Guernsey Press

Monumental masons to move after century in the Bordage

A GUERNSEY company, which is thought to have occupied the same site for more than 100 years, is on the move.

Bordage Monumental Works has been bought by Vaudin’s Funeral Services and will be moving to its new home at Les Huriaux Farm by the end of the month. Left to right, Steve Renouf, Martyn Renouf, Graham Domaille and Jai Vaudin. (Pictures by Sophie Rabey, 33053682)

Bordage Monumental Works was established in 1889 and belonged to the Henry family before being bought by brothers Martyn and Steve Renouf in 1983.

Now it has been purchased by Vaudin’s Funeral Services and by the end of March it should have completed its move to its new home at Les Huriaux Farm.

Letterer Steve Renouf started with the company in 1973 straight out of school and is looking to retire soon, while Martyn plans to stay on to cover the transition and beyond.

‘I’ve said I’ll carry on indefinitely for now,’ he said.

When the pair decided to sell the business, Martyn said there were several expressions of interest but they already knew what they wanted.

‘We had approaches from other people but we felt that Jai [Vaudin] was the right one to go with and we wish him every success for the future.’

There was a well-established connection with the funeral directors already in that a member of Vaudin’s staff has worked with the masons for a couple of years helping to fix headstones.

Mr Vaudin said that having a monumental mason on the same site as a funeral director had become quite common in the UK.

In the past the masons used to take on various jobs, but today it is mainly headstones and plaques.

Techniques have changed little over the years, with an Incimar machine used to cut lettering brought in during the 1960s, chisel tips were upgraded to tungsten to make them harder wearing for lettering by hand and a sandblasting machine was introduced in 2000. The stones are imported from the UK and are mostly polished granite from all over the world, while in the past Portland stone and marble were common materials but are used rarely these days because the granite is longer-lasting.

Steve’s job as letterer will be taken on by Graham Domaille, who will also become a director of the business.

The move should be completed by the end of March, said Mr Vaudin.

Holy Trinity Church Trust has bought the site and is waiting for permission to demolish the existing buildings and erect a new, three-storey one, with a view to extending its community facilities.