The business operated from 217, Northgate Street, between 1899 and 1917 before moving a few doors down to 214 where its Head Office still operates from.
Arthur’s father, William, had been a Methodist Town Missionary and his Father-in-law, Ephriam Blake, was also a Methodist preacher. Arthur was a staunch Methodist and choirmaster at the Temple Methodist Church, where Sainsbury’s is currently situated, for many years. He died in 1956, a much-respected member of the community.
Leonard (Lenny) Jary (1903 – 1986)
Born in 1903, Lenny was one of Arthur’s youngest children. He helped his father run of the company with his two older brothers, Sidney and Walter. Sidney contracted sleeping sickness during World War 1 and never recovered, dying at just 36 years old in 1929. Lenny gradually took over the reins from his father with Walter working with him.
Because the funeral profession was a reserved occupation, Lenny never joined the military. Like other undertakers who remained in their hometowns bombed heavily throughout the war, he suffered much loss and trauma. He had to retrieve numerous bodies of friends and neighbours after bombings.
On one evening, he was drinking with friends in a pub that suffered a direct hit two hours after he left. Lenny had to remove the bodies of friends he had been drinking with.
The war years saw great changes for the firm. Motor hearses were introduced during the 1920s, gradually replacing horsedrawn hearses.