Two centenarian firms join forces

19th September 2010

Wimborne’s two most historic family firms have merged.

Funeral director FC Douch & Son, which celebrated its centenary this year, has teamed up with Charles Small & Son, the oldest family run business in Wimborne established by Charles Small back in the 1880’s.

Martin Small, the third generation of the family to run the business, said: “Our friendship with the Douch family goes back many years… my father ‘Pickles’ played many a game of cricket with Jack Douch and both families have always been good friends and shared their knowledge of the Funeral Trade.

This opportunity to merge is an ideal situation for me as I did not want to hand the baton to a large consortium and loose our identity as an independent family business serving Wimborne and surrounding areas for over 120 years. Part of me would have loved my children to take over but they’re pursuing independent careers, home and abroad and I am very proud of the choices they have made.

“Charles Small & Son means the world to me – I joined at the age of eighteen and have maintained the traditions set by my Grandfather and Father over the years and I can guarantee the well being and care of bereaved families will always remain our priority.

The merger will see a renaming of the Douch business to incorporate the name Small.

Nick Douch, Managing Director of FC Douch & Son, said: “This is an incredibly moving moment – our two firms have worked in harmony for 100 years, we have strong roots in Wimborne and are very much part of the community we serve. Both businesses have survived two world wars, recessions and a rapidly changing industry and now our names will be joined. My great grandfather Fred would have been very proud.”

The businesses will continue to operate as normal, with all funeral plans honoured and the day to day running of the newly-named company overseen by the Douch family. In the near future the business will transfer to the Douch headquarters in Leigh Road. Martin Small will continue to play a close role in the firm.

Nick added: “With the huge changes that have taken place in Wimborne in recent years, including the construction of a Waitrose supermarket on our historic cricket pitch, it’s more important than ever that we protect the town’s history.”