip to one of Dorset’s most popular pubs for Sunday lunch – after guessing how many balloons were in a car.

The competition was held at the Margaret Green Animal Rescue fun day and was run by staff from The Dorset Funeral Plan.

Phil and Babs Williams from Bovington guessed that there were 172 balloons in the company’s electric car – just one short of the total.

Along with their daughter Georgie and her two young boys Romeo and Riker they were driven by chauffeur Derek Trotter to the Halfway Inn near Wareham.

Heads turned as the long, sleek, black Mercedes E250 pulled into the driveway of the hostelry.

Phil and Babs always attend the Margaret Green fun day and entered the competition just to help the centre.

The award-winning Dorset Funeral Plan is run by the Douch Family Funeral Directors, which includes the James Smith branch in Swanage and Albert Marsh branch in Wareham.

The balloon competition along with a tombola offering prizes donated by local businesses raised £322 for the charity.
Lorry driver Phil said: “Every year we go to the Margaret Green fun day and always buy a few things and enter the competitions.

“We were thrilled to win and our daughter and grandsons came with us. The prize was a meal for two so I paid for the others, but the pub said it would donate that amount to Margaret Green which was very generous of them.

“We had a fantastic meal and were particularly pleased it was at the Halfway Inn because we’ve tried to eat there before but it’s always been fully booked.

“The journey was wonderful and so smooth the children fell asleep almost at once.”

As well as Swanage and Wareham, Douch Family Funeral Directors have branches in Ferndown, Poole, Upton, Wimborne, Swanage, Corfe Mullen and Blandford.

Margaret Green Animal Rescue is the oldest and largest of its kind in Dorset and relies on donations to support the animals it cares for.

Each year it takes in over 1,200 abandoned, unwanted and ill-treated animals and finds them new, loving homes.
It has a visitor centre in Church Knowle, a base in Winterborne Kingston near Blandford, Dorset, and a third centre in Tavistock, Devon.