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New pet crematorium business to offer “compassionate” service to owners

PUBLISHED: 08:07 23 March 2018 | UPDATED: 08:07 23 March 2018

Gerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob Massey

Gerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob Massey

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A new pet crematorium in Great Yarmouth is hoping to provide a “compassionate” and “respectful” service for pets and their owners.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Cremations. Picture: Jacob MasseyRainbow Bridge Pet Cremations. Picture: Jacob Massey

Rainbow Bridge Pet Cremations will be opening on the site of a former showroom in Gapton Hall Road and is aiming to be up and running by the end of April.

Old friends and workmates Gerry Coulam, 57, and Mark Aylen, 55, decided to found the company following unsatisfactory experiences with their own pets that had died.

Mr Coulam said: “My fiancée’s African grey parrot, Billy Boy, passed away quite young and the only places we could find locally were unsympathetic, and Mark felt the same when his pet died. It left a bit of a sour taste with us.

“When you lose a pet it can be like losing one of your family and you don’t want it to be more painful than it needs to be.

Gerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob MasseyGerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob Massey

“We want to provide a service that is compassionate and respectful for these animals and their families.”

The site is currently pending planning permission but the pair have already begun extensive renovations.

When complete, the building will house a farewell room, where owners can take some time to say their last goodbyes to their beloved pet. There will also be a memorial area where a range of personalised receptacles and urns can be chosen.

The company will use state of the art cremation machines that generate minimal emissions and therefore have minimal environmental impact.

The site of a new pet crematorium on Gapton Hall Road. Picture: Jacob MasseyThe site of a new pet crematorium on Gapton Hall Road. Picture: Jacob Massey

Customers seeking assurance that the ashes they receive are their pets alone will also have the option of watching the cremation on CCTV.

Rainbow Bridge Pet Cremations will also operate a 24 hour collection service.

Mr Aylen said: “The reality is that people still have to go to work and get on with their lives when they’ve lost a pet, so if there is any way we can alleviate their heartbreak we will.

“We will treat the pets like our own.

Gerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob MasseyGerry Coulam and Mark Aylen are opening a pet crematorium in Gapton Hall Road, Great Yarmouth. Picture: Jacob Massey

“I’m a member of the coastguard and I’ve dealt with tragedy and the way I look at it is I’d rather do what I can to help the bereaved than do nothing at all.”

The plan has been lodged with Great Yarmouth Borough Council.

People have until April 7 to respond to the proposed change of use planning application.

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