The Brooks family business has been established in Newick since the late 1880’s when John Brooks and his five sons began their building and undertaking firm J. A. Brooks. Tragedy struck the family during World War One, when two sons were killed in action and one left injured. The war took its toll on the family, as it did with so many at that time. When John Brooks died in 1927, his son Fred continued the business.
In 1946 Fred’s son Roy joined his father in the running of the business until Fred’s death nineteen years later. Eventually the building side of the business was disbanded and Roy concentrated solely on funeral directing, supported by his wife and Partner in the business, Hilda, who herself also helped to establish and run Hilda’s Flowers in Newick.
Roy’s son Andrew joined the business in 1979 after leaving Chailey secondary school. Together they continued to build on the foundations of the family firm, extending their services to cover the Mid Sussex area in the early 1980’s with new premises in Haywards Heath.
Andrew’s wife, Julie, joined the business in 1987. Soon after the new premises at Newick were completed next to Roy & Hilda’s then home Ravenoak. This incorporated new garages, workshops, mortuary and a refurbishment of the original chapel of rest.
In 2008 a full renovation of the premises in Haywards Heath took place, extending to the first floor with a new private arranging office, coffin showroom and more office space.
Hilda died in February 2011 and Roy in June 2013; after serving his community with great devotion for over 60 years.
During 2017 a massive re-build and refurbishment programme began at the Newick premises. The chapel of rest was re-built in its original position but now incorporating an arrangement lounge and other facilities. The newly re-built chapel has allowed some of the original features to be re-used including the restoration of the wooden flooring. The mortuary facilities were completely re-furbished and upgraded, along with the workshop and garaging. This was a huge task but one which they are very proud of and feel the refurbishment has greatly enhanced and modernised the facilities, which now also offers full disabled access. Over 100 years after its foundation,
Andrew & Julie have continued to run the business, taking it through to the fourth and next generation of the family.